Lync Server 2013: Understanding the (real) System Requirements

With the RTM/GA release of Lync Server 2013, the system and hardware requirements have dramatically increased, prompting many questions from KMU/SMEs to large, global organizations alike.

To begin, one cannot help but wonder why the recommended hardware platform requirements to run the Lync Front-End server pool appear to be rather high, comparable to the SQL back-end database server that serves a Lync Enterprise setup. Apart from x64 capable processors, 8 CPU-cores and a minimum of 32 GB RAM memory is recommended by Microsoft. This should be equipped with RAID configured 10k mechanical disk spindles or the Solid State Drive (SSD) equivalent (72GB or more).

Lync Server 2013: Hardware Requirements

Lower hardware requirements apply only to the Lync Edge Server, Mediation Server and Director server roles. These can continue to exist as standalone machines or configured in a pool.

To put this into perspective, the significant system demands on the Lync 2013 Front-End Server pool could be attributed to a number of facts as listed:

  • functions performed by the now de-emphasized Director server role are carried out by the Front-End and Edge server roles
  • collocation of additional Lync server roles and services on Front-End
    - A/V Conferencing Server role can no longer exist as a separate pool
    - built-in XMPP Gateway role
    - no distinct Monitoring and Archiving Server server roles, etc.
  • support FE pool active pairing across geographically dispersed data centers without expensive network pipes or SAN solutions (Disaster Recovery, DR)
  • real-time data store where active user information is stored in and replicated among FE pool members and SQL backend (heavy use of local SQL Server Express 2012 SP1 CMS ‘\RTC’ database)
  • integrated Lync Mobility (Mcx) and other services
  • new support for Lync Web App, VDI, 1080p HD video, multi-party video streams, etc.
  • support for IPv6 and network teaming recommended (new)

A Standard Edition Lync Server 2013 topology is Microsoft tested for support up to 5000 users whereas a single FE Enterprise Pool (max 12-servers supported) on-premise can easily scale up to 80′000 users per pool. As a real-world UC and System Management practitioner myself, the conventional “your mileage may vary” applies. Depending on the physical locations, network topology, workloads and concurrent user access, among others, the system requirements can realistically be adjusted to meet your specific needs backed by good planning, design and lots of testing.

If you have any item to add to the list or comments, please free feel to contribute directly to this blog post to share with all interested. Thank you for your support of the IT Pro community!

See also:

- Capacity Planning Using the User Models (link)
- Lync Server 2013 User Models (link)

Technorati tags: Microsoft Lync Server/Client /Lync Phone Edition / Lync Mobile

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One Response to “Lync Server 2013: Understanding the (real) System Requirements”

  1. NeWay Technologies – Weekly Newsletter #21 – December 13, 2012NeWay | NeWay on 14 Dec 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    […] Lync Server 2013: Understanding the (real) System Requirements – 12-Dec-2012 […]

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