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Lync/Exchange hosting configuration suggestions

Posted on 2014-04-03
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Last Modified: 2015-09-29
Hi,

I'm looking for some suggestions with relatively small Lync/Exchange hosting environment deployment and sizing.
For start I expect 100-200 test users and then if there will be enough interest this number could grow up to 10.000 or 20.000 users.
I would like to start with configuration/layout that would not need any big configuration changes at top number of users. I'm planning just to add memory, processors and disks when the number of users will grow. Everything will be virtualised, so this should not be a problem.
There is a plan to offer exchange maiboxes (5GB) and UM functionality, Lync will have IM, web conferencing and enterprise voice option.
The customers should be small firms with 5-50 users.
I would like to get some suggestions in form "you will need 2 ad controllers, 3 exchange servers (cas/mbx combined) with DAG configured,...)" with short explanation.
The group of users belonging to the same firm should see (address list, presence) only users from the same company.
Another question is if I should allow different firms to use their own public domains.
I expect at least some problems with acquiring public certificates with hundreds fo domain names. Or it is this solved in some manner with lync hosting pack?

Thanks!
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Question by:davorin
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Jakob Digranes earned 1000 total points
ID: 39991474
Whow .... first of all, you're stepping onto Office365 land here, and they're really aggressive in their pricing ... just do some looking around first.

When it comes to Lync, you cannot use Lync On-Premise as a hosted service; http://blogs.technet.com/b/nexthop/archive/2013/06/12/announcing-the-release-of-lync-server-2013-multitenant-hosting-pack.aspx
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39101

When it comes to Exchange; it is a bit easier: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj862352(v=exchg.150).aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2013/02/20/hosting-and-multi-tenancy-guidance-for-exchange-server-2013-now-available.aspx
http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Hosting-and-Multi-Tenancy-47dedff0

For sizing Exchange I'd recommend using a Hardware Load Balancer in front to get HA for the CAS role, and use Database Availability Groups for mailbox role. With the load balkancer and DAG you can start with 2 servers with CAS and MB, and then add servers, up to 16 server per DAG.
You would of course need HA for the AD CTRLers aswell, you would probably need redundant Virtual Hosts, redundant SAN Storage, redundant firewall, switches and load balancer - given the fact that users would want a SLA agreement with uptime guarantee, a dead switch could cost you dearly.

For the public certificat, you can use a certificate with your domain name and possibly use redirection - where users get a warning the first time they log on.

for users address lists, you can use address book policies and routing agent to restrict access to other address lists than your own ...

But - this is a giant task you're looking into, so choose wisely and think it over at least 2 times
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by:Lionel MM
Lionel MM earned 1000 total points
ID: 39991543
I agree--this is a huge undertaking with already a lot of providers available. I am a Microsoft services provider and you may want to consider this as an option, to get certified as a Office365 provider and then when you sign up customers, Microsoft takes care of the hardware and software side of things and you provide the support and you also get paid a commission for sales. However MS recently changed its commission structure for small businesses (which it looks like your target audience) and has also made an exclusive contract with GoDaddy to sell to "small businesses", which will be your competition. As far as starting small and quickly been able to grow--you can use virtual servers and quickly and easily add additional virtual servers as you customers base grows. The advantage of that is that you can "clone" the server and then re-create another when you get another customer (simplistic explanation for now--will give details if this sounds appealing)..
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by:davorin
ID: 40004626
Thank you for answers and sorry for long delay.
I understand that there are already a lot of providers with competitive prices, but I'm not the one who is doing the calculations. And this two services are just a small part of services we plan to offer or we are already offering. SPLA licensing is and will be used.
The problem is that existing providers are not flexible enough for our and ours costumers needs.

" you cannot use Lync On-Premise as a hosted service" - sorry, but I understand this differently. I understand this as Lync hosting pack is used to prepare lync on-premise installation for hosting. Ok. Lync and all other servers will be in our datacenter(s), not at client side. So our "cloud" is for me on-premise.
Cloning servers for each costumer would be nice, but hw and license cost would be to high I'm affraid.
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Author Closing Comment

by:davorin
ID: 41016041
Thanks for the info!
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