This is part two of the MS Lync Deployment Series:
Preparing for Deployment – Research and Education and Pricing
Deployment of Standard Server & Director Role
Deployment of Edge and Reverse Proxy
Deployment of Lync Voice Capabilities
Configuring Lync PSTN Calling thru Avaya IPOffice
Configure Lync 4 Digit Extension Dialing without DIDs
Configure Asterisk as a SIP Proxy for Avaya IPO and and Lync
Deployment of Lync Client to users
Testing Configuration of Backup Registrar
Preparing for Deployment – Research and Education and Pricing
We started reviewing products that would fulfill the requirements of our project in late summer of 2010. At that time most of the products we were reviewing were primarily video conferencing/voice providers. The list included but wasn’t limited to: Skype, WebEx, Adobe Connect, ooVoo, TokBox, Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft Office Communications Server and some various locally hosted IM solutions. While many would fit many of our requirements few would allow for centrally managed and deployed solutions. Others wouldn’t fit the budget.
Many times we reviewed OCS but felt that it lacked many of the “WebEx” type web conferencing tools and was quite costly for IM and Presence. Not to mention deployment appeared to be a fairly large undertaking.
Most “free” or low cost solutions had no integration points with our existing voice system and/or deployment and management were extremely difficult to manage on a scale past just a couple computers. Example: Skype and ooVoo could both do video/voice but deployment was nearly impossible to the whole organization even though the price was right (Free or almost free)
In the Early fall of 2010 MS Lync was on the horizon and better integrated many of the ‘lacking’ features of its predecessor OCS. Very quickly Lync was much more than IM and started to fit many of our criteria.
After attending WinConnections conferencing in Las Vegas in November 2010 we had enough information to make a decision…. Lync was the right tool for our organization.
Documentation/Tools/Resources for Learning about and Deploying Lync
Because Lync is a fairly young product I have documented the tools/resources that we have used as educational guides and deployment guides for Lync. Because we started testing for our deployment in the fall of 2010 MS Lync was still in RC (Release Candidate) form. Most of the documents can be applied to the RTM version and since then MS has released other resources… but here is a good list to start you off:
- WinConnections Conference – While I was somewhat skeptical of this conference, primarily because we didn’t know a soul who had attended it before. A large portion of the conference was dedicated to Exchange, Windows 7 and Lync… all projects in 2010 we were working on. WinConections is managed by the same group that produce publications like WindowsITPro magazine and has proved to be a VERY valuable training especially for the Lync Deployment project. (Even if it was in Las Vegas on Halloween… all I can say is wow, crazy!) This Conference is available 2x’s per year in the spring and fall and while not ‘cheap’ provided a great deal of learning on various Microsoft Server technologies that has moved many of our projects forward.
- Microsoft Lync Server 2010 (Release Candidate) Lab Deployment Guide – a great step by step tutorial for deploying MS Lync in a smaller environment. This guide I used as a step by step guide for our test deployment and then edited the document with our network information and used as a deployment guide for our production server.
- Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Deployment Guide – both Online and word .doc downloads of various topics. Most helpful for us were:
- Planning for Microsoft Lync Server 2010
- http://www.technotesblog.com/ – Dustin is a MS MVP and is an awesome volunteer (most recently serving at Granger Community Church) and has been a HUGE resource to us. If you are deploying Lync Dustin is a must follow person on twitter: @dhannifin
- http://www.darylhunter.me/ – Daryl (a former CITRT Peer) works for a vendor Mirazon (a vendor that provides technical services to the various markets including the Church Market) and has documented his deployment of Lync 2010… while Daryl’s site wasn’t a resource to us in 2010 because it wasn’t yet updated to include the Lync Deployment, both Daryl and his blog are a great resource for Lync Deployment. Twitter: @darylhunter
- http://imaucblog.com/ – managed by Adam Jacobs a Unified Com Blogger & MVP for MS Lync
- http://www.evangelyze.net/ – a 3rd party developer making web site “customer service” chat type services that integrate into Lync as the backend. (SmartChat) The support staff can use just one client for both corporate IM as well as the public facing “help” service chat. They are also preparing to deploy a product (SmartClass) that facilitates Lync Video E-learning that archives the ‘classes’ back into SharePoint as an archive (dynamically)
- Lync Licensing – Lync licensing explained… Note that the Standard and Enterprise CALs stack.. its not an either or selection for the CALs. Our best pricing was thru PCMall ping me for contact info.
- Lync Public Instant Messaging Connectivity – What is PIC explained … The ability to IM from Lync to AOL, Windows Live (2011 Version of MSN allows for HD Video Conferencing with Lync users), Google Talk and Yahoo (Yahoo is NOT Free)
- http://communicationsserverteam.com/ although a retired blog, good info on OCS
- http://communicatorteam.com/ Microsoft Lync Team Blog
- http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/ Microsoft Lync Server team’s customer response channel
- http://www.leedesmond.com/weblog/?p=450 – while this is a OCS 2007 R2 deployment guide, it helped us get up to speed with terms and technologies that are in Lync 2010. It also helped to see what was different in OCS and Lync since at the time of deployment documentation exclusively to Lync were limited.
- http://blog.schertz.name/ a wealth of Lync information by Jeff Schertz MS Lync MVP
- http://www.digicert.com/ocs-server-ssl-certificates.htm – didn’t go this route too much $$
- http://www.godaddy.com/ssl/ – we went with the Multiple Domains UCC cert
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