Testing Office 365 Hybrid Deployment For Free

Ever wondered how to setup an Office 365 hybrid deployment for free – maybe to learn or as a proof of concept exercise?

If the answer is yes, you can do it for free (pretty much) with trials from Azure, Office 365 and third party certificate providers.

You will need to register your domain with one of the hosting providers like GoDaddy. It will only cost a couple of dollars.

Azure gives a one month free trial and you can setup your lab environment online – domain controller, exchange, dirsync servers, the whole lot. Do shutdown the machines when you are not using them as you have a set amount of credit available during trial.

Azure one month trial offer

Sign up for the one month Azure trial here.

You need an Office 365 subscription, after all you are trying to deploy a hybrid config. Even if you just want to familiarize with the cloud, you can sign up for the one month trial. If your intention is to deploy a hybrid lab, sign up for the one month E3 plan trial.

Office 365 trial E3 plan

Sign up for E3 subscription trial here.

We need SSL certificate to configure the hybrid deployment. Most of the famous third party certificate providers offer you free certs for a month or more. Sign up for one of those.

StartSSL provides free certificates.

Comodo provides free certificate valid for 3 months. Get it here.

Check with other providers like DIgiCert to see whether they do something similar. You never know ;)

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