Topic Last Modified: 2010-12-09

The first part of the planning process is deciding which Microsoft Lync Server 2010 workloads and major features you want for your organization.

  1. Do you want a physical or virtualized topology?   Microsoft Lync Server 2010 supports all workloads and server roles in both physical and virtualized topologies. User capacity in a virtualized topology is roughly 50 percent of the capacity in a physical topology. For details, see Running in a Virtualized Environment in the Planning documentation.

  2. Instant messaging (IM) and presence are always enabled.   In any Lync Server deployment, the instant messaging (IM) and presence workload is installed and enabled by default. IM enables your users to communicate with real-time text messages, and presence enables them to see the status of other users on the network. A user’s presence status provides information to help others decide whether they should try to contact the user, and by what means. For details, see Planning for IM and Presence in the Planning documentation.

  3. Do you want to deploy any modes of conferencing?   Conferencing is another core feature of Lync Server. Several modes of conferencing are supported. You can choose to deploy all supported types of conferencing, or just some of them. Web conferencing enables users to see a file, such as a slide deck created with Microsoft PowerPoint presentation graphics program, that is being presented. Application sharing enables users to share all or part of their desktop with each other in real time. With A/V conferencing, users can add audio (and possibly video) to their conferences and peer-to-peer communications. Dial-in conferencing enables users to use standard PSTN phones to join the audio portion of conferences hosted at your organization. For details, see Planning for Conferencing in the Planning documentation.

  4. If you deploy A/V conferencing, you should also monitor the audio quality of these conferences.   Many factors affect the audio and video quality of Lync Server A/V conferences. By using the A/V quality monitoring features provided by the Monitoring Server role, you can detect issues that affect media quality, and ensure that your users have the best possible media experience.

  5. Do you want high availability for your IM, presence, and conferencing servers?   If you have only one server at a site providing IM, presence and conferencing features, your users’ productivity will be greatly affected if that server goes down. By deploying a pool of multiple servers for these functions, you make it possible for Lync Server to continue functioning with all of these features intact even if a server is unavailable. Additionally, if you have more than 12,500 users at a site, you must deploy a pool to serve this large number of users. This pool also provides high availability.

  6. Do you want to deploy Enterprise Voice?    Enterprise Voice is the voice over IP (VoIP) solution provided by Lync Server. It provides an attractive alternative to traditional PBX-based telephony. Enterprise Voice enables users to place calls from their computers or VoIP phones by clicking a contact in Outlook or Microsoft Lync 2010. They can place calls over the IP network from computer to computer, computer to telephone, or telephone to computer. Users benefit from having all of their communications options-voice, email, IM, and conferencing-available and integrated on their computers. For details, see Planning for Enterprise Voice in the Planning documentation.

  7. If you deploy Enterprise Voice, you should also monitor the audio quality of these calls.   We recommend you use Monitoring Server to ensure the audio quality of your Enterprise Voice calls, if you deploy Enterprise Voice.

  8. Do you want to deploy Exchange UM?   If your organization uses Microsoft Exchange Server for its email services, you can deploy the Exchange Unified Messaging (UM) features of both Microsoft Exchange and Lync Server to enhance communications capabilities for your users. Exchange UM features include enabling users to receive voice mail notices and listen to voice mail from Outlook or Outlook Web Access, to access their Microsoft Exchange mailboxes using a telephone, and to receive faxes in their Microsoft Exchange mailboxes.

  9. Do you need to archive IM content or meeting content for compliance purposes?   If your organization has to archive IM content or meeting content for compliance purposes, you can deploy an Archiving Server.

  10. Do you want to enable your users to communicate and collaborate with external users?   Enabling communication and collaboration with external users can increase your return on investment in Lync Server. This enables your organization’s own users to benefit from Lync Server features even when they are working outside your organization’s firewalls. You can also federate with your partner or customer organizations that run Lync Server. By doing so, your users and federated partner users can easily send and receive IM messages, invite each other to meetings, and see each other’s presence. Additionally, your users can use an email message to invite specific outside users to conferences that they organize.

  11. Do you have branch offices in your organization?   If your organization has branch offices, Lync Server 2010 supports a variety of ways to support them and ensure their resiliency for voice and other features. In particular, at a branch office that does not have a resilient WAN link to a data center, you can install a Survivable Branch Appliance or Survivable Branch Server to maintain Enterprise Voice support should the wide area network (WAN) link go down. For details, see Enhanced Voice Resiliency in Central Sites and Branch Offices in the Planning documentation.