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What’s new with Lync 2013 – Features and enhancements!

Lync is Microsoft’s offering for unified communications, also as a part of O365.

Lync 2013 is the next version of the Lync 2010 (current).

Lync 2013 provides you with a seamless and exciting experience across computers, devices, web and phones with three fundamentals:

  • Communicate (have conversations with Microsoft Office Users (internal and external))
  • Collaborate (Web conferencing, Voice Conferencing, Office Integration)
  • Any (where, device, time):  works on the web, mobile devices

Lync 2013 is a gripping upgrade on features offered by Lync 2010. It will increase collaboration experience to a new level becoming all the more cloud ready.



  • IPv6
    • IPv6 has been introduced.
    • Lync still continues to work in IPv4 environment too
  • Persistent Chat Server
    • Helps comply with data privacy regulations by defining  servers in the Topology Builder with other roles
    • Upto 80K simultaneous endpoints
    • Accessed thru Lync client
    • HA (High Availability)
    • Built-in Lync Administration
    • DR (Disaster Recovery)Support
  • Architecture
    • SQL Mirroring
    • User Groups which provide distributed services to users
    • Lync 2010 had 8 front ends while Lync 2013 has  12-20 front ends
    • Lync 2010 had a tightly coupled back end while 2013 has a loosely based one
    • In Lync 2010, Database was used to note presence updates while in 2013 the dynamic data updates are managed by Front end servers
  • VDI Plugin
    • Supports PC and thin clients, major VDI vendors
    • Plugin for audio and video re-directions
    • Office/Line of Business application integratin
    • Device integration
    • Call Admission Control, Location. Call Park
    • IM/Presence
    • Data Collaboration
  • Skype Federation Support
    • Inter-operable with third parties
    • Open Federation
  • Security
    • Authentication and authorization is good
    • It also accelerates protocol validation
    • RBAC custom roles for enterprise
  • Scalability:
    • Can be scaled up by addition of Front end servers resulting in upto – 12-20 servers per pool, 200,000 active users, 1 million provisioned users
    • Distributed workload
    • Move users across pool
    • Mutliple versions of Lync in same environment
  • High Availability- to ensure HA for Lync 2013, we have Lync 15 Bricks
    • Lync 15 Bricks are front end servers which will be used during scale out scenarios
    • What do these Bricks do?  They streamline the Front End Servers (3 FE servers take care of backup copies, manage user state)
    •  Each user will be mapped to a Group, which will be allocated to 3 FE servers with a pool (Primary, Secondary and a tertiary)
    • If the primary has issues, secondary gets activated.
    • Changes to user’s data will be replicated synchronously to secondary and tertiary along with 3 replicas
  • Voice
    • Lync 2010- 1:N
    • Lync 2013- M:N
    • Uses TLS+SRTP for multiple interactions
    • Better resiliency and internetworking
    • No other additional server required
    • Support for inter-trunk routing, allowing Lync to act as an intermediate medium between two or more mediums
    • Centralized Management
    • Delegate capabilities

Modes of Deployment:

The Lync 2013 server comes in three deployment modes

a.    Lync On Premises: 

  • As the name suggests, this is a complete package for an on-premise model.
  • All installations and maintenances of servers occur by your organization. This entails all features of Lync.
  • Is the perfect choice for integrating  Enterprise Voice with an existing PBX system
  • Works with SharePoint Online and Exchange
  • Highly flexible

b.   Lync Online:

  • Again, as the name suggests this model is based on cloud/online services.
  • Provides IM, conferencing and voice within the organization
  • Offers less administration complexity
  • 2 plans
    • Basic plan which covers IM, Audio calls (PC-2-PC), web conferencing.
    • Advanced plan which provides outgoing and incoming  calls to public networks (requires a purchase of this calling feature from O365)

c.    Lync Hybrid:

  • As the name indicates, this is a combination of both on-premise and online sharing the same domain.
  • 2 plans
    • Hybrid Lync Server- On premises Lync server workable with Lync Online solution
    • Hybrid Voice- On Premise Lync Enterprise Voice to enable users to make/receive calls
  • Some specific considerations will be required in on-premises
    • ADFS server running on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
    • A DirSync Server
    • Lync Server 2013
    • Lync Server 2013
    • Microsoft SQL Server Instance

New Add-ons in Lync Meetings:

a.    H.264 SVC Support and Multiparty HD video Gallery

  • High Definition video presented in a video gallery (both Lync Meetings and P2P calls)
  • Ability to select the people to see/speak
  • Allocate a speaker (primary) that the audience can look, hear
  • Detects the current speaker and sets the angles accordingly

b.   Lync Web App for browser access to Lync Meetings

  • Create and join online meetings from Outlook Web App
  • One click Lync meeting from Exchange OWA
  • Permits scheduling changes

c.    Content Sharing

  • PowerPoint broadcasting and upload- Web app (WAC) for sharing ppts

i.    Slides can have animations

ii.    Speakers notes can be viewed as well while presenting

iii.    The new look and feel to the thumbnails and notes experience are aligned with Office 365

iv.    Gives the flexibility to control the slide flow to the presenter or if the presenter wants can give permissions to attendees to navigate as well

  • Play multimedia files (during and post meeting)-  supports WMV, H.264, YouTube- upto 50+MB

i.    Attendees will be muted automatically during a video

ii.    Presenter has the ability to navigate the video

  • View capabilities individual dashboards for active speaker, content only, people only and people & content

d.    Exchange Integration:

  • Requires Exchange 2013 Server
  • Discovery across Exchange, Lync and SharePoint
  • Archives stored in Exchange user mailboxes
  • DR
  • Active Directory based authentication

e.    Administration

  • Single dashboard with end to end visibility
  • Simple and efficient

f.     One Note

  • Great application to make notes
  • Integrates well with Outlook and Lync
  • Ability to share meeting notes with users (grants flexibility to decide which user should receive)

g.    Archiving

  • IMs, ppts, meeting attendance, whiteboard get archived
  • One Archive Policy and Store
  • Provides a very compliant experience

h.   Mobile Presence

Mobile clients will be able to make audio and video calls from device.

  • Contacts (Photo contact list, contact card, enterprise search, distribution groups)
  • Audio Conferencing (Meetings environment, click to join audio conference)
  • Presence (My status, contact presence)
  • Voice (Single number reach, voice mail, call forwarding setting)
  • Instant Messaging (Point to Point (P2P) IM, group conversations)
  • Single Client and User Identity

i.     Video

  • This version has scaled up the life-like video experience to new heights. It has multi view windows to know who is around, who is talking.
  • Enables multiple HD video conferencing with users (upto 250 users conference)
  • Indicators to let you know if there is a video call
  • Alignment and Positioning of camera for best view
  • Cost effective (software based)
  • Highly interoperable (Tele-Presence and Video Conferencing)

j.     Reporting

  • Reports are generated from SQL Server
  • System Center takes care of communication issues

To conclude, Lync2013 definitely has hi-end features that can make Business Communications (internal and external) extremely efficient and effective. It does provide a beguiling experience- anywhere, anytime… The entire layout of Lync has been made lot cleaner and user friendly this time.

For organizations that would want robust unified communications – this is the ultimate choice which can deliver world class services for your Infrastructure.

Anita Raj
Technology evangelist
Team @MSExchangeGuru

4 Responses to “What’s new with Lync 2013 – Features and enhancements!”

  1. Sunder Says:

    Good Detailed information. Keep up the good work Anita.

  2. Kör du Lync 2013 på jobbet? Om inte: Här är listan med alla nyheter… « TUG Sweden Says:

    […] Kör man idag Office Communicator eller kanske till och med Lync 2010 så kanske man inte tycker att det är värt att uppgradera till Lync 2013. Men det är en imponerande lista med nyheter. Man hittar en i punktform här: […]

  3. NeWay Technologies – Weekly Newsletter #28 – January 31, 2013NeWay | NeWay Says:

    […] What’s new with Lync 2013 – Features and enhancements – 25-Jan-2013 […]

  4. Sunny Says:

    Exchange Integration:

    Requires Exchange 2013 Server
    – what exactly this means. Reading through the tech docs state, Lync 2013 can also be integrated with Exchange 2010.
    – Does customer lose any functionalities if they have Lync 2013 with Exchange 2010 integration?

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