How to create your Hybrid Exchange LAB in Azure

You may want to have a Hybrid Exchange LAB environment to prepare your Microsoft 365 Certification exam. If needed you can follow the instructions below to get your LAB ready in few hours. By the way, it is not free but it won’t cost you much to prepare for your exam.

Below are details of my LAB in Azure that I used to prepare for my Microsoft 365 exam. I’m now an Microsoft 365 Certified Enterprise Administrator Expert certification holder

LAB Requirements:

Azure Trial Subscription: You can easily sign up for Azure Free Trial with 200$ Credits

Office 365 E3 Trial Subscription: You can try Microsoft 365 Trail as well – 30 days free.

Certificate: * purchased from 3rd Party vendor is required. You can get a wildcard certificate for 40$ Per Year.

Azure Virtual Machines: 4 Virtual Machines (Domain Controller, Exchange 2016, AD Connect Server (Installed on DC), ADFS & ADFS Proxy)

Azure Load Balancer: 2 Load Balancer, One for Exchange ( & another for STS (

Azure Storage Account: Create a storage account with LRS type to Keep your Virtual Disk

Azure Virtual Network: Create a Vnet with address space & 2 Subnets (Internal – & (DMZ – Set the DNS Server as

Azure Network Security Group: You can place all the Virtual Machines under this NSG and create the below Inboud Rules to have proper communication between servers.

Step by Step details:

Step 1: Sign Up for Office 365 E3 Trial – To have a clean domain naming options.. choose the required Azure Default domain name for example, as default domain if you external email domain is During the Trial sing up, choose the defaul global admin as

Step 2: Login to and sign up for a Trial Azure Subscription. It will ask for a credit card to verify the proof of Identity.

Step 3: Create a Azure Virtual Network, Address space as with 2 subnets as Internal – & DMZ –

Step 3: Create Network Security Group and apply it the Subnets

Step 4: Create Azure Storage, with LRS as replication type to minimize the cost

Step 5: Create the Domain Controller VM – Domain Control and Promate the machine as DC with the domain name as and login to DC. Add the domain as adding UPN suffix in AD Domain and Trust.

Step 6: Create the Exchange Server VM – Join the machine to DC, Install Exchange 2016 and configure the certificate and change the external url as On DC -> DNS, Create a new zone for and create the A record for and that points to exhange server IP.

Step 7: Create an Azure LB Instance -> Configure Exchange Server as the back end node, set up monitoring probe for Port 443, Load balancing Rule that points to Exchange Virtual IP

Step 8: Create NSG Rule – Create Inbound allow rule in NSG for

Step 9: Create the external DNS record for that points to Azure LB Public IP and the OWA mail access.

Step 10: Add and verify as additional\custom domain in Office 365

Step 11: AD Connect Setup – Download and Install AD connect in Domain Controller. Do not setup ADFS related configuration. Choose Exchange Hybrid feature only.

Step 12: Create ADFS VM – Install ADFS role and configure it. Adfs service name as

Step 13: Create ADFS Proxy VM – Create the VM in DMZ subnet. Install ADFS Proxy role and configure it. Create a host entry to that points to ADFS server IP.

Step 14: Create an Azure LB Instance -> Configure sts load balancing. Create ADFS Proxy as as the back end node, set up monitoring probe for Port 443, Load balancing Rule that points to ADFS Proxy Virtual IP.

Step 15: Configure ADFS Sign in – Install MSOnline Module in ADFS Follow the steps as shown below.

Leave your command for any additional information about the Exchange LAB setup in Azure. All the best for your exam preparation.

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