Tag Archives: Skype for Business SQL Server

Change Witness server in SQL Mirror configured for Lync/Skype for Business Server

SQL Mirror is a very common Back End Server configuration for Lync/Skype for Business Server deployments. Lync/Skype for Business Server uses SQL Mirroring option with or without witness server. Witness server configuration is mandatory if you want to achieve automatic failover. Normal SQL Server Instance or SQL Express edition can be used for witness configuration. Any SQL server can be used only once in Skype for Business Server. You can’t use same SQL server to configure two different mirror until or unless you don’t tweak the SQL configuration settings.

There is a challenge to change the configuration settings in an existing SQL mirror because Lync/Skype for Business Server configure the SQL Mirror and any change direct to the SQL configuration may arise unpredictable errors. Most of the errors or problems you can see while publishing the topology.

In this post, I’ll explain “how to change the witness server in SQL mirror configuration”; which is used by Lync/Skype for Business Server.

For SQL Server Mirror Configuration and required protocols and ports requirement, see SQL Configuration for Skype for Business Server

First of all open Topology Builder and download topology from existing deployment.

Go to the properties of the pool for which you want to change the configuration and go to the Association under General.

Uncheck the witness server option and publish the topology.

Once, topology is published successfully go to the shared components and delete the witness store which you have removed in previous step.

Publish the topology once again.

Once the topology has been publish successfully. Go to the Primary SQL server and select each Skype for Business database one by one and go to the properties.

Select mirroring from left panel and clear the witness configuration and click on OK.

Do the same steps for all the databases.

Once done go back to the topology and define new witness server and publish the topology.

Now, you are done J


SQL Server Configuration for Skype for Business Server 2015 with SQL Mirror

SQL Server Configuration is a crucial part of the Skype for Business Server deployment. For SQL Server installation you can follow my preceding post Step by step SQL Server Installation for Skype for Business Server 2015. The below configuration mainly focus on settings which are necessary for mirror configuration.

First of all make sure network discovery, file and printer sharing is turned on.

If you are using default instance name then there is no need to setup the TCP Port. As we generally use named instance and by default SQL Server uses “TCP Dynamic Ports” for named instance. We need to specify static port which will be used by the Skype for Business Server to connect.

Open Sql Server Configuration Manager

Go to the SQL Server Network Configuration

Select “Protocols for ‘Instance Name'”

Go to the TCP/IP properties and click in “IP Addresses” tab

Scroll down and select TCP Port.

Assign “1433” and apply the settings.

Go to the SQL Server Services

Restart the SQL server instance service.


Now, open Windows Firewall and go the Advanced Settings.

Create inbound rules as shown below. 7022

If this server is witness server then create one more rule to open port number 7022 which is necessary for witness configuration.

Enable Inbound Firewall rules which are highlighted below in the screenshot.


Now you are done with the configuration part. I hope it worked for you J


Step by step SQL Server Installation for Skype for Business Server 2015

SQL server installation is simple and many IT folks know about it. Still, I am writing this blog post for those people who are not much comfortable with SQL Server. As you know SQL is an important and key server role in Lync & Skype for Business Server. It maintains Skype for Business Back End databases, Archiving and Monitoring databases, and Persistent Chat and Persistent Chat Compliance databases. Installation steps are common across the versions. In this article, I am going to capture installation steps for SQL Server 2014 which will be part of the SQL mirror. This mirror will be used for Skype for Business Back End and Archiving & Monitoring Server databases. As per your requirements and design, you can follow the same steps to create two different mirrors one for Back End databases and another for Archiving & Monitoring databases.

First of all install .Net Framework 3.5 either from GUI or you can use below PowerShell command to install the same. Make sure Windows Server media is connected to sql server, in my case that is connect as H:


Run SQL Server setup from installation media.


Select Installation and click on “New SQL Server stand-alone or add features to an existing installation”


Enter the product key and click on Next.


Accept the license terms and click on Next.


Click on Next.


Ignore this error if you are getting and click on Next.


Click on Next.


Ignore the warning and click on Next.


Select “SQL Server Feature Installation” and click on Next.


For Back End, Archiving, Persistent Chat and Persistent Chat Compliance databases, select the below instance features.

Change the installation path if you want to keep SQL binaries on different location otherwise click on Next.


For Monitoring Server databases, select “Reporting Services – Native” also.


Write the instance name and click on Next.


It is best to use specific service account instead of default.


In Server Configuration tab under “Database Engine Configuration” add users who will have SQL administrative rights.


In Data Directories tab, change the location for databases, log and temp directories as per your design and click on Next.


Use default option and click on Next.


Click on Install.



Once your SQL Server installation is completed. Open SQL Server Studio Manager to cross verify the installation and connectivity.

Use the same installation step for second server. While for witness server either you can install SQL Server express edition or can use any other existing SQL instance.

Back End Server options: Skype for Business 2015

Back End database is a key for any two-tier or three-tier application. It might be deployed independently in the form of database server or as native database managed by application itself. Microsoft SQL server is play an important role with Microsoft UC platform either LCS/OCS or Lync/SfB. Since Lync Server 2013 onwards SQL server is loosely coupled with Back End Servers and most of the activities is used to happen on SQL express edition itself which is part of the Front End Servers. Still, Microsoft Lync Back End Server maintains copy of user persistent data, application data and Central Management Store.

Lync Server 2013 supports SQL Mirror and SQL Failover Clustering (Lync Server 2013 CU1 onwards) for Back End databases. While SQL Server AlwaysOn is not supported with Lync Server 2013.

SQL Server AlwaysOn was first introduced with SQL Server 2012. Now, Skype for Business Server supports all the options.

  • SQL Mirror
  • SQL Failover Clustering
  • SQL AlwaysOn Availability groups
  • SQL AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances (FCI)

One concern which always arise “Simple & Cost Effective Solution without performance compromise?” for better ROI with lower TCO. All four options use same SQL Server but edition and storage requirement make difference.


Database Mirroring is a simplest method for Skype for Business Back End Server which can be easily setup by Lync Server Topology Builder. To achieve automatically failover, deploy witness server. To use Failover Clustering, AlwaysOn Availability groups and AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances, you first setup and configure the Back End servers high availability solution.