Designing a complex Microsoft® Lync® Server 2013 topology, including defining the network sites and network regions, and sizing and placing server roles, can be challenging. The topology must adhere to organizational compliance requirements, if any. When you design the topology, you must consider the infrastructure requirements of the organization. To make your work easier, Lync Server 2013 provides tools such as Planning Tool and Topology Builder to plan, design, and publish your Lync Server 2013 topology. Using these tools, you can plan and design an effective site topology. In addition, you need to create a document of your design and update it throughout the project, by using tools such as Microsoft® Office 2010 or 2013.
Planning for Server Hardware in a Physical Server-Based Topology
Physical Server-Based Topology or Virtualized-Server Based Topology
You should consider two major factors when planning for hardware requirements.
• Whether to run Lync Server 2013 in a physical server-based environment, and if so,
determine the server hardware requirements for the environment.
• Whether to run Lync Server 2013 in a virtualized environment, and if so, determine
the server hardware requirements for the virtualized environment.
Considerations for a Physical Server-Based Topology
When you plan for hardware and software platform requirements for Lync Server 2013, you need to consider the server hardware and operating systems that you want to install on the servers. These server requirements apply to each server in the Lync Server 2013 deployment, including each front-end server, Edge Server, and every additional Lync Server 2013 server role. Server requirements also include the hardware and software for the database servers in your deployment, for example, the back-end server.
The hardware required for each server in the Lync Server 2013 deployment varies, based on the size of the organization, and the usage. You need to consider the user size and usage of the Lync Server 2013 functionalities in the organization. For example, if the recommendation for Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition is a Dual Quad-Core server with 32 gigabyte (GB) of random access memory (RAM) for up to 5,000 users, the same configuration will not be required for a Lync Server 2013 implementation with 400 users, who use only instant messaging (IM).
Based on these considerations, you need to design your Lync Server 2013 deployment with assumptions related to hardware requirements. For example, for a design involving 5,000 concurrent users, you might assume that at a given moment, 250 users are running web conferencing, 250 users are sharing their desktops, 100 users are running audio/video conferencing, 750 users are using IM, and the remaining users are dormant. Consequently, the scaling up or scaling down of hardware will depend on these organizational needs and expected usage. With Lync 2013 and support for Hyper-V 3.0, the hardware requirements for Lync Server 2013 remain the same as that for a virtualized or physical deployment. If the Lync Server can be supplied with the same hardware requirements when running in a virtual environment as if it is running in a physical environment, the same amount of users will be supported.
Question: How do hardware requirements affect your current server procurement strategy?
Planning for Server Hardware in a Virtualized Server Topology
Lync Server 2013 virtualization topologies support most workloads such as instant messaging (IM), Presence, conferencing, and Enterprise Voice. If you want the topologies to support Hyper-V or other third-party virtualization software, you need
to install Windows Server® 2008 R2 as the host operating system as a minimum, while Windows Server 2012 is the recommended operating system.
Considerations for a Virtualized Topology
While deciding whether to run Lync Server 2013 in a virtualized environment, you should consider the impact of your decision on the design and cost. By examining the following considerations, you can help the organization determine whether to virtualize
the Lync Server 2013 deployment:
• Virtualization adds network latency, which may affect voice and video quality. You need to examine your Lync Server 2013 solution to determine whether the added latency due to virtualization will affect the deployment.
• The requirements for each physical server are high, and each physical server can only run about 2-4 servers.
The choice between virtualization and physical hardware depends on your organization’s virtualization strategy, and whether these considerations will affect your deployment.
Supported Virtualization Topologies
If you choose to virtualize your deployment, you can use the Standard Edition Server and Enterprise Edition topologies for virtualization. You can configure the data center topology to either support all server roles that are completely virtualized, or support a mixture of physical and virtualized servers. Pool servers cannot be mixed; they either need to be virtualized, or physical. The recommended virtualization technology is Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V 3.0.
Managing Your Virtual Environment
To manage the virtualized Lync Server topology, you can use Microsoft® System Center Virtual Machine Manager, with either Hyper-V or VMware. You need not use Terminal Services or Remote Desktop
Designing a Lync Server 2013 Topology
Services to manage the virtual machines. You can view and manage performance, and view components such as disk space. You can also save a virtual machine as a template for creating other instances. Because Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager uses Windows® PowerShell™, you can create scripts that integrate with Lync Server 2013 Management Shell to manage Lync Server 2013.
Question: How critical is it for your organization to deploy virtualization? Will the restrictions
discussed affect the decision?
Planning the Server Software for Lync Server 2013
Lync Server 2013 is designed to run on servers that have a 64-bit processor. While this is a
requirement for servers, if you want to use administrative tools such as Topology Builder or
PowerShell from a client computer, the client computer must also be 64-bit based. All server
roles and computers running Lync Server 2013 administrative tools run on 64-bit editions of the
operating system. To ensure efficiency in administration, you must ensure that you use the same operating system on all servers, and use the latest version of the operating system. All server roles support the same Windows Server operating systems. The required operating system support for server roles, such as database servers, depends on the software that you
install on those servers.
Plan for Operating Systems for Server Roles
Lync Server 2013 supports the 64-bit editions of the following operating systems:
• Microsoft® Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard operating system
• Microsoft® Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system
• Microsoft® Windows Server 2008 Standard operating system with Service Pack 2 (SP2)
• Microsoft® Windows Server 2008 Enterprise operating system with SP2
• Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Standard Edition with GUI
• Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition with GUI
By default, Lync Server 2013 administrative tools are installed on the server running Lync Server 2013. However, you need to install administrative tools separately on computers that run Windows operating systems.
Lync Server 2013 is not supported on the following operating systems:
• Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008
• Windows Web Server 2008 R2 operating system or the Windows Web Server 2008 operating system
• Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC Edition or Windows Server 2008 HPC Edition
• Windows Server 2012 Core Edition
Plan for Operating Systems for Other Servers
Operating system support for other servers, besides the servers on which you deploy Lync Server 2013 server roles, will vary based on the software that you plan to install on those servers.
Plan for Database Software and Clustering Support
To install Lync Server 2013, you need the following database management systems for the back-end database, the archiving database, and the monitoring database:
• Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 with SP1 Enterprise database software (64-bit Edition)
• Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 Express (64-bit Edition), only for Standard Edition server, which is
automatically installed by Lync Server 2013 on each Standard Edition server
• Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Standard or Enterprise Edition
Lync Server 2013 only supports SQL Server database mirroring. To use the Monitoring Server role, you need to install SQL Server Reporting Services. You cannot use SQL Server Web Edition, SQL Server Workgroup Edition, and database clustering with Lync Server 2013.
Question: Which components of your Lync Server 2013 require a plan for software support?
Planning the Network and Infrastructure Dependencies for Lync Server 2013
When planning a Lync Server 2013 solution, you need to ensure that the various network and
infrastructure components work well with Lync Server 2013. For example, evaluate and ensure
that the certificate infrastructure has been planned for. In several deployments, the certificate
infrastructure may be in place, but the individual who should be responsible for the role may not be assigned. This may result in expiry of the Root Certificates or Certificate Revocation Lists. If the certificate is not updated by the person performing the role, it may affect Lync Server 2013 functionality.
Plan for Active Directory Support
Lync Server 2013 relies on Microsoft Active Directory® to store global settings and groups that are necessary for the deployment and management of Lync Server 2013. Active Directory also provides user authentication. Lync Server 2013 supports the following Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) topologies:
• Single forest with single domain
• Single forest with a single tree and multiple domains
• Single forest with multiple trees and disjoint namespaces
• Multiple forests in a central forest topology
• Multiple forests in a resource forest topology
If your organization is running in a resource forest model, you should deploy Forefront Identity Manager or similar directory synchronization software, to support your forest model.
Plan for Forest and Domain Functional Level
You must raise all the forests in which you deploy Lync Server 2013 to a forest functional level of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2003. You must raise all the domains in which you deploy Lync Server 2013 to a domain functional level of Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2003.
Plan for Support for Read-Only Domain Controllers
You can deploy AD DS that include read-only domain controllers or read-only global catalog servers, if there are writable domain controllers.
Plan for Locked Down AD DS Environments
Lync Server 2013 can be deployed in a locked-down Active Directory environment. In a locked-down AD DS environment, users and computer objects are often placed in specific organizational units (OUs) with permissions inheritance disabled to help secure administrative delegation. This also enables the use of Group Policy objects (GPOs) to enforce security policies.
Plan for Certificate Infrastructure Support
Lync Server 2013 requires a public key infrastructure (PKI) to support Transport Layer Security (TLS) and mutual TLS (MTLS) connections. By default, Lync Server 2013 is configured to use TLS for client-to-server connections. You can use MTLS to connect servers. You should get MTLS certificates issued by trusted certification authorities (CAs) for Lync Server 2010.
Lync Server 2013 supports certificates that are issued from the following CAs:
Certificates issued from an internal CA are:
• Windows Server 2008 operating system CA
• Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system CA
• Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system with Service Pack 1 (SP1) CA
• Windows Server 2003 operating system with SP1 stand-alone CA. Although this certificate is
supported by Lync Server 2013, we do not recommend it.
Certificates issued from a public CA:
• If there is no internal certificate infrastructure available, you will need to either deploy a certificate infrastructure or buy certificates. You can speed up the deployment process by buying certificates externally with one year expiration until you have your own certificate infrastructure ready.
Plan for Domain Name System (DNS) Infrastructure Support
You can use the Domain Name System (DNS) with Lync Server 2013 to:
• Discover internal servers or pools for server-to-server communications.
• Allow clients to discover the front-end pool or Standard Edition server that is used for various Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) transactions.
• Associate simple URLs for conferences with the servers hosting those conferences.
• Allow external servers and clients to connect to Edge Servers or the HTTP reverse proxy for IM or conferencing.
• Enable unified communications (UC) devices that are not logged on to discover the front-end pool or Standard Edition server running the Device Update service, to obtain updates and send logs.
• Enable external servers and clients to connect to Edge Servers or the HTTP reverse proxy for IM or conferencing.
• Set up DNS load balancing.
Lync Server 2013 does not support internationalized domain names (IDNs).
Plan for Internet Information Services (IIS) Support
Several components of Lync Server 2013 require Internet Information Services (IIS). When the web server
(IIS) role is enabled on Windows Server 2008, various role services are installed by default. If the
appropriate roles are not installed, Lync Server will generate a prompt for their installation.
Plan for Network Infrastructure Requirements
The network adapter card of each server in the Lync Server 2013 topology must support at least 1 gigabitper second (Gbps). You should connect all server roles within the Lync Server 2013 topology by using a low latency and high bandwidth local area network (LAN). The LAN size is dependent on the size of the topology.
Plan for Audio/Video Network Requirements
You can configure the external firewall as a Network Address Translation (NAT), regardless of whether you deploy a single or multiple Edge Servers for the site. If your organization uses a Quality of Service (QoS)
infrastructure, you can design the media subsystem to work within this existing infrastructure. If you use IPSec, you need to disable IPSec over the port ranges used for audio/video traffic.
Plan for IP and Networking Protocol Support
Lync Server 2013 supports the following IP and networking protocols:
• Internet Protocols: Lync Server 2013 supports IP version 4 (IPv4) and IP version 6 (IPv6), and dual IP stack implementation.
• SIP Transport Protocols: SIP can use at least three transport types and these are User Datagram Protocol (UDP), TCP, and Transport Layer Security (TLS). In the default SIP transport configuration, SIP is enabled to run over TLS.
Plan for Exchange Server Support
You need to consider the various versions of Exchange Server that Lync 2010 supports. You must install Microsoft® Office Outlook on the client computer to handle Extended Messaging API calls; some features also require the use of Exchange Web Services (EWS).
Planning for Client Hardware and Software Requirements
You need to ensure that the client hardware meets the minimum requirements. You must evaluate the current utilization of hardware in the user environment. For example, if a business function is running several CPU-and-memory intensive applications, you need to ensure that there is enough available memory and sufficient CPU cycles to run Lync 2013. You may also need to ensure that there is enough CPU power to deliver the encoding and decoding necessary for audio/video conferencing.
Designing a Lync Server 2013 Topology
Evaluate if there are still Windows XP and Windows Vista Clients
A lot of companies will still be running Windows XP at the time of Lync Server 2013 deployment. This operating system is unsupported for Lync 2013, just as Windows Vista is unsupported. This might prove to be a deployment blocker and needs to be addressed.
Lync Server 2013 Features Available with Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office
2013 There are certain features of Lync Server 2013 that are available only with Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office 2013. The following is the list of these features:
• New Contact Card with expanded options such as video call and desktop sharing
• Quick search from the Office Outlook Find a Contact box
• Reply with an IM or call from the Outlook Home ribbon in the Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks folders
• Lync Contact List in Office Outlook To-Do Bar
• Office Backstage or file tab Presence, application sharing, and file transfer
• Presence menu in Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Workspace 2010 (formerly Microsoft Office Groove 2007)
• Presence menu extensibility
Capabilities and Benefits of the Planning Tool
You can use the Planning tool to design your topology, including the identifying and defining of
the components in your topology, fully qualified domain names (FQDNs), IP addresses, and other information.
Using Topology Builder
Topology Builder and Central Management Database were significant enhancements in Lync Server 2010 and have been further improved in Lync Server 2013. In this lesson you will examine the Lync Server 2013 topology setup process. You can use the Topology Builder to save and publish a topology to the Central Management Database.
Preparing the Environment