Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition Download available

Microsoft have released SfB Cloud Connector Edition. It’s been in preview for a little while now but MS have released it as GA now. 🙂 Grab the download below. 

Cloud Connector provides on premises PSTN connectivity with SfB Cloud PBX. Cloud Connector is a set of packaged VMs for Hyper V deployed in a permiter network which removes the requirement for a full on premises SfB deployment for on Premises PSTN connectivity with Cloud PBX. 

The VMs are an

– Edge server

– Mediation Server

– Central Management Store Storage

– Domain controller (not connected to production AD)

Cloud Connector can’t coexist with an existing on premises deployment. It’s available for two different hardware sizes large and small depending on call volumes, ( there’s quite a difference between call volumes with small and large so plan carefully) you can have multiple cloud connectors (up to 4) at a site for HA and to increase call volumes. Ther s multiple sites options up to 200 sites as well. 

For HA you need to cautious around restarting mediation if the single domain controller is down. Monitoring is recommended.

Design and planning for Cloud Connector is very important and just because your not deploying a full SfB deployment I would treat the planning the same as there’s a lot to consider which are very similar to a full deployment for example firewalls , certificates, IP addressing, call flows, PSTN planning, DNS, High Availabilty etc.cloud Connector provides a packaged way to deployed the required roles it’s not a way to cut corners in my eyes. 

Also There are some limitations and its definately worth reading the planning documentation first on TechNet. Link below. 

Download

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=51693

Cloud Connector TechNet information
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt605227.aspx
The below is from TechNet. 

Consider the following when planning your Cloud Connector Edition deployment:

– To use Cloud Connector to take advantage of cloud voice solutions, you’ll need to sign up for an Office 365 tenant that includes Cloud PBX. If you do not yet have an Office 365 tenant you can learn how to sign up here: Office 365 for Business. Note that you’ll need to sign up for a plan that includes Skype for Business Online.

– Cloud Connector does not require a full on-premises Skype for Business Server deployment.

– Currently, Cloud Connector cannot co-exist with Lync or Skype for Business on-premises servers. If you want to move existing Lync or Skype for Business users to Office 365 and keep providing on-premises telephony to your users, consider Cloud PBX with on-premises connectivity using an existing Skype for Business Server deployment. For more information, see Plan your Cloud PBX solution in Skype for Business 2015 or Lync Server 2013 and Plan Cloud PBX with on-premises PSTN connectivity in Skype for Business Server 2015 or Lync Server 2013.

– Cloud Connector is available worldwide.

– Your users are homed online.

– You can keep your current PSTN carrier if required.

– If you want to provide dial-in conferencing to users hosted on Cloud Connector, you can purchase PSTN conferencing from Microsoft or from audio conferencing provider (ACP) partners.
Known Limitations

– The following are known limitations with Cloud Connector. We are working on addressing these limitations and will update this list as fixes become available. Please review and consider whether you want to proceed with production deployment or whether you want to deploy Cloud Connector as a pilot project initially:

– Consultative transfer is not supported.

– You cannot transfer an active call to your cell phone that is registered in your Active Directory by picking it from a list of suggested phones in the transfer menu. You can transfer to any other number.

– Escalation to conference from a call between a PSTN and Skype for Business user is not possible (you can, however, escalate call to conference between two Skype for Business users).

– Dial plan is not applied on Polycom phones and Skype for Business clients for Android and Windows phone. To dial a number, you must use the full E.164 phone number.

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