Q

Microsoft mash-ups: Can OCS, LCS and Lync environments coexist?

Many users want to know if Lync 2010 can coexist with previous Microsoft UC clients Live Communications Server and Office Communications Server. Expert Hugh Marlor has the answer.

My company has used Microsoft's Live Communications Server (LCS) and Office Communications Server (OCS) environments for unified communications (UC). Can we install the new Lync 2010 client alongside our existing LCS and OCS systems? Will all three of those environments be able to communicate with one another?

With the recent release of Lync 2010 from Microsoft, there have been numerous questions from people needing to understand how coexistence with previous versions of OCS and LCS is supported. Let's provide some information on what types of coexistence will work and what will not.

In order to test and understand some aspects of LCS, OCS and Lync coexistence, the following environment was set up:

  • Single Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) domain: numa.us
  • Created a user for each product version
    • Mickey.mouse@numa.us (LCS)
    • Ethan.hunt@numa.us (OCS)
    • Andrew.Carnegie@numa.us (Lync)
  • Installed the respective IM client each in a virtual PC and logged each user onto their respective client

Coexistence results:

  • OCS and Lync clients can communicate with no issues
  • OCS and LCS clients can communicate with no issues
  • LCS and Lync clients are not able to communicate. This is because of the change to Lync with respect to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). Lync uses a Central Management Store hosted in SQL to store Lync configuration information, whereas LCS and OCS used WMI. Lync provides for installing the WMI Backward Compatibility Package to support OCS coexistence, but this package does not provide Lync with any knowledge of an existing LCS environment.

So how do you move LCS users to Lync 2010?

You might think that the process of moving an LCS user would be the same as moving an OCS user. Unfortunately, since the Lync infrastructure can't communicate with the LCS infrastructure, you will get an error when attempting an LCS-to-Lync user move.

The solution for moving LCS users to Lync is to use the dbimpexp.exe tool that comes with the Lync Resource Kit. This tool was also included with LCS and OCS resource kits. The dbimpexp.exe tool can be used to export LCS contacts to a file. After that, you can disable users for LCS and enable them for Lync, then import the exported contacts to the users' Lync enabled user object. Since the tool is command-line driven, you can also automate this process with VBScript and "bat" files.

This was first published in December 2010

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