Day two @ Teched has been a very long day. I’ve been attending sessions about Lync Server 2010, Domain Services in a virtualized environment, have been doing some hands on labs with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and with the next installment of System Center Configuration Manager, vNext.
What I would like to share from today is mostly about Lync Server 2010 and a bit about SCVMM.
An upcoming change for SCVMM is the addition of a new feature called Rapid Provisioning. Storage vendors like EMC have been working on this together with Microsoft to help enhance the performance of live migrations on Hyper-V. Especially when using Cluster Shared Storage.
Until now a migration, or deploying a VM from a template would be done over the network, basically making your network infrastructure the limiting factor. This is also one of those “features” (or lack of them) that still make VMware ESX the more obvious choice for virtualizing your highly available servers.
As an example the following case has been presented by EMC:
Deploying 1024 virtual machines, with each a base disk of 50GB, would take approximately 52 hours when using a normal setup with SCVMM.
Deploying the same 1024 virtual machines, but using SCVMM with Rapid Provisioning it would take 1,5 hours! Mind you, I can’t think of a situation where I would feel the need to create 1024 virtual machines before lunchtime… but it does effectively show how much time can be saved when you let your expensive storage solution do the hard work for you.
Together with features like Dynamic Memory Hyper-V is getting more and more a more serious alternative for VMware vSphere.
Lync Server 2010
Lync has some serious changes when comparing it to OCS 2007 R2. Whereas OCS 2007 used to store settings in Active Directory, its own SQL database and WMI, Lync uses a SQL express database on every Lync Server. It still uses AD, but only to query and all settings are stored in its own database.
Another change is the way you upgrade from OCS 2007 to Lync. In the past the client side got updated and you worked your way from there. Now it’s the other way round. When introducing a Lync 2010 front-end server in your infrastructure, your users can connect with the ‘old’ clients and still use the edge server from the OCS 2007 deployment. When successfully tested, you can then replace all other OCS roles.
The last nice thing; all Lync Server 2010 roles are supported when virtualized. Not only is it no longer required to use a physical machine for your mediation server. But it’s also supported to co-locate the mediation server role with the front end server. Making it a more practical proposition for smaller companies that don’t make lots of phone calls.