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Migration to Skype for Business Server 2019 – Phase 3 (part 3)

Hi there! Welcome back to part 3 of 8 in our migration to Skype for Business Server 2019! In the last two phases we planned and prepared for the migration. This time, we’ll get our hands dirty by taking our first steps in deploying the Skype for Business Server 2019 pilot pool. Also, if you haven’t had a chance to check out Phase 1 and/or Phase 2, check out my blog page and you can find it there. With that said, let’s get right to it!

Phase 3: Deploy Skype for Business Server pilot pool

The deployment of Skype for Business Server 2019 requires using Topology Builder to define your topology and the components you want to deploy, preparing your environment for deployment of Skype for Business Server 2019 components, publishing your topology design on the first Front End Server, and then installing and configuring Skype for Business Server 2019 software for the components for your deployment. When completed, your Skype for Business Server 2019 pilot pool deployment will coexist with an existing legacy pool. Let’s go over each of these steps in a little more detail.

Prepare Active Directory for Skype for Business Server

  • Before deploying Skype for Business Server 2019 in a coexistence state, you must perform some additional Active Directory tasks to configure the schema, forest, and domain for Skype for Business Server 2019. The schema extensions add the Active Directory classes and attributes that are required by Skype for Business Server 2019.
    • On the Skype for Business Server 2019 Front End Server, run Skype for Business Server 2019 Setup.
    • Select Prepare Active Directory .
    • Complete steps 1 through 5 in the wizard.

 

Download Topology from existing deployment

  • When creating a Skype for Business Server 2019 pool, you will use the Central Management Store that is associated with the legacy installation. When you start Topology Builder on first use and subsequent edit sessions, you are prompted for the location where you want Topology Builder to load the current configuration document. Because you already have a topology defined and have established the Central Management store, you should choose to download a topology from an existing deployment. Topology Builder will read the database and retrieve the current definition.
    • Open the Skype for Business Server Deployment Wizard.
    • From the Skype for Business Server 2019 – Deployment Wizard page, click Install Administrative Tools.
    • Start Topology Builder: Click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft Skype for Business Server 2019, and then click Skype for Business Server Topology Builder.
    • Select Download Topology from existing deployment.
    • Choose a file name, and save the topology with the default .tbxml file type.
    • Expand the Skype for Business Server node to reveal the various server roles in the deployment.

 

Deploying Skype for Business Server 2019 pilot pool

  • The pilot pool is where you test coexistence of Skype for Business Server 2019 with your legacy deployment. Coexistence is a temporary state that lasts until you have moved all users and pools to Skype for Business Server 2019. There are several steps required to deploy your pilot pool but I’ll give you the quick and dirty for each steps for the sake of brevity.

Note: The following procedure discusses features and settings you should consider as part of your overall pilot pool deployment process. This section only highlights key points you should consider as part of your pilot pool deployment.

When you deploy a pilot pool, you use the Define New Front End Pool wizard. You should deploy the same features and workloads in your Skype for Business Server 2019 pilot pool that you have in your legacy pool. If you deployed Archiving Server, Monitoring Server, or System Center Operations Manager for archiving or monitoring your legacy environment, and you want to continue archiving or monitoring throughout the migration, you need to also deploy these features in your pilot environment. The version you deployed to archive or monitor your legacy environment will not capture data in your Skype for Business Server 2019 environment.

  1. Log on to the computer where Topology Builder is installed as a member of the Domain Admins group and the RTCUniversalServerAdmins group.

  2. Expand the tree until you reach Skype for Business Server 2019 > Enterprise Edition Front End pools.
  3. Right-click Enterprise Edition Front End pools and select New Front End Pool.
  4. Enter the pool fully qualified domain name (FQDN). When you define your pilot pool, you can choose to deploy an Enterprise Edition Front End pool or a Standard Edition server. Skype for Business Server 2019 does not require that your pilot pool features match what was deployed in your legacy pool.

  5. On the Select features page, select the check boxes for the features that you want on this Front End pool. For example, if you are deploying only instant messaging (IM) and presence features, you would select the Conferencing check box to allow multiparty IM, but you would not select the Dial-in (PSTN) conferencing, Enterprise Voice, or Call Admission Control check boxes, because they represent voice, video, and collaborative conferencing features.

  6. On the Select collocated server roles page, we recommend that you choose to collocate the Mediation Server in Skype for Business Server 2019. When merging a legacy topology with Skype for Business Server 2019, we require that you first collocate the legacy Mediation Server. After merging the topologies and configuring the Skype for Business Server 2019 Mediation Server, you can decide whether to keep the collocated Mediation Server, or change it to a stand-alone server when you move the Mediation Server role to Skype for Business Server 2019 later in the deployment process.
  7. On the Associate server roles with this Front End pool page, during pilot pool deployment, do not choose the Enable an Edge pool to be used by the media component of this Front End pool option. This is a feature you will enable and bring online in a later phase of migration. Keep this setting cleared for now.
  8. On the Select an Office Web Apps Server page, click New, and specify the FQDN of the application server.
  9. On the Define the Archiving SQL Server store page, when defining the SQL Server store for both Skype for Business Server Archiving and Monitoring, select the SQL Server instance created earlier for Skype for Business Server 2019.
  10. To publish your topology, right-click the Skype for Business Server node, and then click Publish Topology.
  11. When the publish process has completed, click Finish.

 

Verifying pilot pool coexistence with legacy pool

  • Verify that Skype for Business Server 2019 services have started
    • From the Skype for Business Server 2019 Front End Server, navigate to the Administrative Tools\Services applet.
    • Verify that the following services are running on the Front End Server:
      • Centralized Logging Service Agent
      • Application Sharing
      • Audio Test Service
      • Audio/Video Conferencing
      • Call Park
      • Conferencing Announcement
      • Conferencing Attendant
      • Front-End
      • IM Conferencing
      • Mediation
      • Replica Replicator Agent
      • Response Group
      • Web Conferencing
      • XMPP Translating Gateway
  • Open the Skype for Business Server 2019 Control Panel
    • From the Front End Server in your Skype for Business Server 2019 deployment, open the Skype for Business Server 2019 Control Panel and select the legacy pool. Repeat the procedure to open the Skype for Business Server 2019 pool.
  • Don’t attempt to open the topology in the legacy Topology builder
    • If you attempt to open the topology using the legacy Topology Builder. The topology can only be viewed using Skype for Business Server 2019 Topology Builder. The Skype for Business Server 2019 Topology Builder must be used to create pools for both Skype for Business Server 2019 and the legacy install.

 

Connecting pilot pool to legacy Edge Servers

  • Once Skype for Business Server 2019 has been deployed, you will need to configure a federation route for your site. In order to use the federated route that is being used by the legacy installation, Skype for Business Server 2019 must be configured to use this route. In order to enable the Skype for Business 2019 site to use the Director and Edge Server of the legacy deployment, you must use Topology Builder to associate the legacy Edge pool. The steps are to do this are as follows:
  1. Open Topology Builder.
  2. Select your site, which is directly below the Skype for Business Server node.
  3. On the Actions menu, click Edit Properties.
  4. In the left pane, select Federation route.
  5. Under Site federation route assignment, select Enable SIP federation, and then select the legacy Director, or the legacy Edge Server if no Director is listed.
  6. Click OK to close the Edit Properties page.
  7. In Topology Builder, under the Skype for Business Server 2019 node, navigate to the Standard Edition server or Enterprise Edition Front End pools, right-click the pool, and then click Edit Properties.
  8. Under Associations, select the check box next to Associate Edge pool (for media components).
  9. From the list, select the legacy Edge Server.
  10. Click OK to close the Edit Properties page.
  11. In Topology Builder, select the top-most node, Skype for Business Server.
  12. From the Action menu, click Publish Topology, and then click Next.
  13. When the Publishing wizard completes, click Finish.

 

Configuring XMPP gateway access policies and certificates

  • XMPP federation defines an external deployment based on the eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). An XMPP configuration allows users access to XMPP domain users by:
  • IM and Presence – person to person only
  • Creation of XMPP federated contacts in the Skype for Business client

Note: XMPP functionality has been deprecated in Skype for Business Server 2019, however you can continue to use it on a legacy server that is in coexistence with Skype for Business Server 2019. Make sure you have already deployed the legacy server (Skype for Business Server 2015 / Lync Server 2013) XMPP Gateway, and configured the access policies to enable users for legacy XMPP Gateway. For details, see Migrating XMPP Federation.

The steps to configure an external access policy to enable users for legacy XMPP gateway are as follows:

  1. Open the legacy Skype for Business Server Control Panel.
  2. In the left navigation bar, click Federation and External Access, and then click External Access Policy.
  3. Click New, and then click User policy.
  4. Enter a name for the external access user policy.
  5. Provide a description for external access user policy.
  6. Select Enable communications with federated users.
  7. Select Enable communications with XMPP federated users.
  8. Click Commit to save your changes to the site or user policy.

Great job! So far we’ve planned and prepared for the migration as well as deployed a pilot pool for Skype for Business Server 2019. In the next phase we’ll start moving our first test users over to that pool to begin using it! Check back in tomorrow for Phase 4!

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