Topic Last Modified: 2012-10-03

When planning for Lync, the first major decision is how to deploy Microsoft Lync: as Lync Server 2013 on premises, or Lync Online with Microsoft Office 365 in the cloud.

Which type of deployment would be best for you depends on the workloads you want to deploy, and your organization’s geographical and business status.

Lync Server

An on-premises Lync Server deployment is best for the following scenarios:

  • Full Enterprise Voice Capabilities   If you plan to deploy a full Enterprise Voice solution to replace your PBX or which uses advanced calling features, an on-premises Lync Server deployment is required. On-premises supports direct connectivity with PBX systems and trunks, and advanced phone features such as response groups and call park. Lync Online does not currently support these features.

  • Media Quality Controls   If you want the full range of media quality assurance features, such as Call Admission Control (CAC) and Quality of Service (QoS) features, you will want an on-premises deployment .

  • Persistent Chat   If you need to deploy Persistent chat for your organization, you must choose an on-premises deployment.

  • 3rd-Party Server Applications   Only on-premises deployments can work with trusted 3rd-party applications that use the Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API (UCMA).

  • Multi-National/Multi-Regional Companies Needing Regional Support   If you have datacenters in multiple countries or regions and need servers to be deployed and managed on a regional basis, an on-premises deployment is best, as it provides this type of regional management capabilities.

  • Complete control over policies, reports, and upgrades   With an on premises Lync Server deployment, you have access to the full set of server and client policies, Monitoring and other reports, and timing of upgrades. Lync Online provides a subset of policy setting and reports, and provides a limited, though significant, window for accepting upgrades.

Lync Online

If none of the factors in the preceding list are critical for you, you may want to choose Lync Online, for simpler deployment and manageability. Lync Online provides a robust IM, presence and conferencing feature set, and also enables voice and video calls over IP between users in your organization.