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Create Office 365 mailbox in Exchange hybrid

It’s good to go through the Exchange hybrid test plan checklist and test all the scenarios before you start to migrate any mailboxes. The first task is to create an Office 365 user mailbox in Exchange hybrid configuration. In this article, we will look at the different options on how to create Office 365 mailbox in Exchange hybrid.

Information

In this article, we will:

  1. Create two Office 365 mailboxes
  2. Test hybrid mail flow in both organizations
  3. Test GAL visibility in both organizations
Good to know is that you need to create the mailbox in the on-premises Exchange environment. If you don’t do that, you will get issues.

Create Office 365 mailbox

There are two ways to create a user mailbox in Exchange hybrid:

  • Exchange Admin Center
  • Exchange Management Shell

Create Office 365 mailbox in Exchange Admin Center

Log into the Exchange Admin Center (EAC) with admin privileges. This is on the Exchange on-premises server and NOT Office 365. Click recipients in the feature pane and click mailboxes in the tabs. Click the + icon. Select Office 365 mailbox to create a new mailbox in Office 365.

Create Office 365 mailbox in Exchange admin center

Fill in the information. Make sure that you select a proper domain suffix. Click Save.

Fill in new Office 365 mailbox information

Add the Exchange Online license to the user. In our example, we will make the user member of the security group that contains the Exchange Online license. That’s because we have set up Azure group-based licensing. You don’t have to assign an EXO (Exchange Online) license right now, and it’s fine to do that at a later stage.

Remember that you can’t send and receive an email if you don’t have an EXO license.
Add Office 365 license in AD

Don’t forget to force sync Azure AD Connect.

PS C:\> Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta

Click on the new mailbox and click the edit icon in the toolbar.

Edit Office 365 mailbox in on-premises Exchange admin center

Click email address in the menu. Verify that you see:

  1. smtp:<user>@tenant.mail.onmicrosoft.com
  2. Remote routing address
Office 365 mailbox email address on-premises.

Go back to the Exchange admin center and click in the top bar on Office 365. Log in with your Microsoft 365 admin credentials. Click the Office 365 user mailbox and press the edit icon in the toolbar.

You will only see Office 365 mailboxes in Microsoft 365 Exchange admin center. The on-premises mailboxes are not shown on Microsoft’s cloud servers.
Exchange admin center edit mailbox

In the menu, click on email address. There is no remote routing address option in the cloud, and you will see two smtp onmicrosoft.com email addresses:

  1. smtp:<user>@tenant.mail.onmicrosoft.com
  2. smtp:<user>@tenant.onmicrosoft.com
Office 365 mailbox email address in the cloud

We did create an Office 365 mailbox directly from on-premises Exchange admin center in Exchange hybrid configuration.

Create Office 365 mailbox with Exchange Management Shell

Create a user account in Active Directory. In this example, Test Mailbox2. Add the Exchange Online license to the user. We already did assign the security group that contains the Exchange Online license because we use Azure group-based licensing.

Create AD user

Run Exchange Management Shell as administrator. Run the command to create a remote mailbox in Office 365 for existing AD user. Make use of the Enable-RemoteMailbox cmdlet. Change the tenant information to yours. In this example, it’s exoip365.mail.onmicrosoft.com.

The proxy address will always be @tenant.mail.onmicrosoft.com.

The output shows the mailbox creation.

[PS] C:\>Enable-RemoteMailbox "Test.Mailbox2" -RemoteRoutingAddress "Test.Mailbox2@exoip365.mail.onmicrosoft.com"

Name                 RecipientTypeDetails        RemoteRecipientType
----                 --------------------        -------------------
Test Mailbox2        RemoteUserMailbox           ProvisionMailbox

Do you get an ExchangeGuid is mandatory on UserMailbox error after running the above command? Read the article: Enable-RemoteMailbox ExchangeGuid is mandatory on UserMailbox.

Wait for the Azure Active Directory synchronization or force sync Azure AD connect with PowerShell.

PS C:\> Start-ADSyncSyncCycle -PolicyType Delta

Verify in the on-premises Exchange admin center that the mailbox type will show as Office 365. If you have a mailbox on-premises, it’s the mailbox type User.

Verify mailbox in Exchange on-premises admin center

Click in the top on Office 365. You will only see Office 365 mailboxes in Microsoft 365 Exchange admin center. Here, the mailbox type is User. The on-premises mailboxes are not shown on Microsoft’s cloud servers.

Verify Office 365 mailbox

Test hybrid mail flow in both organizations

We did create both the Office 365 test mailboxes. Let’s test the mail between both organizations by sending an email in both directions.

Send email from Office 365 mailbox to on-premises

Start Outlook and log in with the Office 365 mailbox. Create a new message and select an on-premises mailbox. In this example, Amanda Morgan. Click OK.

Select on-premises user from Global Address List

Send a test email from the Office 365 mailbox to the Exchange on-premises mailbox.

Send email from Office 365 mailbox to Exchange on-premises

Log in to Outlook with the Office 365 mailbox. The email shows up from Test Mailbox1. The mail flow from Office 365 to on-premises works.

Confirm email from Office 365 mailbox to Exchange on-premises

Send email from on-premises mailbox to Office 365

Log in to Amanda’s on-premises mailbox. Send an email in the other direction. Reply to the email and click Send.

Send email from Exchange on-premises mailbox to Office 365

The reply shows up in the Test Mailbox1 Outlook client. The mail flow from on-premises mailbox to Office 365 mailbox works.

Confirm email from Exchange on-premises mailbox to Office 365

Test GAL visibility in both organizations

It’s good to test the Global Address List (GAL) visibility in Exchange Online (Office 365) and Exchange on-premises.

Office 365 Global Address List visibility

From Test Mailbox1 Outlook client, create a new email and click on Address book. Select the address book All Users. Verify that you see both on-premises and Office 365 mailboxes.

Office 365 GAL visibility

Exchange on-premises Global Address List visibility

From Amanda’s Outlook client, create a new email and click on Address Book. Select the address book All Users. Verify that the on-premises and Office 365 mailboxes show up.

Exchange on-premises GAL visibility

The next time, we will look at how to create Office 365 shared mailbox in Exchange hybrid configuration.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned how to create an Office 365 mailbox in Exchange hybrid configuration. There are a couple of options to create an Exchange Online mailbox in Office 365. Which one you choose, both will work. It depends on the company and which workflow is best for them. It’s your job to consult them.

Did you enjoy this article? You may also like the course Exchange Hybrid. Don’t forget to follow us and share this article.

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

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