(bypassin) Lync/SfB topology limitations

While I was preparing for a customer a PoC of a full redundant solution, I came again across a well-know limitation of attempting to consolidate multiple roles usingn the less amount of servers (less management,less licensing costs,…).
NOTE: the next text also applies to Skype for Business

So for this full redundant and automated solution, the plain idea would be:

  • Pool1 with 3 front-end servers
  • Pool2 with 3 front-end servers
  • 2 Back-end servers, each with:
    • 1 SQL instance for Pool1 (mirror with other server instance)
    • 1 SQL instance for Pool2 (mirror with other server instance)
    • 1 Lync file share storage (DFS between servers)
    • 1 Office WebApp Server (Farm with other server instance)
  • Use existing SQL express on a front-end server of each pool as witness for automatic mirror failover.

You can actually start creating SQL server instances
Topology-limitations1

But when you try to assign one of the instances to a mirror, it will not appear:
Topology-limitations2

The limitation is more visible if you try to create from the ‘New…’ button. Topology builder validates the existence of any existent server FQDN and also prevent the usage of instances named LYNCLOCAL or RTCLOCAL
Topology-limitations3

You will also be prevented to add any other components (Office WebApp, gateways, trunks, edge servers,…)

With this limitations you might think of some Q&A:

  • Question: There’s no technical limitation on the previous design. Is it possible to deploy this solution? Answer: Yes
  • Question: Is it possible to use any existing SQL instance for mirror witness? Answer: Yes
  • Question: Can I deploy Office WebApp components on an existing server in the topology? Answer: Yes
  • Question: In a lab could be possible use only the Front-End servers for a Pool deployment? Answer: It would be radical !, but Y…

The recipe?
If you are not one of those guys that just follow the deployment wizards…
…. you just need to think ‘outside of the box/window’ (and more easy than installing Lync on a Domain controller) 😉

To be continued…

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