Microsoft Lync Server provides enterprise-grade communications for instant messaging, web/audio/video conferencing, application sharing, and telephony (or voice over IP). Users within an organization use the Lync client to connect to a Lync Server, and then use it to communicate with other users.

Virtualization is becoming increasingly important in many IT datacenters, and allows multiple operating systems or workloads to be installed on a single machine. By virtualizing the Lync Servers, IT administrators can:

  • Take maximum advantage of available datacenter resources: with Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 product family processors offering up to 8 processing cores per CPU, and the latest Dell PowerEdge R720 supporting up to 768 GB of memory, having multiple Lync server components as separate VMs allows administrators to make use of hardware more effectively.
  • Scale the infrastructure to run the Lync workload while minimizing the physical resources needed: virtualize multiple Lync Servers on a physical machine instead of restricting the IT datacenter’s servers to a dedicated workload.
  • Provide better availability: through the use of Microsoft’s Hyper-V® failover-clustering, if one of the Lync Servers becomes unavailable, the Lync Server VM can be brought up, either running on the same physical machine or on another physical machine.
Keeping these advantages in mind, engineers at Dell’s Global Solutions Engineering team conducted a scalability study of the Lync Server on Microsoft Hyper-V. The results show linear scaling when the number of heavy users was increased from 3000 to 6000 to 12,000 with 1, 2 and 4 VMs respectively on a single Dell PowerEdge R720.