Topic Last Modified: 2010-12-22

Much of the communication in your organization probably involves people outside your firewall: employees who are temporarily or permanently offsite, employees of customer or partner organizations, people who use public instant messaging (IM) services, and potential customers or partners whom you invite to meetings and presentations. In this documentation, these people are referred to as external users.

With Microsoft Lync Server 2010 communications software, users in your organization can use IM and presence to communicate with external users, and they can participate in audio/video (A/V) conferencing and web conferencing with your offsite employees and other types of external users. You can also support external access from mobile devices and over Enterprise Voice. External users who are not members of your organization can participate in Lync Server meetings without logging on to your intranet, so they do not have to have an internal account in your organization. This can facilitate ease of use and performance for external users.

To support communications across your organization’s firewall, you deploy Lync Server Edge Server, in your perimeter network (also known as DMZ, demilitarized zone, and screened subnet). The Edge Server controls how users outside the firewall can connect to your internal Lync Server deployment. It also controls communications with external users that originate within the firewall.

Depending on your requirements, you can deploy one or more Edge Servers in one or more locations. This section describes external user access in Lync Server, and it explains how to plan your edge topology.

Although you need an Edge Server to support Enterprise Voice and Microsoft Lync 2010 Mobile external user access, this section focuses on support for IM, presence, A/V conferencing, and web conferencing. For details about support for Enterprise Voice, see Planning for Enterprise Voice in the Planning documentation.

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