Skype for Business Broadcast – VMware & VDI in SfB Summary

Last Friday Feb 10th 2017 there was a Skype meeting broadcast from Microsoft on VMware and VDI.

Link to Broadcast

Below is summary and run through of the broadcast. May be useful if you don’t get change to watch the recording above.

Paul Kennan from Microsoft presents


Joining Microsoft was VMware Tony Wim director of Product Management


Microsoft a valued partner and VMware see the adoption of SfB growing and growing !

Broadcast shows preview feature via federation between VMware and Microsoft


SfB very important to VMware, VMware use SfB daily to communicate and collaborate so critical to their business.


VMware’s virtual desktop offering VMware horizon is growing with multiple industries using this.

  • 75-80% of VMware customer using either Lync or SfB
  • 3 Billion of calls per day running in Skype ecosystem
  • 3 Trillion minutes of video
  • Microsoft states they are number 1 meeting provider

Options to deliver SfB via VDI


VMware partnership with Microsoft goes back to 2012 / 2013 VMware seeing big adoption of Lync 2013 at this time. VMware worked with Microsoft in 2013 with Horizon view desktop and the Lync VDI client.

Audio and Video calls through horizon view desktop via the Lync VDI plugin shown in first column. Lync VDI plugin support Lync Server 2013 and SfB Server 2015. NO SFB Online support. Only supports windows thin clients

With Real time audio and video, a lot of customer use this to try and support audio and video in Linux or mac clients. Not supported and has media hair pinning, no benefit of the Lync VDI plugin. Customer still wanted to do this regardless. SfB was critical to customers and they would do it any way they could knowing the risks.

Last year VMware announced partnership for SfB as of Q1 2017 the VMware virtualization pack will be available. It will support Lync Serer 2013, SfB Server 2015 and support for SfB Online / Office 365. Future Plans for Office 365.

The Tech preview will be Lync / SfB Server and SfB 2015 client only at this time.

More about tech preview



~Shown at VMware Barcelona last year and was part of keynote

Demo SfB Call in horizon view desktop with audio and video inside VMware View Desktop

Optimized solution without negatively affecting VMware back end server infrastructure

VMWARE seeing huge interest of when this will be available.

High Level overview of Horizon UC Virtualization Pack


You have client endpoint (Machine) which connects to Virtual Machine (Desktop)

In the middle is virtual machine (Virtual desktop) which has Installed the SfB Client

On client machine at bottom has horizon client which accesses and remotes to the virtual desktop

Two new components

  • Horizon media proxy – inside virtual desktop
  • Horizon media engine – client endpoint


User uses horizon client to connect to virtual desktop, they launch SfB client, over the virtual channels, the media engine will pair with media proxy and session will run in optimised mode.

You use SfB client and have an AV call, the minute it start the media engine takes over and processes all the audio and video, installed on the client endpoint so this is where the media processing takes place not on the infrastructure. RP Media processing is offloaded.

Media also goes direct P2P (endpoint to endpoint) and NOT on the back end server infrastructure.

Most optimized architecture VMware mentions

Key Benefits


  • Allows Partners to communicate and collaborate without negative impacts to servers
  • HD quality
  • Point to Point media delivery – QoS will be honoured on network
  • Native Skype codecs, same bandwidth as standard SfB media.

With VMware on-board this gives Microsoft more coverage and supportability in scenarios for SfB. Organizations have more options. All major platforms will have more support moving forward.

Key Capabilities of SfB Client

Some features require the media engine and some don’t, the below show which are required.


New optimized solution enables two things


If you don’t use Audio or Video you don’t need the media engine deployed.

Tech Preview Info and features available.


  • Media Engine for Windows clients only
  • Point to Point Audio and Video
  • Connections with Lync Server 2013 and Skype for Business Server 2015.
  • Office 365 not supported yet but support in the future
  • Only supporting SfB 2015 Client NOT SfB 2016 but will be looked to be supported at a later date.
  • PSTN calls
  • Remote connectivity via Edge server

Meetings not mentioned here.

Preview Requirements

Microsoft and VMware requirements


Microsoft Lync Server 2013 / SfB Server and SfB 2015 client.

VMware requirement is 7.1 and new Horizon client believed to be 4.4  client.

How to gain access to UC Virtualization pack ?


Made available as separate downloads

Question and Answers in broadcast from audience


When will 7.1 be released ?

Tech Preview – end of Q1 of 2017 could be up to end of march.

GA will come later following tech preview


Will be the new VMware V Pack make the Lync VDI not required ?

Its an evolution of Lync 2013 VDI plugin but customer want to use Office 365 in the future or Linux or mac clients. These weren’t supported before.

Lync 2013 VDI can still be used for supported environment.


Thin vs zero client supportability ?

Windows thin or Linux thin, media engine supported on both.

VMware new blastextrememe looking to introduce blastzero clients

a lot of options for customers


QoS Support ?

Yes, it will as the RTP Media stream is separate


Will plugin support both PCOIP and RDP ?

NO RDP support


Does plugin break VDI plugin ?

Both 32 and 64 bit of media engine will be available


Does VMware require removal of Lync 2013 VDI thin client ?

VMware not tested having both, from storage perspective you may only want to have one installed at client endpoint.


Will RDSH or published app ?

Only will work in virtual desktop

VMware want to look at supporting published apps


At what level of licencing is required ?

Announced later, no charge for software bit. VMware will announce what additions this will be available in.


Will SfB VDI support gallery view ?

Microsoft requires full version of the client (NOT basic),

Gallery view is not currently supported, VMware looking to support if its possible.


Client version

2015 client supportability only in tech preview, 2016 later, SfB Mac client not supported. Horizon media engine support will come later.


Support for USB tethering ? Such as Polycom CX600 ?

Not currently, looking into at a later timeframe


Does the plug for MMR work ?

USB headset and USB enable in Horizon view is it supported ?

Recommend keeping USB local to the device. Don’t want to redirect USB traffic. Goes against the optimized architecture.


End of Broadcast

No announcement for future broadcast so check Twitter. Should be 2 week from today.

Hope this summary was useful.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.