Review - Getting Started with Microsoft Lync 2013

*** DISCLAIMER - I was approached by Packt Publishing to review this book. I was given access to the book for free. All opinions are mine.

Like a few other bloggers, I was asked to read through “Getting Started with Microsoft Lync Server” by Fabrizio Volpe. I had never read a Packt Publishing book before so I may have had poor understanding of how the book was constructed. It seems Packt Publishing books tend to be shorter and a bit more to the point than a traditional book, so be aware, this is not a massive tome like other computer books out there. This is 122 pages including the index and everything else.

It took me getting through the book once to understand the scope and target. Once I had that, the book overall was pretty good in what it was trying to achieve. This book will get the reader underway and does a decent job launching the reader into Lync.

There is an assumption that the reader has a decent understanding of Windows and Active Directory. If the reader is missing this background, they probably need to step back and learn that before continuing.

The book has seven chapters:

  1. Installing a Lync 2013 Enterprise Pool
  2. Understanding Front End Pool Pairing
  3. Deploying Lync Mobility and External Users Access
  4. Introducing the Lync Mediation Server
  5. Getting Started with Lync Enterprise Voice
  6. Deploying Persistent Chat Server
  7. Choosing Lync 2013 Clients

The first 5 chapters really flow together. The focus is on the core concepts of Lync (IM, Presence, Voice). Each chapter sets up the next and you move right along. The author hits on some good topics that tend to fall into the advanced category but good info none the less. Most authors would have focused on a more simplistic setup to “get started” with a product but not here, were getting all the goodies including High Availability (HA) and Disaster Recovery (DR) topics.

One thing, the author sets up the infrastructure with two Lync Front-ends. I’m assuming this was done due to lack of hardware in order to have three. Microsoft does not recommend an Enterprise Lync Front-end pool with only two servers. This wasn’t stated in the book and there are plenty of documented issues with only two servers, just want the reader to be aware.

When we get to chapter 6, it seems like such an abrupt change to talk about Persistent Chat (or maybe the author did such a great job with the flow of the first 5), but again, the reader is getting the good stuff. Persistent Chat is the evolution of Group Chat from previous versions of Lync (and OCS 2007 R2). The author does a good job of walking through the install of Persistent Chat and leaves it up to the reader to decide if they want to install it in their organization.

Lastly, the author touches on the various clients. All of the clients are addressed and discussed. The only thing that could have been a good addition would have been a discussion on DNS entries needed for each client to allow for automatic server discovery. Since the author does a great job throughout the book of citing other blogs for info, I’ll point my readers to Stale Hansen’s blog on the DNS entries:

Overall, this is a pretty good book and I think the author made a great effort here. I would encourage folks who are looking for more of a step by step book to consider this one as it achieves what it set out to do.

*** In case folks are looking for where to get the book, you can go to Packt Publishing:

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