Understanding the Lync Server 2010 Planning Tool

The Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Planning Tool helps design Lync Server 2010 deployments.  A new feature of the Lync Server Planning Tool gives you the ability to design a virtualized server environment as well as physical deployments.  There has been some confusion on the output generated by the Planning Tool.  This article discusses some issues with the tool and how to interpret the data generated. It also highlights other tools to help with your designs.

Author: Geoff Clark

Publication date: April 2011

Product version: Lync Server 2010

After using the Planning Tool to create a virtualized topology, there may be some confusion on how to interpret the data.  This article shows you how to interpret the data for a virtualized environment and highlights other issues you may encounter when using the Planning Tool. The Lync product team is aware of these issues and is actively working to resolve them.

This article addresses issues in these three areas:

  • Virtualized Data Reports
  • Edge Network Diagram
  • Edge Admin Reports

This sample topology was configured based on 5000 seats.  Pay particular attention to the servers shown in the topology.  For the Lync deployment, seven virtual machines are used.

Figure 1. Sample topology


Virtualized Data Reports

After a topology is configured, you can export the hardware requirements to Microsoft Excel.  At this point, the reports can become confusing.  The Server Profile (Table 1.) identifies nine physical servers, seven virtual machines, and six physical hosts. 

The nine physical servers reference non-Lync servers, gateways, and hardware load balancing virtual IP addresses. When planning your virtual deployment, these non-Lync objects can be dismissed. They are not important for the virtual environment. 

Next, are the seven virtual machines and the six physical hosts.  These are related, but this relationship can be confusing.  The data gives the impression that a physical host is required for each Lync Server role. The Planning Tool cannot determine how many virtual machines can be installed per physical host. This ratio is based on your available physical server hardware.  The Planning Tool provides suggestions on physical hosts.

To get more information on virtualized server scaling read: Running in a Virtualized Environment, Server Virtualization document, Using the Lync Server 2010 Planning Tool to Plan for Enterprise Voice, and use the Lync Server 2010 Capacity Calculator.

This issue will be addressed in an upcoming cumulative update.  

Table 1. Server Profile


Edge Network Diagram

The Edge Network Diagram provides the user with the ability to change IP's and FQDN's.  After you edit an IP or a FDQN, you may encounter a navigation problem and not be able to get back to the Edge Network Diagram.  There are two workarounds for this issue.

  1. Use your mouse to click Back or use the backspace key on your keyboard to return to the Edge Network Diagram screen.
  2. Click Topology Tap
    1. Under Actions
      1. View Global Topology
      2. View Site
    2. Click Edge Network Diagram

This issue is being addressed by the product team.

Edge Admin Reports

Several issues have been identified in the Edge Admin Reports, and are currently being addressed by the product team.

Note: the Certificate and Firewall reports are being reviewed to identify issues.  Here are some of items being addressed.

  • Certificate Report: The Reverse Proxy certificates need the Web Pool FQDN's.
  • Certificate Report: Next hop pool is confusing, should be a single pool or director.


The Lync Planning Tool can create a topology for physical or virtual environments.  Some items have been identified that need to be addressed, most if not all issues have a workaround that continues to make this a very valuable tool.

Additional Information

Lync Server Resources

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Comments (2)
  1. Pat Richard says:

    Can you clarify "Certificate Report: The Reverse Proxy certificates need the Web Pool FQDN's.". Are you referring to the pool for webconferencing (webcon.domain.com)?

  2. Geoff Clark says:

    I am referring to External Web Services & Simple Urls.

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