Tag Archives: Office Web Apps Server

How does Office Web Apps / Office Online server integration work with Lync/SfB Server?


Office Online Server (OOS) is a latest version or new release of Office Web Apps Server. It plays an inimitable role for Microsoft UCC (Exchange, Lync/SfB, SharePoint) applications. In this blogpost, I’ll cover the integration workflow between Lync/SfB and OOS.

OOS provides enriched PowerPoint presentation view to Lync/SfB end-users.

When a user uploads PowerPoint file into the meeting, the file is sent to the OOS server without any conversion.

OOS performs encryption and saves the file to Lync/SfB content file share.

When you configure OOS in Lync/SfB at the time of topology configuration, you define base URL. When a user presents a file, the url is taken for customization with unique identifier, file ID and meeting ID etc as well as with additional security using session lifetime token and send it to all the clients.

Whenever an end user connects to this meeting and try to access broadcast URL, OOS send the instruction to the Lync/SfB FE server to get the file details.

FE server fetch the file details based on the file ID from Lync/SfB share folder and uploads to the OOS.

Finally, OOS sends the http response with current page to the participants.

Totally confuse L

Let’s try to understand this process through illustration:

Courtesy: MVA

When a user setups a conference and upload the presentation file, it first connects to the conference server and then share the file. As shown above in the image it works as follows:

  1. The Presenter/Sharer uploads the file to the Front End.
  2. The Front End save the shared file to the Skype for Business file share folder.
  3. The sharer user starts the file presentation though the Front End server.
  4. The Front End user send the broadcasting URL with a defined file ID and authentication token to all the participants.
  5. Participants send the HTTP instruction to get the broadcast URL though the Office Online server / Office Web Apps server.
  6. The Office Online server / Office Web Apps server send the instruction to the Front End server to get the file with the defined file ID.
  7. Front End server takes the file of that file ID from the Skype for Business file share folder.
  8. Front End server uploads the file to the Office Online server / Office Web Apps server.
  9. Office Online server / Office Web Apps server sends the
    HTTP response with current page to the participants.
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Step by Step Office Web Apps Server


Office Web Apps server is a Microsoft Office product which enables browser based office experience for Exchange, Lync and SharePoint users.

Installation of Office Web Apps Server 2013 is very simple.

For more information about installation follow: Deploy Office Web Apps Server

I hope you have done with the installation part, now we should look at the configuration part which has been described in above link already. Therefore, I am going to highlight those steps which is not described in MS TechNet article.

If you are going to configure single-server Office Web Apps server farm with HTTPS, Certificate configuration might be a challenge. You can follow the same steps for multi-server farm deployment but make sure you will assign the same certificate to all the servers while HLB configuration have additional configuration steps.

I am using internal Active Directory certification authority, you can also generate the certificate request using same process and can get the certificate from your public certification authority.

 

After installing Office Web Apps Server, Open IIS and go to the Server Certificates.

Click on Create Certificate request.

 

Fill Information as needed.

 

Change Bit length vale to 2048 if you want otherwise click on next.

 

Specify path to save certificate request file.

 

Request a certificate from you AD Certification Authority.

 

Click on advanced certificate request.

 

Click on Submit a certificate request by using a base 64-encoded……..

 

Copy data from request file and paste it here.

 

Select Web Server as a certificate template.

 

Now, download base 64 encoded file and save it.

 

Now again go to the IIS and click on complete certificate request.

 

Select saved certificate and give friendly name.

 

Now, the certificate has been stored.

 

Now, it is a time to assign the certificate.

 

 

 

Once the certificate has been assigned to the Office Web Apps server. Configure your Office Web Apps Server farm.

Open Powershell and run New-OfficeWebAppsFarm cmdlet with Internal/External url and certificate. Certificate name will be you friendly name which you had specified.

 

Type “Y” for yes and you are done.

 

Cross verify your configuration using <url>/hosting/discovery. If you get xml page with configuration, it means you have configured Office Web Apps Server successfully.

 

Office Web Apps Server & Lync 2013


Office Web Apps Server is required server role for Lync 2013 deployments. You can have too many questions in your mind regarding OWS for Lync 2013 such as what, why, how, where, when etc. To make it simple, I am creating flow which can help you to know more about Office Web Apps Server.

What is Office Web App Server? Office Web Apps Server is a new Office server product that delivers browser-based versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. A single Office Web Apps Server farm can support users who access Office files through SharePoint 2013, Lync Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, shared folders, and websites. (Microsoft definition)

History? Don’t be confused between Office Web Apps in 2010 which was tightly integrated with SharePoint 2010 and Office Web App Server which is an independent office server product build by MS to support SharePoint, Exchange and Lync in advance fashion to provide rich experience to end users. Now, you can have a question in your mind about Windows Live Office Web Apps which is free for Windows Live and small-business users. Yes, you are absolutely correct but if you need these functionality on-premises, deploy Office Web Apps server.

Why do we need OWS in Lync 2013 deployment? Basically, Lync Server 2013 use OWS to handle PowerPoint presentations and improve the overall experience for presenters and attendees both. It provides rich presentation experience with high resolution and all new set of features which are available in PowerPoint such as transitions, animations and embedded videos etc. Lync 2013 supports standard DHTML with Java script which enable users to view presentation in mobile devices which doesn’t support Silverlight. Authorized/Privileged users can also scroll PowerPoint presentation as per their own wish without disturbing presenter.

How does it make difference? Lync server 2010 users (Lync Clients) were used to use PowerPoint viewer (which is based on PowerPoint 97-2003 and doesn’t support new features and other OS platforms except windows) and Lync web app users were used to customize DHTML with Silverlight which also doesn’t support all new features. Many mobile devices don’t support Silverlight which can’t be a part of PowerPoint broadcasts. To mitigate all these issues MS came up with Office Web Apps server which support all the features and provide rich experience to end users.

When should we deploy OWS? To make the things simpler you should deploy OWS before Installing Lync Server. You can also continue without deploying OWS server and use futuristic/planned FQDN of OWS in Lync topology builder. If you have existing OWS, you can use same for the Lync also.

Where should we deploy OWS? You should deploy OWS in your corporate network where you will deploy Lync Front End Servers.

How should we deploy OWS? OWS supports Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 and Windows Server 2012.

Prerequisite for Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1:

  1. .NET Framework 4.5
  2. Windows PowerShell 3.0
  3. Platform update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (KB2670838)
  4. Install Windows Features:

Import-Module ServerManager

Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Static-Content,Web-App-Dev,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Net-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,Web-Security,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Filtering,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Mgmt-Console,Ink-Handwriting,IH-Ink-Support

  1. Restart the server

Prerequisite for Windows Server 2012:

  1. Install Windows Features:

Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Static-Content,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Security,Web-Filtering,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-App-Dev,Web-Net-Ext45,Web-Asp-Net45,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,InkandHandwritingServices,NET-Framework-Features,NET-Framework-Core –Source “D:\sources\sxs\”        (Note: Here D: indicates path of Windows Server 2012 Media)

  1. Restart the server

Install Office Web Apps Server. Click here to download

Install the Office Web Apps Server update KB2810007

Install Language Pack to support multiple languages. Click here to download

Configure Office Web Apps Server farm

Configure certificates, url etc.

Add more servers in OWS farm

Configure load balancing.

High Availability Options in OWS? You can deploy stand-alone Office Web Apps Server farm which supports all the features but doesn’t provide High Availability. If you need HA for OWS farm, deploy more than one OWS server and configure load balancing. Office Web Apps Server only supports Windows Network Load Balancing or Hardware Load Balancing.

Lync 2013 Enterprise Edition Users and Servers Model


Lync designing & planning is intricate part and right decision can help organization to get better ROI. This article may help Solution Architects, Consultants and System Administrator to choose best Lync server/pool model. Number of Lync servers in a pool, collocated or distributed model of Lync roles typically depends on No. of Lync users, their activities and different geo locations.

Lync 2013 Server Pools Number of Servers Supported No. of End users Remarks
Lync 2013 Front End pool (Collocated with A/V conferencing, Mediation Server, A/M server) 12 80,000 Max. Conferences size is limited to 250 users, Media Bypass is required to support all users with condition of 60 % users are enable for EV and only 40% calls are UC-PSTN calls.
Lync 2013 Front End Pool (A/V only) 2 Large conferences b/w 250 – 1000 users
Lync 2013 Mediation Pool 12 80,000 100% users are enabled for EV and 80% calls are UC-PSTN calls. 12 servers are required if Media by pass in not enable/supported for deployed EV connectivity. No. of servers will reduce based on Media bypass configuration according to the %.
Lync 2013 Persistent Chat 8 (4 active & 4 Passive) 80,000 1, 50,000 users can be enabled for pChat and 80,000 users can use concurrent. Only pChat pool can be stretched b/w sites to achieve DR. For more details check Lync 2013 HA
Lync 2013 Edge Server 4 – 8 80,000 Depends on how many users will access Lync services simultaneously, 3-4 servers for 30-40% & 7-8 servers for 100%
Lync Director (optional) 3 – 8 80,000 Depends on remote users, 3 servers for 30% remote users and 8 servers for 100% remote users.
SQL Server 2* 80,000 *2 for each backend databases

 

Important: Above data has provided for physical servers, minor change can happen if you use virtualization as per MS guidelines. It does not take any accountability of DR plan/scenarios. If you are planning for DR also, please account overhead of DR users if available.

High Availability in Lync 2013


Availability is the concern for any enterprise application. In Lync 2013 Microsoft took a step ahead and delivered better availability options. Lync 2013 is a next level enterprise communication and voice based solution which based on different Lync Server roles. In Lync 2013 Microsoft did a tremendous job to consolidate many Lync roles and reduced the number of Lync roles and their complexity. To know more about Lync roles click here

Lync Server Standard Edition and HA*

This is big question for all to know about HA option in Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition. Lync Server 2013 supports up to 5000 users and can be deployed in a single box but to achieve more availability (*not exactly High Availability) you can deploy Lync 2013 SE in paired pool. Paired pools means deploy two Lync SE Server and paired them in a pool. Failover In a paired pool is manual activity (can be automated by PowerShell scripting) and users will get limited functionality at the time of failover. HA can’t be achieved for Persistent Chat in Standard Edition.

Lync Server Enterprise Edition and HA

Lync Server Front End (Audio/Video, Archiving & Monitoring is collocated): High availability can be achieved by deploying Lync 2013 Enterprise Edition Server pool. In one Lync Server 2013 EE pool you can accommodate 80,000 users by deploying maximum of 12 servers. Lync 2013 Enterprise Edition is designed by using brick model which works on Windows Fabric to provide HA. In Lync 2013 EE need minimum three FE servers (MS recommendation) for one pool. For availability, Lync Server pool needs N/2, N/2+1 server in a pool to work.

Microsoft recommends if you have large conferences for more than 250 users, a separate A/V (FE) pool can be deployed.

Lync Server Back End: Lync Server uses SQL server for its backend databases. You need databases for Lync Server backend, archiving/monitoring and persistent chat which can be collocated in one SQL server or deployed on separate (MS recommended) SQL Server instances. Lync Server 2013 supports SQL mirror for its databases. It does not support SQL failover clustering (not recommended) or SQL always on feature. To configure automatic failover in SQL server mirror, you need SQL witness server which can be SQL Express edition or SQL Server instance.

Lync Mediation Server: In Lync 2013, Mediation server role can be collocated with FE server role or can be deployed separately as a pool.

Lync Persistent Chat: In Lync 2013, Persistent Chat is a new server role which replace Lync server 2010 Group Chat server component which was not part of the Lync 2010 server roles. You can deploy Lync Server Persistent Chat as a pool to achieve HA and can have maximum 8 servers in a pool (4 active and 4 passive) for 80,000 concurrent users and total 1, 50,000 users.

Lync Edge Server: Lync Edge server role can be deployed as a pool in a perimeter network to provide HA for external (outside your organization firewall) users.

Director: In Lync 2013, Director is an optional role and can be deployed in the same way as Lync Server 2010 Director pool.

Reverse proxy: Reverse Proxy is not part of any Lync Server role but required for external users. You can use Microsoft Reverse proxy solutions such TMG 2010 / UAG 2010 / IIS ARR or can have any third party solution.