As the year is coming to a close, there are a few important updates to your Office 365 account that we wanted to make you aware of. If you are one of our current Office 365 customers, you should have received communications from us and from Microsoft regarding these changes. Most likely, these changes were taken care of by your administrator and should have no effect on the functionality of your Office 365 accounts. As of January 1st, 2013, the following changes were made to your Office 365 account:
Update generic Mail Exchange (MX) records
In order to improve email performance and reliability, Office 365 is changing the way email is routed to your organization. To enhance efficiency, each custom domain within your organization must have a unique Mail Exchange (MX) record value. All generic MX records were deprecated as of January first, so check to be sure your MX records were updated. If the MX records were not updated, you could experience issues receiving emails from outside your organization.
Hybrid configurations must install Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 Rollup 4
A service upgrade that is scheduled to be released in 2013 requires deployment of Exchange 2010 Service Pack 2 Rollup 4 (KB2706690) on all on-premises Exchange 2010 email servers and client access servers if you are running an Office 365 hybrid configuration with remote archive. If KB2706690 (SP 3 or later) is not deployed before the Office 365 service update, all Outlook remote archive connectivity will be lost for users. Also, eDiscovery and audit functionalities must now run on both the on-premises and cloud configurations.
Upgrade to the 64-bit version of Directory Synchronization
As of January 1st, 2013, the 32-bit version of Directory Synchronization (DirSync) is no longer available and you should have upgraded to the 64-bit version. In an effort to modernize the platform and to concentrate on simplifying the process of synchronizing on-premise Active Directory with Office 365, Microsoft is focusing on the 64-bit version.
Although the 32-bit version will continue to function after January 1st, no service requests regarding this version will be accepted. Both tools function in the same way, so anything you built in the 32-bit version will work in the 64-bit tool. On October 1st, 2013, connections from the 32-bit tool will be blocked entirely.
If an admin task is necessary for your account, you should have been notified directly by Microsoft with either service alert emails or messages on the Office 365 admin page. If you did not receive any communication from Microsoft on any one of these updates, then the updates may not apply to you.
For more information on these changes, check out the Office 365 community post or email Paul Landt at firstname.lastname@example.org.