Microsoft Lync 2013 Resiliency Enhancements

February 26, 2013   //   Unified Communications, , ,

As more and more firms move towards Microsoft Lync, especially as a VoIP solution, we’re asked repeatedly about its high availability and disaster recovery abilities. I thought I’d take some time to discuss some of the new functionality included with Lync 2013 at a high level.

Let’s start with high availability. For an organization that typically wants to withstand a single server outage, Lync has the ability to add redundant servers to just about any role (three is the minimum recommended for the Front End role). These servers should be load balanced with a combination of DNS load balancing and hardware load balancing depending on the role and services offered. Lync 2010 had this capability to an extent as well; however the exciting part is that the back end SQL databases now support synchronous mirroring. With Microsoft Lync 2010, SQL failover clustering using shared disks between servers was really the only way to protect yourself against the failure of a database server, however this comes with its own set of complexities and wasn’t always an optimal solution. Microsoft Lync 2013 supports SQL mirroring out of the box and in fact does the majority of the configuration work for you right from within Lync! The amount of storage you’ll need is duplicated, similar to what you would expect with an Exchange DAG, however it’s often a much more cost effective and easier to manage solution.

So what if that’s more than you need? Perhaps your recovery time objective (RTO) allows for a few more minutes and the cost of the additional resources can’t be justified. What if you primary concern is simply disaster recovery and failing over to another site? Lync 2013 has introduced the concept of pool pairing. Pool pairing gives you real time synchronization of the databases across servers or sites. In the event of a failure of a pool, be it a single standard edition server experiencing a hardware failure or the whole site is down due to a power outage, the administrator can invoke a failover command to allow users to come back up on the remote site with nearly full functionality. This process generally happens over a period of minutes once started depending on the size of the implementation. Once failed over to this site, users can continue to operate as normal receiving inbound calls and outbound calls provided the PSTN trunks are configured for failover as well.

If there are any additional items you’d like to see discussed in our Microsoft Unified Communication blogs, whether it be feature level or with technical depth, please reach out to us, we’d like to hear from you. Or to learn more about SWC’s Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Exchange offerings, please join us for our next Unified Communications event or follow Anthony Caragol on LinkedIn.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please take a moment to read some of our previous posts on Microsoft Unified Communications:

New Microsoft Lync 2013 Server Features
We’re One Step Closer to Exchange 2013
Microsoft Unified Communications…A Game Changer