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In this series I will show and hopeful give, you hints on how to install a Lync Server 2013 High Availability Cluster.

I will in the series go through all the aspects of creating the HA environment, from installing SQL 2012 mirroring cluster, install and configure the different Lync servers, and configure Kemp Hardware Load Balancers in the environment.

The guides is created to help you – so please comment if you want me to make changes or if there is something that is not explained good enough.

Below is the posts which this series consist of.


Load Balance Lync Access Edge External Nic – Part 20

Joachim Dissing : 29/12/2013 23:52 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

We have now come to the final part in the Lync Server 2013 High Availability series, which is Hardware Load Balance the external Nic on the Acccess Edge Servers.


We have defined the Edge server setup in part 11 – so this part will only focus on the HLB setup.

As for my previous posts, I will use Kemp Load Balancers for the External network, which is placed in a special DMZ zone where I’m not using NAT for the Edge servers.

This means that I have public IP Addresses on my edge servers and will have it on my HLB’s as well.

The network looks like this: more »


Load Balance Lync Access Edge Internal Nic – Part 19

Joachim Dissing : 15/12/2013 23:32 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In this part, we will continue to Load Balance our Lync Server 2013 High Availability solution, and will look at the first part of load balancing the Access Edge Servers.

When you are deciding to use load balancing for the Access Edge Servers, you should consider these things:

      Is external Edge communication critical for my organization?

If you can answer no, you might only need one Edge server, which makes everything much easier, because you can use NAT, and do not need a special network for the edge servers.

If you answer yes, then ask this question:

      Is communication with Public IM and/or OCS 2007 partners critical?

If you answer no, you can save the money for the hardware load balancers and just use DNS load balancing for the edge servers. more »

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Load Balance the Lync Director Servers – Part 18

Joachim Dissing : 15/12/2013 22:21 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In this post we will be looking on how to load balance the Lync Sever 2013 Director Servers.

We have in the last couple of posts been dealing with hardware load balancing of the internal servers:

In Part 14 we have setup the Kemp Load Balancers that is uses internally.

In Part 15 we have setup Load Balancing of the Office Web Apps Servers.

In Part 16 we have setup a combination of DNS Load Balancing for the Lync Services and Hardware Load Balancing for the Web Services.

In Part 17 we have setup Load Balancing of all the frontend services.

more »

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Load Balance the Lync Frontend Services – Part 17

Joachim Dissing : 28/11/2013 00:48 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In my series of building a Lync Server 2013 High Availability environment, we have in the last three parts been setting up Load Balancing for the internal Lync Servers.

In Part 14 we have setup the Kemp Load Balancers that is uses internally

In Part 15 we have setup Load Balancing of the Office Web Apps Servers

In Part 16 we have setup a combination of DNS Load Balancing for the Lync Services and Hardware Load Balancing for the Web Services.


In this part we will look on how to setup the other alternative to the load balancing method in part 16, which is Load Balancing of all the Lync Services.

When using this method you must be sure that the Load Balancers can handle all the load of all the Lync Services.

Let’s first have a look at the topology builder, which you should configure like this: more »


Load Balance the Lync Frontend Web Services – Part 16

Joachim Dissing : 26/11/2013 23:00 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In the last two posts (part 14 and part 15) we have been setting up Kemp load balancers for our internal Lync servers. We will now continue with this setup, and load balance the frontend servers.


As I started with in Part 14 you can load balance the frontend servers in two ways.

  1. DNS Load Balancing and Hardware Load Balancing the Web Services
  2. Hardware Load Balancing all Lync Services

This post is the first part where we uses both DNS load Balancing for the native Lync services (like sip) and the hardware load balancer for the web services in Lync.

First we need to change to topology so that the internal web services uses another name that the pool name – in this case cswebint.exchangepro.local

more »


Load Balance the Office Web Apps Server – Part 15

Joachim Dissing : 26/11/2013 23:00 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

I the last post we installed and configured the internal kemp load balancers. In this post we will be setting up load balancing for the Office Web Apps servers


The Lync HA setup contains two Office Web Apps Servers.


Start by exporting the WAC server certificate from one of the WAC servers. The certificate should contain the WAC farm name (both internal and external), and the two server names.

Navigate to Certificates -> SSL Certificates and click Import certificate.

more »


Setup Load Balancers for the internal Lync Servers – Part 14

Joachim Dissing : 26/11/2013 22:59 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In the last post, we installed two additional frontend servers to the Lync High Availability environment that we has been creating for quite some time now.

In part 7  when we installed the first frontend server, we made the configuration on the Frontend pool dns records, so that the pointed to the first frontend server, which we had at that time. We did the same for the Office Web Servers and Directors servers.


Lets start by talking a little bit about how to load balance Lync.

Both the Lync clients and Lync Servers can be using DNS Load Balancing. This is achieved by configuring multiple records in DNS to point to the same name.

When the clients and servers query DNS for a records – it gets all results for a record returned – so if three records points to the same name, the result will include these three records.

The client and server will then contact the first server and if no response is received, it will contact the next.

The Lync servers will load balance the clients automatically between the available servers though an algorithm, which also will redirect clients to the other servers in the pool.

But there is a catch – DNS load balancing only works for Lync traffic like the sip traffic (5061/TCP), it doesn’t work for web traffic like https (443/tcp), and that is why you need a load balancer for the web traffic. more »


Adding Additional Frontend Servers to Lync HA – Part 13

Joachim Dissing : 14/11/2013 21:30 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In my Lync Server 2013 High Availability environment series, we have now deployed most of our Lync servers, but we still need to deploy two more frontend servers.


The topology that we have deployed so fare consist of an Enterprise Pool with one frontend server.

The minimum recommend number of frontend servers in an Enterprise Pool is three – Have a look at this Microsoft page for guidelines about planning for frontend servers: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg412996(v=ocs.15).aspx


At this point I assume that you have installed the two new frontend servers with the same specification has the first server (see part 5: http://exchangepro.dk/2013/09/19/prepare-your-servers-for-lync-server-2013-ha-part-5/).

Before you start I will recommend that you do this in maintenance window, because you will need to reboot the frontend servers, which can cause disruption for the users.

more »


Deploy Reverse Proxy using Kemp Hardware Load balancer – Part 12

Joachim Dissing : 05/11/2013 11:30 : Lync, Lync 2013

We have now come to the part where we are going to deploy the reverse proxy servers. Because we are deploying a high availability Lync environment, the reverse proxy servers should of course also be redundant.

In my redundant reverse proxy setup, I will use two virtual hardware load balancer from Kemp Technologies in an active/passive setup.

I will deploy two VLM’s, which is going to be placed in the DMZ Internal zone.

more »


Install the Access Edge HA Servers – Part 11

Joachim Dissing : 25/10/2013 00:52 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

We have now come to the step where we are going to install the Access Edge Servers.


In our topology, we are going to have two servers, which we have defined and created in an earlier post, but you can make use of the tips that I will come with in this post even though you are only installing a single Edge Server.

The Access Edge Servers is actually one of the parts that is often causing problems in a Lync installation, not because the servers is not function or the software is broken, but simply because it’s not set up correctly, and with that I mean the servers, but also the surrounding components like the firewalls, dns etc.


The servers is placed in two different DMZ zones, like in the below illustration: more »


Deploy the Director Servers in Lync 2013 HA – Part 10

Joachim Dissing : 21/10/2013 23:52 : Lync, Lync 2013

In this post you will learn how to install the director servers in our Lync Server 2013 High Availability environment.


The Director role is an optional server in Lync Server 2013, which means that it is not an requirement to have it in an environment like the one I’m building in this series.

But I like the director in an environment where I have enterprise voice enabled, as an extra protection for the frontend servers, to protect them from Denial of Servcie attacks from the Internet.

In case of a DoS attack it will be the director that is affected and not the frontend and thereby my enterprise voice will continue to run.

more »

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Install the Office Web Servers – Part 9

Joachim Dissing : 13/10/2013 22:06 : Exchange 2013, Lync, Lync Server 2013, Powershell

We now have our backend servers up and running and one of the frontend servers, so in this post we will install the two WAC servers in a farm. (see the topology in http://exchangepro.dk/2013/09/21/creating-the-lync-server-2013-ha-topology-part-6/).


The Office Web Apps Servers or WAC is used in Lync Server 2013 for streaming PowerPoint content from Lync meetings to the participates. This means that the participants can see the nice features like animations, sounds, videos that might be inside the presentations.

When a presenter starts a presentation from a Lync meeting the content is uploaded to the Lync FileStore. From there the WAC servers will access the content, and begin to stream the PowerPoint to the participants.

The same WAC servers that we use in Lync can also be used by Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013, to provide an web experience for the Office applications. For now, I will only use them for Lync. (but keep coming back and I will show you how to use them with Exchange 2013).

more »

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Update the Frontend Server – Part 8

Joachim Dissing : 06/10/2013 18:32 : Lync, Lync Server 2013, Powershell

I my prevoius post we installed the first frontend server and started the services for the first time.

As with all new Lync Servers it’s very important to keep the updated with the latest fix from Microsoft

So lets start by updating the first frontend server with CU2 (http://exchangepro.dk/updates/lync/lync-2013-updates/).

Download the “LyncServerUpdateInstaller.exe”

Right click on the file and select “Run as administrator” more »

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Install the First Frontend Server – Part 7

Joachim Dissing : 30/09/2013 00:29 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In the seventh part of the series of installing a Lync 2013 HA, we have come to the point where we are ready to install the first frontend server in our Lync Server 2013 High Availability solution.


We are going to have three frontend servers, but for now we have only defined one frontend server in the Enterprise Pool. When Lync is up and run we will later on add the two other frontend servers and hardware load balancing.


When we are installing the Lync servers, the deployment wizard will read information from the central management store and thereby determines what needs to be installed on the server.

Start the Deployment Wizard on the first frontend server. more »

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Creating the Lync Server 2013 HA topology – Part 6

Joachim Dissing : 21/09/2013 00:36 : Lync, Lync Server 2013

In the sixths post in my series of installing a High Availability solution for Lync Server 2013 we are now going to create the Lync topology.

In the previous posts we have been making some of the fundamentals ready for the Lync installation, by creating a SQL 2012 mirroring cluster, a DFS file share and making a bunch of servers ready.

I will start by the drawing below, which will summarize how the servers is placed and how the servers is named.

HA - simpel

more »


Prepare your servers for Lync Server 2013 HA – Part 5

Joachim Dissing : 19/09/2013 10:57 : Lync, Lync Server 2013, Powershell


In the Fifth post in my little series of deploying a Lync Server 2013 High Availability environment, we have now come to the fun part were we almost can begin to deploy Lync.

In the previous post we have been setting up a SQL Server 2012 mirroring cluster and a DFS file share.


As a prerequisite to use Lync, you should have deployed an internal PKI infrastructure, because Lync uses certificates to secure its communications. You could in theory use public certificates if you have a lot of money, but I will not recommend it.


As a start, we need to create the servers, which we are going to be used in the installation of Lync, which will include more »

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Deploy a Lync 2013 File store – Part 4

Joachim Dissing : 14/09/2013 21:51 : Lync, Lync Server 2013


This is my fourth post in the series of deploying a Lync 2013 HA environment.

In the previous article, we have been deploying SQL Server 2012, which we are going to use for a mirroring cluster in Lync 2013.

Before starting the Lync installation, we need to deploy a Lync file store. A Lync file store is a file share where Lync stores replication data, the address book, Conference content etc.

Because we are deploying a HA solution the file store should be deployed on a DFS share which replicates the data between two or more file servers. You could also deploy a File Server cluster.

I this post I will use a DFS share.

more »

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Configure a SQL 2012 Mirroring Cluster for use with Lync 2013 – Part 3

Joachim Dissing : 01/09/2013 20:43 : Lync, Lync Server 2013, Powershell


In the third post of the series of creating a High Availability solution for Lync, we will be looking on how to configure the SQL 2012 mirroring cluster which has been installed in Part 1 and Part 2.


I like to use windows firewall on my servers – many disable it, but I will rather use a little bit more time to figure out to configure it, so the first part is to add exceptions to the default rules, so that the SQL cluster will work.

I will run the below cmdlets on all three SQL servers (you could get more restrictive on the witness server).

Before running it on the servers you should adjust the IP ranges so it fit your environment and subnets.


New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName “Allow Inbound SQL Server (SQLServer)” -Direction Inbound –Protocol TCP –LocalPort 1433 -RemoteAddress LocalSubnet -Action Allow more »


Install a SQL 2012 Witness Server for use with Lync 2013 – Part 2

Joachim Dissing : 29/08/2013 23:56 : Lync, Lync Server 2013


In this guide I will continue the installation of the SQL 2012 Mirroring cluster which I will use for my Lync 2013 High Availability installation.

You can see the first part here


When using an SQL mirroring cluster you will need a witness server – This is how to install that.


The specs for my witness server is:

  • 1 x CPU
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 100 GB Disk
  • Windows Server 2012

more »

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Install a SQL 2012 Mirroring cluster for use with Lync 2013 – Part 1

Joachim Dissing : 28/08/2013 00:03 : Lync Server 2013

If you are going to deploy a High Availability solution which you can use for Lync Server 2013, you will need to deploy a SQL 2012 mirroring cluster.

This is a guide on how to deploy the two primary server SQL 2012 servers.


I have in this example I have created two SQL Servers with these specs:

  • 4 x CPU
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 100 GB System Drive
  • 300 GB Data Drive
  • Windows Server 2012

You could also have 100 GB Log drive.

SQL Server loves performance and you should always place in a fast storage system, and give it a lot of memory.

more »

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