Monday, 16 March 2015

Let's give this a try...

SfB client preview :-)

Skype For Business - My Notes Part 3

A few more notes, this time from the SQL Deep Dive Session

Why you should use SQL AlwaysOn...

...If you have deep pockets :). Note the requirement for Enterprise Edition for AlwaysOn AG. You can do a two node AlwaysOn Clustering Instance with Standard Edition. This is probably where most people will end up going if they don't want to stick with Mirroring.

 AlwaysOn AG only on Skype for Business and minimum of SQL 2012 SP1
 The limitations, on the SfB side, of AlwaysOn. SfB will not stop you from configuring this wrong but you will go into the Microsoft unsupported zone.

SQL In-Place Upgrade

When configuring SfB with AlwaysOn you will need to build the DBs on the first node before you configure AlwaysOn on the SQL side. Type the listener FQDN on the first box and the first node FQDN on the last one. After topology creates the DBs you can configure AlwaysOn in SQL and after that's all done you can come back to the topology, edit it and change the last box to the listener FQDN.

Main issues found with SQL AlwaysOn and SfB.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Skype For Business - My Notes Part 2

Another couple of sessions summary.

  • The local SQL Express instance must be SQL Server 2012 Express SP1 (minimum).
  • Silverlight is still used in SfB Control Panel.
  • If the servers can access the internet, updates will be downloaded as part of the install process.
  • Windows Fabric v3 handles rebuilds on slower networks much better, better resiliency of services when some fabric services were offline, fixes for crashes that occurred during replica movements, ability to enable remote copy of winfab logs, ability to control the size of winfab traces, better handling of internal communication.
  • New Hybrid wizard to avoid the most common mistakes in establishing hybrid connectivity to the cloud.
  • CQD can be on the same SQL server as the monitoring databases but it's not recommended.
  • If you have a paired pool you cannot use failover as this is not supported for in place upgrade. Either take the outage or move the users to another pool.
  • For roll-back, You'll need to make sure you keep a copy of the topology before being upgraded as well as a full backup of your SQL databases. To roll back 1) restore the saved topology, 2) bootstrapper /scorch SfB, 3) reinstall Lync 2013, and 4) restore the backend databases.
  • You need to install SfB core components and admin tools on an AD domain joined computer that is not running 2013 core components.
Few interesting snapshots to complement the notes:

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Skype For Business - My Notes Part 1

I was on another Skype for Business session and I have some notes I though I should share.

Two of the most interesting things I heard, one of them being new to me and a potential impact on hosted Lync providers, like Kelway.

  • Cloud First, Mobile First.
It's happening... Moving forward with Skype4B you will have to have an online presence to take advantage of some planned features. No sharing of what those planned features are but an heads up that Hybrid scenarios will become more and more common if not the standard way of doing it.
  • Lync/Skype4B and Resource Forests
This one is interesting as it affects a product that Kelway has, Kelway ServiceWorks Lync.
Hosted Lync can be done by using resource forests and while it adds up on complexity it also allows you to completely separate the hosted environment with the customer, which means that the customer can't break it and we can offer better SLAs.
Skype4B... if you want to take full advantage its features, you need to do deploy it on the User Forest. They didn't said they would not support resource forest but on one slide they had "No Resource Forests" typed three times so it's probably important :-)

Other notes I picked up:

  • Busy on Busy still not planned for this release
  • Improvement in the performance of RGS but no changes in features
  • RCC will still be available in Skype4B if you use the Lync 2013 Skin
  • Virtualization requirements are the same but they have made improvements in memory management for dynamic memory allocation
  • Minimal functional Forest and AD have not been changed, 2003 native
  • Support for URL for photos is planned
    • This is already possible in Lync 2013 but may be enhanced?
  • Skype4B will not support Server 10 at RTM, planned for future
  • SQL AlwaysOn will only be supported by Skype4B and will not be introduced in Lync 2013
  • Skype4B minimum SQL is 2008 R2 Sp2
  • VIS needs a Skype4B NextHop but users do not need to be homed on that pool to make use of it
  • Server OS choice is  important. Windows 2008 R2, although supported, will only have Windows Fabric v2, 2012 and 2012 R2 will have v3. While they both offer the same features for now, this will most likely change. Recommended OS for Skype4B is 2012 R2