Microsoft Lync Server 2010
With the growth of Unified Communications (UC) as a distinct and increasingly vital aspect of Information Technology over the last few years, it was inevitable that at some point Microsoft, one of the world’s leading technology companies would join the fray.
Microsoft did this tentatively in 2003 with the launch of Office Live Communications Server. It soon followed this up in 2007 with the launch of Office Communications Server 2007; a more fully featured UC solution which managed to position Microsoft firmly as a major player in the UC technology sphere. Following on from this success Microsoft has recently launched Microsoft Lync Server 2010, a re-branded update to Microsoft Office Communications Server, with much improved capabilities.
With the change in name comes a new range of features and functionality. Microsoft Lync Server 2010 is a lot more than a mere name change from the previous version. Featuring high-quality audio, HD video, voice-to-text voicemail via email and improved performance and stability, Lync Server 2010 is a serious contender in the competitive UC market.
As a powerful demonstration of its improved performance and stability, Microsoft Lync Server 2010 recently passed a 4 million Call Completion Test conducted by Miercom with a 100% success rate.
The test ran for 13 days and 26 minutes and involved 4,107,951 calls being placed through Lync Server 2010. That’s 13,147 calls per hour, all without a single call being dropped.
In addition to its impressive stability performance, Lync 2010 features improvements over its predecessors in other areas as well. Lync Server increases granularity – and therefore flexibility over its predecessors – by increasing the number of server roles to 12, Lync server also manages to improve simplicity by allowing all the server roles to run on one server, thus making it a viable choice for smaller environments.
Another major improvement is the introduction of a Silverlight-powered management control panel which replaces previous MMC-based interfaces and allows remote management using a Silverlight-enabled browser. Control and configuration has also been enhanced with the introduction of PowerShell support.
With a whole range of new features and options-including improved branch and data centre resiliency allowing for more robust deployments; Call Admission Control (CAC) which enables administrators to control the number of calls that occur simultaneously depending on the available bandwidth; call park functionality allowing calls to be placed on hold and retrieved by recipients; enhanced virtual meetings including Outlook integration; fully integrated Active Directory support allowing contact database access and SharePoint integration allowing searches from Lync clients – Lync server is bringing much-needed improvements and enhancements to Microsoft’s UC portfolio.
With its improved branding (Microsoft Lync sounds so much better than Microsoft Office Communications Server), rich feature-set and a rapidly growing range of quality third-party peripherals from the likes of Polycom, Microsoft Lync Server 2010 makes for a strong contender in the ever-expanding Unified Communications market.