I came accross an interesting article on the Exchange Team blog describing the benefits of the hybrid configuration wizard in Exchange SP2.
Here's a quote from the blog :
"During the beta of Office 365 for Enterprises, we received great feedback from our customers and wanted to vastly simplify the process for configuring Exchange in a hybrid deployment with Office 365. We are introducing the Hybrid Configuration Wizard in Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 to refine the deployment process as a result of that feedback.
What is the Hybrid Configuration Wizard?The Hybrid Configuration Wizard consists of:
- A new Exchange Management Console (EMC) wizard that guides you through the end-to-end process for configuring a hybrid deployment.
- A set of Exchange Management Shell (EMS) cmdlets that orchestrate the configuration process (as always, the EMC executes these Shell cmdlets).
- Improvements to the manageability of some of the underlying hybrid features (no more exchangedelegation.contoso.com or service.contoso.com domains – Yay!)
What does it do?The hybrid configuration cmdlets take inputs from the wizard, analyze the state of your existing on-premises and cloud organizations, and calculate the required steps to correctly configure both organizations correctly. You can learn more about this process here.
This friendly wizard replaces approximately 50 manual steps with just a few inputs and several clicks of your mouse. Here are some of the top tasks that the Hybrid Configuration Wizard will automatically verify and configure for you:
- Verifies that your on-premises and Office 365 organizations meet the prerequisites for a hybrid deployment.
- Provisions your on-premises Exchange federation trust.
- Creates mutual organization relationships between your on-premises and Exchange Online organizations.
- Modifies e-mail address policies to ensure that mailboxes can be moved successfully to Exchange Online in Office 365.
- Enables and configures free/busy calendar sharing, message tracking and MailTips for both your on-premises and Exchange Online organizations.
- Configures secure mail flow between your on-premises and Exchange Online organizations. You can even choose to have the wizard automatically configure Exchange Online organization to route mail through your on-premises Exchange organization to meet any additional business or compliance requirements.
- Enables support for Exchange Online Archiving for on-premises mailboxes for those customers that have chosen to include archiving in their Office 365 service plan.
|Native mailbox move||Online mailbox moves with automatic Outlook reconfiguration|
|Free/busy and calendar sharing||Free/busy and calendar sharing between on-premises and Exchange Online mailboxes|
|Secure mail||TLS-encrypted and authenticated mail flow between your on-premises and Exchange Online organizations|
|Exchange Online Archiving||Provide unlimited cloud-based archive storage for your on-premises mailboxes|
|Message tracking||Integrated message tracking logs across on-your on-premises and Exchange Online organizations|
|Multi-mailbox search||Create a single search request that automatically queries both on-premises and Exchange Online mailboxes|
|Outlook Web App redirection||Redirect OWA logons for users that have been moved to Exchange Online|
|Mailtips||Ensures that MailTips are available for both your on-premises and Exchange Online organizations|
With that in mind, we'll be retiring the manual hybrid deployment configuration guidance provided with SP1 and we strongly encourage you use the wizard wherever possible. Although we'll continue to support manually configured hybrid deployments, we believe that using the new wizard is the easiest, most reliable way of getting deployed and staying correctly configured."
Source : http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2011/12/08/introducing-the-hybrid-configuration-wizard.aspx