Monday, March 16, 2015

Skype for Business Readiness Series (7/15)

Today I joined the seventh session of the Skype for Business Readiness WebCast 
Series and the topic for today was Server Core Improvements Overview.

The Webcast was recorded and is available online from the link above.

Rick Varvel was presenting a Skype for business that is more evolutionary than revolutionary. It was also good to hear that all presenters and moderators in the readiness webcasts are already using a S4B client!

The Server Side Conversation History (SSCH) were discussed in detail today.


Here comes the QnA session, 25 questions and answers, enjoy!


New features

How will the S4B client be available? with Office 2013 version or standalone?
The S4B desktop client is an update to Office/Lync 2013. It is available as of today in preview http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-skype-for-business

We have office 365 Exchange online and Skype for business on-premise, is Server Side Conversation History (SSCH) available in this configuration?
Yes, it is possible to enable communication between exchange online and on-prem S4B pools which will make SSCH work. On-prem Exchange 2010 is supported with S4B server and S4B clients can connect to Exchange 2010 for Free/Busy but some of the features won't be available (such as Server side conversation history)

How does the conversation history treat conversations between the same users carried out via different clients, e.g. first mobile client and then continuing the conversation on your workstation?
The conversation will be displayed in both mobile and desktop, it should be the full conversation history.

Is the conversation viewable in a sip trace when server side conversation history is enabled?
No, it is not displayed in the server SIP trace due to privacy purposes.

Is the client side conversation history supported as in Lync 2013, if only Exchange 2010 is available?
Yes, saving Conversation history to a mailbox from a S4B client will still be supported with Exchange 2010.

Can we force a sync and/or increase/decrease the polling time for Server Side Conversation History?
No, but a user can manually use the new option "refresh conversations" on a Windows Phone to achieve this, on iOS and Android it is swiping down.

Will conversation history on mobile devices be saved for later submission to the server if a client loses connectivity (like the spooler for conversation history on PC client)?
The mobile client does not write to conversation history for every IM exchanged. So if there is a network glitch those messages would be still locally cached, they are not "lost". Having said this, we have not received negative feedback around this in TAP.

Once migrated to S4B, will end users have to reschedule their recurring meetings?
If upgrading from Lync 2013, or Lync 2010 to on premise S4B, there would be no need to reschedule recurring meetings. As long as there is no change in the simple Meet URL, there is no requirement to reschedule meetings.

What's the default expiration time for a meeting?
One year.

What mobile OS are supported for the S4B mobile clients?
iOS, Windows Phone, and Android will be released.

What is lost if we do not use Exchange 2013 or Exchange online?
Server Side Conversation History, Archiving Lync/S4B data to Exchange, High Definition Photos, Unified Contact Store, Scheduling Online Meetings within Outlook Web App.

Will S4B have its own 2-factor authentication or is it dependent on In-Tune or AAD?
S4B redirects the user to a passive auth URL so it does not provide a native 2FA or MFA, but relies on ADFS or similar options.

Does Multi Factor Authentication require ADFS, or just Server 2012 R2 WAP?
ADFS, WAP, Azure based, are all options for accomplishing Multi Factor Authentication. There are also 3rd party vendors (not officially supported) that provide Multi Factor Authentication.

Will there be at form of keep-alive mechanism to timeout "lost" (no Network) mobile devices?
UCWA maintains the connections with the Lync/S4B FE server on behalf of the mobile devices, so even if the mobile device is in a no-network zone the FE would not disconnect.

Are there any requirements for enabling the auto accept on the mobile client?
No, not except for (1) use latest mobile apps (2) S4B server and (3) Exchange 2013 or Exchange Online. There is no other setting to control this.

We have seen Lync 2013 clients pound the Exchange servers with EWS requests, any improvement on that front?
It will be the same in the S4B client but you can change the sync interval if you need.

Will S4B require a SPN to be hold in a computer account for Kerberos to work?
Kerberos configuration for S4B is the same as for Lync 2013.

How is Invoke-CsComputerFailOver different than Stop-CsWindowsService -graceful?
There are few differences. Invoke-CsComputerfailover will disable/stop services on the targeted server, so it completely takes the server out of the pool. The services will not start if you reboot the server.

If the Lync Server 2013 global AD settings are stored in the System Container, will it still work with S4B?
Yes.

Is there a roadmap tracking when S4B will be released by the SBA OEMs?
No, usually SBA images are released by vendors around 90 days post RTM, but this is a qualified guess.

Missing features

Will any of the Mobility improvements be applied to Lync 2013 updates?
No, they will require Skype for Business Server 2015 or Skype for Business Online.

Will unified contact store work from on-prem S4B to Exchange online?
No UCS is not supported between S4B on premise and Exchange Online. (There was some conflicting information around this) Here is a good article about how Lync 2013 handled this: How to integrate Exchange Online withLync Online, Lync Server 2013, or a Lync Server 2013 hybrid deployment.
 
Would Single Sign On with ADAL work for on-premises versions of Exchange and Skype for Business?
No, the first support would be for Online or Hybrid only. This is true as of today and subject to change.

Does Skype Federation work for conferences (more than 2 peers) in S4B?
No, that is not possible at this point.

Will there be a new release of the Attendant Console?
No, the current client will be supported with S4B.

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