I was asked this by a university in Virginia.
I found this useful matrix showing the supported video conferencing formats for Lync Server 2010. The takeaway here is the first three formats are supported with multiparty video conferencing with up to 250 users per video conference and the HD 720p format is supported only with peer to peer (1 to 1) video conferencing. The 720p HD peer to peer video also works with federated Lync, OCS, or Windows Live or Live@edu users. There are plans to even to allow for Xbox360’s popular Kinect video camera to join Lync video conferences via a software update.
CIF video format:
RT pano video format below:
Future is supposed to allow for Kinect video and content consumption with Lync. I can see this being useful in education with students consuming lectures via their Xbox in their dorm for example:
How does a multiparty video conference work with Lync?
I found this useful flow diagram showing Lync internal and external endpoints connecting to Lync’s AVMCU.
What type of machine do I need for CIF, VGA or HD video with Lync?
As you step up in video formats you also need to be sure your machine can handle the video processing. Here are the recommended guidelines for CPU needs:
1.5Ghz + Single Core for CIF video Dual Core for VGA or with the Polycom CX5000 Panoramic Quad Core for HD (720p)
1.5Ghz + Single Core for CIF video
Dual Core for VGA or with the Polycom CX5000 Panoramic
Quad Core for HD (720p)
How do I enable HD video support in Lync?
By default, Lync’s video mode per user is 640x480 VGA. On the Lync server side, an administrator has to enable 720p support globally or per site using the following cmdlet:
Set-CsMediaConfiguration –Identity:Global -MaxVideoRateAllowed HD720p15m
It should take place within 5 minutes or you can speed it up by restarting the Lync Front end service.
What type of HD video cams are available for Lync?
We just released a brand new HD camera supporting 1080p called the Microsoft LifeCam Studio which is also certified for Lync 2010.
Although Lync currently supports a maximum of 720p, the native 1080p sensor is more than twice as large as the 720p HD sensors on the market and lets more light in so people experience great video in virtually any lighting condition.
Other key features include:
· Lync Certified for true plug-and-play performance
· High-Fidelity microphone
· High quality glass element lens for superior clarity
· 360-degree view range
· An elongated hood to help protect the lens from stray light
· Standard tripod mounting threads
Other Lync certified HD cameras are listed here:
Lync USB Devices Comparison Table
This is a great tool to analyze your Lync deployment and should be leveraged on a daily/weekly basis as part of your Lync Server operational best practices. The BPA will scan your Lync infrastructure, report errors, warnings and information about the settings and configuration.
The BPA validates your Lync infrastructure versus a list of our Lync Best Practice configurations, hotfixes, service packs, etc maintained by the Lync team. We update the list of best practices frequently as configurations, hotfixes, best practices evolve. The Exchange 2010 built-in BPA is another great tool to provide the same functionality against your Exchange 2010 infrastructure.
The Lync Server 2010 BPA can be downloaded here.
The Lync BPA TechNet documentation is here.
A lot of my customers have been asking when this was coming since they wanted to begin planning for their virtualized and physical Lync server deployments. This tool has quite a few improvements over the RC planning tool. I pointed out some them below.
This tool has a new virtualization option in the tool shown below:
I like they added in the option for HLB or DNS LB:
Looks like some of my feedback made it into the tool like this one. I asked them to make the Director optional for some smaller single pool deployments:
Nice new virtualization pages:
New collocation of mediation server option:
Some tweaks to the Visio drawing where it shows virtualized roles now:
New and very cool virtualization information listed here:
Nice new breakdown of host and guest requirements for Lync deployments:
Updated Edge network diagram:
Grab the RTW Lync planning tool here.
There are some FREE Lync instructor led training courses that have become available to learn Lync. Sign up for these courses below:
Introducing Microsoft Lync Microsoft Lync empowers users to communicate and collaborate easily using a range of tools accessible from a single application, including instant messaging (IM), voice, video, and desktop sharing.
Best Practices for Microsoft Lync Conferencing Learn best practices for managing Online Meetings using Microsoft Lync. From scheduled conferences to instant application sharing, discover how easy it is to collaborate successfully!
Six Steps to a Successful UC Rollout Deploying Office Live Meeting or Communications Server to your organization? Don’t stop at the desktop! Join us to learn best practices for readiness planning and driving adoption of Unified Communications solutions.
If you would rather learn at your own pace visit the FREE recorded training links below:
Microsoft Lync Training
Introducing Microsoft Lync
See the latest enhancements in online communication with Microsoft Lync! With Instant Messaging, to Voice and Video conversations, and even Online Meetings, Lync offers flexible communication options from a single, streamlined user interface.
Best Practices for Microsoft Lync Conferencing
Learn best practices for managing Online Meetings using Microsoft Lync. From scheduled conferences to instant application sharing, learn how to collaborate successfully!
Unified Communications User Adoption Training
Six Steps to a Successful UC Rollout
Deploying Unified Communications technologies to your organization? Join us to learn best practices for readiness planning and driving adoption of UC solutions.
Adoption Reporting Tool for Office Communications Server
A 30-minute overview of the Adoption Reporting Tool for Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2. This tool enables Administrators to easily measure adoption of OCS, and usage of its key features across their enterprise.
I learned something today about Lync virtualization. We recommend an 8 CPU core (Enterprise class CPU) hardware profile for a physical Lync Server. However, Hyper-V supports a maximum of 4 virtualized CPU core. Due to this resource constraint, a virtualized Lync Server role can handle approximately 50% of the load compared to a physical server running Lync Server and using the recommended hardware specifications.
In addition, a 10% virtualization overhead is deducted.To find out more check out the whitepaper here.
Marquette University was part of our early adopter program for Lync Server. They currently have deployed Lync for voice, IM/Presence and conferencing for about 1000 users on campus thus far and are targeting an additional 3000 voice endpoints on campus over the next year. About a month ago, they had a massive blizzard which created chaos on their datacenter where their datacenter cooling systems became clogged and unusable. Due to the heat, they had to begin shutting down critical systems and Lync was one of the few systems they left up to maintain critical communications across the campus IT teams (picture courtesy from Danny Smith at Marquette University).
Read more about how they leveraged Lync during their crisis on the UC product team’s blog here.
Read more about Marquette’s Lync case study here.
A new CIO.com article about Marquette’s situation here.
Read about other Education Lync case studies including complete voice deployments at Oxnard High School District and Georgia Military College here.