Ok we all know about virtualization at this stage and if you dont where have you been!! Smile

 

Lync 2010 is microsofts next generation voice platform with integration IM and Video Conferencing, combine this with exchange and you got your self a full phone system with voicemail and more so a unified approach (hence the unified communications piece! Smile with tongue out

now here is were it gets interesting in my view… traditionally when it comes to voice systems and especially the previous generation of the products and the current generation of exchange 2010 unified messaging they tend not to like to be virtualized. Not that they wont work in an environment that is virtualized just that the associated overhead that you naturally inherit when you virtualize a system starts to become an issue.

Also when you consider legacy PBX vendors were all hardware based, you have to stand and consider the approach of virtualizing what is considered the most important system in a company in many cases. if your phones go down it usually means bad for business, even more than if an email system goes down (there is a little tolerance for that as well but more than what is for if you phone system goes down!)

So you begin to ask yourself does it make sense and really do you want to do…..

First of all yes you can and here is a link to the best practice document from Microsoft around lync

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=842F2426-AB3C-4510-9283-BFBF9D1B4438&displaylang=en

HOWEVER it should really only be considered in certain scenarios and ALWAYS ALWAYS make sure it is a very well spec’d host with plenty of overhead and very low latency components. This is simply to ensure the best user experience possible.

Now in my personal consideration it should only be used when it comes to Proof of Concept or even as a backup registrar which would make sense as if your main box goes down at least you can still work even if it is in a degraded capacity (obviously with this scenario i havent considered this to be a full enterprise deployment Smile )

if you do decide to virtualize, please ensure you perform follow all virtualization guidelines as listed in the document and review the general best practices around virtualizing SQL and Windows 2008 R2, as every point in the chain matters. Ensure your storage system is not bottle necked and that you have sufficient cpu and memory capacity to carry this load and any projected load when you design the system.

In short every company is different and some will want to ensure the system is virtualized, but ensure expectations are set, guidelines are followed and properly capacity planning is done…

As previous mentioned to numerous colleagues and various chats i have had with people, i am certainly an advocate of a virtualized world and if it can be done i generally will, but there are some workload’s out there you have to stand back from and just consider… is it really a good idea.

We all know user experience is key to adoption and provide bad user experience… well you know the answer… Open-mouthed smile

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