Monday, May 12, 2014

Getting Ready for Lync Online Hybrid Deployment

The word "Hybrid" is now everywhere and Lync is not an exception and it too supports Hybrid deployment model like its counterparts Exchange and SharePoint and most Organizations who are moving to Cloud in a Hybrid deployment Model is considering to adopt Lync Hybrid model if they already have a Lync On premises Environment in place to meet the needs of Organizations highly available Enterprise Solution Architecture without compromising on few Enterprise grade features made available to users without productivity impact, thus increasing productivity and end user experience meeting Organization's goals.

When you adopt Office 365 for Exchange Online let say for instance, you will get Lync Online, SharePoint Online license along with it and you are not going to pay anything separately for using them and it covers under your Enterprise License and when you have this option available why can't you expand your needs to provide additional benefits to your users and to your business which can be made at ease and all you need is to do some proper planning and evaluation over the available options and implement the features to your production. Though this is easy to say there are many factors included in it which is always known and just to give you a new approach I said this, but even this is possible and still some Organizations taking this approach and they are on the move to explore new things and adopt it overtime, as of today Technology is expanding minute by minute.

let's get in to our topic, I reviewed few major resources when I start reading and working over Lync Online and Lync Hybrid and though of writing this post to share it with you for your future engagements and understand where we head to with Lync.

I would first suggest you to review this below Official Microsoft Blog post providing key updates on Lync Conference 2014 Keynote speech to know what is new with Lync 2013 and what is yet to come, so that you will know how Lync is revolutionized the IT world and soon we can see Lync everywhere as it is now getting called as the next generation voice system which will replace the traditional PBX system overtime.

From unified to universal, the next stage for communications

Once you get ready to move to Lync Online you need to understand what is available and what is not first and then you need to evaluate whether I can go for Lync Online or do I need to have a Hybrid Setup in place to met all my requirements up to my business needs and to accomplish all these what do I need to do etc. and plan accordingly, Before you get in too deep you need to get at least an overview on this first to begin so read the below two vital TechNet articles as a start. 

Plan for Lync Online in Office 365

Plan for Lync Server and Lync Online coexistence

Once you read the above articles you would have now have an idea as updated above on the deployment models and the next step is to decide what steps do I need to take if I go for each options, If you are planning for Lync Online alone then all you need is to enable to License for your users if you already have a Enterprise License available with Office 365 and configure the DNS records for Lync as guideline by Microsoft for your domain, you can check my Office 365 DNS records post to know more on this in a nutshell.

Once you decide to adopt Lync Hybrid model the first thing you need to know is what version of Lync On premises I am running,  if I have one already deployed and whether it is supported and what is CU that I have to be in if I am running a supported version to go for Hybrid in first place, then you need to check which user needs which feature, who can stay On premise and who can stay on Cloud, when can I start the new Lync Server deployment if I don't have one and planning to go for Hybrid as I am already having Office 365 plan with Lync Online etc. and then clearly understand the limitations and complexity over each model and then proceed with your next steps.

To make things clear, I would suggest you to utilize the most important Technical documentation available from Microsoft team over this Lync 2013 Hybrid deployment provided with their reference Topologies for better understanding.

Download here: Lync Server 2013 Reference Topologies for Enterprise Hybrid Deployments

You can also check this excellent ProExchange Blog post referenced below for your ease of understanding which I came across recently.

Check here: Lync Server 2013 Reference Topologies for Enterprise Hybrid Deployments Blog post

 Once you read things its time for you to see things in action and its always good when some one explains things to us visually and Microsoft is always good at doing this through their various technical events for their different product line along with their strong Technical documentations and also I should not leave our experts who even contribute to the maximum from their end to get you on the move with the Technology.

Take a look at the below Lync Conference 2014 video session below to get a deep dive Experience on the topic which will eventually make you ready for your Hybrid deployments and migrations.

Access here: Lync Online Hybrid Deep Dive

Finally, you would now have a strong Idea over Lync Online and Lync Hybrid deployments and all you need is to utilize these resources and few other available on the global community and advance your learning and deployment skills which would for sure give you new experience and share it to the community as your contribution which make us all in the same space in doing more with the product and enhancing our support experience to end users, Thus enhancing Organization's business needs at both ends.

Additional Bytes

If you are customer who already has users enabled for Lync Online and you plan you deploy Lync On premises and instead of going for a Hybrid model you plan to migrate all your users from Lync Online to Lync On premises then the below TechNet walkthrough will help you out with the requirements and provide step by step process of performing this successfully .

Check here: Moving users from Lync Online to Lync on-premises

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