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Feature Overview and Benefits of Microsoft Lync Server 2013 : Remote Access

11/18/2013 2:26:05 AM
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1. Federation

Federation is a feature that enables organizations that have deployed Communications Server to communicate easily and securely across the public Internet. As long as both organizations have deployed an Access Edge Server, federation can be used to view presence and exchange IMs.

Organizations can also use federation to participate in web conferences with each other or have audio and video conversations with one another. Similar to the way email has become a standard means of communication, federation for rich collaboration capabilities has emerged as a standard way to conduct business across organizations.


Note

Federation is not limited to organizations with only Lync Server, but can also be used with IBM Sametime or Cisco Unified Presence Server for organizations that have not deployed Lync Server. Lync Server 2013 adds native federation with Skype to its impressive list of interoperability partners.

2. Public IM Connectivity

A special type of federation called public IM connectivity (PIC) enables MCS users to communicate with contacts using the various public IM networks. Although many organizations have deployed previous versions of a Communications Server and support federation, there are still needs to communicate with public IM contacts at times.

Lync Server supports the following public IM providers:

• AOL

• MSN

• Skype

Additionally, federation to Google Talk users can be provisioned through the XMPP Gateway Server role. PIC connectivity provides presence and peer-to-peer IM for all providers, but in Lync Server, peer-to-peer A/V conversations can also be used with Windows Live and Skype contacts.

3. Archiving

For organizations that have archiving or compliance needs, Lync Server provides the Archiving function, which captures IM traffic and web conferencing data. New for Lync 2013, this function is collocated on all the front-end servers in a pool. All archiving data is saved either to a Microsoft SQL Server database or to Exchange Server 2013, depending on the environment and administrator’s choice.

Archiving can be enabled at the pool level to capture traffic for all users or it can be enabled on a per-user basis if archiving needs to be done only for a select group of users. If an organization has no need to capture internal traffic, archiving can also be configured to log only federated traffic.

4. Monitoring

A key factor in determining the success of an audio and video deployment is insight into how the system performs for the end users. Lync Server provides out-of-the-box monitoring capabilities with the Monitoring function. Like Lync Archiving, the Monitoring function is also now collocated on all the front-end servers for a pool. When deployed, endpoints submit reports when completing an audio or video call, which are then stored in SQL databases dedicated to call records and monitoring data.

Two types of reports are collected. One report, referred to as call detail records (CDR), contains information about when the call occurred and what endpoints were involved. The other is a Quality of Experience (QoE) report that contains comprehensive data, including the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) of various components, which indicates the call quality in both directions. These reports also identify which subnet the endpoints used so that administrators can quickly isolate any issues to a specific device or network segment.


Note

A SQL Server Report Pack is bundled with the installation media so administrators have immediate access to rich reports about how the system is used.


Lync Server also supports synthetic transactions that are PowerShell cmdlets an administrator can run, which simulate actions taken by users against the server. Examples of these transactions are a user signing in, two users sending IM messages to each other, and a test audio call between two endpoints. These synthetic transactions can be used to test user functionality systemwide on a recurring basis or in conjunction with the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager management pack for Lync Server, which includes support for the transactions.


 
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