Upgrade Lync 2013 to Skype for Business 2015 Step-by-Step

Now that Microsoft has released Skype for Business 2015 it’s time to have a look at the upgrade possibilities. I’m running Lync 2013 Standard Edition in my environment (Lync 2013 Front-End Server, Lync 2013 Edge server and Lync 2013 Mediation server), and lucky enough there is an in-place upgrade possibility. A downtime if required, but when scheduling off business hours this should not be a problem. In this blog post I’ll discuss a step-by-step upgrade from Lync 2013 Standard edition to Skype for Business 2015.

Requirements

Before the servers can be upgraded to Skype for Business 2015 a number of requirements need to be met, depending of the underlying Operating System:

  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013 CU5 (February 2015 update) or above
  • PowerShell RTM version (6.2.9200.0) or later
  • SQL Server 2012 SP1 or later
  • Kb2533623 Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Kb2858668 Windows Server 2012
  • KB2982006 Windows Server 2012 R2

I’m running Windows Server 2012 R2 on all my servers, so the only updates I have to apply is the Cumulative Update for Lync (to be safe, the May 2015 Cumulative Update (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3051949) and the SQL Server 2012 SP1 update.

Continue reading Upgrade Lync 2013 to Skype for Business 2015 Step-by-Step

Creating an Exchange 2013 Hybrid environment

Updated: November 11, 2015

In a series of blog posts we will create an Exchange hybrid environment, where the on-premises environment consists of Exchange 2013 multi-role servers. Creating such an environment consists of several steps:

  • Implementing Directory Synchronization.
  • Running the Hybrid Configuration Wizard.
  • Creating Migration Endpoints.
  • Moving Mailboxes to Exchange Online.

Current Infrastructure

The current infrastructure consists of two Exchange 2013 multi-role servers and two Exchange 2013 Edge Transport servers, all of which are fully patched and running the latest version of Exchange 2013 (i.e. Exchange 2013 CU8). An Office Web Apps 2013 servers is also involved for rendering attachments in Outlook Web App.

A Kemp LM3600 LoadMaster is used for distributing incoming client requests from the Internet across both servers. SMTP is directed to two Exchange 2013 Edge Transport servers, which are subscribed to the internal Exchange 2013 servers, as shown in Figure 1.

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Figure 1. The starting point when creating a new Hybrid environment.

In Office 365 we have are using a tenant called ExchangeLabsNL, for Exchange Online the tenant name is not important, but for SharePoint Online it is important. The corresponding SharePoint Online environment is accessible via Exchangelabs.nl.sharepoint.com, so the tenant name is important after all.

Note. The tenant name cannot be changed later on, so don’t choose any silly names for your tenant. One day you will regret this.

Directory Synchronization Server

In our on-premises environment we are going to install a dedicated Directory Synchronization server. This is not really a hard requirement since DirSync can be installed on a Domain Controller as well. Personally I prefer to use a dedicated DirSync server and keep all Domain Controllers identical.

Exchange Hybrid Server

There’s a lot of confusion about the Exchange Hybrid server when creating an Exchange Hybrid environment and to be honest, it took quite some time for me as well to get rid of the confusion.

A true hybrid server does not exist, but in Microsoft terminology, the hybrid server is the Exchange server where the Hybrid Configuration Wizard (or HCW) is run to configure a Hybrid Configuration. And the Hybrid Configuration is nothing more than some information written in Active Directory so it can be easily found and used by all Exchange servers in the organization. In Figure 1, the hybrid server can be either server EXCH01 or server EXCH02.

An additional Exchange 2013 server can be added as a hybrid server. You can even use a dedicated FQDN like hybrid.contoso.com for this to separate SMTP and migration traffic from/to Office 365 form regular client traffic accessing the normal Exchange servers EXCH01 and EXCH02.

Free/busy information in this scenario for example is not using the dedicated hybrid server, since it is not possible to designate this kind of traffic to dedicated servers. When users in Exchange Online are creating new meetings with users in Exchange on-premises, the free/busy information is found using the normal Exchange EWS virtual directory. This information in turn is found using normal Autodiscover requests.

So, before you start building your Exchange Hybrid environment you have to make absolutely sure your starting point is working flawlessly, internally and externally. If you run into issues with AutoDiscover, free/busy, out-of-office or Certificate errors you have to fix these first before continuing with the hybrid configuration. One great tool to test your existing environment is the Remote Connectivity Analyzer (www.testexchangeconnectivity.com) and of course your own Outlook clients Glimlach 

Note. If you are running Exchange 2010 you can also use the existing Exchange 2010 servers to create a hybrid environment without adding Exchange 2013 servers (although you have to be absolutely sure about this, Exchange 2010 is no longer in mainstream support). If you want to use Exchange 2013 in your existing Exchange 2010 environment you have to start a coexistence project first. When this is fully functioning (without error of course) you can continue with the DirSync and hybrid configuration.

When all is running fine you can continue with implementing the DirSync solution, as outlined in the following blogpost: https://jaapwesselius.com/2015/05/13/implementing-directory-synchronization/

Manage users in Office 365 using PowerShell

After you’ve add domains to your Office 365 environment (using PowerShell of course) you might want to add users as well. In this blog post I’ll discuss how to add users, add and change licenses, remove users and change password settings.

Add Users using PowerShell

Use the Get-MsolUser command to get an overview of all users in Azure Active Directory (these were created in an earlier blog post):

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And use the Get-MsolAccountSku command to see what license is available:

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When creating a new user in Azure Active Directory you can use the New-MsolUser command, combined with the results of the Get-MsolAccountSku command for the license information. You can use the –LicenseAssignment and –UsageLocation options to assign a proper license.

New-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName Santa@office365labs.nl -FirstName Santa -LastName Klaus -DisplayName 'Santa Klaus' -Password 'Pass2015' –ForceChangePassword:$TRUE -LicenseAssignment "inframan:ENTERPRISEPACK" -UsageLocation NL

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Continue reading Manage users in Office 365 using PowerShell

Manage Domains in Office 365 using PowerShell

In a previous blogpost I showed you how to create new domains in Office 365 using the Microsoft Online Portal. You can do the same using PowerShell which can be much more interesting, especially for partner reselling Office 365 through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. If you want to know more about PowerShell, check my previous blog post Manage Office 365 with PowerShell.

Add a new domain

Adding a new domain in Windows Azure Active Directory can be broken down into three steps as we’ve seen in adding a domain using the Microsoft Online Portal:

  • Add and validate the actual domain;
  • Configure and validate DNS records (domain purpose);
  • Configure or add users;

These steps will be described in the following sections

Add and validate the actual domain

To add a new domain you can use the New-MsolDomain command. The –Name option is used to pass the domain name and the –Authentication option is used to pass the type of domain, which is either Managed or Federated. The latter is used in a federated environment with Directory Synchronization and ADFS, so in this example we use ‘Managed’:

New-MsolDomain –Authentication Managed –Name office365labs.nl

image Continue reading Manage Domains in Office 365 using PowerShell

Manage Office 365 with PowerShell

The core components of Office 365 are Exchange Online, Lync Online and SharePoint Online, all are running on top of Windows Azure Active Directory as shown in the following figure:

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All services can be managed from the Microsoft Online Portal. When logged on to the portal you can select the various services under Admin in the navigation pane. It is also possible to manage Office 365 using PowerShell, but all services require a different approach or module.

Managing Windows Azure Active Directory using PowerShell

To manage Windows Azure Active Directory with PowerShell you have to install the Azure Active Directory Module for Windows PowerShell (64-bit version) but before you can use this you also have to install the Microsoft Online Services Sign-In Assistant. Continue reading Manage Office 365 with PowerShell