Update: 15.08.2019 – Updated after CU1 was launched. Virtualisation support for 2019, section for Cloud Call Queues added
Update: 10.11.2018 – 2019 Server Tools added
With the release of the Skype for Business Server 2019 I thought it would be the right time to write down what we know about the new SfB Server release.
The documentation for the 2019 release can be found here:
The session about Server 2019 during Ignite 2018 was called “BRK3229 – Everything you need to know about Skype for Business Server“
A summary from Ignite 2018 from
SfB Server 2015 vs 2019
- SQL Mirroring
- XMPP Gateways and proxies
- Persistent Chat. Interop Mode can provide PChat for a 2019 user with a 2015 Front End.
- In-place upgrades – you must migrate side-by-side
- Mobility Service (Mcx) – only relevant for legacy mobile clients
- Integration with Exchange Online UM – Use Cloud Voicemail
SfB Server Standard Edition and the Director Role are still there. This has changed since the Ignite 2017 announcement.
Not really a new feature. It was already possible to use Exchange Online UM with SfB Server 2015. With SfB Server 2019 your users will get Azure Voicemail. Since Exchange 2019 has no UM role anymore, customers need to use Cloud voicemail if they are on Exchange Server 2019.
- Works with Exchange Server and Online mailboxes
- Requires SfB Hybrid setup
- SfB Server 2019 still works with Exchange 2013/2016 Exchange UM
- If you are using Exchange UM and are planning to upgrade to Exchange 2019: Upgrade SfB server first then the mailbox.
Cloud Auto Attendant
Not really a new feature. It was already possible to use Cloud Auto Attendant with users hosted on SfB Server 2015. This functionality (AA) was located in Exchange UM and therefore this is the replacement of the functionality („Virtual receptionist“)
Cloud Call Queues
Cloud call queue is a service that accepts customer calls, plays a greeting message, and then places these calls in a wait queue while searching a pre-configured list of agents to answer these calls.
In May 2019 call queues got a service update and appeared in Teams Admin Center. Now you can create a call queue directly in TAC. To use this feature in SfB Server 2019 you have to create a hybrid ressource account. With that you now have also the possibility to reach the service from an onprem user. The same is also true for Auto Attendants.
- requires hybrid ressource account with hybrid connectivity and a cost-free Phone System Virtual User license if you plan to assign a phone number.
- details can be found here: https://paul-lange.net/hybrid-resource-accounts-with-aa-cq/
Call Data Connector
The On-Prem call analytics data – Quality of Experience (QoE) and Call Detail Recording (CDR) – is send to an Office 365 service to leverage Call Analytics (CA) and Call Quality Dashboard (CQD) in Office 365 as shown in the diagram. This gives you the „single pane of glass“ for server and online call analytics data. It is also possible that the analytics data remains on-prem for 3rd party analytics products.
- Does not require any extra software – Just PowerShell (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/SkypeForBusiness/hybrid/configure-call-data-connector)
- Requires SfB Hybrid setup
Migration to Teams
The Migration for SfB server users to Teams will be simplified. The user with his meetings and contacts will be moved to Teams (TeamsOnly). This feature will be availble with SfB Server 2019 and SfB Server 2015 CU8.
Move-CsUser -Identity “PilarA@contoso.com” -Target “sipfed.online.lync.com” -MoveToTeams
Features launched with CU1
- SEFAUtil – PowerShell based
- HTML5 based Modern Control Pane (Phase 1)
- HA/DR: RGS included in backup
After the Ignite session we are still waiting for Meetings in Cloud (Big Switch) As of August 2019 Teams Meetings still require Teams Collaboration.
- CPU: All server roles require a “Intel Xeon E5-2673 v3 dual processor, 2.4GHz or higher, 6-core”
- RAM: Front End and Backend Server requires now 64 GB RAM
- OS: Windows Server 2016/2019
- SQL Backend: Microsoft SQL Server 2016/2017/2019 Enterprise (64-bit edition) only
- Max user pool capacity increased from 80k active users to 106k. This is achieved by having the option to have 16 Front-End server instead of 12.
- A standalone Mediation Server can now handle 2000 (1500 with 2015) concurrent calls with hyper-threading enabled.
After some confusion arround the support of virtualisation with SfBS 2019, it is now clear that it is supported if you follow their guidance.
Upgrading to SfB Server 2019 is a side by side migration since in place upgrades are no longer supported.
Notes from the field
- Silverlight is currently still there – this will change with a later CU
- SFB 2019 Client is essentially the same as the current SfB 2016 C2R client
- Set-CsFeatures.ps1 from Pat Richard includes SfB Server 2019 support
- Cloud Voicemail does not require a license for the user. It requires at least one user on the correlant tenant with an Skype for Business Plan 2 or Teams license (activates the service in O365). Read the article from Mark Vale to get more details. https://blog.valeconsulting.co.uk/2018/07/26/microsoft-voicemail-just-got-expensive/
2019 Server Tools
Debugging Tools https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/download/details.aspx?id=57508
Capacity Calculator https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=57509
Key Health Indicators https://www.microsoft.com/download/details.aspx?id=57519
Management Pack https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=57511
Call Quality Dashboard https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=57510
UCMA 6.0 Runtime https://www.microsoft.com/en-in/download/details.aspx?id=57507
SfB Server 2019 CU1 released: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Blog/Released-Skype-for-Business-Server-2019-CU1/ba-p/771244