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MS Lync and Virtual Desktop deployment consideration

Posted on 2014-01-24
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Last Modified: 2014-02-05
Hi People,

I'm trying to get some knowledge and caveats about what should I need to know before deploying the MS Lync 2013 on Virtual Desktop machine or VDI using Citrix Xen Desktop ?

For the Lync feature, I think text Instant Messaging or IM shouldn't be a problem, but how about a voice or telephony through the PABX phone or Video conferencing ?

Please share your thoughts, comments or opinion about what should I do to ensure that user experience can be smooth experience.

Thanks.
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7 Comments
 
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Ayman Bakr
Ayman Bakr earned 375 total points
ID: 39810639
This already had been the focus of tech trends and Citrix had worked jointly with Microsoft in order to support Lync on XenDesktop as you can see in the following blog and technical support info article:

http://blogs.citrix.com/2012/07/24/xendesktop-support-for-lync-2013/

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX132979

For supporting Ms Lync on XenDesktop (actually any VDI deployment) Microsoft has released the Microsoft Lync VDI plugin. This plugin will allow for the use of user's device audio/video resources within the VDI session; supporting chatting and video conferencing. Citrix released the optimization pack for Microsoft Lync 2010 to cater for best audio/video conferencing. Later they worked with Microsoft of which the outcome was having their technology supporting Microsoft's Ms Lync VDI plugin working hand in hand with the Citrix Receiver. For more info contianing prerequisites, list of known issues and troubleshooting check this link:

http://support.citrix.com/article/CTX138408

When installing Lync 2013 ensure you have the latest cumulative updates. Also when installing the VDI plugin ensure you have the prerequisites available: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj205304.aspx

Another caveat is to look at the impact of this deployment on your resources. Check the testing carried out by Dell:

http://partnerdirect.dell.com/sites/channel/Documents/DVS-Enterprise-for-Citrix-XenDesktop-and-MS-Lync-2013-Brief.pdf

Hope this helps and good luck!!
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:nprignano
nprignano earned 125 total points
ID: 39813548
There should be a "Like" or "Endorse" function on comments.  So, yeah,  what he said.  

I will just add that since Lync is a real-time application, all of the network dependent functions like VoIP, video and chat will all be dependent on network conditions and hardware performance end-to-end.  So definitely keep this in mind when you are identifying your requirements and make sure your end users will be connecting in with adequate resources and/or fully understand the limitations of the technology.  Otherwise you may have some unhappy end users if/when they are trying to do video calls from a Starbucks or some other performance constrained environment.
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 39837878
Yes, that does make sense, the application itself Lync client must be installed as part of the golden VM image and then it is up to the device driver whether the Lync video session can be usable or not.

eg. using Non persistent VM accessed from iPad and then from the Windows 7 session, initiate Lync video chat.

is that scenario possible ?
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LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Ayman Bakr
Ayman Bakr earned 375 total points
ID: 39837936
I have never tested that, but I think provided you have the proper network resouces, this should be possible. However, it would be best to test this before rolling it out to your users/clients.
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LVL 8

Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 39837988
ok, my understanding is that it only works if the Client PC or the access device is supported by the Citrix VDA / Receiver agent to redirect the voice data.

has this been implemented in the real world or not yet ?
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

by:
Ayman Bakr earned 375 total points
ID: 39838009
Redirecting voice data to iPad has been tested, implemented and working fine in the real world - see this:

http://terenceluk.blogspot.ae/2012/03/no-audio-with-ipad-accessing-citrix.html

However, whether specifically the Citrix receiver would be able to redirect the voice data of Lync in a VDI or not, is something I have not tested or seen (doesn't mean was not tested in real world, but it is something I am not aware of). But, my thought is that it should be fine. I believe it would be inevitable that you conduct your own testing on this even if you heard that someone in the world had implemented it and found it working well.
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LVL 8

Author Closing Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 39838059
Thanks !
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