Tag Archives: Skype for Business Standard Edition

#Skype4b: Standard vs. Enterprise Edition


This is an on-demand article, I am writing it because one of the follower was asking about it and definitely it will help others as well. J I hope it will motivate others as well to ask any thing on Insidemstech.com and I’ll try my best to help each one of you.

Lync/Skype for Business server comes in two different editions i.e. Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition. Both the editions offer same features and functionalities. I would say end user can’t recognize the version of Lync/Skype for Business. Let me explain the difference through comparison.

The above comparison shows very high level difference but these are core differentiation points between standard and enterprise edition. * shows that these are technical possibilities and support matrix but doesn’t guarantee any performance. For example, if you collocate Mediation server with Front End servers then concurrent call reduces. For more details and in-depth information you can search role specific blog posts here and if don’t find any information please let me know, I’ll try to help you out.

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#Skype4B – Configure Disaster Recovery: Standard Edition


Lync Server 2013 and Skype for Business Server 2015 provides pool pairing option to configure disaster recovery. Pool pairing option can be configured between two different Lync/Skype4B sites. In paired pool configuration, you can have both sites active but make sure maximum number of users should be based on single pool so that at the time of site failure another site can accommodate all the user without any performance issue. There are few important considerations which you have to make sure before planning of your disaster recovery setup.

  1. You can configure pool pairing either between two identical Standard Edition Server or between two Enterprise Edition Front End Server pools in different sites.
  2. Both the sites should have either physical server deployment or virtual server deployment. Mixed configuration is not supported.
  3. Pool pairing allows backup pool configuration only between two sites and vice versa. You can’t configure backup pool between three sites, it means Site1 and Site2 can be configured as backup pool for each other but you can’t associate backup pool for site1 with site2 and site2 with site3.
  4. Paired pool must be running on the same operating system.

This blogpost illustrate step by step pool paring configuration for Standard Edition server. In my lab setup, I have two Skype for Business Server sites.

UC LAB and UC LAB DR

UC LAB has one standard edition pool “se01.uc.lab” and UC LAB DR has on standard edition pool “se02.uc.lab”.

To configure pool pairing, first make sure your standard edition servers are up and running in healthy state.

Go to the topology builder and “Download Topology from existing deployment”.

Expand “Skype for Business Server”

Go to the first site and select Standard Edition Server.

Go to the properties of first standard edition server.

Go to the Resiliency under properties.

Enable “Associate backup pool” and select second standard edition server. Enable “Automatic failover and failback for Voice”. 30 Sec is minimum time for both the options.

Verify the configuration.

Now, you can publish the topology.

Go to the secondary server and verify the configuration.

You can see, setup has configured the backup pool for both the sites.

To cross verify the configuration you can use Skype for Business management shell.

Once you have done with the topology configuration part, Open Skype for Business Deployment Wizard and run “Install or Update Skype for Business Server System”

Run step 2 “Setup or Remove Skype for Business Server Components”

Setup will install backup service

Once you are done with the installation start backup service.

Follow the same deployment wizard process for second server.

Disaster recovery site has been configured successfully for Standard Edition Server.

Step by step Skype for Business Server 2015 In-Place upgrade from Lync Server 2013: Standard Edition


Skype for Business Server 2015 provide In-Place upgrade option which can be relevant for Lync Server 2013 customers. Microsoft didn’t make any changes in hardware profile for Skype for Business Server 2015, therefore customer can adopt SfB easily to get the latest enhancements. In this post, I will cover step by step in-place upgrade for SfB standard edition. In my setup, I have one Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition with Mediation server collocated and one SQL server for Archiving and Monitoring databases.

In-place upgrade is available in two mode:

1. Migrate user mode (No user downtime)

2. Offline-mode (User downtime)

To know more about in-place upgrade paths, read Planning for In-Place upgrade with Skype for Business

In this post, I am using offline-mode as I have one Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition pool.

I will start first thing first:

1. Must update your operating system with latest updates.

2. Download and Install Hotfix

Windows Server 2012 R2: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2982006

Windows Server 2012: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2858668

Windows Server 2008 R2: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2533623

3. Update Lync Server 2013 with minimum CU5 (Feb 2015)

Follow below KB article to download and install updates step by step. (Make sure update process completes successfully without any error and all given steps are covered)

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2809243

4. Stop Lync Services on Standard Edition Server

5. Update SQL Server Express Edition on Lync Standard Edition Server. (Download and install SQL Server 2012 SP1)

6. Update SQL Server 2012 archiving & monitoring database server. (Download and install SQL Server 2012 SP1)

Reboot the servers after SP1 installation.

7. Check the Standard Edition pool status for upgrade readiness state.

Make sure: IsReadyForUpgrade: True

8. Go to any one of the domain joined Windows server in your environemnt and run Skype for Business Server 2015 intial setup to install Skype for Business Server 2015, Topology Builder and Management Shell.

9. Open topology builder and download topology from existing deployment.

10. Go to the Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition and right click to select “Upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015…”

11. Click on Yes.

12. Now, you can observe Lync Server 2013 SE has been moved under Skype for Business Server 2015.

13. Now publish the topology.

14. Check readiness state one more time.

15. Stop Lync Server services gracefully.

16. Go to the services.msc and make sure all services are stopped, any Lync service should not be in paused or running state.

17. Run Setup.exe on Standard Edition server from Skype for Business Server 2015 media and follow the steps.

 

 

Note: If you are getting below prompt to restart the server, don’t worry just reboot the server and run the setup wizard once server comes up.

 

 

 

Once upgrade process has completed successfully you can review the logs.

 

18. Open Skype for Business Server 2015 Management Shell and run Start-Cspool… (you can also use –Force switch)

Once SE pool started successfully, go to the Skype for Business Server Control Panel.

 

19. If you open monitoring reports on upgraded server, you will still find Lync Server 2013.

20. To upgrade the monitoring reports, go to the deployment wizard and run “Deploy Monitoring Reports”

Once deployment process is completed successfully, open monitoring reports for Skype for Business Server.

 

Hope, you enjoyed upgrade process J

Deploy Skype for Business Persistent Chat Server


This blog post continues Deploy Skype for Business Archiving and Monitoring Server and talks about Persistent Chat Server deployment. These steps can be used for collocated persistent chat server deployment with Standard Edition server or can be used for dedicated persistent chat server deployment. In my setup, I have one Standard Edition Server and one sql database server for archiving, monitoring and persistent chat databases.

For persistent chat collocation best practices please see Microsoft Recommendations.

In preceding post we have covered SQL server deployment and best practices. Now, we will continue with the requirement for persistent chat server. If you are installing persistent chat server on standard edition server install messaging queuing (MSMQ) features before attempting to start the persistent chat server installation.

Open Skype for Business Server 2015, Topology Builder.

Go to the Persistent Chat pools under Skype for Business Server 2015 > Right Click > New Persistent Chat Pool…

“Define New Persistent Chat Pool” window will open.

Write the FQDN of Standard Edition Server and select “This pool has one server”.

[Note: If you are deploying persistent chat server on standalone machine then write the FQDN of that server.]

Write the display name of persistent chat pool and click on next if you don’t want to use persistent chat compliance.

If you want to have persistent chat compliance as part of the installation, select “Enable compliance”

If this is not first persistent chat server in Lync/Skype for Business infrastructure then you can deselect “Use this pool as default for all sites”

Don’t deselect this checkbox if this is the first persistent chat server in your infrastructure otherwise you can see below error while publishing topology.

Select SQL Server store, if you want to have new database server for persistent chat deployment click on New…

In my case, I am using the same database server which I had used for archiving and monitoring.

Select the database server for compliance store.

Select the file store.

Select the next hop server, in my case it is Standard Edition Server.

Now once you are done with above process, publish the topology.

Select database, click on Next and finish the process.

Now, open Skype for Business Server 2015, Deployment Wizard and Click on “Install or Update Skype for Business Server System”

Run step 2 “Setup or Remove Skype for Business Server Components” and follow the process.

 

 

 

Now, you can open services console and start “Skype for Business Server Persistent Chat” & “Skype for Business Server Persistent Chat Compliance” services.

 

Deploy Skype for Business Archiving and Monitoring Server


This is an extension of Step by step Skype for Business Server Standard Edition deployment, covers Archiving and Monitoring Server deployment for Standard Edition Server. This post does not cover Call Quality Dashboard.

Archiving server creates Lcslog database to store instant messaging and conferencing data while monitoring server create CDR (call details record) and QoE (quality of experience) databases. Therefore to start with the deployment process, first deploy SQL Server Standard Edition for archiving and monitoring server databases. Features which you need to select are given below:

  • Database Engine Services
  • Reporting Services – Native
  • Management Tools – Basic
    • Management Tools – Complete

Once you are done with SQL server deployment, configure SQL server. By default SQL server uses dynamic port for deployed instance, it is better to use static port.

Open Sql server configuration Manager.

 

Go to the SQL Server Network Configuration > Protocols for “Instance” > Go to the TCP/IP Properties > Select “IP Address” tab and scroll down

 

Remove TCP Dynamic Ports and assign static TCP Port such as 1433 > Apply > OK

 

Go to the SQL Server Services > Restart “SQL Server (Instance)” service.

 

You can expect below error while publishing topology or installing databases if don’t create any rules or disable windows firewall.

Either create firewall rules to open required ports and protocols or disable windows firewall. To disable Windows firewall is not a best practice for production environment. Create Inbound and Outbound firewall rules as given below:

Inbound

Allow Port 80, 443 – TCP and UDP

Allow Port 1433 – TCP

Allow Port 1434 – UDP

Enable Firewall rules which already exists.

Outbound

Allow Port 80, 443 – TCP and UDP

Turn on network discovery & file and printer sharing.

Now, you are done with SQL server configuration.

 

Go to the Skype for Business Server Standard Edition and open Topology Builder.

 

Go to the Standard Edition Server.

 

Right click on SE server and Edit Properties.

 

Select Archiving Server.

 

Click on New to add SQL Server.

 

Write SQL Server FQDN and Instance Name.


 

Now, Select Monitoring Server and drop down for SQL Server. Click OK.

 

Now Publish Topology.

 

Click on Next.

 

Select database.

 

Select database and click on Advance if you want to change database file location. In my case, I am going with default.

 

It will create databases for archiving and monitoring.

Once it is completed successfully, click on Finish.

 

Now, open Skype for Business Server 2015 Deployment Wizard. Click on Deploy Monitoring Report and follow the steps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you are done with the process, you can use monitoring repots or can enable/create archiving policies based on your requirements.

Done J

Step by step Skype for Business Server Standard Edition deployment


Skype for Business Server 2015 deployment steps are as same as it was in Lync Server 2013. In this blog post, I will cover all the steps which are required to install Skype for Business Server. First, have a look on high level deployment steps which will help you to keep your infra ready for successful Skype for Business Server deployment.

1. Domain joined Windows Server 2012/2012R2 with all recent updates. Better to use Windows Server 2012 R2, latest and greatest server operating system.

2. Download and install hotfix KB article 2858668 for windows server 2012 and KB article 2982006 for windows server 2012 R2.

3. Download and Install Silverlight.

4. Install Skype for Business Server prerequisite.

5. Run setup.exe from Skype for Business Server installation media.

6. Prepare Active Directory for Skype for Business Server. If you have Lync Server 2013 infrastructure, no need to update the Active Directory as it will display you “Complete”.

7. Create required DNS records. Assign Skype for Business Server admin rights.

8. Create Share folder and assign required permissions.

9. Install Administrative tools.

10. Prepare first Standard Edition server.

11. Create and Publish topology.

12. Install or Update Skype for Business Server system.

a. Install Local Configuration Store

b. Setup or Remove Skype for Business Server Components

c. Request, Install or Assign Certificates

d. Start Services.

 

I will cover step by step installation process from step 4 onwards.

Insert or map windows server installation media and open Powershell with administrative rights.

Note: In my setup, using D: for installation media. Change drive letter in below powershell cmdlet according to your setup.

Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework-Core, RSAT-ADDS, Windows-Identity-Foundation, Web-Server, Web-Static-Content, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Net-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Log-Libraries, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Filtering, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Dyn-Compression, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Scripting-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Compat, Server-Media-Foundation, BITS -Source D:\sources\sxs

 

 

 

After installation restart server.

Run setup.exe from installation media. Or you can use powershell cmdlet to run the setup.

 

As Skype for Business Server 2015 support SMART setup. Therefore you can use “Connect to the internet to check for updates” otherwise select don’t check for updates right now.

Select Installation Location for Skype for Business Server and follow the steps.

Press “Windows + F key” and search for Skype for Business Server Management Shell and Deployment Wizard.

Open SfB Management Shell or Deployment Wizard to prepare active directory.

If you are using Deployment Wizard then click on prepare schema. (Make sure current user should be member of schema admins)

If using SfB Management Shell then run Install-CsAdServerSchema

Once schema is prepared then run Get-CsAdServerSchema. If you get SCHEMA_VERSION_STATE_CIRRENT as a result, it means you are good to go.

Check Schema Version from ADSI.

Open ADSI (adsiedit.msc) > Connect to Schema > Search for CN=ms-RTC-SIP-SchemaVersion and go to properties and search for schema lower and upper range.

rangeLower    3

rangeUpper    1150

Run “Prepare Forest” from Deployment wizard or run Enable-CsAdForest from SfB Management Shell. (Make sure current user is member of Enterprise Admins)

To verify run “Get-CsAdForest” and if the result comes “LC_FORESTSETTINGS_STATE_READY” then you are good to go. You can also open Active Directory Users and Computers and find group which has been created for SfB.

Run “Prepare Domain” from Deployment wizard or run Enable-CsAdDomain from SfB Management Shell. (Make sure current user is member of Domain Admins)

To verify run “Get-CsAdDomain” and if the result comes “LC_DOMAINSETTINGS_STATE_READY” then you are good to go.

 

Once prepare active directory step is completed successfully.

  • Open Active Directory Users and Computers and make current user member of CSAdministrator
  • Open DNS and create SRV and A records

i) Create _sipinternaltls service location record.

Open DNS Manager and select domain under Forward Lookup Zones. Right click on domain or right click on right pane and select other New Records

Select “Service Location (SRV)” and click on Create Record

Service: _sipinternaltls

Protocol: _tcp

Port number: 5061

Host offering this service: FQDN of your Standard Edition Server (Ex: se02.uc.lab)

ii) Create following Host(A) records

Dailin

Meet

Admin

Sip

Lyncdiscoverinternal

  • Create Share Folder and Assign permissions

Create folder and go to the properties.

Click on Share.

Add local administrators group and assign full rights.


As well as go to the Advanced Sharing…

Add local administrators group and assign Full Control.

 

Now you are ready to start the installation of Skype for Business Server.

Open deployment wizard and click on “Install Administrative Tools”.

Once installtion is done. Press “Windows + F key” and search for Skype for Business Server. Now, you can see Skype for Business Server Topology Builder and Control Panel.

Now click on “Prepare first Standard Edition server” and follow the steps.

 

 

 

 

Press “Windows + F key”, open Skype for Business Server Topology Builder and follow the steps. Please enter the required details as per your environment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will cover Archiving and Monitoring Server installation in Part 2.

 

You can define Edge pool later in the topology.

 

Define file share which we created in previous steps.

You can define External Base URL for Web Services as per your requirements. (Ex: SEWeb.domain.com)

 

Right Click on “Skype for Business Server” and go to properties.

Assign “Administrative access URL” and “Central Management Store”. Click on Ok

Right Click on “Skype for Business Server” and “Publish Topology”

 

 

 

Now, it is time to install Skype for Business Server System. Click on “Install or Update Skype for Business Server System”

Click on Run “Install Local Configuration Store” and follow the steps.

 

 

 

Click on Run “Setup or Remove Skype for Business Server Components” and follow the steps.

 

 

 

Now Request and Assign Certificates. Click on Run “Request, Install or Assign Certificates” and follow the steps.

Click on Request.

 

Fill the form as needed. Click on Advanced and follow the steps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the same process for OAuth Certificate.

Once Certificates are assigned open SfB Management Shell.

Run “Start-CsPool –PoolFqdn <poolfqdn>

Type “Y”

Once, services are running open Skype for Business Control Panel and play with it. J

 

Part 2 of this article will cover Archiving and Monitoring; and Persistent Chat Server deployment.