Topic Last Modified: 2011-01-25

Microsoft Lync Server 2010 communications software and its client software, such as Microsoft Lync 2010, enable your users to connect in new ways and to stay connected, regardless of their physical location. Lync 2010 and Lync Server 2010 bring together the different ways that people communicate in a single client interface, are deployed as a unified platform, and are administered through a single management infrastructure.

This table and the following sections illustrate the major feature sets, or workloads, that Lync 2010 provides for your users.

Workload Description

IM and presence

Instant messaging (IM) and presence help your users find and communicate with one another efficiently and effectively.

IM provides an instant messaging platform with conversation history, and supports public IM connectivity with users of public IM networks such as MSN/Windows Live, Yahoo!, and AOL.

Presence establishes and displays a user’s personal availability and willingness to communicate through the use of common states such as Available or Busy. This rich presence information enables other users to immediately make effective communication choices.


Lync Server includes support for IM conferencing, audio conferencing, web conferencing, video conferencing, and application sharing, for both scheduled and impromptu meetings. All these meeting types are supported with a single client. Lync Server also supports dial-in conferencing so that users of public switched telephone network (PSTN) phones can participate in the audio portion of conferences.

Conferences can seamlessly change and grow in real time. For example, a single conference can start as just instant messages between a few users, and escalate to an audio conference with desktop sharing and a larger audience instantly, easily, and without interrupting the conversation flow.

Enterprise Voice

Enterprise Voice is the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offering in Lync Server 2010. It delivers a voice option to enhance or replace traditional private branch exchange (PBX) systems. In addition to the complete telephony capabilities of an IP PBX, Enterprise Voice is integrated with rich presence, IM, collaboration, and meetings. Features such as call answer, hold, resume, transfer, forward and divert are supported directly, while personalized speed dialing keys are replaced by Contacts lists, and automatic intercom is replaced with IM.

Enterprise Voice supports high availability through call admission control (CAC), branch office survivability, and extended options for data resiliency.

Support for remote users

You can provide full Lync Server functionality for users who are currently outside your organization’s firewalls by deploying servers called Edge Servers to provide a connection for these remote users. These remote users can connect to conferences by using a personal computer with Lync 2010 installed, the phone, or a web interface.

Deploying Edge Servers also enables you to federate with partner or vendor organizations. A federated relationship enables your users to put federated users on their Contacts lists, exchange presence information and instant messages with these users, and invite them to audio calls, video calls, and conferences.

Integration with other products

Lync Server integrates with several other products to provide additional benefits to your users and administrators.

Meeting tools are integrated into Outlook 2010 to enable organizers to schedule a meeting or start an impromptu conference with a single click and make it just as easy for attendees to join.

Presence information is integrated into Outlook 2010 and SharePoint 2010.

Exchange Unified Messaging (UM) provides several integration features. Users can see if they have new voice mail within Lync 2010. They can click a play button in the Outlook message to hear the audio voice mail, or view a transcription of the voice mail in the notification message.

Simple deployment

To help you plan and deploy your servers and clients, Lync Server provides the Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Planning Tool and the Topology Builder.

Lync Server 2010, Planning Tool is a wizard that interactively asks you a series of questions about your organization, the Lync Server features you want to enable, and your capacity planning needs. Then, it creates a recommended deployment topology based on your answers, and produces several forms of output to aid your planning and installation.

Topology Builder is an installation component of Lync Server 2010. You use Topology Builder to create, adjust and publish your planned topology. It also validates your topology before you begin server installations. When you install Lync Server on individual servers, the installation program deploys the server as directed in the topology.

Simple management

After you deploy Lync Server, it offers the following powerful and streamlined management tools:

  • Active Directory for its user information, which eliminates the need for separate user and policy databases.

  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Control Panel, a new web-based graphical user interface for administrators. With this web-based UI, Lync Server administrators can manage their systems from anywhere on the corporate network, without needing specialized management software installed on their computers.

  • Lync Server Management Shell command-line management tool, which is based on the Windows PowerShell command-line interface. It provides a rich command set for administration of all aspects of the product, and enables Lync Server administrators to automate repetitive tasks using a familiar tool.

While the IM and presence features are automatically installed in every Lync Server deployment, you can choose whether to deploy conferencing, Enterprise Voice, and remote user access, to tailor your deployment to your organization’s needs.

In This Section