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Now that looked at the planning for upgrading to Skype for Business, let’s do the actual upgrade of a Lync Server 2013 topology.

In this post we will make an offline upgrade, meaning that we will take the existing frontend pool offline, and do an in-place upgrade of the frontend server.


Before you start the upgrade process you need to update the Lync servers to the latest CU

And for Windows Server 2012 R2, you also need to install this hotfix.

First you need to mount the SfB Server ISO on a server that don’t have any Lync or Skype components install (ocscore)

Run setup.exe to install the deployment tools.

Click Install

Read the EULA and Accept it to continue

When the Deployment Wizard is installed and started – install the Administration Tools

Click Next

When it finish, close the Deployment Wizard and start the topology builder

Click OK to download the topology

Type a name for the topology file and click Save

Navigate to your frontend pool and right click and select “Upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015″

Click Yes

The Frontend server is now moved to Skype For Business Server 2015.

Right Click and Publish the topology

Click Next

Click Finish and close the Topology builder.

Wait for replication to finish

Next on the frontend server, start powershell and run this command

Disable-CsComputer –Scorch

This will prevent the Lync services to start should the server be rebooted.

Run the same command on all Lync servers in the pool, that is going to be upgraded.

Next mount the SfB DVD on the frontend server and start setup.exe

Click Next

Read the EULA ones again and click OK.

After an hour or so the update to finish on the frontend server

Next go to powershell (remember to open the management shell) and start the pool with the below command

Start-CsPool –PoolFqdn fe01.exchangepro.dk

Type Y to start it

The upgrade of the frontend pool is now completed, and you can continue with the other Lync servers that you have in your pool, like the edge and mediation servers.

In the next post we will look at upgrading the Edge, Mediation and Director servers.



Other Posts in this Serie

Part 1: Planning


If you have an Lync Server Infrastructure today and want to upgrade it to Skype for Business here is how to:



Updating to Skype for Business Server 2015 can be done in a couple of different ways, but you need to plan how you will do.

One of the new features in Skype for Business is that you can do an in-place upgrade from Lync Server 2013, meaning that you perhaps do not need to create new servers, and move users like we have been used to.

So why do I write perhaps… You need to look at your environment and see if you meet the pre-requisites:


The Server OS and Hardware

Your Lync servers need to be Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2012 R2, to have Windows Fabric ver. 3

If you are on a Windows 2008 R2 platform with your Lync servers, it might be a good time to create new Windows Server 2012 R2 Servers, and do a side-by-side installation.

Also your servers might also be a bit small – so consider if they need more resources. When I create new Lync/SfB servers they usually have the below specs (depending of course of the customer usage and size):

Single Frontend: (up-to 500-1000 Users)

4 x vCPU


100 GB disk for the OS (Windows Server 2012 R2)

100 GB for the Lync/SfB files

Other Sfb Servers roles (up-to 500-1000 Users)

2 x vCPU


100 GB disk for the OS (Windows Server 2012 R2)

On Enterprise pools I typically have much larger servers and the customer usage is also very different.


The Lync Server version

You need to have Lync Server 2013 patched with all the latest updates from Windows Update, to be able to do an in-place upgrade.

If you have Lync Server 2010, you need to do an side-by-side installation.

If you have a mixed environment with Lync Server 2010 and 201, then it’s not supported to have SfB 2015 in the same topology – In this scenario you need to move the users and services to Lync Server 2013 and decommission the old Lync Server 2010 before you install SfB 2015.



When you do an in-place upgrade from Lync Server 2013 you must schedule to have downtime, as the pool or server that you upgrade needs to be taken offline doing the upgrade.

So if you cannot afford to have the servers offline – make an side-by-side installation and move users and services.

If the upgrade process fails – the procedure to revert back is to have a good backup of your Lync configuration, and then deploy new Lync servers and restore your lync topology – so again consider if can you afford to have the pool or servers offline for a longer period (the time to restore), if something goes wrong.

If you have more than one pool, you have the option to move all users from one pool to the others, and then do an in-place upgrade of the empty pool.

When you are doing the planning, also consider that have the option to do both an in-place upgrade and the side-by-side installation, depending on the server or role that you are upgrading.

For the frontend you might do an side-by-side installation to avoid the risk of restoring if something goes wrong and “long” downtime – but for Edge or mediations servers you might choose to do the in-place upgrade, because they are easily restored or you can have the down for longer time.


In the next post we will start to upgrade to Skype for Business from Lync Server 2013, starting with the frontend pool.


Other Posts in this Serie

Part 2: In-Place Upgrade of the Frontend Server

The big date has arrived – the Skype for Business Client has finally arrived, in form of an update on Windows Update.

The Skype for Business client formerly known as Lync will properly also shown up a single download on MSDN and Premier download in a near future.


So head over to the Windows Update and check for new updates and get the new Skype for Business Client

I will not tell you how to disable the SfB GUI which is possible if you are madly in love with the “legacy” Lync GUI – just google it if you think your users will have difficult with the new GUI.

If you haven’t updated your Lync 2013 servers to the December or February patch then, the SfB client will auto revert to the old GUI when it starts up


I have been running the preview version of SfB the last couple of months, and I absolutely love it – I have for now two features that I love.

The first one is the smileys which are now animated, and super cool


The second think I love is call control which is always shown – also when you switch you other programs or are in a remote session with a server.



So the days where you struggle to end a call after talking with a user is finally over.

If you want to know more about the other new features in the new client, head over here to read more.


Around May 1st the Skype for Business Server will arrive, which is also going to be cool – if you haven’t heard about it yet – then look forward to all my new blog posts.


Happy Skype’ing

Microsoft has in a new blog post announced that Enterprise Voice will come in a technical preview in the US this summer, and rollout later this year, follow by a global rollout.

The connection is made though partners and the new Azure ExpressRoute to Office 365.

This is going to be exciding to follow, and see if they can overcome latency, jitter, packetloss  and all the other fun stuff we can have in the onpremises installation.


I case you have experience problems with the Lync-Skype video integration the last couple of days, then it is because Microsoft has disabled the feature.

Accordingly, to Microsoft they expect to enable it again next week, when a new Skype version has been released

See here for more information


Friday the 5th December 2014 was a very big day – this was the day that Microsoft finally added video support between Lync and Skype.

Since it was maked possible to do audio calls last year between Lync and Skype, many has missed the video part, which is native when doing Skype calls.

In the first version the video calling is possible from the Skype Desktop Client and to and from the Lync 2013 for Windows and Windows Phone.

Lets see if the iPhone, Android, Windows App etc. clients is updated soon so they also get this possibility.


So how does it look ?


Great J

And from Lync Mobile – also Great J


So what do you need to set it up – not much…

If you already have federation with Skype, then you are good to go, and you just need to click the video button make and make your first lync to skype video call.

If you haven’t setup up the Skype federation yet, then look here: http://exchangepro.dk/2013/05/30/lync-skype-integration-now-available/


So when looking at the Lync monitor server reveals this:

Which is not much other that Microsoft has a fine new Lync to Skype Gateway…but the audio stream shows that we are using the Silk Codec from the Lync mobile which is native to Skype and used by millions of users.

And the video stream is H.264

In the comings months we will properly begin to see more to the Silk codec, which should perform better on Wifi networks and other connections.


This is all for now – go happy-skyping with your favorite skype friends and keep support Lync (or Skype for business) when you really want a 1st class Collaboration solution.



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