Few Notes from Skype4B TechNet so far

Some notes and pointers from the Skype4B TechNet so far on Skype4B client release day.

https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398616(v=ocs.16).aspx

Server Requirements

  • Hardware specs same as Lync 2013 which is no surprise

OS Requirements

  • Server 2012 R2 is recommended and use of Server 2008 R2 only in in place upgrades which is no surprise. Main stream support ending and also 2008 R2 only uses Windows Fabric V2. Serious thoughts need to be had if you want to stick with 2008 R2!

SQL Requirements

  • 2008 R2, 2012 and 2014 supported with SQL 2014 Express for Lync Servers
  • Always On is supported now πŸ™‚
  • 2012 Express SP1 is required for in place upgrades so upgrades to SP1 will be likely. link here

Server Roles

  • VIS – New
  • CQD – New but couldn’t see info on this yet
  • Existing Lync Role still the same and Directors still optional

DNS

  • Requirement look the same as Lync 2013. TechNet looks to have more info on DR for DNS

Upgrades

  • Paths from Lync and OCS

Previous Version

Recommendations

  • Lync Server 2013

To upgrade, use the Skype for Business Server Topology Builder and the new In-Place Upgrade feature on each of the servers associated with the pool. See Plan to upgrade from Lync Server 2013 to Skype for Business Server 2015 and Upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015 for detailed steps.

  • Lync Server 2010

First, upgrade to Lync Server 2013, and then upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015 by using the new In-Place Upgrade feature. See Migration from Lync Server 2010 to Lync Server 2013.

  • Office Communications Server 2007 R2

Pick one of two options:

In Place has two methods

  • Offline (downtime)
  • Move User (no downtime)
  • Key point for LRS Web Portal Users On Premises

Be sure to uninstall LRS Admin tool for Lync Server 2013 before running In-Place Upgrade. The LRS Admin Tool for Lync Server 2013 cannot coexist with Skype for Business Server 2015.

Client

  • Comparison table now has S4B client
  • Client has same requirement as Lync 2013 Windows 7 and up

Server HA

Mostly the Same as Lync 2013 with the exception of SQL where SQL Mirroring, clustering and AlwaysOn is supported with S4B.

SQL AlwaysOn supportability statement so be careful here. Always worth mentioning AlwaysOn only supported with all SQL server in single site!

AlwaysOn Availability Groups and AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances are supported only on SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition and SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition. Skype for Business Server supports AlwaysOn Availability Groups only as active/passive, not active/active.

To use AlwaysOn Availability Groups or AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances, you first use SQL Server to set up and configure the high availability solution. You can then use Topology Builder to associate it with a Front End pool.

VIS

The currently supported VTCs are:

  • Cisco C40
  • Cisco C60
  • Cisco C90
  • Cisco MX200
  • Cisco MX300
  • Cisco DX80
  • Cisco EX60
  • Cisco EX90
  • Cisco SX20
  • VIS Limitations and there’s quite a few

This server role has the following limitations:

  • New calls from the Skype for Business deployment to the VTCs over the video SIP trunk are not supported. Presence for the supported video system will not be available over the video SIP trunk to the VIS.
  • Only a standalone VIS pool will be supported for video SIP trunk mode.
  • TLS + SRTP or TCP + RTP will be supported for communications between the VTC and VIS over the video SIP trunk.
  • Application sharing is not supported. A Skype for Business user in the conference room needs to join the Skype for Business conference (via a laptop for example) and display the app sharing screens on one of the free monitors in the conference room not associated with the VTC.
  • The ability for a VTC to join a federated meeting via VIS is not supported.
  • The ability for a VTC to join an online meeting via VIS is not supported.
  • Calls from a VTC to the PSTN via VIS are not supported.
  • Calls from the PSTN to a VTC via VIS are not supported.

Exchange 2013 integration

  • Appears the same steps for Integration with OAuth etc same as Lync 2013

P Chat

  • looks the same as Lync 2013

Enterprise Voice

  • Feature and setup looks the same except Call via Work
  • Some limitations of Call via Work

Call Via Work is a voice solution that requires little hardware setup, but has limitations compared to the features available in full Enterprise Voice or remote call control. Call Via Work has the following limitations:

  • If a Call Via Work user has set up call forwarding to the Call Via Work callback number, and someone tries to invite this user to a meeting by the user’s phone number, the invitation will not reach the user. You should educate your users to invite participants to meetings by clicking the name, not the phone number.
  • Enhanced 911 capability and malicious call tracing are not available during Call Via Work calls.
  • Users enabled for Call Via Work cannot use the delegation, team call, or response group features.
  • Users of Call Via Work cannot use Skype for Business to record a meeting, mute or unmute the call, hold or transfer the call, or use call park.
  • Users cannot use Call Via Work to access their PBS voicemail messages.
  • Users of Call Via Work cannot escalate a session that started as a voice call to a collaborative meeting that includes communications such as video, PowerPoint, whiteboard, or One Note.
  • Users of Call Via Work cannot add more users to a 2-person call.
  • No support for deskphone pairing or VDI plugin pairing.
  • If a user answers a makes or answers a call using the PBX phone (and not using the Skype for Business window), there will be no log of the call.
  • If your PBX system does not support REFER with Replaces, the following behavior will happen. While on a Call Via Work call, if the user transfers the ongoing call from the PBX Phone, the call window will not disappear from their Skype for Business window. If the user then closes the call window, the call between the transfer target and the transferee will end.

Remote Call Control

I’m sure im going to come across this very soon

Remote call control users in your organization who are homed on Front End Servers running Lync Server can continue to use remote call control, even if they are using a Skype for Business client. However, for any users homed on Skype for Business Server, remote call control is not supported.

Monitoring and archiving

Looks very much the same, couldn’t see info on CQD yet.

Deployment

Nice summary Diagram

Overview of install process.

  • Server software prereqs looks the same as Lync 2013
  • Good screenshots and info on file share and admin tools
  • Install include the new SMART setup to get latest updates for initial deployment. Cant wait to use this

Smart Setup screenshot.

Start Services after Install

  • For SE after install use Start-CsWindowsService as before with Lync 2013
  • For EE use the new Start-CsPool cmdlet to start the whole pool. How cool is that!

Patching

(oooo how i cant wait to use this! patching in Lync 2013 took alot of time in large deployments)

  • You can remove a server you wish to patch with

Invoke-CsComputerFailOver -NoStop -ComputerName <Front End Server to be patched>

patch it and then bring it back in service with

Invoke-CsComputerFailBack -ComputerName <Front End Server to be patched>

Same as Lync 2013 is changing the no of FEs in a pool you have to

Reset-CsPoolRegistrarState-ResetType FullReset -PoolFqdn <PoolFQDN>

Monitoring Reports

  • look the same

Rate My Call

Rate My Call is a new feature that allows users to give feedback.

Can be disabled if required via client policy but the defaults are below:

The Rate My Call feature is automatically enabled in the Client policy with the following defaults:

  • Rate My Call Display Percentage – 10%
  • Rate My Call Allow Custom User Feedback – disabled

Im sure they will be plenty more content on TechNet coming with the Skype4B server release not far way and this was a quick late night review of TechNet so far.

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One thought on “Few Notes from Skype4B TechNet so far

  1. Ronald says:

    What Microsoft means with “New calls from the Skype for Business deployment to the VTCs over the video SIP trunk are not supported.”

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