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Lync Server 2013 Virtualization Whitepaper Goes Public

Virtualization of Lync Server 2013 is both supported and very common, yet understanding the proper way to virtualize the system becomes a complicated conversation. The gap between high level virtualization requirements outlined by Microsoft and the more specific details virtualization experts are requiring is quite large. The conversation normally goes like this in its simplest form:
Virtualization Expert: I want dynamic resources.
Lync Expert: You can’t have it, not supported.
Virtualization Expert: I want VMotion or Live Migration:
Lync Expert: You can’t have it, not supported.
Virtualization Expert: I need to know specific IOPS.
Lync Expert: That’s open ended, we don’t have that level of specifics…only a little bit.
Virtualization Expert: The host/guest sever requirements provided by Microsoft don’t make a lot of sense, they want to much.
Lync Expert: It is what it is, Microsoft sets the supported requirements.
The reality is that virtualization specifics are on the far left of the spectrum and Lync Server 2013 requirements are on the far right of the spectrum, meeting in the middle is almost impossible.
Toward the year end of 2014 I was contacted by Derek Seaman of Nutanix to help co-author a Lync Server 2013 Virtualization whitepaper. Nutanix are virtualization experts who focus on rapid, simple delivery of virtualization platforms into your environment…amongst other things. To read more about Nutanix and get accurate information about their expertise, you can visit their site here.
Derek and I collaborated for a few months back and forth between what it really means to virtualize Lync Server 2013. (Just to be clear, Derek is VCDX-125 on VMWare, so he kind of knows what he’s talking about).  As time went on, he began to ask the very questions my customers ask me, very detail oriented virtualization questions.  (He was using really big words).  The collaboration began to feel like a design session. Unfortunately, I was unable to provide answers he was looking for, for two reasons; 1.) I’m not a virtualization expert and 2.) I can only provide as much information about virtualizing Lync Server 2013 to him, that is given to me from Microsoft.  Derek found out that the information I was providing was falling short of what he needed answers to.  In client deployments typically what would happen is customers would just end up giving full specs based on Microsoft information or they would configure VMWare/Hyper-V the way they wanted which would probably fall out of supportability.  I would then have to recommend they open a support ticket with Microsoft to get sign off.  Neither of these are the best answer, especially for SMB size deployments.
After a few months of back and forth, the outcome of our collaboration was completed.  For the first time that I can find, a Lync Server virtualization whitepaper has been co-written, based on real world experience, by a Microsoft Certified Master on the Lync Platform and a VMWare Certified Design Expert.  I hope this paper can close that gap in the spectrum so organizations looking to virtualize and properly size their environment can finally get answer to some of those hard questions.
Read the blurb here:
Sign up for the whitepaper here:
Microsoft Virtualization whitepaper can be found here:

Thoughts on “Lync Server 2013 Virtualization Whitepaper Goes Public”

  1. In the Virtualizing Lync Server 2013 white paper, I noticed that for the Large Enterprise Configuration the Mediation Servers are sharing cores with the Edge Servers. That appears to be inconsistent with the Microsoft supportability requirements that all media servers must have dedicated cores and must not share CPU resources with other VMs. Could you please help me understand the thoughts behind that decision. FYI…the white paper is very done and we really appreciate it.

  2. Thanks Jason, this is ideal.
    Possible typo on p50, where it states a recommended BIOS setting of “Execute Disabled Bit: Disabled” – isn’t it a requirement for ESXi that this is Enabled?

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Jason Sloan

I currently hold the Microsoft Certified Master on Lync Server 2010 certificatoin and work as a Senior Technical Consultant at Perficient, specializing in Unified Communications design and deployments. My history in IT dates back 15 years with all my experience coming primarily from Microsoft Technologies. I believe the Microsoft Unified Communiations community is a very close and talented group of engineers who genuinely enjoy the technologies and collaborating with one another to help the technologies dominate the marketplace.

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