Skype for Business Server 2019 Public Preview – My Notes on reviewing 2019 so far

So first off super excited SfB Server 2019 is in public preview !! Annoucement is https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Blog/Announcing-the-Skype-for-Business-Server-2019-Preview/ba-p/218435

SfB Server Documentation is here

For install walkthrough check out Craig Chiffers post below

http://blog.chiffers.com/2018/07/30/installing-skype-for-business-2019-server/

I’m focusing on overview, the differences between SfB Server 2015 and SfB Server 2019 and documentation as i find more ill add to this post.

From documentation side it seems Microsoft are using shared documentation between SfB Server 2015 and 2019 where possible and there are several highlights for 2019 but ive spotted a few mistakes and raised them.

So first off theres some changes so Whats New

New features in Skype for Business Server 2019 include the following:

  • Cloud Voicemail – Planning info here
  • Call Data Connector – Planning info here
  • Side-by-side migration
  • Migration to Teams – further info here

Withe removal of Exchange UM in Exchange Server 2019 you now can connect SfB Server 2019 to previous versions of Exchange UM but not Exchange Server 2019 as UM is not there anymore. Its use Cloud Voicemail (Azure Voicemail) so in SfB Server you set up hosted voicemail very similar to hosted voicemail with Exchange Online UM before.

Good bit of info here on UM and supportability here

For these features to be supported in an on-premises Exchange UM deployment, you must be running one of the following:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or latest service pack (Skype for Business Server 2015 only)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 (Skype for Business Server 2019 only)

Call Data connector we can view call monitoring info for On premises and online users in one place which is nice but you need hybrid and for all these new feature you need hybrid so its a step in the path to the cloud with SfBS 2019.

Side-by-Side Migration is nothing new and was a supported method back since OCS to Lync 2010 and was the only method untill SfB Server 2015 which brought us in place upgrades but thats also been removed in SfB Server 2019 below.

Migration to Teams there no details on this in the public preview docs but im sure theres more to come and is aimed at moving SfB Server users to Teams. I didnt find this info on it here

Seems we can move users by PowerShell

Move-CsUser -Identity user0 -Target sipfed.online.lync.com -moveToTeams -credentials $cred.

and from the GUI

Clicking Next to confirm migration

More details on whats new here

Whats be removed ! (deprecated )
  • XMPP Gateways for Skype for Business Server
  • Persistent Chat for Skype for Business Server
  • SQL Mirroring for Skype for Business Server
  • In-place upgrades
  • Mobility Service (Mcx)

To be honest i wont miss XMPP as in my experience i never deployed it for customer and as google moved away from it there was less use for it, P Chat i thought would be removed as we have Teams but for existing P Chat users there isnt a way to simply migrate from P Chat to Teams. SQL Mirroring was a popular method of SQL HA but Microsoft have said for a long time this will be deprecated from SQL so no real surprise and with no inplace upgrades you will be setting up new SQL anyway so you have SQL AlwaysOn Clustering and Availability Groups for SQL in SfB Server 2019. In Place upgrades were a good thought and did reduce the need to buy new hardware and by side by side migrations i did some of these and there was usually something that needs tweaking so im not sad to see this go. Buy new hardware and start a fresh and dont bring old crap with you lol. UCWA is here and the legacy Mcx service used by legacy clients wont be used so legacy clients cant connect to SfB Server 2019.

More details on each here

HYBRID HYBIRD HYBRID !!!!!

You need to have Hybrid to take advantages of the new bells and whistles in SfB Server 2019 and also will ease migrations to SfBO or Teams.

and we have info on migration for

SfBO – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/hybrid/move-users-from-on-premises-to-skype-for-business-online

Teams – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/hybrid/move-users-from-on-premises-to-teams

So get planning for hybrid as part of the move to SfB Server 2019

Planning info here

 

Planning bits

Standard Edition is still here ! and brought back by demand of the community !

Enterprise Edition – you can have one or more (ideally at least three) so the recommendation on three is still valid in a fashion i would think due to windows fabric and the power of three FE’s enables more features like lazy rewrites to SQL and you take advantage of Windows Fabric.

Here it mentions “We do not recommend deploying a Front End pool that contains only two Front End Servers.” “If you want to deploy just one or two servers running Skype for Business Server, we recommend you deploy them as Standard Edition servers.” so for HA guidance is still at least 3 FE’s it seems.

SBAs and SBS’s – are here and SBS are mentioned running SfB Server only so not sure if Lync Server is supported but i think perhaps not. not sure on this.

Office Web Apps still used and no surprise but perhaps it should be called Office Online Server

Edge Servers, Directors, Mediation etc all here.

Surprised to still see VIS role tbh.

Server Requirements

listed here

  • Standard Editions need dual 6 core processors and 32GB RAM.
  • Enterprise Edition we need dual 6 core processors BUT 64GB RAM per EE Front End and Back End Servers !! thats double the memory from SfB Server 2015!
  • Edge, Mediation and Directors – dual 6 core processors again and 16GB RAM which i think is the same as SfB Server 2015

 

Operating System Requirement

ONLY Windows Server 2016 !

 

Software prereqs need are listed and look similar to SfB Server 2015

Back End Databases for SfB Server 2019

SfB Server 2019 Standard Edition will deploy SQL Express 2016

SfB Server 2019 can run on SQL Server 2016/2017 with latest updates

SQL Clustering and SQL Always On still supported but Mirroring is gone!

 

Active Directory

OS for Domain Controllers

  • 2012
  • 2012 R2
  • 2016

Forest and Domain functional level must be at least 2012

we can have

  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016

NOT the same as SfB Server 2015 as that supported down to Windows Server 2003 probably due to inplace upgrades as thats what Lync Server 2013 supported. So you need to be on at least Windows Server 2012 forest and domain functional level for SfB Server 2019!

AD Topologies look the same as SfB Server 2015 i think

Supported topologies in Skype for Business Server 2019 are:

  • Single forest with single domain
  • Single forest with a single tree and multiple domains
  • Single forest with multiple trees and disjoint namespaces
  • Multiple forests in a central forest topology
  • Multiple forests in a resource forest topology
  • Multiple forests in a Skype for Business resource forest topology with Exchange Online
  • Multiple forests in a resource forest topology with Skype for Business Online and Azure Active Directory Connect

AD Schema prep

seems to be same as Lync Server 2013 / Sfb Server 2015 as not prompted to update

DNS, Certificate requirements and File Share

Looks to be the same as SfB Server 2015

Load Balancing requirements

Look the same as SfB Server 2015 with DNS and Load Balancers needed for Enterprise Edition etc

 

Clients and Devices

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/plan-your-deployment/clients-and-devices/clients-and-devices?toc=/SkypeForBusiness/toc.json&bc=/SkypeForBusiness/breadcrumb/toc.json

SfB Server supports

  • SfB 2019
  • SfB 2016
  • SfB 2015
  • SfB on Mac
  • SfB Mobile
  • SfB Web and Meeting App
  • Web Scheduler if you use that
  • VDI mentioned
  • Skype Room System v2 – no mention on LRS / SRSv1
  • Surface Hub

 

No mention of Lync Phone Edition or LRS but i imagine TLS 1.0 is disabled.

Microsoft’s preferred client is SfB 2019 as part of Office 2019 which is Click to Run only! there will no MSI version

Check this out below

  • In general Skype for Business does NOT add new features to previously released clients
  • In general Skype for Business does NOT plan on shipping new features in the Skype for Business MSI after its initial release. MSI improvements between releases will primarily be quality/security in nature.
  • The latest and greatest Skype for Business client experience will be found in the Skype for Business 2019 click-to-run installer.

Legacy client which are NOT Supported on SfB Server 2019 but are still on SfB Server 2015

  • Lync 2013,
  • Lync 2010,
  • Lync 2010 Mobile,
  • Lync Phone Edition
  • Lync 2010 Attendant

Funny i think under Legacy clients it mentions Lync 2013 is supported. hmmm confusing.

Skype for Business Server 2019 and Skype for Business Online support the following previously released clients: Skype for Business 2016, Skype for Business 2015, Lync 2013.

High Availability

Same as SfB Server 2015 with Enterprise Edition and Server Pooling. Front End Pools for HA are still recommended it seem to have at least three FE’s. anything smaller recommendation is to deploy Standard Edition.

Disaster Recovery

Still Pool pairing with same guidance it seems

When you plan which pools to pair, you must keep in mind that only the following pairings are supported:

  • Enterprise Edition pools can be paired only with other Enterprise Edition pools. Similarly, Standard Edition pools can be paired only with other Standard Edition pools.
  • Physical pools can be paired only with other physical pools. Similarly, virtual pools can be paired only with other virtual pools.
  • Pools that are paired together must be running the same base operating system.

Its believed in the Community that the CMS failover bug with standard edition is resolved in SfB Server 2019 as well !

 

Exchange Integration

UM is gone from Exchange Server 2019, SfB Server 2019 can use Cloud Voicemail ! (Azure Voicemail)

For these features to be supported in an on-premises Exchange UM deployment, you must be running one of the following:

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or latest service pack (Skype for Business Server 2015 only)
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 (Skype for Business Server 2019 only)

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/plan-your-deployment/integrate-with-exchange/unified-messaging?toc=/SkypeForBusiness/toc.json&bc=/SkypeForBusiness/breadcrumb/toc.json

 

Capacity Planning

Seems to be the same as SfB Server 2015 although an Enterprise Edition Front End needs double the memory and now 64Gb of RAM.

  • FE Pool max 80,000 max
  • 12 FEs per pool
  • each FE 6,660 home users
  • Conferencing is still max as 250 participants
  • Edge Server support 12,000 remote users
  • Directors support 12,000 remote users
  • Mediation Servers Dedicated between 1100 and 1500 and collocated 150 – same as SfBS 2015
  • Monitoring and Archiving sizing looks the same

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/skypeforbusiness/plan-your-deployment/capacity/user-model?toc=/SkypeForBusiness/toc.json&bc=/SkypeForBusiness/breadcrumb/toc.json

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