So this week at Microsoft Ignite it was announced that Exchange Server 2013 is now supported to run in the Microsoft Azure IAAS cloud. The general discussion has been “in what scenarios do I want to run Exchange in Azure instead of using Office 365.” What I am here to say is there is a reason to run Exchange in Azure IAAS while at the same time using Office 365 for all of your users mailboxes.
First and foremost when running Exchange 2013 in the Azure IAAS the drives that have the Exchange databases and transaction logs, including the transport databases, need to be running on storage drives configured Azure Premium storage. TechNet documentation: http://aka.ms/e2013virt
So now why would we want an Exchange server in Azure? User Manageability. The general guidance we have always left clients with was when running Azure AD Sync (Dirsync) with or without ADFS rather than manage your Exchange Attributes via custom scripts or ADSI Edit use an Exchange server configured for Hybrid functionality for manageability so you have access to the ‘hybrid’ Exchange PowerShell commands. With the fact that this can now be run in Azure if your organization is one that has chosen to deploy your Azure AD synchronization and optional ADFS infrastructure in Azure you can now move your Exchange management infrastructure out there as well.
This is a great solution for those organizations looking to take advantage of Office 365 and still maintain that full fidelity manageability without custom coding scripts.