Deep Diving into Lync, Part 1

Happy 2012 to fellow techs out there! 2011 was a very productive year, and while learning tons more about Exchange 2010 and getting my Enterprise Messaging Admin certification, 2012 is already shaping up to be another great year. I’m working a contract as a messaging admin for a large global company, who made the transition from Exchange 2003 to 2010 in the fall and I’ve been brought in to help put Exchange 2003 to bed, help improve on Exchange 2010, and roll out Lync during my engagement for presence and IM.

Last year with the release of Lync in the early part of 2011 I had the opportunity to go as far as deploying it in an Enterprise Voice scenario at my previous employer, and looking back was able to pinpoint some of the issues with the deployment. So my goal this first quarter of 2012 was to build my own, fully working Lync deployment as close to the books as possible. From there, I’m going to use the experience to take the test for the MCITP on Lync.

During my engagement with my previous employer I began to use my home network to build a Standard Edition deployment as proof of concept. Due to my lack of multiple static IP addresses with my ISP, lack of resources on my Hyper-V server for the number of VMs I needed, and lack of knowledge with TMG for proper access externally for my reverse proxy, the project was put on hold. With AD in place, a certificate server (which I used for my SCCM Native Mode deployment), a front end server and edge server, I at least had a working environment to “wet my whistle”. I wanted another Enterprise Voice setup that would be “business ready”. So I began to transition away from a Standard Edition deployment in my home to a full Enterprise Edition deployment hosted at my datacenter.

To wrap up Part 1 of the deep diving into Lync, I give you, my topology!

Now, to help make a little more sense of it, starting with my HOME site:

  • OMEGA – The FSMO-holding domain controller and Enterprise Root CA for my domain.
  • GAMMA – Another domain controller, SCCM server, and subordinate CA that my domain generates SSL certificates against.
  • TANGO – Exchange 2010 SP2 server with all roles, primarily for UM.

You can also see WHISKEY (my Lync Standard Edition server) and ECHO (my Lync Edge server) are greyed out. These were decommissioned from the Lync organization.

Now, moving on to the datacenter:

  • OSCAR – The Forefront TMG reverse proxy.
  • FOXTROT – The Lync Enterprise Edition Front End server.
  • BRAVO – The domain controller for the datacenter running SQL 2008 R2 (for the Lync Central Management Store) and Lync file store.
  • CHARLIE – The Lync Edge server.

With all of these pieces, I have my fully working test environment!

For Part 2 of deep diving into Lync, I’m going to drill into the nuances of migrating from Standard to Enterprise Edition, as well as my one-legged reverse proxy. Then in Part 3, we’ll look at the Enterprise Voice deployment and Exchange UM plus what to look for there.

Chris Blackburn

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