Welcome back! (Sorry about the missed week; WordPress decided not to put up a scheduled post I wrote. You go out of town for a few days and…)

Today's “Path to Lync Server” post is on Lync adoption. Before you open the gates and let the users have at it, you should check on two more things: DNS Load Balancing for VoIP, and enabling Enterprise Voice for users. (This is of course dependent on the tools your users requested in your survey from Step 2.)

Making sure both of these services work properly can save you a bunch of “this doesn't work!” emails. You know, the kind that flood you within about 15 seconds of going live?

DNS Load Balancing

If you're running VoIP phones through Lync (especially if they're for external use), you'll need to balance the SIP traffic load. In OCS you had to use a Hardware Load Balancer (HLB). Lync is nice about that though; it includes DNS Load Balancing to help manage the voice traffic.

What is Load Balancing? How Does It Help?

Think of DNS Load Balancing like a signal splitter. Instead of balancing traffic through the HLB's virtual IP address, it uses DNS to find you a nice open voice connection.

Clients are sent through a list of all front-end servers available in order to make a connection. Each front-end server has its own registrar database, to which certain clients are assigned (called the 'primary registrar'). Lync Server uses a hash algorithm to match up clients to their appropriate primary registrar for load balancing.

If their primary registrar is not available, Lync just moves the client to the next available front-end server. And so on until the connection is successful.

NextHop provides a good introduction to the idea. And they link to the TechNet post with a full DNS Load Balancing overview.
Introducing DNS Load Balancing in Lync Server 2010 – NextHop

What You Need to Set Up DNS Load Balancing

Greg at The Three UC Amigos blog wrote a good DNS Load Balancing overview the other day.
Lync DNS Load Balancing and Server Draining – The Three UC Amigos
It includes steps to take for setting up load balancing on your front-end servers. I don't have full documentation for the complete setup process yet though; I'll have to rustle something more comprehensive up soon. This should be enough to get you going though.

Enable Enterprise Voice for Users

Next up is Enterprise Voice. By now it should be configured and ready to go. I'm just crossing the T's and dotting the I's here (and so should you – this is not a service to set-and-forget!).

Once your users are familiar with the Lync interface, you can enable their Enterprise Voice account. Here's how you do it.

  1. 1. Open a browser window, and then enter the Admin URL to open the Lync Server Control Panel. (I covered how to log into the Control Panel in Step 7, Configure Lync to Your Office.)
  2. 2. In the left navigation bar, click Users.
  3. 3. In the Search Users box,search for the user you want. You can use any of the following information to search: Display Name (full or partial),First/Last Name, Security Accounts Manager (SAM) Account Name, SIP Address, or line Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) of the user account.
  4. 4. Click Find. The user you want to enable should show up. Click their name.
  5. 5. On the Edit menu, click Show details.
  6. 6. On the Edit Lync Server User page, under Telephony, click Enterprise Voice.
  7. 7. Click Line URI. Type in a normalized phone number (for example, “+15105551000”).
  8. 8. Click Commit.

And you're done. That user's Enterprise Voice account is active. They can pick up the phone and start talking. Repeat for all users.

If you plan on assigning a voice policy and/or dial plan for any users, you'll need to do it through the Lync Management Shell. Extra step, I know. Refer to the following TechNet article for the command strings needed:
Enable Users for Enterprise Voice – TechNet

Lync Ready for Adoption

Once this is done (and you've checked your settings), Lync should be fully deployed. Congratulations! Yay! All done right?

Well, hopefully.

Next week I'll wrap up the “Path to Lync Server” series with a few things to keep in mind. And some troubleshooting tips for when Lync wants to misbehave. See you then!

Path to Lync Server – Step 9: Phasing into Adoption

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