Category Archives: Audio/Video

Adding an A/V Conferencing Pool to an existing Lync Server 2010 Front End Pool

Imagine you’ve deployed your Lync Front End pool already, but now you’ve decided you want to add some extra dedicated MCU capacity by adding an A/V Conferencing Pool. Given that the A/V Conferencing Server role runs on each Front End server, how do we ensure this gets removed and that the pool starts using the new A/V Conferencing pool when users schedule new audio or video conferences?

This is a pretty straightforward process involving defining the pool in Topology Builder and then running Deployment Wizard on your new A/V Conferencing servers and existing Front End servers.

Defining the A/V Conferencing Pool in Topology Builder

Firstly, you need to define the new A/V Conferencing Pool in your Lync topology. Instructions are available here on TechNet on how to do this. Once you’ve defined the pool, you’ll need to republish the topology using the instructions here.

Installing the A/V Conferencing Servers

Next, you need to log onto each A/V Conferencing Server and go through the usual Lync Server deployment process of installing a replica of the CMS, adding the Lync Server components and assigning certificates. On completion, make sure you start all the Lync services so each server becomes active in the topology.

Updating your Front End servers

Now comes the part that isn’t clearly documented – making sure the MCU components get moved to the A/V Conferencing servers properly.

Firstly, log onto each Front End server and run the Deployment Wizard. Click on Install or Update Lync Server System.

Next, run Step 2: Setup or Remove Lync Server Components (commonly known as bootstrapper).

When the Setup Lync Server components dialog appears, click Next.

Once Bootstrapper starts running through its commands, you’ll see it run the step Removing OcsMcu.msi (AVMCU) which is it removing the A/V Conferencing Server role from the Front End server. This is because the new A/V Conferencing pool is defined in the Lync topology.

Once Setup is completed, click Finish.

We can see now that Step 2 is marked as complete and we can open the Services snap-in from the bottom to see evidence that AV MCU has been successfully removed.

Et voila! No more Lync Server Audio/Video Conferencing Server on your Front End server!


Hope this helps you understand this process a bit more and how to add this topology component to your Lync Server 2010 environment. I wouldn’t recommend doing this during business hours as it could take down active audio/video conferences on your Front End servers.

Support for Large Meetings (up to 1000!) on Microsoft Lync Server 2010

A quick one to let you know that Microsoft have just released a document with advice on how to configure your Lync Server 2010 environment to support large meetings.

Previously the hard limit was always 250 participants per meeting. That was increased not too long ago to 1000, but there was no guidance regarding how you could plan or scale your environment for this, until now.

The catch is, you need a dedicated Front End pool for the meeting, and only one meeting can occur at a time. No users, no other services on it at all. I can see the reasoning behind this to achieve the best user experience but personally, I’d probably be sticking to the Live Meeting service if I needed to host meetings of this size.

When it comes to what can be presented in the meeting, we’re talking about most functionality. PowerPoint, application sharing, audio and video. No mention of application/desktop sharing though, so it sounds like that’d hit your resources hard in a huge conference like this.

The document also includes some interesting stats Microsoft found around how conferences are used on Lync. To find out more, download the document here from the Download Center.

The latest on Lync from TechEd 2011 North America

A presentation went up this afternoon (GMT+1) from TechEd 2011 NA by Kirk Gregersen titled Lync 2010 & the Future of Productivity. It’s about an hour long and covers a lot of content. It is somewhat high level, but there are a few things covered in this video that are well worth the watch (I’ve highlighted the super important ones in bold):

  • How the user experience is the key focus of the product group. It remains pretty high level for the first 10 minutes and includes a demo of Lync (focusing on contact card pervasiveness in Outlook, SharePoint etc).
  • Live demonstrations of:
    • The language translation app running on Silverlight.
    • The meeting schedule and join experience.
    • PowerPoint controls in a meeting, allowing a user to jump back and forth through slides.
    • The meeting recording experience.
  • Mobile client demos (32 minutes in) of Windows Phone 7 and iPhone.
  • Case study videos from LA Fitness, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Herrenknecht.
  • More demos of application development and client extensibility:
    • IM and Expert including how questions are asked, how an expert provides data on their knowledge and the interaction that takes place between the question asker and the answerer via the bot on Lync.
  • A demo of Polycom multi-party video conference.
  • A brief overview of the Lync Roadmap for 2011.
    • US and UK pilot around online voice later in the year.
    • WP7, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Nokia clients coming by end of calendar year.
  • A few words on the Skype purchase and what this means for Lync. “We (the Lync Product Group?) have been working on this as far back as January”.
    • Compares Lync to Skype, and how there is an interesting opportunity to marry the two via networks/federation.
    • The first public comments from the Lync team on the Skype integration.

You can view the presentation here. Some really exciting developments today, mostly around seeing the iPhone mobile client in action for the first time. Let’s hope we see Lync showcased some as TechEd NA rolls on.