Following on from the SfB Hybrid video summary i wanted to view the upgrading to SfB Server which may be a consideration first before moving to Hybrid or moving to SfB Online. Its old news but hopefully this may be helpful and I’ve added some more info and links in as well to help with upgrades and planning.
This video is part of the great content on the Skype Operations Framework in the Skype Academy here
Its a great video showing supported methods for upgrading to SfB Server with InPlace, side by side and details on moving from SQL Mirroring to SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups which is useful. So lets take a look.
This is the December 2016 video and starts with a training disclaimer and content is subject to change.
SfB Server has the same hardware requirements as Lync Server 2013. Great news.
Two supported Migration methods
- Side by Side
If you have Lync Server 2013 it says its recommended to use InPlace upgrade path but it does require CU5 released in August 2014. I would recommend myself always having the latest CU in place. You can use Side by Side as well and if your using Lync Server 2013 are using Windows Server 2008 R2 i would recommend using Side by Side and moving to Windows Server 2012 R2. Do you really want to bring 2008 R2 with you ? Windows Server 2016 support for SfB Server is not here just yet but is coming soon.
Lync Server 2010 – No support for Inplace upgrade so side by side is the only method. This is the same process as it was with migrating from Lync Server 2010 to Lync Server 2013.
Side by Side is where you deployed new hardware with SfB Server 2015 installed and migrate all users and services from your old Lync Server 2013 servers to SfB servers and then decommission the old Lync Server 2013 environment.
InPlace upgrade allows you to Upgrade your servers from Lync Server 2013 to Skype for Business Server 2015 so you dont need to purchase or set up additional servers and set up all the prereqs like networking, firewall ports, dns that comes with a new deployment.
Please note there are some reasons when it may not be recommended to use InPlace upgrade with Lync Server 2013 event though you can. For example old hardware and also if your using Windows Server 2008 R2. With InPlace upgrade you have two inplace upgrade methods / modes Online and Offline. These are mentioned below in more detail.
Tri-existence – You cant have a Lync Server 2010, Lync Server 2013 and Skype for Business Server deployments in your topology at the same time and topology builder will stop you. You will need to move or consolidate to a single version. You will see an error.
Good diagram on this from TechNet here
Consolidation Steps if you need them
Touched on this earlier
- Preserve hardware
- No network changes required for new firewall ports, IPs, DNS
- Smoother upgrade methods
- reduced costs
- Online - can be used if you have two pools and you can move existing users to your second pool and then upgrade the empty one whilst your users are all working off the second pool. Ensure your second pool can handle the load of all users.
- Offline – Do the upgrade out of hours and leave users in place.
Offline allows for more time ive found and i have had a couple of issues that needed troubleshooting with inplace upgrades (ive put links below on these) before like missing dbs which cost time. I would plan careful and dont assume just because it will upgrade for you that it will be quick and easy. Planning your InPlace upgrade is key and have an InPlace upgrade Plan first before jumping in. Planning steps are here on TechNet
Take note of the recommendations
- Do not unpair pools if using Pool pairing
- No pool failover
- Upgrade from inside to outside – start with Front end pool and then edge pools.
- If you have LRS Admin tool deployed in front end for managing Lync Room systems you must remove and replace after upgrade with SfB server version here
- SBS’s and SBAs DO NOT support inplace upgrades ! Below is from technet here
- Sonus SBA upgrade information here
Skype for Business Server 2015 doesn’t support an In-Place Upgrade of a Survivable Branch Appliance (SBA) or a Survivable Branch Server (SBS).
However, we do support coexistence of Skype for Business Server datacenters with Lync Server 2010 or Lync Server 2013 SBA/SBS.
When planning for an In-Place Upgrade of a Lync Server 2013 Front End (FE) pool with an associated branch, you can leave the existing users on the Lync Server 2013 SBA/SBS. During the upgrade, the SBA/SBS users will go in resiliency mode and will return to normal functionality after the upgrade has completed. For more information about the users’ experience during the resiliency mode, please see Branch-site resiliency features in Lync Server 2013.
When migrating a Lync Server 2010 topology to Skype for Business Server 2015, the SBA/SBS must re-added to the topology, similar to the migration to Lync Server 2013. For the required steps, please read Connecting Survivable Branch Appliance to Lync Server 2013 Front End pool.
For co-existence topologies of Lync Server 2010 and Lync Server 2013, align first to the recommendations made in the section ‘Support for coexistence with Lync Server 2013 and Lync Server 2010’.
Also to consider from TechNet here
Upgrade the topology from the inside to the outside. Upgrade all your pools first, then the edge servers, and finally the Central Management Store (CMS) pool.
If you use Kerberos authentication for Web Services, you must reassign Kerberos accounts and reset the password after the In-Place Upgrade is complete. To learn how to do this, see Setting up Kerberos authentication.
Online mode Steps
Great steps as well here on TechNet
Install Prerequisites is very important
Step 1 – Prerequisites Install
Get these right early as it will stop you when you get to upgrading as it runs a validation check before the upgrade.
- Lync Server 2013 CU
- SQL 2012 Express SP 1
- Windows Server Hotfixes
- Also at least 32gb of available disk space is required as well
More details from TechNet here
Before upgrading please install all new prerequisites required for Skype for Business Server 2015 which include:
At least 32GB of free space before attempting an upgrade. In addition, make sure that the drive is a fixed local drive, is not connected by USB or Firewire, is formatted with NTFS file system, is not compressed, and does not contain a page file.
PowerShell version 6.2.9200.0 or later.
The latest Lync Server 2013 Cumulative Update installed.
SQL Server 2012 SP1 installed.
The following KB’s installed (installed automatically if using Microsoft Update):
Also which seems to get missed from document is the new requirement for 32Gb of available disk space. This also affects CU updates as well now. So its worth checking your disk space before upgrades as well. I ran into this here
Step 2 – upgrade and publish topology using SfB topology builder
Have to use SfB Topology Builder YOU can not use Lync Server 2013 Topology builder.
Step3 – Stop services on ALL on the servers in the pool being upgraded
Step 4 – run setup.exe to upgrade server
- Updates failures
- Services still running
- PowerShell still running and open
Step 5 – Time to start services and you can now use the new cmdlet Start-cspool
Side by Side Migration
Build new pool, test, move users to new pool, decommission old pool.
Any old OAuth configuration needs moving to SfB Server prior to decommissioning.
SQL Server Availability Groups
As Part of the upgrade process with SfB server you may have to consider moving from SQL Mirroring if you are using it for database HA but you dont have to. SQL Mirroring is still supported with SfB Server but its common knowledge at some point SQL Mirroring will be deprecated but no one seems to now when. For the moment its all ok.
Below is useful information on moving to AlwaysOn Availability groups and always known issues which is helpful to review.
AlwaysOn Availability Groups are only supported with SfB Server NOT Lync Server and its great this is a supported HA method as it give more choices when deployed SfB Server. The biggest things i see is the requirement for SQL enterprise which is more expensive than SQL Standard which you can use with SQL mirroring but SQL mirroring is going away some time and its old HA SQL method so take all that into to consideration as well. Customers also may have AlwaysOn as their SQL HA standard so this fits in well now.
Requires SQL Server 2012 or 2014 SP1 Enterprise Edition
Only supported with Skype for Business Server Pools NOT Lync Server
Backup backup backup
Migration steps for SQL Mirroring to SQL AlwaysOn
Backups are key!
Lets look at each step
Step 1 – failover all databases to the primary SQL Server
Step 2 – Uninstall each database type and drop databases on MIRROR server
Step 3 – Disable database mirroring and publish the topology
Verify using SQL Management Server
Step 4 – Enable AlwaysOn Availability Groups
KEY points to note here!
Step 5 – Create AlwaysOn Availability Group for the existing backend databases
Step 6 – Add new SQL Store using the FQDN of the Availability Group Listener
Step 7 – Associate the pool with the new SQL store and publish the topology
SQL AA Known Issues
Better to know about them now and how to workaround them.
Issue 1 – Client goes into resiliency mode after failover
Logs missing from primary to replica
Issue 2 – CMS blocks upgrade to AlwaysOn
Key point to note here if the CMS is located on the SQL Mirror you want to move to AAAG.
Issue 3 – Cannot create listener – Connection Failure
Issue 4 – Create single replica Availability Group
Some great community blogs with InPlace info