One question that some people asked since Lync release: is it Multitenant capable of supporting diferent companies while keeping user separated as one single Lync server instance?
Office 365 shows that Microsoft could make this somehow, and there are some Control Panel software makers and Service Providers that prove that is possible.
For those like me who analyse Lync server deep inside you noticed some the existence of some AD fields that looks related to some kind of segregation (ex: msRTCSIP-TenantId, msRTCSIP-GroupingID).
Microsoft somehow abandon their hosting partners after HMC 4.5 (EOL support: 12 dec 2011), but with the relesase of Exchange 2010 SP2 and Lync Multitenant Packs resources things looks back on the track again….hopefully.
“Microsoft Lync Server Multitenant Hosting Pack is a special deployment configuration scoped for hosting or telecom services providers. The solution enables service providers to host multitenant Lync Server instances shared across multiple customer environments. In addition, the Lync Server Multitenant Hosting Pack solution includes an add-on layer that allows our partners to build communication packages that use the Lync Server Multitenant Hosting Pack to integrate with the core layer”.
I haven’t tested yet, but here’s some particular facts gathered:
- Features: Presence, instant messaging, data and desktop sharing, two-way (!) conferencing, unified messaging (exchange integration), PBX replacement (the hoster has to done this, ok?);
- Features sets: conferencing server gateway video, mobility solution, audio conferencing provider, SMS – these features mentioned on the document are more potencial capabilities that hosters can provide;
- Difference between this pack and Lync Online are two: No PIC (presence, IM, audio and video) connectivity;
- You can only use the Control Panel as read-only. All provision has to be done using management shell and commands;
- There are some overall design sample architectures for 5’000 and 50’000 users;
- There are no add-ons or tools to build a customers offer from start (like web interface or billing), but there is a lot of code samples to explain how to provision. Unfortunally not much is explained about Service Plans and Exchange integration;
- “Front End pools are external-facing, and are therefore visible to the public Internet…. This is different from a Lync Server 2010 enterprise deployment.” – this means, all users can only access Lync from the Internet, right !?
The software pack is available in the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center, and hosters are required to download and use this package. I downloaded it and analyzed it with the documentation setup section. Here are some details:
The initial setup procedure is just like you install a Lync Server Enterprise edition. From the Lync server original package there are only seven additional files (all the other files have the same MD5 checksum):
- LyncServerUpdateInstaller.exe – this is Lync CU4;
- SharedManagementObjects.msi – Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Management Objects (this is SQL feature pack component);
- SQLSysClrTypes.msi – SQL Server System CLR Types (also a SQL feature pack component)
- BackupService.msi – Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Backup (no documentation about this one!)
- WebScheduler.msi – Lync Server 2010, Web Scheduler
- CsServices.msi – Lync Online 2010, Hosted Management Services.
- ServiceSchema.ldf – AD schema extension for service plans.
Extracting the (very small) CsServices.msi packages we find the “Lync Online” powershell modules, two small executables (‘GenerateParentChildTopologies.exe’ and ‘SimpleUrlDBImporter.exe’), a ‘Microsoft.Rtc.Management.Hosted.dll’ file and the ‘ServiceSchema.ldf’.
For now only two more impressions about this package:
- The extra files are dated March 2011;
- An 299Kb dll file, extended schema and powershell modules are required to make Lync multitenant?