With the RTM release of Lync Server 2010, I have been asked by several education customers what they can do now to get ready for Lync Server 2010.  I put together a few items which can be helpful for you:

 

Step1: Read and read some more (note: these are release candidate documents and should be updated soon)

A wide variety of sources for reading on Lync Server 2010 you can start with:

1) Lync Server 2010 Getting Started document here.

2) Grab all the Lync Server 2010 planning guides with the following:

Determining Your Infrastructure Requirements for Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

Planning for Archiving Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

Planning for Clients and Devices Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

Planning for Enterprise Voice Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

Planning for External User Access Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

Planning for IM and Conferencing Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

Planning for Other Features Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

Planning for Your Organization Lync Server 2010 (RC).doc

Download

3) View latest Lync Server reference links here as it gets updated in the next few weeks.

 

Step 2: Build a non-production lab for Lync Server 2010

I recommend a non-production lab to ensure you are familiar with installation components, prereqs, etc.

1) Read the Lync Hardware Requirements document here.

2) Grab the Lync Server 2010 planning tool here to plan out your Lync infrastructure.

3) Download the RC bits for Lync Server 2010 here.   The final release bits should be available for labs around November 17th. Check for them here.

4) Follow the step by step Lync Server 2010 Lab installation guide here.

 

Step 3: Begin to assess current infrastructure

1) If you have OCS or OCS R2, I would run the OCS Best Practices Analyzer tool to ensure everything is healthy prior to deploying Lync Server 2010. Grab it here. Once it is installed, run “Check for Updates” as there are newer rules/checks available for R2. Clean up any glaring errors as Lync may check for some of these during setup and not allow you to continue.

2) Assess your current Active Directory environment. The following are supported for Lync Server 2010:

For Domain Controllers:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system
  • Windows Server 2008 operating system
  • Windows Server 2008 Enterprise 32-Bit
  • The 32-bit or 64-bit versions of the Window Server 2003 R2 operating system
  • The 32-bit or 64-bit versions of the Windows Server 2003

For Domain and Forest levels:

  • All must be raised to a domain functional level of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2. You cannot deploy Lync Server 2010 in a Windows 2000 mixed, Windows 2000 native, or Windows 2003 interim domain
  • All forests must be raised to a forest functional level of Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2
  • You cannot deploy Lync Server 2010 in a Windows 2000 mixed, Windows 2000 native, or Windows 2003 interim forest

Type of AD topologies:

  • Single forest with single domain
  • Single forest with a single tree and multiple domains
  • Single forest with multiple trees and disjoint namespaces
  • Multiple forests in a central forest topology
  • Multiple forests in a resource forest topology

In upcoming posts, we will include information around Lync Server setup, coexistence, etc.