Branch Site Connectivity options for Lync


Good connectivity between sites is a basic requirement for every organization. To keep the same requirement in consideration Microsoft designed Lync with multiple branch connectivity options. Basically Lync 2013 supports four types of branch connectivity solutions to choose from which depends on your requirement. Branch sites can have few hundreds of users or few thousands of users. Therefore, solution also depends on usage, connectivity between the sites and number of users. Basically branch sites come into picture at the time of connectivity failure b/w central and branch site and provide resiliency to branch site users.

Only WAN connectivity: This solution is not called as a branch site connectivity option by Microsoft. Usually, it might be an option for small sites where organization has few users (1 – 25) but good WAN connectivity which can sustain the load of branch site users. Organization can have one or more sites which are directly connected to the central site with good WAN connectivity. All the users from this type of sites will directly login to central site and will use all the features including PSTN.

Survival Branch Appliance (SBA): SBA can have an option for those branch sites where organization has user’s b/w 25 to 1000 or maybe 2000 and don’t have local administrative support. SBA is an industry standard appliance which has Lync server registrar and mediation server component. SBA also contains PSTN Gateway for direct PSTN connectivity to branch sites. If you have users range b/w 25 to 1000 you can choose SBA accordingly or if you have more than 1000 users you can have two SBA, this is just an example but totally it depends on requirements and supported number of users by device. SBA provides resiliency to branch users at the time of WAN failure for Enterprise Voice but does not provide resiliency for other Lync features such as IM/Presence, conferencing etc.

Survival Branch Server (SBS): SBS can have an option for those branch sites where organization has more than 1000 users and have local administrative support. SBS is a Windows Server which has Lync server registrar and mediation server component installed on it. SBA does not contain PSTN Gateway for direct PSTN connectivity to branch sites. Therefore you need a separate PSTN gateway to connect PSTN service provider or you need SIP trunk connectivity with ITSP. Same like SBA, SBS provides resiliency to branch users at the time of WAN failure for Enterprise Voice but does not provide resiliency for other Lync features such as IM/Presence, conferencing etc.

Standard Edition Server: Standard Edition Server is an option to provide all the Lync functionality to branch site users or you can say that is a small central site. Standard Edition Server need a PSTN connectivity same as central site using a Media Gateway or SBC to connect ITSP/PSTN service provider. Standard Edition Server provides resiliency to branch users at the time of WAN failure for Enterprise Voice as well as for other Lync features such as IM/Presence, conferencing etc.

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