30 JanConfiguring Site Level Simple URLs in Lync Server 2010

Last month I deployed a new Lync 2010 environment with many regions/ pools globally coupled with multiple SIP domains of which we had to design a Meeting Join solution with simple URLs to accomodate the geographically dispersed nature. Let me set the scene.

The Problem

If we just had say, https://meet.contoso.com as our global meeting join URL (defined in the Lync Topology Builder) and pointed this to say, the EMEA Lync Front End pool, it would mean all users worldwide would be hitting that pool when they click the link in Outlook to join the meeting. Not ideal and not scalable.

The Solution

To ensure only EMEA users connect to the EMEA pool (and not the APAC users as well, for example), we need to create site level simple URLs to ensure users only connect to the pool in their region and that these URLs take precedence over the default global level simple URLs.

For this scenario, I selected Simple URL Naming Option 2 from the Planning for Simple URLs article on TechNet, which gives me a bit of flexibility and means my simple URLs for EMEA for this scenario look like this:

https://lyncemea.contoso.com/meet
https://lyncemea.fabrikam.com/meet
https://lyncemea.contoso.com/dialin

and my APAC URLs for example, would look like this:

https://lyncapac.contoso.com/meet
https://lyncapac.fabrikam.com/meet
https://lyncapac.contoso.com/dialin

and so on per global region. Note that you can only have one dialin simple URL per site – you can’t have a different dialin simple URL for each SIP domain.

For this article, I’ll only be covering the meet and dialin URLs, not the admin URL for LSCP access.

Creating a new Simple URL Configuration

First we need to create a new simple URL configuration that we will end up applying new simple URLs to.

  1. The first command we need to run is Get-CsSite. This cmdlet retrieves the list of Lync sites in the topology.
  2. After we’ve identified the site name (EMEA), we run the New-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration cmdlet against the site e.g.
    New-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration -Identity site:EMEA

Creating new Simple URLs

After we’ve created the new Simple URL configuration, we need to first create simple URL entries bound to a variable in our current PowerShell session and then simple URLs bound to a different variable.

Simple URL Entries

We run the following cmdlets to create a new simple URL entry for each URL required and then bind it to the variable specified at the start of the cmdlet.

$urlEntryContosoMeet = New-CsSimpleUrlEntry -url “https://lyncemea.contoso.com/meet

$urlEntryFabrikamMeet = New-CsSimpleUrlEntry -url “https://lyncemea.fabrikam.com/meet

$urlEntryAllDialIn = New-CsSimpleUrlEntry -url “https://lyncemea.contoso.com/dialin

Simple URLs

Next, we need to actually create the new simple URL in Lync, set which component (meet or dialin) it will apply to, which SIP domain it’s set for, which simple URL entry it will use and then (phew!) bind it to the variable we specify at the start of the cmdlet. Run each cmdlet per simple URL you need to create:

$simpleURLContosoMeet = New-CsSimpleUrl -Component meet -Domain contoso.com -ActiveUrl https://lyncemea.contoso.com/meet -simpleurl $urlEntryContosoMeet

$simpleURLFabrikamMeet = New-CsSimpleUrl -Component meet -Domain fabrikam.com –ActiveUrl https://lyncemea.fabrikam.com/meet -simpleurl $urlEntryFabrikamMeet

$simpleURLAllDialIn = New-CsSimpleUrl -Component dialin -Domain * -ActiveUrl https://lyncemea.contoso.com/dialin -simpleurl $urlEntryAllDialIn

Bringing it all together

So now we have a bunch of variables floating around in our current PowerShell session, we need to apply them to something. To make it real, we need to add the variables of all our simple URLs from the previous step to the new site level simple URL configuration we created earlier by running this cmdlet:

Set-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration -Identity “site:EMEA” -SimpleUrl @{Add=$simpleURLContosoMeet,$simpleURLFabrikamMeet,$simpleURLAllDialIn}

Once that’s applied successfully, we need to run Enable-CsComputer to apply the configuration to IIS on the Front End server/s in the pool.

To review the changes committed, run the cmdlet Get-CsSimpleUrlConfiguration to retrieve the Global Simple URL configuration and the new Site level Simple URL configuration, each with the individual URLs we created.

Last Words

Make sure you take note of the difference between a Simple URL entry and a Simple URL, as they are different things in Lync Server Management Shell that are brought together to create a configuration.

To reiterate, note that you can only have one dialin simple URL per site – you can’t have a different dialin simple URL for each SIP domain.

Hope this makes it (a bit) clear on how to setup site specific simple URLs in Lync. As Lync grows in maturity and market share, we will see larger, more widespread organisations adopting it which means you’ll need to know how to get this kind of configuration going. :)

18 Responses to “Configuring Site Level Simple URLs in Lync Server 2010”

  1. Ian says:

    Great post – I found your post in my first search, read it, thought Yuck this looks messy, there must be an easier way. As I discovered there isn’t an easier way and your procedure works brilliantly. Thanks

  2. Abhay says:

    Great Post Justing – I have a query and hope you can help here. My customer wants to change his SimpleURL’s to http://lync.contoso.com/meet http://lync.fabrikam.com/meet. However he does not want to add multiple SAN in the public certificates. How should i proceed in this case as i understand you need to re request the certs once you change ur Simple url’S.

    • Justin Morris says:

      Hi Abhay, you would need to change the SANs on the public certificate if you change the simple URLs unfortunately.

  3. Jason says:

    Great Article, Just wondering do I need to create the site level URLS for both EMEA and APAC or does the APAC one use the global URL;s

    • Justin Morris says:

      Hi Jason, thanks for the feedback. :) If you don’t create site level URLs for a site, they will use the global simple URLs. The new simple URLs you define will only apply to the site they’re configured against.

  4. Guru says:

    Hi Justin, thanks for showing to use simple urls in multi site environment. We are using global simple urls for meet and dialin. And at site level we have also mentioned External web services URLs per site. What happens with it? Could you please let me know. – Rgds, Guru.

    • Justin Morris says:

      Hi Guru,

      External web services URLs are specific to pools only, not sites. You set these per pool during a regular deployment. If you are using remote access you should then publish these using a reverse proxy.

  5. James says:

    Hey Justin,

    To get round this internally, we had to work with three seperate regional domains with three seperate lync servers (legacy setup of europe/asia/americas) yet we needed to use our external domain name for all meeting joins so we created a zone in internal dns for each regional domain (europe.company.net) of meet.externaldomain.com, three of them, and additional zones for dialin.externaldomain.com, then people in their home region connected to their nearest lync server for meetings without setting up multiple simple urls.

    However – this does not help from outside and people connecting over edges, where everyone defaults to the default external site for meeting join. For this i will look at implementing what you suggest. We manually specify edge servers in gpo’s so people connect to their nearest but ALL web clients go through a single site regardless of home domain due to single external meet.externaldomain.com addresses.

    Not sure if this is a terrible solution but is working ok for us.

    Jim

  6. Dino says:

    Thanks Justin. Nice Post. Did you also deploy multiple Reverse Proxies (and Edge Servers) at each of the EMEA and APAC sites to handle external participants joining meetings or are all external participants driven through one default site and then redirected to the apprpriate pool internally?

    • Justin Morris says:

      Hi Dino,

      Yes we did in this situation. It’s really up to your access/HA requirements – you could do either.

  7. [...] Justin Morris on UC: Configuring Site Level Simple URLs in Lync Server 2010 [...]

  8. Dino says:

    Hi Justin, my understanding of the meeting sign on process (thanks to Kevin Peters) is that even if clients hit the wrong pool for a meeting (baseds on using a single Global simple URL) they are always redirected to the correct pool via the external web services URL for the pool. Given this and assuming that you have deployed an Edge and Reverse Proxy for each site, would having one pool handle these requests really be cause for scalability issues? I’m trying to understand if the extra complexity of having unique simple URLs per site is warranted in a smaller multi-site deployment.
    Best Regards,
    Dino

    • Justin Morris says:

      In this particular scenario, scalability wasn’t really the challenge. The customer primarily didn’t want to expose URLs or domains to the end user that weren’t within their business. So if the user was john@contoso.com, all URLs had to point to meet.contoso.com.

      The other was that they wanted to localise web services ingress points to each global region. For example, they wanted US users coming in via the US DMZ and not via the EMEA DMZ.

      Hope that clarifies the particular requirements of this configuration.

  9. Dino says:

    Thanks for your input. It seems these decisions will boil down to specific requirements from customer to customer.

  10. Loic says:

    Hi Justin,
    I just deployed a second edge in a second central site (US) and configured the simple urls based on your raccomandations.
    Everything works as expected.

    Now I moved the user to the new pool (US).
    If a schedule a new meeting everything works with the new url, but previuous meetings are not accessible anymore.
    It is normal? Is there any way to update meeting urls from meet.example.com to meetus.example.com?

    Thank and congrats for your fantastic blog

    • Hi Loic,

      To change the meeting join URL to be the new URL, I believe the user would have to reopen old meeting invites and regenerate the Lync meeting details.

  11. [...] For an explanation on the site customization of simple URLs I suggest a great post from Justin Morris Configuring Site Level Simple URLs in Lync Server 2010 [...]

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