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Abstract: It can be difficult to work with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 VDI-Plug-in. In this post we describe how to avoid some possible issues in a Virtual Desktop scenario with the deployment of the Lync VDI-Plugin.
Author: Christian Schacht
Publication date: September 23, 2013
Product version: Lync Server 2013
Many Customers are using or planning to use Lync Workloads in their Virtualization Strategy with Thin Clients or “Bring your own device”(BYOD) scenarios. Installing the Microsoft Lync VDI-Plug-in is a new option that became available with Lync Server 2013. With Lync Server 2010, the support for Virtual Clients included only a limited set of features. For example, audio was only supported natively with a paired Desk phone by using USB redirection.
Information about supported virtualization scenarios with Lync Client 2010 is available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2560826/en-us.
This article can help you to avoid some of the issues you might encounter with this type of installation. The following are some pain points that this document addresses:
This section covers some general information and recommendations about Lync VDI-Plug-in.
The Lync 2013 client enables customers with the Lync VDI-Plugin to use audio and video in their Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) by using local attached headsets or a cameras.
The following components are necessary:
The Lync VDI-Plug-in runs local on the Thin Client or Fat-Client and pairs with the Lync 2013 Client in the Virtual machine. The following diagram shows the signaling and Media flows with Lync 2013 and the Lync VDI Plug-in.
Figure 1. High-level architectural diagram of Lync 2013 Workloads using VDI Plug-in
As you see in the diagram the signaling for “peer-to-peer” and also the A/V media stream goes directly from and to the VDI-Plug-in and only IM/P and Desktop sharing goes to the Virtual Desktop. In Conferencing scenarios the A/V media stream flows from the Lync VDI Plug-in and goes directly to Web Conferencing Service WITHOUT going through the Virtual Desktop.
Please see the Lync VDI Plug-in Prerequisites on the TechNet Library for more information.
The following are requirements for the virtual machines running on the data center computer:
The following are requirements for the user and the user’s local computer:
From Tareks Post: http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2012/07/31/microsoft-lync-2013-preview-in-a-virtual-desktop-infrastructure.aspx
From a hardware perspective, Microsoft currently has been tested Lync 2013 over VDI using a multitude of thin client devices, including three models from Dell Wyse (Z90D7, R90L7 and X90m7) and two models from HP (t610 and t5740e). As part of the Lync VDI Partner TAP, thin client OEM partners can perform their own thin client testing and support additional devices based on their results.
To enable the user for using the Lync VDI Plug-in we need to modify or create the Lync Client Policy for the potential VDI Users. This can be done very easily with the Lync PowerShell Module:
Example cmdlet to set a new Lync VDI Policy:
New-CsClientPolicy -Identity VDI -EnableMediaRedirection $true
For a detailed description of available Client Policy Settings and parameters, see Set-CsClientPolicy in the TechNet Library.
After you create the new policy you can grant it to the user(s) as shown in the following cmdlet example:
Grant-CsClientPolicy -Identity sip:email@example.com -PolicyName VDI
That’s all you have to do on the Lync Server Side.
Note: If you are using non-persistent Virtual Desktops it makes sense to change the setting for the Lync address book to WebSearchOnly, otherwise the VDI Client will download a copy of the address book each time, which can be annoying for users if they are not able to search immediately after logging in. You can set this with the following cmdlet example:
Set-CsClientPolicy -Identity vdi -AddressBookAvailability WebSearchOnly
There are some prerequisites for using the VDI plug-in on the Virtual Desktop and local computer. If the local computer is running Windows 8, skip this step.
If the local computer is running Windows 7 with SP1, install the latest Windows 8 version of the Remote Desktop Services client, available at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2592687 and follow the important instruction from KB268032 to enable RDP 8.0 on Windows 7 SP1 machines.
To install the RDP 8.0 update, you must have the hotfix 2574819 installed. The hotfix is installed with Windows Update. To manually install it, see: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2574819.
To verify that RDP 8.0 is enabled on a remote computer that is running Windows 7 SP1, connect to the computer from a computer that is running Windows 8 or that is running Windows 7 SP1 by using Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) 8.0. After you connect to the computer, follow these steps to verify that RDP 8.0 is enabled:
The presence of the connection quality button and of the connection quality dialog box confirms the availability of RDP 8.0 for the remote connection.
Microsoft Lync VDI 2013 plugin (32 bit): http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35457
Microsoft Lync VDI 2013 plugin (64 bit): http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35454
Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows Embedded Standard 7
Some of the thin clients that meet this set of requirements are: Dell Wyse Z90D7, Dell Wyse R90L7, Dell Wyse X90m7, HP t610 and HP t5740e. The Lync VDI plugin is supported by Microsoft on these devices.
You should install the same bit version of the plug-in as the version of Windows on which you are installing the plug-in. If you run 64-bit Windows use the 64-bit installer, and for 32-bit Windows use the 32-bit installer, or your Lync client will not successfully load the plug-in.
Another known installation failure occurs when trying to install the plug-in on a computer where Office 2013 (or only Lync 2013) is already installed in 32-bit mode on a 64-bit Windows version. In this case, you will need to uninstall Office and then install the version that matches your version of Windows. This happens because Lync Client 2013 and also the Lync VDI Plug-in are included with Office 2013. When tis error occurs, you will see the following Setup Error dialog:
We recommend that you always use the latest version of the applications available, including Lync client, the VDI Plug-in, and Virtual Desktop.
When you install the Lync 2013 client, the following happens:
I hope that the information in this article about deployment and configuring of Lync Client 2013 in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), with the Lync VDI Plug-in is helpful for you and simplify your deployment.
To learn more, check out the following articles: