Bad news for hosters… or as a fellow MVP said ‘another kick in the nuts for hosters’ but at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2014 Microsoft announced the end-of-life for Lync Hosting Pack version 2 (which is based on Lync Server 2013). This was already known for some time, but now it’s official.
Lync Hosting Pack v2 will be supported up to 2018 and hotfixes and Cumulative Updates (please note that LHP CU’s differ from regular Lync 2013 CU’s!!) will be provided, but there won’t be any new developments.
From a Microsoft perspective the official roadmap is to move to Lync Online.
From a hoster perspective most likely the (unsupported!!) roadmap is to develop a multi-tenant environment based on Lync 2013 Enterprise and using Active Directory properties for filtering purposes and multi-tenancy, basically what we did with multi-tenant OCS 2007 R2. In the near future you will see hosting system integrators move this way and so will 3rd party control panel vendors.
When you’re running Lync Hosting Pack v2 you’re safe and ready to run for a couple of years in a supported state. If you are planning to deploy (or maybe deploying) Lync Hosting Pack v2 then this the time to reconsider this decision and follow a different path.
In the upcoming months I’ll try to monitor the developments from a Microsoft perspective, from a 3rd party control panel perspective and from a hoster perspective and let you know how things develop.