Aug 04, 2014
What is Lync Online and how do I migrate on-premise users to it?
In today's blog post, I'll give you the answer to this great question. Lync functionality is available in the cloud as a part of the Office 365 subscription. Office 365 is a subscription-based model and you pay only as per usage. Lync also offers a hybrid solution where some users can be in the cloud while others are on-premise. For those who don't know, Office 365 is an online suite of the following Microsoft services: Exchange Online, Lync Online, SharePoint Online, Microsoft Office Professional Plus and Microsoft Office Web Apps. In Australia, Lync Online is only available through two plans:
- Plan 1 offers instant messaging, Lync to Lync call and Skype integration. It is considered as a basic plan.
- Plan 2 offers video conferencing support.
If you want to configure a standalone Lync Online environment, you will need to sign up with Office 365 and register your domain with Office 365. Once done, you'll need to create new users and assign them a subscription to a Lync Online plan. You can create users in various ways:
- Using Office 365 Admin Centre
- Using PowerShell
- Bulk upload users from a .CSV file
- Use the Active Directory synchronisation tool to create, delete, update or modify users on the on-premise active directory
- Enable single sign-on
- Deploy the Lync client software – it can be downloaded or installed as a part of the Office Professional Plus Subscription
- Inform users how to access Lync Online
Lync also offers a hybrid scenario. Lync split domain model is a type of a deployment where some Lync users are hosted on-premise and others in Office 365.
This scenario is generally used as an intermediate solution while migrating from Lync Server infrastructure to Lync Online. In a split model environment, Microsoft Azure Active Directory is used. Therefore, there has to be a trust relationship configured between Office 365 and corporate Active Directory. The trust relationship is configured by using Active Directory Federation Services. A Lync Edge Server must be added to your on-premises environment in order to support instant messages, calls and conferences between on-premise and Lync Online.
Most of the user data such as contacts, groups, access control lists are migrated. However, things like meeting contents are not migrated. If you'd like to find out more about Lync Online, you should take a look at New Horizons' Microsoft 20337 – Enterprise Voice and Online Services with Microsoft Lync Server 2013 training course.