Tag: SQL Server 2008

How Many SQL Servers Do You Need to Run Lync?

Front End, Mediation, Monitoring, Archiving, Edge, Chat…with all these servers running, Lync Server 2013 must need a lot of database storage.

But how much is required? How many SQL Servers should a Lync administrator deploy?

Some of Lync requires a SQL Server database; some does not. But you’ll need to decide how many beforehand, because each SQL Server instance must be installed and available PRIOR to setting up their databases (via Topology Builder or PowerShell).

So let’s go through, server by server, and figure it out.

STANDARD EDITION

Standard Edition Front End Server

We start off easy. Standard Edition Server comes with its own database – SQL Server 2012 Express. It’s even auto-configured when you install Standard Edition Server.

SQL Server Instances Required (Minimum): 0

ENTERPRISE EDITION

Enterprise Edition Front End Server

Of course, Front End requires a SQL Server instance. It needs a place to store the back-end database. Next!

Mediation Server

A critical server, many admins debate whether to collocate Mediation Server on a Front End Pool, or place it standalone. However, you don’t need a separate SQL Server instance for it.

Monitoring & Archiving

Since both the Monitoring and Archiving Servers can be collocated on Front End in Lync Server 2013, they can use the same SQL Server as Front End. They will each have a database to themselves (and you should install SQL Server Reporting Services too, for Monitoring).
–Placing these databases on their own SQL server instead would provide an extra security layer, if properly configured. But for most small or mid-size deployments, it’s not necessary.

Director

Our friend the Director, standing guard against the tide of harmful access attempts. Since it has no users homed on it, it doesn’t really need its own database.

Persistent Chat

Persistent Chat stores your chat history, configuration and user provisions in a SQL database. You can install a second database to store compliance data, if you like. Both of these databases can reside in the same SQL Server instance as the Front End Server’s.

Edge Server

Remote access, enabling mobility…Edge Server must require a separate SQL Server for itself, right? To protect all that important connection data?

Well…Yes and No. Edge Server runs SQL Express Edition for a local CMS. Another instance of SQL Server is not required.

SQL Server Instances Required (Minimum): 1

(Reference: Server Collocation in an Enterprise Edition Front End Pool Deployment – TechNet Library)

Of course you can create multi-system SQL Server pools if you like.  Or use mirroring, or clustering for higher availability. I’ll cover those later on.

Oh, one last thing! Remember that Lync Server 2013 requires you use Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1, or Microsoft SQL Server 2012. Don’t forget!

How many SQL Server databases are you running in your Lync pools?

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Will we need to upgrade SQL Server for Lync Server 2013?

Welcome back everyone! It’s a new year, and time for new Lync Insider posts.

We’ll start today with a short one on Lync Server 2013 (because I have many, many emails to catch up on!)

Last month I asked a quick question – is SQL Server 2012 required to run Lync Server 2013?

If you’re wondering too, the answer is…No. But a 64-bit edition of SQL Server IS required.

Step Right Up and Pick Your Database Version, All Accepted

Lync Server 2013 (Enterprise Edition) can use the following versions of SQL Server:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition
  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition
  • SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition
  • SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition

But no matter which version you choose, it must be 64-bit. Like the rest of Lync Server.

(There’s also SQL Server Express, but it comes with Standard Edition so you don’t need to worry about it.)

And make sure you stay consistent! Don’t try to use a SQL Server 2008 database for the backend, and then install SQL Server 2012 for Monitoring. You’ll end up with DB issues aplenty (and I don’t even think mirroring will work!).

Can You Upgrade? Then Go For It! If Not, Wait a While

In our Lync Server installations, we’ve been moving toward SQL Server 2012 most of the time. Even on servers running Windows Server 2008. The performance is just smoother.

So if you can work a SQL upgrade in, by all means! It’ll do nothing but help. But if it’s too early in the year and you need to wait, that’s okay too.

Here is some reference documentation for you, on configuring SQL Server for use with Lync Server 2013.
Configure SQL Server for Lync Server 2013 – Microsoft TechNet

Which database server are you using (or planning to use) for Lync Server 2013?

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4 Reminders for the Lync Community

Troubleshooting, Lync Wikis, Another Lync Server Update and A SQL Warning

I’ve seen a lot of updates on the Lync field lately. New documentation, software patches, and lots of information shared.

So much information in fact, that I wanted to pull some important things out from the tide. These are too good for our readers to miss!

Keeping up on Lync Server? You’ll want to know about these 4 items.

Lync will NOT work with SQL 2012 (right now).

Planning an upgrade to SQL Server 2012 in the coming year? If you use Lync Server, you may want to wait. According to the TechNet Blogs, SQL 2012 does not support Lync Server 2010.

This is due to SQL 2012 dropping support for DMO (Distributed Management Objects), an older set of objects which let programs do some SQL management. Lync Server still uses DMO. The blog’s author, Damien Caro, has provided links to explain more about DMO and SQL.

This has to change soon. Having Lync and SQL incompatible doesn’t make any sense. Either Microsoft will introduce an add-on that allows Lync to work with SQL 2012, or there will be a fix in the next version. Keep it in mind.

Lync Server Cumulative Update 5 (CU5) has been released.

The fifth Cumulative Update for Lync is out. Credit to Justin Morris at Justin-Morris.net for making the announcement (he’s on the ball with these!).

CU5 contains fixes for video in Remote Call Control (RCC). Justin has already done the work of finding the links, so I’ll send you over to his blog for the downloads.

Lync Server 2010 Cumulative Update 5 Download Links at Justin-Morris.net.

Maybe a future Cumulative Update will fix the Lync 2010/SQL 2012 issue. If so, you have yet another reason to always patch when a new Update is released!

Lync Wikis are now available.

If you’ve used Wikipedia, you know that wikis are a great way to collect information about topics. TechNet has created wikis for Lync Server and Office 365’s Lync Online. Where you, me and everyone interested in Lync can share what they know.

Lync Server Wiki Portal

Lync Online Wiki Portal

Starting out, these two use different navigation structures. The Lync Wiki starts with an Overview in the “Wiki Navigation” section of the main page. The Lync Online Wiki has organized by resource type instead.

The best thing about a wiki, however, is that it changes depending on what its community decides. DrRez has some guidelines on how to use the new Wikis, to get you going.

And yes, you’ll find me milling about in there!

Troubleshoot Lync Phone Edition Issues (and Phone Firmware) at Jeff Schertz’s blog.

Jeff Schertz (Lync Server MVP and an excellent blogger) has posted a “massive” troubleshooting article. It gives exhaustive detail on fixing problems with Lync Phone Edition, AND firmware for compatible phones.

The content is very technical (Jeff gives firmware screenshots and log analyses), and calling it massive is not an exaggeration!

Lync administrators, if you support a lot of desktop phones in your environment, this needs to go in your resource library. Grab a coffee and start reading.

Now you’re (a little more) up to date on what’s happening. Plenty more out there, too.

Next week I’m digging into Lync Mobile a little more. Join me on Wednesday for the details!

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Path to Lync Server – Step 5: Choose Hardware to Use

So we've got our services in order and a partner chosen. Next up in our “Path to Lync Server” series is hardware.

By now everyone who works with Microsoft software knows about their hardware requirements. Lync is no exception – you'll need good servers and an up-to-date network. With Lync Server however, there's a bit more to consider.

You'll need to consider not only the servers and the network, but also communication devices. Computers, phones, conferencing tools – the hardware your users will employ daily with Lync. (See why we asked them what services they wanted?)

Let's get started with the server hardware. Much of the following information can also be found in Microsoft's TechNet Library for Lync Server 2010.

Server Hardware Requirements for Lync 2010

According to Microsoft's documentation (“Determining Your Infrastructure Requirements – Microsoft TechNet”), these are the server hardware recommendations for all Lync Server roles except the Director:

  • 64-bit CPU at 2 GHz or higher; either a dual quad-core or a 4-way dual-core
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 72GB disk space available (10,000 RPM drive recommended)
  • 1 network adapter (2 is better), at 1 Gbps or higher

Note that these recommendations were based on an 80,000 user pool using 8 front end servers and 1 back end server. If your organization is smaller, you may be able to lower these values to suit you.

(If you try that, and it works, let me know. I'd love to hear how well Lync works for different business sizes.)

The Director role doesn't need quite this level of a server. You can use a single quad-core 64-bit CPU (at 2GHz or higher),or dual 64-bit dual-cores.

Back End Servers and other database servers (e.g.,the Archiving and Monitoring roles) have similar requirements. But there's one difference you should be aware of*, so I'll list them out.

  • 64-bit CPU at 2 GHz or higher; either a dual quad-core or a 4-way dual-core
  • *32GB of RAM recommended for Back End Server; 16GB of RAM recommended for the Archiving and Monitoring database (when NOT collocated with the Back End Server)
  • 72GB disk space available (10,000 RPM drive recommended)
  • 1 network adapter (2 is better), at 1 Gbps or higher

There's two advantages of using these recommendations as guidelines.
–Higher-end servers can use DNS load balancing to help cut down on administration overhead.
–If you virtualize servers at these specs, they'll have room for future expansion.

What Operating System?

Lync Server runs on Windows Server 2008 R2. All versions are supported, except for:

  • Server Core
  • Windows Web Server
  • HPC Edition

It's very important to remember – 64-bit only.

Network Hardware Recommendations

Your network should support 1 Gbps Ethernet speeds at least, to take advantage of Lync's audio/video capabilities. (Unless of course you don't intend to set those up.)

SIP Trunking is probably the best way to integrate with the public phone network (PSTN). Make sure you have enough bandwidth to accommodate all the services you want to use – this may require upgraded switches, or a faster Internet connection.

Additional Software Requirements

All servers with Lync server roles on them will need these installed:

  • Windows PowerShell 2.0
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 with SP1
  • Windows Installer 4.5

Database

For the back end database of a Front End pool, the Archiving database, and the Monitoring database, Microsoft requires one of these versions of SQL Server:

  • SQL Server 2008 SP1 Enterprise Edition
  • SQL Server 2008 SP1 Standard Edition (64-bit edition)
  • SQL Server 2005 SP3 Enterprise Edition
  • SQL Server 2005 SP3 Standard Edition (64-bit edition)

Lync Server Standard Edition installs SQL Server Express 2008 (64-bit) for its own use.

Computers

Computers running the Microsoft Lync client must have Windows 7 or Vista SP2 installed. The Lync client will probably run on XP, but 7 will make for a smoother Office experience.

Phones and Other Devices

With the servers and network hardware taken care of, now we can focus on the end user experience.

Remaining hardware is in two categories: Infrastructure Devices and Communication Devices. Both of these are determined by your specific organizational needs.

Infrastructure Devices

These are devices used to optimize your infrastructure for using Lync – PSTN gateways, Survivable Branch Appliances (SBA), that sort of thing.
If you plan on full telephony with the PSTN, you may need a gateway.
If you have multiple offices, you'll need an SBA.
Several vendors provide both now. Here's a list: Infrastructure Partners – Lync
I recommend Dialogic devices – they work really well for us.

Communication Devices

You can guess what this is. I'm not just talking phones though. There are Lync conferencing devices too. A full list of the Lync Device Partners shows what's available now.

This area is very much up to you. How many users do you have to buy for? What kinds of devices would best serve your communication needs? You should already know the answers, thanks to your user surveys. So I'll just give my own hardware recommendations.

If you're getting IP phones, I recommend PolyCom and Snom. (I haven't tried Snom phones yet, but I'm interested to see how well they work.)

USB peripherals include speakerphones, headsets and webcams. Logitech always delivers for us. Never tried a Jabra headset, but I've heard many good things.

Finally, the partner list has a section for conferencing devices. ClearOne, PolyCom and Jabra have devices available. I haven't used ClearOne hardware, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth as much of a look as the other two.

And there you have it. This information, plus the TechNet library's references, should give you a solid idea of what hardware you'll need to run Lync Server 2010. We have just about everything ready for Step 6: Install Lync Server! Check back next week for more.

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