What is new in Lync Server 2013
It’s always good to get enrolled for training when the product is not even RTM’ed. J Microsoft Lync 2013 Ignite training (Kuallumpur) agenda was focused on new features and functionalities in Lync Server 2013 preview. It gave us opportunity to learn the great features coming Lync 2013 way. It’s a pleasure sharing top seven changes in Lync server 2013 with my blog readers.
1. Topology Builder (TB) changes:
a. Topology Builder (TB) now supports SQL mirroring. Lync 2013 supports SQL mirroring for backend purpose.
b. You don’t have to use different management tool for persistent chat (Group Chat). Its integrated with the Lync Server 2013 Topology Builder (TB).
2. Architecture related changes:
a. You've gotten even better reason to follow defined procedures when adding/removing a server from the pool. This is because of architectural changes in the Lync 2013 pool. Now, back End database is no longer the real-time data store in a pool. User based information is kept on three Front End Servers in the pool. For each user, one Front End Server acts as the master for that user’s information, and two other Front End Servers serve as replicas. If a Front End Server goes down, another Front End Server which served as a replica is automatically promoted to master.
b. The Back End Server serves as backup storage for user and conference data, and is also the primary storage for other databases such as the Response Group database.
c. Also, this is the reason why you should plan for three FEs in a pool in an enterprise edition deployment.
3. No Group Chat (GC), Its Persistent Chat (PC) now:
a. Persistent Chat server role is a new role in Lync Server 2013. Group Chat (GC) word goes off. Persistent Chat role is integrated part of Lync Server 2013, unlike Group Chat (GC) in Lync Server 2010 where Group Chat (GC) used to get registered as third party service in Lync 2010.
b. There is no need of another client tool to access Persistent Chat (PC) features. Lync 2013 client provides client side functionality of Persistent Chat (PC).
4. Server role changes:
a. In Lync Server 2013, A/V Conferencing Server is always collocated with Front End Server.
b. Archiving and Monitoring servers are always collocated on the Front End (FE) server. They still need a backend, which can be shared with backend of pool.
c. Lync Server 2013 setup allows you to use Exchange archiving store.
d. There is no separate XMPP server. It’s integrated with FE and Edge server.
5. Lync 2013 Web App:
a. Lync 2013 web app supports full conferencing feature. This is one of the best things to happen for users not having Lync client installed on PC.
6. Skype integration:
a. One of the most awaited features.
7. Video conferencing Enhancements:
a. HD conference support: Lync 2013 supports multiparty HD video and content sharing. This is the first time that Lync has started supporting HD video conference. Earlier you had to use a third party (for example Polycom) to enable it. Which was a costly and effort consuming exercise.
b. Enhanced Video Gallery: The rich video gallery shows 5 videos at one point of time. Other participants in the conference are shown with HD photo. Users have option to pin up five participants to see static videos (irrespective of their activity). The video gallery identifies active speaker and shows up his/her video/photo.
c. H.264 SVC support: Jeff Schertz (http://blog.schertz.name/2012/07/video-interoperability-in-lync-2013/) talks about it in detail. I personally know what it means to have H.264 SVC support for HD video conference. J Earlier version of Lync supported proprietary RTV video codec. I find it encouraging knowing that now Lync supports H.264 codec… however I am not too much hopeful of its benefit as of now. I’d leave you guys in safe hand of Jeff to know more about it. ;)
Of course there are many other features... However this article talks about features which excite me more!!! :)
Date: 5th November 2012