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Lync Server 2013 Release Preview Persistent Chat with Enterprise Pool – Part 1

Now that Lync Server 2013 Release Preview is here, I thought it would be nice to create an article on how to deploy a Persistent Chat (formerly Group Chat) Server while connected to a SQL 2012 Backend Server.

This article series is to guide you through the entire Lync Server 2013 Persistent Chat deployment process from scratch.  In Part 1, we’ll take a look at preparing the environment for the Persistent Chat Pool.  In Part 2, we’ll take a look at the installation process in the Lync 2013 Persistent Chat Pool.  We’ll then finish up the article series with Part 3 by taking a look at the client capabilities utilizing the Persistent Chat features.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Lab Setup

Guest Virtual Machines

There will be four virtual machines being introduced into the lab; one Windows 2008 R2 Global Catalog with Certificate Services, one Front End Enterprise Edition Server, one SQL Server 2012 BackEnd, and one Windows 7 x64 Client.

Assumptions

  • You have a domain that contains at least one Server 2003 SP2 Domain Controller (DC)
  • You have configured the IP settings accordingly for all servers to be on the same subnet or be on subnets that are routable to eachother.
  • You have at least SQL 2008 R2 server installed if doing an Enterprise Edition deployment. We will be using SQL 2012 installed on Server 2008 R2 SP1.
  • You have a copy of Lync Server 2013 Client Release Preview.

Computer Names

Global Catalog Cserver – B-DC1

Lync Server 2013 Enterprise Edition Release Preview – B-L15FE1.15lab.net

Persistent Chat – B-L15PG1.15lab.net

SQL Server 2012 – B-S15BE1.15lab.net

Windows 7 Client – B-Client1.15lab.net

General Information on Topology Support

Persistent Chat installation is very different than OCS 2007 R1 or R2 installation.  You can see my guide on deploying Group Chat with OCS 2007 R2 here.  The first thing we will see is that there is now a Persistent Chat section in Lync 2013 Topology Builder. In Lync Server 2010, it was not supported to collocate Group Chat Databases on the same SQL Server (not just instance, but server) as other Lync 2010 databases.  This is now supported in Lync Server 2013.

If using Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition Front End, it is supported to collocate the Persistent Chat role on the Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition Front End and you can also deploy the Persistent Chat role on its own dedicated box.  The Persistent Chat Database (including Compliance Database) is supported for installation on the Lync 2013 SQL Express instance utilized by a Lync 2013 Standard Edition Front End Server.

If using Lync Server 2013 Enterprise Edition, it is not supported to collocate the Persistent Chat role on the Lync Server 2013 Enterprise Edition Front End.  The reason for this is the the way Lync 2010 Pools (which include CMS, Monitoring, and Archiving) DR work is different than the way Persistent Chat Pools work.  With Enterprise Edition Pools, DRs operate by pairing Enterprise Pools with another Enterprise Pool in a DR Site.  A service called the Backup Service is installed when you pair pools that replicate Enterprise Edition Pool databases (along with the CMS, Monitoring, and Archiving Databases) to the DR Enterprise Edition Pool.

With a Persistent Chat Pool, a single Persistent Chat Pool is stretched across two locations.  This Pool supports up to 8 Persistent Chat Pool Servers where four can be active at any given time. Persistent Chat Pools will use SQL Mirroring to replicate their databases from one Site to the other Site.  However, unlike the Pool Pairing which uses the Backup Service, Persistent Chat Servers use a file share (these file shared are not part of the Lync Server 2013 Topology and you can read more about how these file shares are configured here and here) to replicate SQL database data from the SQL Mirror Instance in the primary datacenter to the SQL Mirror Instance in the secondary/DR datacenter.

In the below example, if there is good connectivity between your sites (low latency and high bandwidth), you will have one Group Chat Pool with up to 4 Group Chat Servers active at any given time and either site can be hosting Active servers at the same time.

In the below example, if there is not good connectivity between your sites (high latency and low bandwidth), you will have one Group Chat Pool with up to 4 Group Chat Servers active at any given time and you will only want one site  hosting Active servers at any given time.

Hopefully that gives you some insight as to why collocation for Persistent Chat role is supported on Standard Edition Front End Servers and why it’s not when using Enterprise Edition Front End Servers.

Prerequisites

Because we need a dedicated Persistent Chat Server, we need to install prerequisites which depend on the operating system (Windows Server 2008 R2 does not have these prerequisites whereas Windows Server 2012 do).

  • Software Installation
    • .Net Framework 4.5 RC (available here)
    • PowerShell 3.0 (available here)
    • Windows Identity Foundation (available here)

Installing Persistent Chat

When taking a look at the Lync Server 2013 Topology Builder, we can see there’s a new Persistent Chat Pool section.

Go ahead and right-click on Persistent Chat pools and create a new Persistent Chat Pool.

I decided to choose to create a Highly Available Persistent Chat Pool instead of a single server even though for now, I’m only going to deploy a single Persistent Chat Server.

Go ahead and add the server FQDN of your Persistent Chat Server.

Define the name of the Persistent Chat Pool.  We won’t be enabling compliance in this article but I will be writing a new article in the future when Lync Server 2013 RTMs that shows a Persistent Group Chat Pol with compliance and most likely with DR.  We only have one Central Site currently in my Lync Server 2013 Lab deployment called Chicago.

As you can see, we can utilize the same SQL Instance that our Enterprise Front End Pool uses.  In the previous screenshot, if we were doing Persistent Chat DR, we would have chosen the “Use backup SQL Server stores to enable disaster recovery” option.  If we chose that option, the next screen after “Define the SQL Store” would ask us to define the SQL Stores in the secondary/DR datacenter.  But, we’re not choosing that option at this time.

We now define our File Store.  This can be the same file store used by the Enterprise Front End Pool.

Choose the Front End Pool that Persistent Chat will utilize.  Previously, we chose to use the Central Site, Chicago.  We would now be able to select any pools that are deployed within the Chicago Site.

After finishing up the above, we can now go ahead and publish the Lync Topology.

One of the previous pains with deploying Group Chat in OCS and Lync Server 2010 is that there were manual steps to pre-create databases and manual permission assignment.  It felt a bit alien in comparison to how the rest of the OCS and Lync Server 2010 roles were deployed.  Now, in Lync Server 2013, Persistent Chat no longer requires this manual work and is now has a very familiar and native installation experience.

After publishing the topology, we can see everything went successfully and the databases were created.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading Part 1 where we took a look at preparing the environment for the Persistent Chat Pool.  In Part 2, we’ll take a look at the installation process in the Lync 2013 Persistent Chat Pool.  We’ll then finish up the article series with Part 3 by taking a look at the client capabilities utilizing the Persistent Chat features.

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13 Responses to “Lync Server 2013 Release Preview Persistent Chat with Enterprise Pool – Part 1”

  1. [...] Part 1 [...]

  2. on 20 Jul 2012 at 1:10 amYongrak

    Hi. Elan.
    is that rihgt the image of "Go ahead and add the server FQDN of your Persistent Chat Server" ?
    Thanks

  3. on 20 Jul 2012 at 7:06 amElan Shudnow

    Yes, why wouldn't you think that's the correct image? It says, "Define computers in the pool" and I add the server FQDN of the server.

  4. [...] Elan Shudnow’s series on Persistent Chat http://www.shudnow.net/2012/07/17/lync-server-2013-release-preview-persistnt-chat-with-enterprise-po… [...]

  5. [...] Lync Server 2013 Release Preview Persistent Chat with Enterprise Pool: http://www.shudnow.net/2012/07/17/lync-server-2013-release-preview-persistnt-chat-with-enterprise-po… Install Lync Server 2010/2013 Public Preview Side-by-side – Part 2 – Configure DNS + [...]

  6. [...] Lync Server 2013 Release Preview Persistent Chat with Enterprise Pool: http://www.shudnow.net/2012/07/17/lync-server-2013-release-preview-persistnt-… Install Lync Server 2010/2013 Public Preview Side-by-side – Part 1 – Install the Lync 2013 [...]

  7. [...] Stale Hansen has a good overview post on Lync Server 2013 Preview features and how to configure them. When you reach the point of installing Persistant Chat, you’ll want to read Elan Shudow’s excellent 3-part post on Persistent Chat: Lync Server 2013 Release Preview Persistent Chat with Enterprise Pool – Part 1. [...]

  8. on 30 Oct 2012 at 3:05 amChristopher Carlson

    Though your post is highly technical, this will be a lot of help for our technicians. We were trying to get a system with good sql server support.

  9. on 12 Feb 2013 at 8:22 pmLync Condtion

    Lync2013 PersistentChat Configuration with Powershell…

    Lync2013 PersistentChat Configuration with Powershell…

  10. [...] http://www.shudnow.net/2012/07/17/lync-server-2013-release-preview-persistnt-chat-with-enterprise-po… [...]

  11. on 06 Mar 2013 at 11:02 pmhosting provider

    Quite informative and educative post! The outstanding affordability and reliability of Lync Server 2013 is better and up date then its previous version, though I appreciate of the Lync Server 2013. Thanks a lot for the long and descriptive allocation!

  12. on 10 Apr 2013 at 1:12 amJacinto Weishaar

    Wow! I'm really amazed to get your post about the Lync Server 2013 Release Preview Persistent Chat with Enterprise Pool – Part 1 as well. I was looking forward for such kind of effective info and got it over here as well. Thanks for this nice allotment with the lots of info and please continue your update for us……

  13. on 22 Apr 2013 at 9:45 amJuan

    Without any doubt we can say that Lync Server 2013 is better than previous version and I appreciate its releasing. Its new up to date systems are really quite handy and works perfectly. I hope in 2014 its another handy update will be come for us. Thanks

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