Since all Microsoft Lync sizing documentation is directed at solutions handling thousands of users many in the SMB space ask: What exactly are the RAM/CPU requirements for a relatively small SMB sized Lync solution? The answer has two parts:
Below is a very simple bandwidth calculator. It makes a few assumptions:
Click Here for an interactive bandwidth calculator for small business scenarios.
Quick Broadband Reliability Problem:
The Lync Edge server is likely the most complex undertaking in a Lync implementation and because of this it is sometimes avoided. What are some of the needed ingredients to get going?
Minimum of 2 IP addresses
Recommended 4 IP Addresses
You will also need a public Certificate that is supported by Microsoft Lync. Yes, you can go cheap and get yourself a lot of headache, but just get a Lync supported Cert. TechNet notes that the certificate must be issued by an approved public CA that
supports subject alternative name. Click Here for the approved certificate partner list.
There are several ways you can connect Microsoft Lync to the
Public Switched Telephone Network so you can dial good old telephone numbers:
Due to the inflexible nature of PSTN you will likely select PRI or SIP trunking as preferred for a live environment.
Auto Attenant,Subscriber Access and Conferencing will require DID's. You may select whether users need DID's for extensions.
Checkout this excellent write up on Lync Standard Edition in a disaster recovery option:
Q. Can I install Lync Server on or in a Microsoft Small Business Server environment?
A. The answer to both of these questions is no3. First of all Lync Server is not supported running on a Domain Controller. Second, Microsoft Small Business Server Active Directory schema is currently not a Microsoft supported scenario
with Lync Server. (more info)
Q. Can I install Lync Server on Exchange Server? (collocate Lync and Exchange on same Operating System)
A. No, this is not supported and their will technical difficulties as well. (more info)
Q. Should an IT generalist attempt to plan and implement Microsoft Lync Server?
A. Lync requires competency in almost every area possible: AD, Exchange, WANs and routing, Certificates, telecom and VOIP. Since an IT generalist implementing Lync is basically "learning on a live system" it will likely be a "rough" experience
for users. Getting an experienced partner to assist with planning and implementation and the IT generalist taking over day to day administration would be advisable.
Q. Do we need to have a Microsoft Lync Edge Server?
A. This is a very common question for SMB because there is an attempt to keep the solution as simple as possible. The answer to the question is: No, you do not NEED an Edge server IF you only want Lync functionality inside your firewall. Having
said that my belief is that ultimately most organizations will want to deploy an Edge. Below are some of the benefits of an Edge server and what you will loose without it:
Q. Can all the servers needed for a small Lync implementation run on one Hyper-V server?
A. Yes, Hyper-V is actually the ideal solution for a small Lync implementation. A Hyper-V server with sufficient RAM/CPU can easily handle all the servers required the SMB size of 50-150 users.
Q. Does purchasing Office365 E4 also provide Lync Server Licensing?
A. My understanding is the Office365 provides user CAL's, but no server licensing. Here are my sources:
Q. Office365 versus on Premise Lync Server?
Q. What are some commonly asked for features in SMB that are not in Microsoft Lync?
A. Below is a list of some items that are sometimes asked for in SMB. I would suggest considering
a UC centric alternative to some of these as a solution. Example: intercom users might now use IM instead; music on hold from external source can now be supplied from an audio file; and buddy dialing can be done from Lync client instead of deskphone. Moving
from traditional PBX to UC centric solution will involved some change of mindset to realize the benefits.
1 Using VPN to facilitate Lync users outside the firewall without a Edge Server can work, but this deployment scenario not supported by Microsoft.
2 In a virtual environment these two NICs can be virtual. In physical environment they obviously need to be 2 NICs.
3 There have been reports of people who were able to get Lync to install in a SBS environment. (definitely not
on an SBS Server) This scenario is definitely not supported by Microsoft and one danger is the issue that both Lync and SBS make changes to Active Directory which could conflict.
4 There are some 3rd party call pickup solutions. Click Here to see some options.
5 Call Center features are available via several 3rd party products:
Aspect, Clarity Connect,
PrairieFyre and more. Note that Microsoft Lync does have basic call center features like response groups and SQL based call reporting.
6 For more creative options for Lync music on hold