Microsoft Lync® is Microsoft’s® Unified Communication offering and provides Instant Messaging, Voice over IP and Web Conferencing capabilities.
To deploy Lync® on premises, you will need a license for each Lync Server® 2010 instance (physical or virtual) as well as Client Access Licenses (CALs) for each device or user accessing Lync®.
Depending on the size of the deployment, there are two server editions available:
- The Standard Edition is limited to 5,000 users/devices and Lync® needs to be configured on a single computer.
- Lync Server® 2010 Enterprise Edition allows you to separate the server functionality and data storage to achieve higher capacity and availability. It also allows for load balancing although you would need a license for server in the cluster.
There are three types of Client Access Licenses (CALs) available:
- The Standard CAL allows you to make use of the instant messaging and presence (display your availability to other users) features as well as PC-to-PC audio and video communications. It also allows the right to attend internally hosted web conferences.
- The Enterprise CAL allows you to access the Audio, Video, and Web conferencing features. With the Enterprise CAL, can create, moderate, and join web conferences with both internal and external users.
- The Plus CAL allows you to access the enterprise voice telephony features. It provides high-quality voice and other related features to users anywhere with an Internet connection across IP phones, PCs, and desktop applications.
The Lync Server® 2010 Standard CAL is a prerequisite to both the Lync Server® 2010 Enterprise CAL and Lync Server® 2010 Plus CAL. Any versions of the CALs may run on either the Standard or Enterprise version of the server.
For external users (those not on the organization’s payroll or 3rd party contractors), the following rules apply:
- For an unauthenticated or anonymous user (a person/device that does not have an identity in the Active Directory), the user can make use of the Attendee client to join the hosted meeting without any further license required.
- For External Authenticated Users (for those not on the payroll but authenticating through AD), you would require an External Connector. An external connector is required for each physical server and is determined by the CAL features the external users would require (Standard, Enterprise or Plus)
The Lync® Standard CAL can also be purchased as part of the Microsoft® Core CAL Suite and the Lync® Standard CAL and Enterprise CAL can be purchased as part of the Microsoft® Enterprise CAL (ECAL) Suite.
The Plus CAL for ECAL Suite is a CAL offering for ECAL Suite customers only. It provides the same features and functionality as the Plus CAL, however it is offered with a 20% saving from the standalone Plus CAL.
You can also subscribe to Lync® as part of the Microsoft Office 365® Online Services. In the case of Online Services, you would require User Subscription Licenses (USLs). There are two options:
- The Lync® Online Plan 1 USL offers instant messaging and presence features as well as PC-to-PC audio and video communications, as well as the right to attend internally hosted web conferences.
- Lync® Online Plan 2 USL allows you to access the Audio, Video, and Web conferencing features. You can create, moderate, and join web conferences with both internal and external users.
- The Lync® Plus CAL is only available as part of the Office 365® Plan E4 and currently has to be installed on premises.
Lync® Online can also be purchased as part of the Office 365® suites, from Plan E1 to E4.