Getting Started with Microsoft Lync Server 2013

By Fabrizio Volpe
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About this book

Lync 2013 is a product that enables users to IM, and have audio and video conferences, including multi-party video. The mobile client permits the use of all the features in every device with an access-from-everywhere logic. The company’s Active Directory users, SharePoint documents, and Exchange objects integrate with Lync to deliver most of the advanced features.

Getting Started with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 will give you all the relevant information you need to enable voice features, select the best Lync client in different scenarios, make your Lync services available to the external users, empower the collaborative environment of Persistent Chat Server rooms, and to build an affordable unified communication system.

Getting Started with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 will explore all the concepts you need to administer and plan a Lync 2013 environment in a short time, explaining the background mechanisms of the system.It begins with the deployment of a Lync frontend and SQL mirroring solution, including all the requirements and tips clearly laid out. It proceeds with the Front End pairing, mobility, and mediation server deployment with media bypass. It covers a core chapter about Enterprise Voice with a closing part on Persistent Chat and on clients with their characteristics.

Getting Started with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 will give you all the relevant information you need to enable voice features, and will help to select the best Lync client in different scenarios.

Publication date:
July 2013
Publisher
Packt
Pages
122
ISBN
9781782179931

 

Chapter 1. Installing a Lync 2013 Enterprise Pool

This chapter will introduce some of the fundamentals of Lync 2013's working environment. Here we will also see a step-by-step setup of an Enterprise pool with a clear explanation of the logic of the different operations we will perform.

 

Lync Server roles


To understand what we are going to do, it is necessary to clarify some basic concepts along the way, starting with the Lync versions and available "roles".

A Lync deployment is made up of a variable number of servers (depending on the features we are going to use and the level of availability and security we need).

A part of these servers will not even have Lync installed, but it is mandatory to build the basic infrastructure.

The cornerstone for the entire organization is Lync Front End, made up of a Standard Edition server (SE) (a single box with all the features available locally), or by a pool made up of one or more Lync Enterprise Edition server (EE) units connected with three or more Back End Servers units (fundamentally one or more SQL Server databases).

The latter configuration will support scalability and high availability (HA), especially if we decide to use SQL mirroring, which now replaces the SQL clustering we had to use with Lync 2010.

There is no difference in the unified communication features we have with a Standard Edition and with an Enterprise Edition, but SE servers cannot be grouped in a pool; they can just be "paired" with each other (we will talk about Enterprise pools in the course of this chapter, and pairing will be covered in Chapter 2, Understanding Front End Pool Pairing).

From a server-licensing point of view, in Lync 2013 there is only a single "Lync" license, with no distinction between Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition. However, the difference still exists from the point of view of deployment. A Client Access License (CAL) is also required for the Lync users based on the features they will require. For the details on licensing, please refer to Licensing Lync at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/lync/microsoft-lync-licensing-overview-lync-for-multiple-users-FX103789668.aspx.

A mandatory requirement for any Lync deployment is a pre-existing Active Directory infrastructure; so we take it as given to have a domain with directory services up and running.

In a small company that does not need to publish Lync on the Internet, a single Standard Edition server (and a domain controller) is all we need to be able to deliver Lync to our users, because almost all the services are installed locally (PowerPoint presentation broadcasts require an additional Office Web Apps server. See Web Conferencing Overview at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425913.aspx for more information).

Note

Enterprise Voice may require additional hardware, depending on the kind of connection to the public telephony service that is made available.

Additional servers for external user access

If Lync services have to be available to the external users, we have to add a Lync Edge and a reverse proxy (to publish the web services of Lync).

Note

A detailed explanation of this topic will be included in Chapter 3, Deploying Lync Mobility and External Users Access.

Lync Edge

Edge is a Lync server designed to be connected to the Internet to extend Lync services outside an internal network with no VPN or a dedicated connection. Lync Edge can be deployed in a pool for high availability.

Reverse proxy

A reverse proxy is required for external access. For more information, you may refer to the previously mentioned Chapter 3, and to the Setting Up Reverse Proxy Servers article at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398069.aspx.

Continuity for the services published with the reverse proxy requires a specific hardware or software solution, depending on the kind of server we are using to publish Lync.

Also, if there are existing deployments without a reverse proxy, publishing Lync services directly to the Internet will not be a supported solution. In the following diagram, we can see a high-level overview of the previously mentioned scenarios:

To complete the list of Lync roles, we must also consider the following areas:

  • Mediation: This can be deployed as a separate server or collocated on a Front End. It is used for IP-PBX, Gateway, and SBC interoperability to provide Enterprise Voice and dial-in conferencing.

  • Director: This server enhances the performance of user authentication and adds a security layer.

  • Persistent Chat Server: This server is used to create one or more "chat rooms" that can be moderated, and to retain the instant messages of the users for a defined amount of time.

  • Monitoring: This role, collocated on a Front End, collects data about the quality of the service with Enterprise Voice and audio/video conferencing.

  • Archiving: This role, collocated on a Front End, is used for compliance; it stores IM messages and conference contents.

Persistent Chat Server requires a Back End Server role, and may include an additional role, Compliance Back End, to keep track of the messages published in Persistent Chat Server if required by local regulations or laws.

From the planning point of view, we need to keep the following points in mind:

  • Some roles (such as archiving and monitoring) are always collocated on the Front End, while other roles (such as Mediation server) can be collocated depending on the scenario. Edge, and Director always require a dedicated server.

  • Archiving, monitoring, and Persistent Chat require a database for each one. For this we could use a dedicated database or instance; collocate the databases on the SQL Express installation that is part of Front End, or collocate the databases on SQL Server that has the Back End role for an existing pool.

Enterprise Edition Front End, Mediation server, Director server, and Persistent Chat Server can be configured in a pool (that is, a group of servers having the same features installed). Pools are an important feature for high availability and load balancing (usually, the mechanism used is DNS load balancing, but hardware load balancing is supported as well).

The previously mentioned list does not include additional servers, such as Exchange and SharePoint. If these servers are present, they will be able to interact with Lync in a native manner to create an additional set of features.

Well-known examples of the integration include the presence of indicators in the Outlook client and Lync meeting integration with calendar (if Exchange is present), or any skill-based search that enables us to search for a person in Lync using the professional expertise recorded in SharePoint as criteria.

 

Installation steps and logic


The first necessary phase of a Lync 2013 deployment will be the planning phase, which includes a list of the features we make available, the availability and continuity requirements we have, the telephony and network configuration we need, and so on. Although design is not a topic we will explore in this book, it is something really important for a successful implementation of Lync in your company.

Note

Talking about the design phase, the Planning Tool for Lync Server 2013 released at the end of February 2013 is really a good tool, with a wizard that asks for some basic information about the deployment, creates a base topology with suggestions on the required Lync roles and additional servers, and creates a list of the required system resources, a schema of the names and IPs of the deployment, and so on.

We are able to divide the deployment of Lync into three different phases:

  • Infrastructure setup: This phase will have you perform the following steps:

    1. Join all the servers to the domain (excluding the Edge server that we will talk about in Chapter 3, Deploying Lync Mobility and External Users Access).

    2. Prepare the Active Directory.

    3. Set up the DNS.

    4. Configure the certificate infrastructure to use an Internal Certificate Authority (Internal CA).

    5. Install the required database infrastructure.

      Note

      Lync 2013 supports high availability of Back End using SQL mirroring. SQL mirroring can be asynchronous (with no automated failover and failback) or synchronous (granting an automated response to failures). We will see the deployment of synchronous mirroring, using three servers.

    6. Check the routing and firewall rules (refer to Ports and Protocols for Internal Servers at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398833.aspx).

  • Topology building: The second phase is all about selecting the kind of deployment and topology that suit our needs, and implementing its parameters with Lync Topology Builder.

  • Lync installation: The third phase installs Lync 2013 along with the services we had planned to install during the design of the topology in Topology Builder.

All we talked about is represented in the following diagram:

Tip

You would like to know

The deployment topology will be created using Topology Builder.

In the third phase, there are three required conditions to install any Lync feature or service:

  • The server must be in the topology we designed using Topology Builder, and must match the FQDN we have used in the design of our topology

  • The server needs access to the Central Management Store (CMS) database that contains all the configuration data of Lync (the Edge role, as we will see later, requires and exports the .zip file containing the CMS)

  • The server has to know that the name of the topology is related to itself

 

A schema of our example environment


In this section we will see all the configuration steps required to deploy a working Lync environment. The additional configuration required for external user access will be explained in Chapter 3, Deploying Lync Mobility and External Users Access.

The final result will be like the one shown in the following diagram:

We have the base information in the following table:

As we can see, we have used two different domains (this is a "typical" situation):

  • The Active Directory domain name (available only to the internal network), lync2013.dom, to which we have joined our servers

  • The public name of our SIP domain (in this example, Lync2013.org), which we will use to give access to external users

Infrastructure setup

The four steps of this phase (preparing the Active Directory, modifying the DNS, configuring Internal CA, and deploying the SQL database) can be executed in any order because no one is a prerequisite to the other.

Note

At the moment we are going to configure only the internal services; therefore, the firewall configuration should not be an issue.

We need to extend the Active Directory schema with classes and attributes that are required by Lync Server.

For the previously mentioned operation, our forest and domain have to be at least Windows Server 2003 native level (that is why all domain controllers must have at least the Windows Server 2003 operating system).

Note

A list of supported Active Directory topologies is available here at Active Directory Support (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg425756.aspx).

There are three different ways to extend the schema:

  • Using the Lync Server Deployment Wizard

  • Using the Lync Server Management Shell

  • Using ldifde.exe

In text we will follow the most common approach. To streamline the installation process, we will use the deployment wizard on the first Front End Server that we are going to deploy. If we want to use a different method, we can start by referring to Preparing Active Directory Domain Services at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398607.aspx.

Note

The same thing is effective for Topology Builder, so usually it is used on the first server.

The second part of setting up the infrastructure requires you to manually add Lync records to the internal DNS.

Deploying certificates and DNS

The recent application of a change to the Baseline Requirements for the Issuance and Management of Publicly-Trusted Certificates (http://www.digicert.com/internal-names.htm) implies that it will not be possible in a few years to use internal names in our certificates, so a split-brain DNS configuration (with the public zone published on the internal DNS and the public FQDN related to internal addresses) or pinpointing DNS are the suggested solutions.

Usually, we will deploy two kinds of certificates:

  • Certificates from our Internal CA for the internal services and connections

  • Third-party certificates for the Internet-facing server, such as a reverse proxy and Edge

The first set of records that we need to add is the one related to the Lync Enterprise Front End pool.

As we said before, the pool can be balanced using DNS load balancing or a hardware load balancer.

The previous choice is not available for Lync's web services; therefore, if we also need to have web services in HA, we have to select a dedicated solution, such as a hardware load balancer paired with the DNS load balancing.

What we just said implies that there are different possible scenarios from a name-resolving point of view. A good part of them is addressed in the document DNS Requirements for Front End Pools at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg412910.aspx.

In our example, we will only have DNS load balancing with a couple of Lync Front End Servers, Lync1 (192.168.70.30) and Lync2 (192.168.70.31). The name of the pool will be Pool. The public domain will be Lync2013.Org.

Our DNS configuration will use the commonly used approach, "split-brain" DNS or "split" DNS, where we create an internal copy of the public DNS zone, replacing the IP addresses for Lync with the internal DNS records.

A drawback of the previously mentioned solution is that we will have to manage two "public" zones, the split-brain one and the zone published to the Internet.

An alternative could be to use a "pinpoint" DNS zone (refer to Determine DNS Requirements at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398758.aspx), where we need to insert just the DNS records that will be different from the external zone, and point them to the internal network addresses. The rest of the DNS zone remain unchanged, and is referenced from the external, real master.

We need to perform the following steps to create a split-brain DNS:

  1. Create a new zone in our internal DNS (the same where the domain zone is hosted, as shown in our example):

  2. Name the zone as our public SIP domain lync2013.org (so that we have the "split-brain"), as shown in the following screenshot.

  3. Add the A records for the Enterprise pool pointing to the IPs of each of the Front End Server units.

Now, we have to address another aspect: the DNS records for the web services.

Before we insert the information in the zone, we have to take an important decision regarding the URLs that we will expose to the external users.

Web services of Lync are tied to three different URLs: "meet", "dial-in", and "admin".

  • Meet is the base URL for the meeting invitations we send, for example, to people outside our company or to someone who has no Lync client installed on his/her machine (and will participate using the Web App).

    A URI for a Lync meeting is similar to https://meet.lync2013.org/fabrizio.volpe/Y6JTZ98S.

    Launching it, a user with a Lync client installed locally will see the meeting start in the client, while a user without a client will have to access the meeting via the web interface of Lync.

  • Dial-in is a record used to give users who will take part in a meeting using a telephone (for example, a traditional PSTN line), an interface where they can manage parameters such as a personal PIN and so on.

  • Admin is used to publish the administrative console of Lync.

The only record really needed in Lync is meet, while dial-in is interesting only if we will use Enterprise Voice with dial-in conferencing and admin is something that we have to evaluate for every different deployment.

As we read in the document Planning for Simple URLs at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398287.aspx, there are various options available.

I prefer to use a common "root" in the URI, because acting this way, we may need a single name in the certificate (let's say meet).

In our test deployment, we will have meet as the common path, and so we will need only two additional A records pointing meet to the Front End Servers that are added, as we can see in the following screenshot:

Note

As we said before, the web services have high availability only if paired with a hardware load balancer. So, the configuration we have seen right now will use round robin to work (that is, in case of a failure, 50 percent of users trying to launch a Lync meeting from the internal network will experience failure).

Automatic client sign-in

Depending on the version we are using (Lync 2013, Lync 2010, or Store app), the client will query the DNS for a list of specific records, and as soon as one of them is resolved, the client will use it for authentication.

The following schema should make things clear:

Client

Queried SRV records' order

Lync 2013

lyncdiscoverinternal.<domain>, lyncdiscover.<domain>, _sipinternal._tcp.<domain>, _sip._tls.<domain>, sip.<domain>, sipexternal.<domain>

Lync 2010

_sipinternal._tcp.<domain>, _sip._tls.<domain>, sip.<domain>, sipexternal.<domain>

Store app and client for mobile devices

lyncdiscoverinternal.<domain>, lyncdiscover.<domain>

So, we have to add lyncdiscoverinternal, _sipinternaltls._tcp, and sip.

Note

Cumulative updates to desktop clients change the DNS location process from Lync Server 2010 (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398758.aspx)

The SIP record will be pointed to the public IP of the Lync Edge server. This is because the configuration, using which we are going to test Lync Edge, will use the internal DNS as its primary DNS (an alternative is to use the hosts file on the server).

While lyncdiscoverinternal requires two A records with the IPs of the two Front End Servers and SIP via a simple A record to create the SRV record for sipinternaltls._tcp, we need to operate it as shown in the following screenshot, launching Other New Records from the DNS manager, and then selecting Service Location SRV (as depicted in Required DNS Records for Automatic Client Sign-In at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb663700(v=office.12).aspx).

The final situation of the DNS zone that we have to create will look like the following screenshot:

The configuration of the certification authority infrastructure is mandatory if our deployment will be based on certificates issued from an Enterprise CA.

The previously mentioned decision implies the limits for our Lync services when we will proceed to allow access to external users. Only clients and servers that accept our Internal CA as a trusted authority will be able to access our services, and that means our typical user will probably be one of our company workers or someone from a trusted partner network. The impact of the "internal" certificate is reduced if all the clients are part of our domain (because they will accept our Internal CA by default).

The other option (using a well-known public certification authority) is for sure easier to manage, but requires money because what we need for Lync is a costly Unified Communication (UC) certificate with multiple Subject Alternative Names (SANs).

Note

There is no "easy way" or shortcut to bypass the need for certificates. Wildcard certificates (less costly) are not supported for the Edge services (they are usable only for the reverse proxy external interface). Also, using no certificate is not an option, because Lync has a high level of integrated security, and the server services (on the Edge or Front End) will simply not start with a wrong / not accepted certificate.

A detailed description of the deployment of an Enterprise CA is not included here, although a good starting point to understand it is the Active Directory Certificate Services Step-by-Step Guide article at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772393(v=ws.10).aspx.

Now, talking about setting up the database, Lync Back End is a SQL deployment (more or less complex) without any Lync component or feature installed, but dedicated to host the Lync Central Management store.

The SQL Server deployment must be completed before creating and publishing the Lync topology by using Topology Builder.

The supported databases (only the 64-bit edition) are: SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard, SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, and SQL Server 2012 Standard.

Note

If we want to use database mirroring for Lync Back End, SQL 2008 R2 Standard Edition is not a valid choice.

Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition automatically installs Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express (64-bit edition) on each Lync server where the configuration store is required.

Some suggestions related to the installation of SQL for Lync are as follows:

  • The features I will use in the example deployment are the ones we can see in the following screenshot:

  • Create a named instance for every Lync feature that requires a database to work (Archiving, Monitoring, and so on).

  • Database mirroring is the best high availability feature you have for the Back End Servers of Lync. The first server (principle) will send the active transaction log record to the second (mirrored) server. The mirrored server applies the transaction log record one by one in sequence.

  • Databases that work in mirroring need to be in "Full Recovery" mode, so watch out for the growth of the database logs.

  • Mirroring requires two SQL servers and an optional third one (which can also be Express Edition) to act as a Witness that is required, so that the failover/failback of the principal database is automated.

Later, the Lync Topology Builder will require a file share during the process of creating mirror databases. We can create the share right now, giving the permissions to the accounts of the SQL servers (for the deployment of SQL1, SQL2, and Witness) as stated in Tim Harrington's blog post Adding a SQL Mirror to an Existing Lync Server 2013 Back-End (http://howdouc.blogspot.it/2012/08/adding-sql-mirror-to-existing-lync.html).

Topology building

If we are launching Topology Builder, it implies that we have completed the following checklist:

  • Selected the kind of deployment we will use for our internal Lync servers (Front End pool or Standard Edition Servers)

  • Selected the kind of certificates we will use

  • Selected the features we will deploy

  • Selected the geographical aspect of our Lync infrastructure (see Lync sites in Chapter 2, Understanding Front End Pool Pairing)

  • Selected the number of additional servers we need considering the following list:

    • Edge

    • Reverse proxy

    • Mediation

    • Director

Often, it is the starting point that every company customizes with its parameters (especially from a naming and addressing point of view).

Note

The required system resources are the same that we find in the TechNet documentation. The suggested system could be oversized for a small environment, so we have to adapt the design to our specific situation.

The preceding list is only to say that launching Topology Builder is the closing act of the design part.

After that, all we need to do is simply install Lync on the required servers, and make the whole mechanism work.

Note

Of course, changes to an existing topology are possible, and in some cases are not difficult to make. However, some modifications (changing server or pool names, changing the deployment from Standard Edition to Enterprise Edition and the opposite way, and so on) are painful (requiring new certificates from an external authority) or impossible.

In the text, I suggest a staged approach to learn the meaning of the different steps. So we will deploy the internal servers, test them in depth, and then add the Edge and the other Internet-connected features (and test them too, obviously).

Note

Creating all the topology in a single phase is a common way to reach the same result, and this is probably the action we will select when we are a bit more experienced.

In the following paragraphs, we will see a step-by-step installation of a Lync 2013 Enterprise Edition Front End with a SQL Back End enabled to mirroring. An Office Web Apps server will also be deployed (we will not look at the details related to this setup).

Note

The Edge server and the reverse proxy will be added in Chapter 3, Deploying Lync Mobility and External Users Access.

The Lync installation

To understand the installation process in text, we will have it divided into three phases:

  • Installation of Core Components

  • Active Directory Preparation

  • Lync Deployment

The first phase – preparing Windows 2012 for Lync 2013 and installing core components

A complete list of the required features and software to install Lync 2013 on Windows 2012 named System Requirements for Servers Running Lync Server 2013 can be found at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398588.aspx. A faster and lesser error-prone way to add the requirements is to use a PowerShell script. I have used a good one from Pat Richard's blog (http://www.ehloworld.com/1697).

Note

The script needs to know the path to your Server 2012 installation media. The script defaults to D: but can be configured for other locations.

We can add Silverlight right now, or it will be automatically installed the first time we launch the Lync Server Control Panel.

After the preparation (including the infrastructure steps and the system requirements installation), we are able to install Lync on the first Front End Server using the following steps:

  1. Launch Setup.exe from Lync Installation Support"\Setup\amd64. This will be required for the installation of C++ 2012.

  2. The setup process will require an installation path for Lync 2013.

  3. The usual License Agreement request will appear, which will require you to select the I accept the terms in the license agreement checkbox.

    The installation of the core components will go on.

    The Lync Server 2013 Deployment Wizard will appear on the screen as follows:

  4. At this point, even the Lync Server Management Shell is installed on the server.

Note

Please remember that the deployment wizard is not used only during the first installation, but every time we add a role or component in the future.

The second phase – preparing the Active Directory

As a requirement to install Lync on our organization, we have to perform the following steps:

  • Preparing the schema

  • Preparing the forest

  • Preparing the domain

The previously mentioned steps require accounts that have the rights to modify the Active Directory schema, forest, and domain, as stated in the Preparing Active Directory Domain Services article at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398607.aspx.

From the deployment wizard, we will launch Prepare Active Directory and a menu with seven steps will be available:

The first step will be Prepare Schema, the third will be Prepare Current Forest, and the fifth will be Prepare Current Domain.

All the other actions are dedicated to check the operation's result, and (in the last step) the addition of users in the group of Lync administrators, CSAdministrator.

The Prepare Schema screen will warn the user that the preparation of the schema is a "run once" operation. The operation will run, giving us "onscreen" updates on the various passages. When the step is completed, we can examine the log to check for (eventual) errors.

Prepare Current Forest and Prepare Current Domain are really similar to the schema preparation step.

The third phase – Lync deployment

Now, before going on with Topology Builder, we should have our SQL servers installed, a clear idea of our network from the connectivity point of view, and a plan for the names of the internal services too.

A reliable file share is also required (and usually it is suggested to use a file server cluster). The share will contain information that is accessed from all the servers and are store in three folders. The Lync File Share is used to house a bunch of Lync Shared Resources between servers. Once up and running, the server generates three subfolders: 1-ApplicationServer-1, 1-CentralMgmt-1, and 1-Webservices-1.

In our deployment, the share will be hosted on the Witness server of the SQL mirroring.

Note

Your mirror database instance must provide the same permissions and roles that are granted to your principal database instance.

During the design of the topology, we will be required to also insert the name of the Office Web Apps server. The installation of this server can be done before we launch Topology Builder or after (in the second scenario we will create a "pointer" to the server).

The steps to complete the Web Apps server installation are the ones you can read, for example, in Doug Deitterick's blog (http://blogs.technet.com/b/dodeitte/archive/2012/09/10/office-web-apps-server-amp-lync-server-2013.aspx).

Preparing and publishing the Lync topology

Use the following steps to prepare and publish the Lync topology:

  1. To make Topology Builder available, we have to launch the deployment wizard and select Install Administrative Tools.

  2. At the end of the process, the builder will be available in the Start menu of the server.

  3. We have to select New Topology in the first screen and then configure the SIP domain as we can see in the following screenshot:

  4. We will select no additional SIP domain and move to the Define The First Site menu. The information on sites we will insert in the wizard, especially if we have a single site, are not critical.

  5. At the end of the previous procedure, we will have a wizard to deploy the Lync Front End as we can see in the following screenshot:

  6. As foresighted, we will deploy an Enterprise Front End pool. The name of the pool will be pool.lync2013.org, and we will use the public FQDN and a split-brain / pinpoint DNS to resolve the name from the internal network, as explained earlier in the chapter:

  7. We will add the two Front End Servers to the pool using their Active Directory / internal domain FQDN as shown in the following screenshot:

  8. Now, we will add the Conferencing feature as we can see in the forthcoming screenshot:

    Note

    Enterprise Voice and Call Admission Control will be explained in Chapter 3, Deploying Lync Mobility and External Users Access and Chapter 4, Introducing the Lync Mediation Server. Dial-in conferencing is used to enable users with a telephonic connection to take part in a Lync conference (if we have Enterprise Voice already deployed). Archiving and Monitoring have been described earlier.

  9. We will not collocate a Mediation server or add the Edge server (for the moment). So we will go on simply selecting Next.

  10. The configuration of the SQL Back End with mirroring will require some additional information (simply adding the three SQL servers we have planned as primary, mirror, and Witness, with the New button):

  11. The path to the network share (FQDN witness.lync2013.dom, the file share, LyncShare) will be required:

  12. Enabling conferencing means that we will be asked for an Office Web Apps server (webapps.lync2013.dom), as we can see in the following screenshot:

    The screen will now show the association with the server we have defined at step 12.

  13. Now, to make it easier to access the web services (and to spare some SAN names in the certificates), We will modify the "simple URLs" of Lync. That's an operation to run on the "root" of the topology by launching Edit Properties:

  14. We have edited the URLs so that they have a common base name (https://meet.lync2013.org) and each service with its own path (/dialin, /meet, and /admin), as we can see in the following screenshot:

  15. Now, it is time to publish the topology (the operation is launched from the Lync Server root in the topology view), as in the following screenshot:

  16. After the first screen, we will be asked for the location of the Central Management server (in our example, it will be the pool itself). Usually, we would prefer to click on Advanced… and select Use SQL Server instance defaults (the modification is shown in the following two screenshots):

    We are able to modify the path where database files and logs will be placed. If we have no special requirements, the default selection is a good solution.

  17. Next is the creation of the database (again, I suggest that you click on the Advanced… menu to select Use SQL Server instance defaults).

  18. To create the mirrored database, we will be asked for a share. We will use the share previously created on the Witness server, as shown in the following screenshot. We could prefer to create a new share to split the Lync and database traffic.

  19. At the end of the process, we should see a screen containing a summary of the operations result, the access to the log, and a checklist of steps still waiting to be completed.

  20. SQL primary and mirror should be in a synchronized/restoring state (we can verify that from SQL Server Management Studio), and the share should be populated with folders and data (we are able to check this by opening the folder).

Installing Lync Server components

The following steps will now help you to install the components associated with Lync Server:

  1. Now, going back to the Lync Server deployment wizard, we can launch Install or Update Lync Server System.

  2. The first option, Step 1: Install Local Configuration Store, is required only once for every Lync Server.

  3. The Step 2: Setup Or Remove Lync Server Components option will be required every time we add or remove a component or role from the server deployment (as shown in the following screenshot):

  4. For these steps, we simply need to hit the Run button and accept the default settings. When we set up or remove a component, the server will check its FQDN. If it matches the topology, the configuration will go on.

  5. As usual, the result of the step will be shown in the ending screen with an available access to the logs for details.

Installing and assigning certificates

Now, we will have a look at the following steps to install and assign certificates:

  1. Step 3: Request, Install or Assign Certificates allows us to create certificate requests, obtain the certificate directly (if we use an Enterprise CA), and apply them to Lync.

  2. We can go with the Request button to forward our certificate's request to our enterprise CA:

  3. After a starting screen that simply requires Next, we are able to select and send the request immediately (that's our situation) or prepare only the request (typically choose Send the request immediately to an online certification authority):

  4. We have to select our CA and then Next:

  5. If we do not need to add alternate credentials or specify an alternate template, we can simply hit Next in the two screenshots that follow.

    The screen that you will see in the following screenshot is important, not because we can select a friendly name for the certificate, but because we have to specify that the private key must be exportable (selecting the flag button).

    A certificate with a private key that is not exportable is not good for our needs (in our example, we will export it from this server to the other Front End and this does not work without this option enabled):

  6. Organization information (shown in the following two screenshots) is critical only if we are going to communicate with an external CA that may require a verification of our company data. The following screenshot shows the screen that displays a list of names that will be in the certificate:

  7. We have to select the flag related to our SIP domain to add the names required for automatic sign-in and other features:

  8. In Configure Additional Subject Alternative Names, we can add the name of the second Front End (Lync2.lync2013.dom), so that we can use the same certificate on both nodes (this is not mandatory, of course).The request process will run and contact our Enterprise CA.

  9. When the certificate is ready, we can assign it automatically, leaving the flag selected:

    Note

    Lync 2013 requires an OAuth certificate for server-to-server authentication that is required to talk with Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013 (this is really important if we want to integrate with Exchange UM). There are a lot of good blogs on this topic, such as this one at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/13168.integrating-exchange-2013-owa-and-lync-server-2013.aspx from Fernando Lugão Veltem. We can assign the certificate with the Assign button from the same screen where we create the requests.

  10. If everything is well configured, using Step 4: Start Services we can check the server to see if Lync-related services are starting as expected.

  11. Now we can verify server logs, the Windows event logs, and test Lync Server 2013 from a client. It is also a good point to install the latest updates and patches for our Lync Server.

Note

Sometimes, we could have the Lync services hung in the starting phase for a long time. A good starting point to troubleshoot the cause of this error could be at this site http://www.bullspit.co.uk/2013/01/05/lync-2013-front-end-server-starting/.

The deployment steps are to be repeated on the second Front End (Lync2.lync2013.dom).

Public certificates on the Lync Front End

In Chapter 3, Deploying Lync Mobility and External Users Access, we will acquire SSL certificates from a third-party CA for our Edge and reverse proxy. We will have to apply the aforementioned certificate on the Front End servers as well (at least for the web services dedicated to the external users).

We can work on it using the same administrative interface we have seen in step 3 in the previous section.

If we have required public certificates that also include the FQDN related to our internal domain, we can simply replace the certificate released from our internal CA. However, this solution that includes the FQDN that is not reachable from the Internet in a third-party certificate will not be available after November 1, 2015.

What we can do then is use the capability of Lync to use different certificates on the web services dedicated to the internal and to the external users (as you can see in the following screenshot).

So, we are able to apply the certificate from the internal CA on the internal web services interface and the certificate from the third-party CA (containing only the FQDN of our public domain) on the external web services interface.

 

Summary


This chapter has been an introduction to the basic concepts of Lync and the first deployment we need to perform (Lync Front End).

The next chapter will focus on a new feature of Lync 2013 dedicated to continuity: Front End pairing.

About the Author

  • Fabrizio Volpe

    Fabrizio Volpe is a Lync MVP and an experienced IT professional, with more than 15 years of experience working in the IT department of large-scale banking and financial companies. He has been working as a network and systems administrator in various firms of the Iccrea Banking Group (one of the top banking groups in Italy) since 2000. From 2011 to 2013, before moving his focus to Unified Communications, Fabrizio received the MVP award for Directory Services.

    Over the past few years, Fabrizio has participated as a speaker at many events and conferences (both Italian and international). He creates IT-focused content on different platforms that have received good feedback. His works are available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/lync2013), on his personal blog (http://www.absoluteuc.org), and on SlideShare (http://www.slideshare.net/fabriziov).

    Fabrizio has published three books with Packt Publishing: Getting Started with FortiGate,Getting Started with Microsoft Lync Server 2013, and Instant Microsoft Forefront UAG Mobile Configuration Starter. He has also authored a successful free e-book, Microsoft Lync Server 2013: Basic Administration, available in the TechNet Office gallery (http://bit.ly/1jbzpfo), which has been downloaded more than 25,000 times.

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