Microsoft Lync Server 2010 : Planning for Internal Non-Voice Deployment - Planning for IM

12/13/2013 2:31:10 AM
Although instant messaging (IM) is one of the simplest features offered by Lync Server 2010, it is nonetheless important to plan for the implications of supporting this feature. Decisions around remote users, public users, and federated users influence how the environment is architected and deployed.

1. Considerations for Internal Users

When planning a deployment including IM, there are a few items to take into consideration when there will be internal users on the system. Although things such as server capacity are accounted for with the capacity planning of the Front End Server, it is important to consider the following impacts:

• Compliance and regulatory requirements

• Impacts on supporting systems

• End-user training

• Appropriate usage policies

When planning a deployment, always be aware of laws and regulations that might affect your users and your implementation. For example, find out whether there are requirements around archiving IM traffic for particular departments such as legal, finance, or executives. If there are, be sure to account for the Archive role in the deployment and determine how much space is required to archive the data for the period specified by company policy or specific applicable regulations.

For general users, determine whether there will be integration between the Lync client and applications such as Outlook. By default, Lync wants to store conversations in Exchange so that they can be recalled later by the user. If this will be enabled, account for the added storage usage in Exchange. If storage quotas are already enforced in Exchange, this might not be an issue, but users should be made aware that their usage within Exchange might increase and that they might end up with a shorter window of messages in their mailbox in order to stay within their quota.


Consider creating archive rules within Outlook to manage the Conversation History folder.

One area often missed by deployments of enterprisewide applications, such as Lync Server 2010, is the creation of appropriate end-user training. Although administrators spend a lot of their time researching and learning technologies, most end users do not. As such, it is the responsibility of the team deploying the application to develop training for end users. This typically should consist of cheat sheets explaining how to perform basic tasks and when possible, include screenshots to make it clear to users where to click and what to do.

The last thing to consider when planning a non-voice deployment of Lync Server 2010 is the creation of an appropriate use policy. This is where you can set the rules around the usage of IM and define behaviors that are to be avoided. For example, although it might seem common sense to some, set a policy stating that instant messaging is not to be used to send sensitive materials outside the company.


By setting guidelines ahead of time, you greatly reduce the chances of the new tool being used to circumvent other protective measures that have already been put in place in the enterprise. The main point is to make sure that IM is seen as another potential source for data leak.

2. Consideration for Remote Users

One of the big strengths of Lync Server 2010 is the capability to communicate with users that are outside the corporate environment. This might include partner companies or it might include random users on the Internet who need to participate in the occasional conversation and usually includes internal users who are in remote locations. When planning for Lync Server 2010, be mindful of which scenarios need to be supported. Typically, account for the following three major groups of external users:

• Remote users

• Federated users

• Public users

A remote user in this context refers to one who belongs to the organization but needs to connect from outside the organization. This might include situations in which the user travels or otherwise connects to Lync Server 2010 without the benefit of a virtual private network (VPN) connection into the network.

The primary consideration for remote users include planning for availability of the Edge Server role to ensure that they can always get a connection into the Lync Server 2010 environment and to plan for integration of certificates for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections.

If the Lync Server 2010 deployment uses public certificates, this will likely not be a problem because the major public certificate authorities are already trusted by the operating systems supported by the Lync client and the Communicator client. If, on the other hand, you plan to use an internal Certificate Authority, plan for not only the deployment of the root certificate into the certificate trust store of the clients, but also ensure that the Certificate Revocation List of the Certificate Authorities involved are reachable by users when they are connecting remotely.

Because most Lync Server 2010 deployments using internal PKI use Active Directory–integrated certificate authorities, typically you can depend on the directory to present the CRL to clients. Because domain controllers are almost never exposed to a demilaritized zone (DMZ) or the Internet, you must depend on the HTTP publishing of the CRL. Because this needs to be reached by remote clients who aren’t connected to the internal LAN, the CRL path in the CRL distribution point should reference a web server that is reachable through the Internet. This ensures that systems can access a valid CRL to ensure that the certificates are good and thus enable successful connections over SSL.

The other value of an HTTP published CRL is for the support of clients that aren’t bound to Active Directory. In many environments, Macintosh computers, which can run the Communicator client to connect to Lync Server 2010, aren’t bound to Active Directory. As such, they can’t access the CRL through the LDAP path, so they’ll end up using the HTTP path for CRL checking.

Federated users refer to those from companies that also run Lync Server 2010 or older versions of Office Communications Server, such as OCS 2007 or OCS 2007 R2. Federating is the creation of a formal relationship between the two environments that give each the capability to share contact lists and presence information with one another. The primary items to plan for are the creation of an external access policy and the establishment of a list of federated domains. Both of these items are configured through the Lync Server 2010 Control Panel in the External User Access pane.

Planning for public users means making a determination of whether or not the Lync Server 2010 system will integrate with existing public IM services such as Yahoo!, AOL, or MSN. This gives the capability to consolidate all IM traffic into a single client because users would no longer need a secondary client to talk to their public contacts. This can be especially useful in environments that archive IM traffic for regulatory or compliance reasons. It also enables users to potentially use an existing public IM identity through Lync to maintain their original identity in the eyes of Internet public IM users.

Some additional public services can be integrated by using an XMPP gateway. This allows integration with Google Talk as well as Jabber.


Public IM connectivity with MSN, AOL, and Yahoo! requires a separate license. If you plan to offer public IM connectivity, don’t forget to purchase the license and account for the fact that it might take several weeks for these providers to process the SIP routes.

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