Is an In-Place Upgrade to Skype for Business Right for You?

October 7, 2015   //   Unified Communications

Skype for Business, the rebranded version of Microsoft Lync, introduces a method of upgrading not seen in a long time: the in-place upgrade.

That’s right, you can install Skype for Business right on top of your Lync 2013 deployment and be up in an hour or so without investing a ton of your IT staff’s hours. It’s not only possible, it’s the recommended approach for upgrades. But it is the right approach for you? Let’s answer some common questions.

Wait, should I upgrade to Skype for Business at all?

Unequivocally yes. There are many feature enhancements, including the ability to search and chat with over 400 million Skype users as well as many other feature and stability enhancements. With the simplified upgrade options, the answer in almost any situation is yes.


Aren’t in-place upgrades bad?

To be clear, we’re not advocating for in-place upgrades of everything, but the Skype for Business upgrade has been flawless in the many deployments we’ve performed so far. As long as your environment is stable, the upgrade is clean and works well. If your server is unstable, or has issues outside of Lync, a migration to a fresh operating system may be the best choice for you.

What do I need to know to decide?

There are a few things you need to know before deciding if you should perform an in-place upgrade or build a side-by-side environment and move users over.

If Lync 2010 and Lync 2013 are both in your environment, you need to first move everything to 2013 to perform an in-place upgrade. If you have Lync 2010, an in-place upgrade is not an option.

If you’re running Windows 2008 R2, that’s fine, but you can’t in-place upgrade your copy of Windows too, so you might want to run a side-by-side migration if that’s a concern.

You’ll need at least 32 GB of free space on one of the disks, which seems to catch many of our clients who built their servers thin. Also, you’ll need to plan for downtime and there’s not an easy back out. If you can’t tolerate any risk or downtime, a side-by-side migration will let you test and phase over.

We’re Skype for Business Experts

Need help with your Skype for Business in-place upgrade or side-by-side migration? Here at SWC we have the experience and expertise to perform any size upgrade, no matter how complex your environment. Contact our Skype for Business experts and tell us about your business needs.