Kevin Kieller
Kevin Kieller is a partner with enableUC, a company that helps measure, monitor and improve UC and collaboration usage and...
Read Full Bio >>

Kevin Kieller | November 20, 2014 |


Technically Lync: Setting Up Federation

Technically Lync: Setting Up Federation Lync federation can transform your business relationships -- as long as you set it up properly.

Lync federation can transform your business relationships -- as long as you set it up properly.

While I spend most of my time helping clients focus on big-picture strategy and leading overall implementations, my technically astute partner Dino Caputo spends most of his day providing technical architecture, design and technical implementation expertise related to Lync environments. As in my previous Technically Lync articles, this piece incorporates Dino's how-to directives.

Sequels are big at movies in 2014: Jack Ryan, The Muppets, Captain America, X-Men, Spider-Man, How to Train Your Dragon, Planet of the Apes, Hunger Games, Dumb and Dumber To. Given this, it seemed the right time to revisit Lync federation... the sequel.

Federation, or business-to-business collaboration, can significantly improve your interactions with key partners and suppliers. We have written previously that federation is a game changer and suggested that the Microsoft combined tools may create an ecosystem that delivers voice to more than a billion connected users.

With Lync federation, you can connect with people outside your organization as easily as you can with people inside your organization. And once connected, you can communicate via instant messaging (IM), voice, video or content sharing. Plus you see presence status for both internal and external contacts, in a controlled fashion. You can control what information you share with a particular external or internal contact by right clicking on the contact and selecting "Change Privacy Relationship." You get to pick whether you want to share no, limited or complete presence, contact and location information, as shown below.


Lync federation is fantastic and can transform your business relationships, but how exactly do you set up federation for your organization? Is it difficult? Does it take a large amount of effort?

First Comes the Lync Edge Server
First, know that a prerequisite for enabling federation is use of a Lync Edge Server, which lives in a secured network perimeter, or DMZ, and provides secure external access into your Lync environment. The Edge Server enables external users who are not logged into your organization's internal network to communicate with Lync users inside your organization. These external users could be authenticated and anonymous remote users, federated partners (including partners using XMPP for communications), mobile clients and users of public IM services.

Setting up a Lync Edge Server requires some time -- how much time depends on the size of your operation. You'll need anywhere from one to 14 days in total planning time, and from less than two hours to a day for the actual deployment. Here's a breakdown.

    1. Planning for the Edge Server(s) -- Estimated time to complete: 1 day (small company) up to 14 days (larger more complex organization)

The planning phase will likely take the longest in your quest for Lync federation capabilities as it requires you to gather information about your network and make decisions about things like standing up the Edge Server in your DMZ, obtaining public and internal certificates, making firewall rule changes, figuring out possible load-balancing requirements and publishing DNS records.

For the smaller company looking to deploy a Lync Edge Server, planning and mapping out the logistics might only take a day -- with the proper guidance. This will take longer at larger companies, simply because each of the items to consider are generally managed by different groups. Larger organizations may also want to provide multiple Edge Servers for scale and high availability. So larger enterprises should plan for at least two weeks of elapsed time to meet with all the appropriate groups, educate them on the requirements and to schedule and execute the required changes. This timing may vary depending on the complexity of your company and the availability of the various groups. You can find more information on planning for your Lync Edge infrastructure on Microsoft TechNet.

Once you have gone through all the planning, educated the appropriate teams on the requirements and have the appropriate server or servers in place, you'll be ready to go!

    2. Topology Builder -- Add the Lync Edge Server to the topology, enable federation and publish the topology. Estimated time to complete: 10 minutes

As the name Lync Topology Buildersuggests, this is where you will define and build your federated Lync environment. Assuming you have already deployed a Lync Front End Server and are using other features of Lync, you should be familiar with Topology Builder. In just a few minutes, you will create the Edge Server, defining all the carefully planned out information from the previous step. Here you will enable federation for your Lync deployment as shown. Once you publish your topology you are ready to export the edge configuration and install the Lync bits on your Edge Server or servers.


    3. Run the Lync setup on each Edge Server. Estimated time to complete: 30 to 60 minutes

Assuming your public certificate provider can turn around a certificate request immediately, this process generally takes 30 to 60 minutes from start to finish.

Then use the Lync 2013 Deployment Wizard, which will install Lync and the required binaries that make Lync work.


Click to the next page to learn about setting up your federation options


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.