Lync Multitenant Pack for hosters released

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?
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12 thoughts on “Lync Multitenant Pack for hosters released

  1. soder 12/01/2012 / 14:20

    1) The extra files are dated March 2011;
    2) An 299Kb dll file, extended schema and powershell modules are required to make Lync multitenant?

    These are 2 definitely good questions :). Btw I am looking for this tiny small component to play with it in a lab environment. Maybe you could help..?

    • LuisR 12/01/2012 / 21:31

      I haven’t tried this Microsoft Pack.
      But if are deeply keen of OCS and Lync you can create something similar… it’s not that hard 😉

      • soder 21/02/2012 / 23:19

        “I downloaded it and analyzed it”

        so you actually have it..?

      • LuisR 22/02/2012 / 08:26

        Yes. But did not installed yet.
        The comparison was made at the file level, and the differences at the msi packaging.

  2. Soder 02/03/2012 / 04:15

    Ah OK, I got it.
    I am trying to ask for this package from our primary MS Technical contact, but after 2,5 months they still couldnt make it. Thats just a ridiculous, especially if you are right and this whole stuff is implemented in that single 300Kb .DLL file. By the time I receive it officially, everybody all over the world has its own multitenant service offering already, so whats the point of being in the inner circle of Lync partners at Microsoft Redmond, if we dont even have this advantage over everybody else. Shame shame…

    • LuisR 03/03/2012 / 11:41

      Sorry to hear that.
      The package is available at the usual MS licensing site (on the download section).
      If your company is registered as a MS Service Provider, you should find the software listed for download.

      • Soder 03/03/2012 / 13:44

        That is the problem: we dont have such licensing account on the portal. I wanted to fire up a lab system to see the limitations in order to decide its a good market to jump in, or limits and missing features are so serious that potential customers will not accept those and we should rather stay at the on-premise solutions. But without the binaries I cannot make the proper decision, reading YES-IT-SUPPORTS-EVERYTHING kind of marketing paperwares is not the way how our job works.

      • LuisR 05/03/2012 / 09:39

        I don’t think there’s an associated costs for you to become an ITSP.
        But if you are deeply keen you Lync… there are other tools/techniques to achieve what you are looking for 😉

  3. Abdullah 17/04/2012 / 07:42

    @Soder: Download ‘Microsoft_Lync_Server_2010_Multitenant_Pack_for_Partner_Hosting_Deployment_Guide’ from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28587 . The document contains detailed feature comparison between lync enterprise, lync online and lync hosting pack. Hopefully you will get a good idea.
    @LuisR:
    There are few control panels as well who support mutil-tenancy for lync enterprise and also lync hosting pack like Parallels, MachPanel …

    • LuisR 17/04/2012 / 18:53

      Thanks for the contribution.
      Yeah, I’m aware of those CP’s and tested a few of them but I prefered my own 😉

  4. Noel 18/05/2013 / 03:25

    excellent issues altogether, you just gained a new
    reader. What would you recommend about your publish that you made a
    few days ago? Any sure?

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