Monday, February 23, 2015

Skype for Business Readiness Series (1/15)

Today I joined the first session of the Skype for Business Readiness WebCast Series and the topic for today was Introduction. A nice presentation that started out with the Introducing Skype for Business video and went on presenting what will come in the 14 webcasts to follow.

The Webcast was recorded and will be made available offline within a month from today and also the slides will be available for download one month post the session.

Ali Rohani presented and his group acted as moderators answering tons of questions around Skype for business.

I collected some of the questions (54+) and answers here since I like QnA's, enjoy!


Can we deploy a Skype4B pool while we still have a Lync 2013 and a Lync 2010 pool in the topology?
No, this is not supported as it will create a tri-existence in your topology. You will have to decommission the 2010 deployment in this scenario.

What are the minimum hardware requirements for deploying a S4B server?
The hardware requirements for Lync Server 2013 also apply to S4B. Virtualization is supported with the same guidance as for Lync 2013.

Is there in-place upgrade for a Lync 2013 on premise virtual deployment?
The same in-place upgrade experience will apply for both virtual and physical servers running Lync Server 2013.

Can we do in-place or side-side upgrade from Lync 2010 to Skype for Business, if we also have GroupChat deployed in Lync 2010?
In-place upgrade, no. Side-by-side, yes.

Does the in-place upgrade cover Reporting and Persistent Chat?
Yes, you can do in-place upgrade for your Persistent Chat Servers

For an in-place upgrade, could we bring down the FE pool, upgrade it to S4B and continue on with all conference and contact data intact?
This is correct. The in-place upgrade process is seamless. However, it will be up to you to decide how to approach it. Either move all users to a different pool, upgrade and move back or take the pool offline, upgrade and bring it back online.

As for SBA's there is no in-place upgrade supported, does this also apply to SBS?
In-place upgrade for SBS will be supported. In-place upgrade for SBA will not be supported.

Will we still have Standard and Enterprise Editions for Skype for Business Server?
Yes there are still Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition Front End Pools in S4B.

Does Skype for business require three front end servers for single enterprise edition pool due to Windows Server 2012 fabric element design?
We strongly recommend that EE pools have three or more Front End servers, however, two Front Ends for EE pools are still supported.

How about support for EE Pools with only one Front-End server?
Not recommended, but still supported.

New features

Are there new features (like transferring calls) for the users in the enterprise voice area?
Yes, the client side (user facing) controls are improved to provide a better experience. With the new S4B client it is easier to do a call transfer. However, this improvement has more to do with finding the controls rather than changing the steps to transfer.

How similar are the S4B PowerShell cmdlets to the Lync 2013 ones?
There are several new PS cmdlets in S4B, only one cmdlet has been deprecated in S4B.

Can we turn on call-via-work for specific users only or is it a global setting?
Call-via-Work will be a user specific setting (policy).

Can we run the new Client UI with an existing Lync 2013 infrastructure?
Yes this is supported.

Can you turn on the Skype UI for specific users only or is it a global setting?
It is a CsClientPolicy flag "EnableSkypeUI" so yes, you can control it.

Will we have the ability to block access to the Skype directory?
Yes, you can control this on the server side.

Does S4B support passive authentication in terms of mobility?
Yes, S4B will support passive authentication and for mobility specifically, there will be a feature to give a hint to just the mobile clients for doing passive authentication. This feature is not ready on mobile clients as of today. Mobile clients get upgraded and features are added on a quarterly cadence, with Lync for Windows Phone it is a monthly cadence now.

To enable passive authentication for Mobile clients only, is the WAP role a mandatory requirement?
No, that is not mandatory.

Can the new Video Interoperability Server role run on the edge server?
The Video Interoperability Server role needs to run on a separate server.

Will the Video Interoperability Server also include content sharing enhancements with legacy devices?
Voice and Video only at release

Will direct registration of devices to VIS be possible?
Not at GA. This is planned for a future release.

Is the SILK codec is included in the S4B architecture?
Yes, SILK will be the default codec for all 1:1 communications on Skype for Business client

Do gateways have to support SILK?

Is the role of the Mediation server still required?
Yes, this role is still core to the connectivity with the IP and PSTN telephony world.
The Mediation Server does not support SILK as of now. The SILK codec will only be available for 1:1 Skype for Business calls and Skype federation calls.

What is the bandwidth requirement for SILK?
36 kbps for the audio payload

Do Lync phones have to support SILK?
No, fallback to RTA, G.722 and G.711 is still supported.


Will Skype4B support a SQL 2014 Back-end database server?
Yes, both SQL 2014 Express (for local instances) and SQL 2014 for the backend.

Could S4B work with SQL 2012 or should we upgrade to SQL 2014 for an in-place upgrade?
SQL Server 2012 is still supported for back-ends, however the deployment wizard will install/upgrade to SQL 2014 Express on local instances.

Will Always-On also be supported for Lync 2013 in the future?
There are no plans to support SQL AlwaysOn Availability Groups for Lync Server 2013 at this time.

Will SQL Mirroring still be supported in S4B?
Yes, we will continue to provide support for existing SQL options - SQL AlwaysOn will be in addition to what's available today.

Unchanged features

Is there a replacement for the Lync Attendant 2010 Console?
No, it is not in this update.

Are there any developments regarding the Lync VDI plugin with Skype for Business?
No changes in the VDI plugin area. But you can update the VDI plugin with the S4B build to align the version match with the S4B build in the remote desktop.

Are we still going to require the Office web app server for power point presentation in Skype for business?
Yes, Office Web Apps is still required for PPT viewing in S4B.

Are there any improvement for the number of servers in a single pool and the maximum supported users for a single server?
Scalability considerations are the same as for Lync 2013.

Is it still a requirement for installing plugins for browser sessions (meetings)?

Does Skype for Enterprise Support Outlook 2010 Integration? Or only Outlook 2013 and/or 2016?
Yes, Skype for business and Outlook 2010 Integration is supported; Presence in Outlook and scheduling Skype meetings will be supported.

Is integration with Exchange Server 2010/2013 Unified Messaging still supported?
Yes, Unified messaging interoperability is the same as in Lync 2013.

Will the optimized for Lync phone edition devices require a firmware update to be used with S4B?
No, there is no Firmware update required, Lync phone edition devices will work with Skype for Business Server. Updates might come, but is not planned for right now.

Can I run a S4B client and a regular Skype client on my desktop after upgrade?
Yes the Skype consumer client and the Skype for business client can be used simultaneously on the same desktop.

Any updates to the way the client integrates with Exchange for Free/Busy, etc?
Is SRV for autodiscover still needed?
Yes the S4B client still need the SRV records to integrate with Exchange web services.

Will Lync-Qualified devices work with S4B?

Are there any changes in the DNS requirements for S4B?
There are no changes with regards to required DNS records in this release, lyncdiscover is still used.

Skype for Business will this have a recorder like Lync 2013?
Yes, the Recording Manager will be available in Skype for Business.

Hardware Load Balancing - is it still required for web traffic?
Yes, a load balancing solution is still required for web services traffic, DNS load balancing is not supported for web services traffic.

Is DNS Load Balancing supported for internal use?
DNS LB is the same as in 2013, but you still need HLB for web services.

Is the Lync 2010 desktop client compatible?
Yes, Lync 2010 will be supported with Skype for Business server.

Features "missing"

Many questions (and comments) came on the Lync client on MAC. Will there be any improvements for the Lync (S4B) client on MAC? Unfortunately the answer seems to be no, not at this time at least. The Lync client for Mac improvements have been happening on a quarterly cadence for more than a year. There is a significant functionality gap on the client between MAC and Windows. Missing MAC client functionality is stability, support for persistent chat, voice quality issues and slow screen sharing.

Are multitenant features (like the Lync Hosting Pack) present?
Any upgrade / transition path for Hosting Pack deployment?
The on-premises version of Skype for Business Server will not offer multi-tenant functionality.

What is the migration approach for Remote Call Control implementations?
For RCC users, the recommendation is to utilize Call-via-Work. The option for using RCC will not be available in the new Skype for Business client.

Will Skype for Business support offline Instant Messaging?
No, offline messaging is not part of S4B

Will S4B support an audio conference with a Skype user?
No, conferencing is not supported with the Skype Consumer client

Will response groups work on mobile devices, or better said, can an user pick up a call? Currently in Lync 2013 there were issues on mobile platforms to pick-up RGS calls.
There have not been any changes with regards to supportability for mobile devices for RGS calls.

Will the mobile clients support persistent chat?
No, S4B mobile clients will not support persistent chat.

Will a S4B MCU support dial out DTMF tones?
No, not as of now.

Will scheduling Skype meetings be supported from mobile clients?

No, not as of now.


  1. hi,
    Do you know if it is possible to do a in place upgrade from Lync 2013 hosting pack til SFB? I don't know why hosting pack where installed, but we are not hosting anyone

  2. Hi Espen,

    I checked with a friend who is running a Lync 2013 multitenant. Officially it is not supported to in-Place upgrade Lync 2013 multitenant to SFB, but technically it will probably work. However, any of the new features like CQD will of course not support multitenant.

  3. Hello all,

    We here are deploying integration with Skype4B 2015 Server + CUCM 10.5 , following Microsoft instructions: (

    The Trunk SIP TCP with VIS OK is "UP", But there is NO VIDEO between calls only audio ! Someone had these problems in integration?

    Thanks for help me !