This two-part article outlines a step-by-step disaster recovery process for a single Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition Front End Server. In Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition Disaster Recovery Plan, Part 1, we discuss how to prepare an effective disaster recovery plan. In Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition Disaster Recovery Plan, Part 2 we discuss the restoration process.

A single server Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition deployment installed on a physical hardware server provides the lowest level of fault tolerance of all the supported Lync Server 2010 deployments. If a Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition server fails due to a physical hardware failure, the current Lync Server 2010 implementation may become unrecoverable. To ensure that you can recover this type of Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition deployment, you must have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place. A disaster recovery plan should include the following: a replacement hardware server, a current backup of the existing Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition topology components, and backups of the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition user information.

Author: Edwin Joseph

Publication date: September 2010

Product version: Lync 2010, Lync Server 2010

Introduction

The most important part of any disaster recovery plan is the preparation that you do initially to ensure that you can efficiently perform the recovery steps. The Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition installation contains a complete replica of the Lync Server 2010 deployment’s configuration in its local Central Management store. If a hardware failure occurs, the local Central Management store may be left in an unrecoverable state. Also, the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition installation contains its user information in the local system databases located on the same physical server. This user-related information could be lost due to hardware failure, creating a great inconvenience for the pool’s users. Knowing how to restore the Lync Server 2010 topology and user information to a new installation of Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition with minimal downtime is a must to ensure a non-fault tolerant deployment of Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition.

The Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition Disaster Recovery Backup Plan

In part 1, we’ll cover the four types of backup operations that you need to implement to ensure an effective disaster recovery plan for your Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition infrastructure. You need to back up the following types of information:

  • Local Central Management store
  • Topology information
  • User contacts and meeting information
  • Lync Server 2010 file store information

Back Up the Local Central Management Store

To back up the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition configuration, you must have a consistent plan for preserving the local Central Management store information. You can manage this by performing the following procedure at the required intervals:

1. From a user account that is a member of the RTCUniversalServerAdmins group, log on to the Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition, Front End Server.

2. To store the backup files, create a network share with the correct permissions on a different server or removable drive.

3. On the Start menu, click All Programs, click Microsoft Lync Server 2010, and then click Lync Server Management Shell.

4. Back up the Central Management store configuration file by typing the following at the command prompt:

Export-CsConfiguration -FileName \\server01\remoteshare\currentCMSbackup.zip

Export-CsConfiguration -FileName "F:\CMSbackup.zip"

Note. You can also manually copy the CMSbackup.zip Central Management store configuration file to a network share on a different server or removable drive.

Back Up Topology Information

You should back up the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition topology after any updates to the Lync Server 2010 infrastructure have been published to the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition Central Management store. To do this, use the Lync Server Topology Builder as follows:

1. On the Start menu, click All Programs, click Lync Server 2010, and then click Lync Server Topology Builder.

2. In the Topology Builder dialog box, click Download topology from the existing deployment, and then click OK.

3. In the Save Topology As dialog box, save the latest copy of the Topology Builder file to a removable device or a shared folder on a remote file server.

Back Up User Contacts and Meeting Information

Lync Server 2010 user contacts and meeting information is stored locally in the local instance of the RTC database (local)\RTC. You can back up and restore this information as part of the prescribed disaster process by using the Lync Server 2010 Database Import Export utility (Dbimpexp.exe). The Dbimpexp.exe tool is located in the installation support folder for Lync Server 2010 located at <drive:>\<Lync Server 2010 Installation Folder>\Support.

The following steps describe how to use the Dbimpexp.exe tool locally on the Lync Server 2010 Front End Server:

1. At a command prompt, run the following command to create an XML backup file that contains the Lync Server 2010 users’ contacts and meeting information using the Lync Server 2010 Dbimpexp.exe tool:

Dbimpexp.exe /hrxmlfile:”c:\BackupUser.xml”

2. Copy the BackupUser.xml file to a network share on different server or removable drive.

Back Up Lync Server 2010 File Store Information

The best way to protect file store information from a physical hardware failure is to be preemptive and create or move the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition file store to a share located on a remote file server. You can do this easily by using the Lync Server Topology Builder. Perform the following steps to add the local file store and its contents to a remote share that you associate with the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition installation:

1. Create a shared folder on a remote file server.

2. Right-click the folder and click Share Menu.

3. Add the Everyone group to the folders access control list (ACL).

4. Select the CoOwner permission from the list, and then click OK.

Note. The Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 server operating systems support two types of authentication methods: Kerberos and NTLM. For Windows Server operating systems, Kerberos is the primary authentication method for servers that are part of an Active Directory Domain Services domain. If you need to host the Lync Server 2010 file share on a storage area network (SAN) device, be sure that the SAN device supports Kerberos authentication to ensure optimal network security for file access operations.

After you create the remote share with the correct access control entries (ACEs) added to its ACL, you can use Topology Builder to create a file store object that maps to the remote share.

1. On the Start menu, click All Programs, click Lync Server 2010, and then click Lync Server Topology Builder.

2. In the Topology Builder dialog box, click Download topology from the existing deployment, and then click OK.

3. In the console tree, expand the Lync Server 2010 site that contains the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition topology.

4. Locate the File stores node, right-click the node, and then click New file store…

5. In the Define New File Store dialog box, type the FQDN of the file server that you want to host the remote file store in File Server FQDN, type the name of the shared folder where you want to store the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition file store’s information in File Share, and then click OK (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Define New File Store dialog box

6. To associate the new file store object with the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition server topology, expand the Standard Edition Front End Servers node in the console tree, and then right-click the FQDN of the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition server that you want to associate with the remote file store.

7. Click Edit properties… to access the general properties of the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition server topology.

8. In the Edit Properties dialog box, scroll down to locate the information that is listed under the Associations section.

9. Click File share…, choose the newly created remote file store object, and then click OK to update the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition server’s topology information (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Create a file store association in the Edit Properties dialog box

10. At the top of the Lync Server 2010 in the Topology Builder dialog box, right-click the Lync Server 2010 object and then click Publish topology… menu option

11. Use the Publish the Topology wizard to publish the new remote file store information to the Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition Central Management store.

After you finish creating and associating the new file store object, the following ACEs and their respective permissions will be added to the shared folder’s ACL.

Security Groups

Permissions

RTCComponentUniversalServices

Contributor

RTCHSUniversalServices

Contributor

RTCUniversalConfigReplicator

Contributor

RTCUniversalServerAdmins

Contributor

BUILTIN\Administrators

CoOwner

Table 1. File store object access control entries and permissions

Note. The ACEs listed above are listed in Windows Server 2008 user interface. In Windows Server 2003, permissions for the ACEs will be noted in the following manner: Read, Write, Full Control, etc.

Summary

A single physical hardware server deployment running Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition can support up to 5,000 users. This type of Lync Server 2010 deployment is well suited for small businesses that require an inexpensive Unified Communications infrastructure. Because cost savings are important to these organizations, they require an inexpensive disaster recovery plan for their Lync Server 2010 deployment. A disaster recovery plan for Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition deployments can be simple to plan, organize, and deploy. The planning phase consists of making sure that irreplaceable information is stored at remote locations on the local network where the organization performs periodic file server backup operations. The recovery phase consists of being able to replace the failed physical server and use the Lync Server 2010 deployment tools to restore a new installation of Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition to its original state before the failure occurred. See the upcoming article, Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition Disaster Recovery Plan, Part 2, for detailed recovery phase information.

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Keywords: disaster recovery, Standard Edition, fault tolerance