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UF’s Hybrid Exchange/Office 365 Environment for IT Administrators

UFIT is in the process of rebuilding the system(s) used to provide email to UF Students, Faculty, Staff, and Employees. The new system will be a single, hybrid environment consisting of on-premises UF Exchange and the cloud-based Office 365. It is generally useful to think of this environment as a single Exchange implementation with a number of limitations between the two sites.

General documentation about the new Office 365 portion of this service is available in the UF IT Wiki:

For information about who is eligible for UFIT email services, how a user’s UF affiliations effect where their mailbox is located, as well as basic guidelines for handling users with multiple eduPerson affiliations, please see the following document:

Advantages of a hybrid UF Exchange/ Office 365 Exchange environment:

  • All users, regardless of mailbox location, can:
    • share free/busy calendar data
    • view and reserve on premise room resources​
    • access Exchange public folders
    • access UF’s Global Address List (GAL) which is based on data in UF’s Active Directory
    • utilize UF’s existing Lync Unified Communications system
  • Outlook Web App redirection allows for redirection from the on-premises Outlook Web App environment to the Office 365 Outlook Web App environment. ( will redirect cloud Exchange users to
  • Office 365 users are fully enabled to utilize UF’s on-premises Lync Unified Communications system. The Office 365 OWA interface provides some connectivity back to UF’s Lync providing Presence and Basic Chat functionality. Other Lync functionality requires installation of the Lync client software on a PC or Mac.


Implications of having an Office 365 mailbox:

  • Cannot forward mail to external systems (the redirection rule is disabled as well)
  • Cannot have a UF Exchange Mailbox
  • Email messages over 35 MB in size will fail to migrate from GatorMail
  • Email messages with subject lines over 256 characters long will fail to migrate to Office 365 (if migrating from GatorMail to cloud)
  • Mailbox subjected to a discovery process have to be migrated back to on premise Exchange
  • All O365 mailbox are managed by EI&O Office 365 admins due to the flat OU structure of UFAD directory information that gets published to Microsoft cloud-based Azure AD.
  • The Send As, Receive As, and Full Access delegation to on-premises Exchange mailboxes and service accounts does not work.

For further information about functionality between the two sites in this hybrid configuration, please see Microsoft’s documentation on the subject:

Students and UF Exchange

The UF Exchange system was never intended to support Student mailboxes. Even with the upgrade of UF Exchange, Students will not be eligible for UF Exchange mailboxes. Nonetheless, due to historically inconsistent provisioning practices across UF departments and colleges some number of Students, who are otherwise eligible for Office 365, will be unable to migrate to Office 365 due to the existence of the Student’s UF Exchange mailbox.

In the case of a Student being prevented from moving to Office 365 due to an existing UF Exchange mailbox, the IT staff from the department who created the Exchange mailbox must coordinate with UF Exchange Admins to schedule the migration of UF Exchange to Office 365.

An additional complication from a Student with both Gatorlink & Exchange mailboxes is that the migration will ONLY move the Student’s UF Exchange mailbox to Office 365. Any email in the Student’s Gatorlink mailbox will be stranded there. The GatorLink mailbox will remain accessible via or until that system is retired. The Student may configure an email client to connect simultaneously to both Office 365 and GatorLink email. With this client configuration in place the Student mail manually migrate mail between the two systems.

Service Mailboxes for Students with OPS Employment

Departments employing Student workers may want to consider providing a service mailbox which is accessible by the Student's Gatorlink credentials for purposes of abstracting and isolating employment-based email from student activity. In this case, the service mailbox would need to live in Office 365 along with the Student’s primary mailbox. As such, the creation and management of the mailbox would need to be requested with UF Exchange admins.

A look at service account mailboxes in the cloud:

  • No direct log in (users would go into their main inbox then have to go to “options” and type in the service account name to open another browser tab with that inbox)
  • No mobile access to service mailbox
  • Workstation admin must reconfigure Outlook profile for workstations in Deep Freeze
  • User must manually change the "From:" field when they create a message in Outlook (for example: the default "From:" is so it would have to manually change it to to send from the cloud service account)
  • User gets a service account email address that is not friendly & no personalized from field “Last Name, First Name” but rather “lb-unit-username”
  • This service account is also managed by Office 365 admins and there is no delegation of permissions (creation, deletion is a separate ticket to EI&O Office 365 admins, Tier 2 won't be able to work on these tickets)
  • No access to existing on-premises service accounts and on-premises Exchange users are not able to be granted access to this cloud service account.​



 Last modified at 3/2/2015 10:53 AM by Josh Davis