Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lync Server 2010 Reaches RTM

In a post on the UCG’s Team Blob, Kirk Gregersen announces that MS have completed RTM for Lync Server 2010. General Availability is set for November 17th . The launch will be a virtual event – watch it  Training courses to match the two upcoming Lync MCP exams will be available sometime next spring/summer.

Lync 2010 looks to be a really excellent product. I’m teaching my first Lync course this week (Lync 2010 Ignite). We’re doing pretty much all of the product over a packed 5 days. The course is running on top of the RC version of the server using Windows 2008R2 virtual servers running inside Hyper-V. We’ve managed to make most of the key scenarios work – IM, presence some conferencing and voice. Some of the modalities are not easy due to the constraints of the classroom equipment. As I tell the delegates, if they go away thinking you need serious hardware to run Lync well, then I’ve done a good job. The labs were mostly successful. Most of the delegates got most of the labs to work – there was the odd typo and some hyper-V glitches. Not bad for a beta product. The beta programme was quite rushed so to some degree, waiting for the first set of roll-up patches will probably make sense for most customer.

Nevertheless, it’s time to start the planning process. And the training process. This is going to be a rock and roll product that finally is, not only a great IM/Presence/Conferencing product, but a creditable alternative to iron PBXs. I can’t wait to do more training in it. And for any company planning to deploy it – get some training. This is a rich complex product that provides critical enterprise infrastructure. It needs careful planning and disciplined knowledgeable support.  End-user training should be undertaken to ensure that the users can take full advantage of the richness on offer!

One thing that comes out loud and clear this week is that PowerShell is really required to administer LS2010. The new Silverlight Control Panel is nice, but there are a lot of things for which PowerShell and the over 500 Lync cmdlets are just better for, particularly when you start talking about Enterprises and full voice deployments.  I hope organisations that plan to invest on Lync will send their IT Pros on a good PowerShell class.

As it turns out, my mate Jon Honeyball and I are organising a PowerShell PowerCamp Introductory Weekend where we’re going to condense the normal 4 day master class down in to two – he announced it in the . More details on that soon – and I’ll also be pumping some new PowerShell Lync scripts onto my scripting blog. And if you want the marginally less-manic version, I’m teaching PowerShell in London in mid-December!

In summary: Lync 2010: welcome to the world! May you have a long and prosperous life!

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