Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Topic Last Modified: 2011-07-29

The Edge Transport server role is typically deployed on a computer located in an Exchange organization's perimeter network and is designed to minimize the attack surface of the organization. Available in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010, the Edge Transport server role handles all Internet-facing mail flow, which provides SMTP relay and smart host services for the Exchange organization. Additional layers of message protection and security are provided by a series of agents that run on the Edge Transport server and act on messages as they're processed by the message transport components. These agents support the features that provide protection against viruses and spam and apply transport rules to control message flow.

Learn more about Edge Transport servers at: Overview of the Edge Transport Server Role

Edge Transport Server in Hybrid Deployments

Exchange Online uses Microsoft Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) instead of Edge Transport servers to provide SMTP relay and smart host services and manage the anti-malware and anti-spam features for cloud-based organizations. For message communications between your on-premises and cloud-based organizations, these services are handled differently in a hybrid deployment than in a typical stand-alone on-premises Exchange organization.

In both a hybrid and stand-alone Exchange deployment, the on-premises Edge Transport server handles message protection and security for inbound and outbound mail routing to external organizations and recipients. However, the on-premises Edge Transport server is bypassed for message routing between the on-premises and cloud-based organizations in a hybrid deployment. Instead, the on-premises hybrid server and the cloud-based FOPE service handle message routing between the two organizations. Additionally, the cloud-based FOPE service handles all message protection and security for messages between the on-premises and cloud-based organizations.

Learn more at: Shared Address Space with On-Premises Relay Scenario and Understanding Transport in a Hybrid Deployment

Edge Transport Server Configuration in Hybrid Deployments

Adding the hybrid server changes message routing configuration and the way that messages are processed within your Exchange organization in several ways:

  • The hybrid server remains as an available Hub Transport server in your Exchange organization   Because the hybrid server was already configured with the Hub Transport server role, it automatically continues to assist other Hub Transport servers in your organization with routing all incoming messages to your on-premises mailbox servers. From the Edge Transport server's perspective, the hybrid server remains as simply another Hub Transport server in the Exchange 2010 organization. The hybrid server automatically continues to assist in the routing of incoming messages from the Internet to on-premises recipient mailboxes, not just cloud-based recipients in your organization. This behavior is by design when you are using Edge Subscriptions to route Internet mail.

    Learn more at: Overview of the Hub Transport Server Role

  • The hybrid server assists with handling journaling and transport rules for your Exchange 2010 organization   When the hybrid server is configured in your existing Exchange organization, all existing journaling and transport rules are already included from your previous on-premises Hub and Edge Transport server configuration. The hybrid server will continue to apply these rules when processing messages just like any other Hub Transport server in your organization.

    Learn more at: Understanding Transport

  • The hybrid server assists with your organization's EdgeSync synchronization duties   Because you’re configuring an existing Exchange 2010 server, the hybrid server participates in EdgeSync duties just like any other Hub Transport server in your organization. If you prefer that the hybrid server doesn't participate in EdgeSync synchronization, you can disable the Microsoft Exchange EdgeSync service on the hybrid server.

    Learn more at: Understanding Edge Subscriptions