Mac Office 2011 general availability is slated for the end of the month. With this release comes the anticipated Mac Communicator 2011 which works with both OCS 2007 R2 and Lync Server 2010. For a glimpse of the Mac features view my other post here. A new Mac Communicator 2011 deployment guide was released and you can grab it here. It has some nice configuration and customization features documented.
I also get asked what are the minimum Mac requirements for Communicator for Mac 2011 to work. I finally found that documented here:
Lync Server 2010 Licensing
ON PREMISE LICENSING:
Lync Server 2010 on-premises is licensed in the Server / Client Access License (CAL) model.
There are three types of licenses:
1) server licenses,
(2) client access licenses,
(3) external connector licenses.
A license must be assigned for each instance of the server software that is being run.
The Lync Server 2010 is sold in two editions:
Client Access Licenses (CAL)
To access Lync Server 2010, a Client Access License, or CAL, is required. A CAL is not a software product; rather, it is a license that gives a user the right to access the services of the server.
There are three CALs for Lync:
Enterprise CALs and Plus CALs are additive-they are sold as a supplement to the Standard CAL. This means that to enable Standard CAL features for a user, the user must be licensed with just the Standard CAL. To use either the Enterprise CAL or the Plus CAL features, the user must be licensed with one (1) Standard CAL and either one (1) Enterprise CAL or one (1) Plus CAL.
To enable all features, a user must be licensed with all three CALs.
Finally, each CAL works with either the Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition of the Server.
Device and User CALs
For each Lync CAL, there are two types of CALs for purchase:
With the User CAL, you purchase a CAL for every authenticated user who accesses Lync Server 2010 features, regardless of the number of devices they use for that access. Purchasing a User CAL may make more sense if your users need to have roaming access to the corporate network using multiple devices, unknown devices, or more devices than users in your organization.
With a Device CAL, you purchase a CAL for every device that accesses Lync Server 2010 features, regardless of the number of authenticated users who use that device to access the server. Device CALs
may make more economic and administrative sense if your company has workers who share devices, for example, on different work shifts.
The decision between Device CAL and User CAL is financial, and you have the option to choose based on your needs. Additionally, in the case where neither the device nor the user is authenticated, a CAL is not required.
External Connector Licenses
If you want external users who are not your employees-such as business partners, external contractors, or other temporary staff-to be able to access your Lync Server 2010 as authenticated users, you have two licensing options:
An EC license is an alternative to CALs for each server that external users will access. An EC license assigned to a Lync Server 2010 permits access by any number of external users like Students. Each physical server that is accessed by external users requires only one EC license regardless of the number of instances running.
There are three External Connectors for Lync Server 2010:
The decision between CAL and EC is financial, and you have the option to choose based on your needs.
In order to access the functionality of Lync Server 2010 and have an authenticated experience, you need the Lync client application.
Lync has one client: Microsoft Lync 2010
You can purchase Lync 2010 as a standalone application or as part of the Office Professional Plus 2010 suite.
How to Deploy Lync Licenses On-premises
A server license is required for each physical or virtual instance of the Lync Server 2010 Front End Server Role (required with every Lync deployment). Both Standard and Enterprise editions can be installed and configured in many server roles on a server running Microsoft Windows Server®. Server roles are Lync Server 2010 instances which run a specialized set of functionality, such as audio/video conferencing, edge services, or mediation between Enterprise Voice and the PSTN.
Some roles are considered additional software and do not require a license. For these roles, you may run any number of instances directly with the Front End Server role.
Lync 2010 Server Standard and Enterprise editions can be installed and configured in many server roles on a server running Windows Server. Server roles are Lync Server 2010 instances which run a specialized set of functionality, such as audio/video conferencing, edge services, or mediation between Enterprise Voice and the PSTN.
The Front End Server role is required for every deployment, and each instance requires a license.
***Most Server roles are considered "additional software" and do not require a license.
For more on Lync Server 2010 Roles refer to TechNet. HERE
Server Role Descriptions:
Client Access Licenses
CALs are required for each user or device that will access instances of the Lync Server 2010 roles. Each server instance may provide different functionality to the user, and therefore not all servers in your Lync architecture/topology require a CAL.
For example, if you deployed the Lync Server 2010 Front End Role (required of any Lync deployment) and also deployed Lync Server 2010 in Web Conferencing Server Role, you would need the Lync Server 2010 Standard CAL for the rich IM and presence features, and the Lync Server 2010 Enterprise CAL for the online conference features. This example would not require the Plus CAL.
Figure 1 lists the CAL requirements for different server roles.
The feature details for server and CAL licensing are described in the Lync Server 2010 Feature Details section.
Licensing External Users
External users may require a license in order to access a Lync Server 2010. There are four types of external users that may access a Lync Server 2010:
A federated user is an external user that possesses valid credentials with a federated partner and is authenticated on that basis by Lync Server 2010. Federation is a feature provided with your licenses of Lync Server 2010. Users connected by federation with another partner do not require a CAL or External Connector License.
An unauthenticated, or anonymous, user is a person/device that does not have an identity in the Active Directory® Domain Services. Unlike a federated user, an anonymous user is not authenticated. You do not require licenses for unauthenticated users of Lync Server 2010.
External Authenticated Users
An EC license permits an unlimited number of authenticated external users to access a Lync Server 2010 in scenarios where the number of CALs is uncertain. The number of EC licenses required corresponds to the number of physical Lync Server 2010 servers, regardless of the number of instances. The specific EC required is determined by the equivalent CAL features the external users would require. The following lists available EC licenses and the equivalent CAL features:
Public Instant Messaging Users
Lync Server 2010 provides organizations with the capability to connect their existing base of Lync Server 2010-enabled users to the top public IM service providers. Licensing requirements for Public IM Connectivity depends on the service providers you want to connect with, and your Lync Server 2010 CALs.
Lync Server 2010 Feature Details
A Standard Edition server is ideal for pilot and lab deployments or branch offices that do not have high availability and performance requirements. It is intended for deployments with fewer than 5,000 users either in total or at a particular location.
An Enterprise Edition server has all of the Standard Edition server features; however it provides scalability and high availability. It is intended to allow an unlimited number of users in any location/configuration.
Comparison of Standard and Enterprise
See Figure 2 for summary features differences between Standard and Enterprise server versions.
Figure 2: Lync Server 2010 Standard and Enterprise Features
Lync Server 2010 requires Windows Server® and Microsoft SQL Server® to run and may not include licenses for those products. Be sure you have the correct licenses for Windows Server and SQL Server.
Figure 3: Supported Windows Server and SQL Server Versions
Lync Server 2010 Client Access Licenses
The Lync Server 2010 Standard CAL offers instant messaging and rich presence (IM/P) features. It provides users with real-time presence and enhanced IM along with PC-to-PC audio and video communications. Additionally it provides users with authenticated attendee experience for internally hosted conferences.
The Lync Server 2010 Enterprise CAL offers the audio, video, and Web conferencing features. It provides users the ability to create, moderate, and join conferences for collaboration with both internal and external users.
The Lync Server 2010 Plus CAL offers enterprise voice telephony features. It provides high-quality voice and other related features to users anywhere with an Internet connection across IP phones, PCs, and desktop applications.
New and Improved Features of the CALs
The following tables (Figures 4-6) provide a detailed feature breakdown for each Lync Server 2010 CAL.
Figure 4: Instant Messaging and Presence
Figure 5: Audio, Video, and Web Conferencing
Figure 6: Enterprise Voice Technology
For each Lync Server 2010 CAL, there are other possible prerequisites for underlying Microsoft technologies-primarily dependent on the features you would like to utilize. The following Microsoft products may be required with Lync:
Licensing for Microsoft-hosted Lync Online
Lync offers the flexibility to license Lync Server 2010 for an on-premises deployment, or you may decide to work with a Microsoft-hosted service to give some or all of your Lync users access to the capabilities of the product.
This approach allows you to enjoy the benefits of enterprise-class communications in a pay-as-you-go model that enables you to scale up or down as needed, minimizing your financial risk.
How to Subscribe to Lync Online
Lync User Subscription Licenses
Rather than purchasing server licenses for each Server and user/device that uses Lync Server 2010, Lync Online is licensed via a subscription model in which each user needs a User Subscription License (USL).
Microsoft currently offers the following USLs for Lync Online:
Lync Online USL Features
The features offered in Lync online are similar to the features offered in Lync on-premises.
The following provides a high-level feature for each Lync Online USL:
Updated info for this post can now be found in teched. Please disregard this blog entry. Please refer to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg398833.aspx
Recently I was onsite with a customer and was asked about DNS Load Balancing. How does it work? Why the change from OCS 2007 R2?
DNS Load Balancing
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 requires a Hardware Load Balancer (HLB) to provide resilience for the Enterprise pool. This configuration is both expensive and difficult to configure for SIP load balancing. Lync 2010 introduces DNS load balancing as an alternative to hardware load balancing.
How it Works
The front-end servers register their fully qualified domain name (FQDN) as A records in DNS. When the Enterprise pool is created, the pool FQDN is registered to return from DNS the list of IP addresses of all the front-end servers. The client attempts to connect to one of the IP addresses that were returned. If this connection fails, the client attempts to connect to the next IP address in the list until the connection succeeds.
Server Failure and Recovery
When a server fails, the physical registrar sequence is updated to show the server as unavailable and shared amongst all surviving servers by using a server-server heartbeat. Users are redirected to the next server in their logical registrar sequence and are then connected in backup mode. The server will be recovered returning the physical registrar sequence back to its original state.
Server Commission and Decommission
When topology changes occur, the logical registrar sequence is recalculated for all users. Some users are re-homed to a different front-end server in the same pool. When the server is fully operational, the heartbeat process updates the physical registrar sequence. This results in the batched re-registration process. Decommission is very similar to server failure, with the exception of the re-home to a new primary registrar being part of the decommission process. The topology change results in the recalculation of the logical registrar sequence. This step doesn’t happen in a server failure.
You can use DNS load balancing for the SIP traffic on Front End pools and Director pools. With DNS load balancing deployed, you still need to also use hardware load balancers for these pools, but only for HTTP and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) traffic. The hardware load balancer is used for HTTP traffic from clients over ports 443 and 80, and for DCOM traffic over port 135 from administrators performing user moves.
Although you still need hardware load balancers for these pools, their setup and administration will be primarily for HTTP traffic, which the administrators of hardware load balancers are accustomed to.
DNS Load Balancing Decision Guidelines
DNS load balancing supported?
DNS load balancing recommended?
Hardware load balancer (only) recommended?
All or most users homed in the pool run Lync Server 2010 clients.
Many users homed in the pool still running older clients.
Interoperates only with other Lync Server 2010 servers.
Interoperates with many servers running earlier versions of Office Communications Server.
Running Exchange UM with Exchange 2010 SP1 (or not running Exchange UM)
Running Exchange UM with earlier versions of Exchange
Before you can use DNS load balancing, you must:
1. From the Lync Server 2010 program group, open Topology Builder.
2. From the console tree, expand the Enterprise Edition Front End pools node.
3. Right-click the pool, click Edit Properties, and then click Web Services.
4. Below Internal web services, select the Override FQDN check box.
5. Type the pool FQDN that resolves to the physical IP addresses of the servers in the pool.
6. Below External web services, type the external pool FQDN that resolves to the virtual IP addresses of the pool, and then click OK.
7. From the console tree, select Lync Server 2010 , and then in the Actions pane, click Publish Topology.
1. For each Front End Server in your pool, create a DNS A Host record that maps the pool FQDN to the IP address of that Front End Server.
For example, if you had a pool named pool1.contoso.edu and three front-end servers, you would create the following DNS entries:
A new feature called server draining enables you to take a server offline without any loss of service to users. When a server is drained it stops taking new connections and calls. These new connections and calls are routed through other servers in the pool. A server being drained allows its sessions on existing connections to continue until they naturally end. When all existing sessions have ended, the server is ready to be taken offline.
Great news the product has RTMed and should be available for download soon from your licensing site. General availability is slated for November 17th. This is a very exciting release and my education customers are all very interested in this release. See the official post here. See my feature post here. To view more information or live video feeds visit here and to sign up for the Lync launch event visit here.
There is a lot of buzz about the new Windows Phone 7 launched today. It is officially available Nov. 8th at some U.S. stores and sooner in Europe. You can see some of the UI experience at our site here.
I took some screen shots off of the Windows Phone 7 RTM emulator (grab it here) so you can get a taste of the UI from a Unified Communications perspective. Thus far, using the emulator with my touch screen laptop, I get a pretty good sense of how smooth and clean the phone UI is. I really like the Live tiles and surface. One of the things my iPhone and Droid friends tell me, who are coming from a productivity phone like Windows Mobile, etc ,is their phones really don’t quite have the rich email/calendaring experience they were used to. I took some shots of what I could here and combined them with some product team shots:
I like the new main Live Tile experience. The new Mobile IE is very nice and very fast.
Nice pinch zoom feature and a nice SMS threaded option.
New Outlook Mobile with scrollable surface look and feel. All of our personal and work emails can be combined into a single inbox. You can also select and create a custom group view of emails
Photos included with all received mails following the Outlook 2010 model. Reply and open office attachments with Office Mobile 2010.
Work and personal calendars (e.g. Windows Live and Exchange) in a single view with different color schemes.
View attendees list and check free/busy of attendees, see meeting organizer, see who has accepted – Based on friends feedback, these are some of the types of productivity options that are missing on iPhone and Droid.