A Lync 2013 question has floated my way. I had one direct email, and a couple questions sent from various social media. (Yep, we’re on Twitter and Facebook. Even Google+ too!)

In the Lync Server 2013 Preview Edition, Monitoring & Archiving are add-ons to the Standard Edition Front End server. Which means more functions are loaded onto one physical server.

Is it possible to install the SQL databases for Monitoring and Archiving…on a SEPARATE server?

It seems possible. After all, you can do this in Lync Server 2010.

And there’s this line in the 2013 TechNet Library about installing Monitoring Server Libraries:

3. “In the Deploy Monitoring Reports wizard, on the Specify Monitoring Database page, make sure that the fully qualified domain name of the computer hosting your monitoring store appears in the Monitoring database dropdown list. (If you have multiple monitoring stores you will need to select the appropriate server from the dropdown list.) Verify that the correct SQL Server instance appears in the SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) instance box (for example, atl-sql-001.litwareinc.com/archinst) and then click Next.”

Is it something we’d want to try in a Preview Edition though?

Is better performance worth modifying a Lync Preview Edition?

Let’s take a look at the installation process.

Fortunately, Matt Landis has another helpful post for this: Part 2 of his “Step By Step Installing Lync Server 2013” series. This one is focused on installing Monitoring Server.

The process is very straightforward: Log into your 2013 Preview Front End Server, install SQL Server 2008 R2 (or 2012 if you prefer), and configure its services for Lync Monitoring.

The important thing to note here is that the instructions have SQL Server being installed on the Lync 2013 Front End. NOT a separate instance.

Could it be done on a separate server? It does seem possible to me. But I admit; I’m not the office’s SQL guru.

So is this a smart thing to test with a Preview Edition? Would moving the Monitoring/Archiving databases net better performance than installing SQL on the same physical server?

I doubt it. In fact, I think performance is the wrong reason to modify Lync Server 2013’s configuration.

Experiment with Lync Server 2013…But Remember, the Full Version isn’t Here Yet

I’m NOT suggesting you shouldn’t experiment with 2013 Preview. That’s what it’s for!

What I AM saying is that the Preview Edition has limits, and while pushing those limits shouldn’t hurt anything, it’s not the best use of your time.

If your testing server meets the Lync 2013 hardware requirements, performance shouldn’t be an issue. Standard Edition, even with SQL Server installed, should work just fine for testing.

The best use of your time as an administrator is to become familiar with Lync Server 2013’s operations. Install it (Matt’s post series is a great guide), deploy test users and monitor its output.

Change a file store location. Add, then remove servers. Test different voice routes. Build dial plans you can use later.

All great uses of the Lync 2013 Preview.

But remember: this IS a limited edition of the software. Push it and it’ll break on you.

(That may be a useful learning experience! But reinstalling over & over is a waste of our valuable time, isn’t it?)


P.S. – If anyone out there has already succeeded in separating Monitoring and SQL Server between physical servers, please email in or comment! I’d love to hear how you did it.

Caution: Remember that Lync Server 2013 Preview IS a Preview

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