AUTHOR: Jamie Stark – Microsoft
Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition has been one of the most exciting new products we’ve released in the last year, and that’s saying quite a lot considering the work we have done – from PSTN Conferencing and Calling to Broadcast Meetings and Mobile. As a reminder, Cloud Connector Edition provides a simple, streamlined way for Office 365 customers to connect their existing telephony environment with Skype for Business Cloud PBX. This allows Cloud PBX to send and receive calls using the customer’s existing circuit, carrier and contract anywhere in the world.
We’ve already done a few articles on NextHop about Cloud Connector Edition – from the initial announcement to detailed papers on configuration and interoperability – there’s even a video broadcast you can check out from our bi-weekly series to hear more about it. The best way to think about Cloud Connector Edition is as a piece of the Skype for Business Online service that just happens to be operating on your premises. And in the same way we keep the cloud always up to date with the latest features, security updates and quality improvements, we are committed to doing the same with Cloud Connector Edition on-premises.
That’s why the latest release of Cloud Connector is so important, because it brings automated updates and high availability improvements to the product. The automated updates will pull down software from the cloud for both the operating system and the core Skype applications, drain all the current calls and then refresh the appliance with the latest software. We do this by building a new set of updated virtual machines in the background while the appliance is running, then when complete and drained of all active traffic move the traffic from the previous VM to the new set.
Just like the rest of the Office 365 environment, all of this happens automatically, without any intervention from the tenant administrator. To ensure reliability and compatibility, we specifically test cloud updates against the current Cloud Connector Edition as well as testing the current Skype for Business Online components against proposed updates to Cloud Connector Edition. The only piece the tenant administrator needs to worry about is setting up the optimal timing for performing the upgrade. Finally, because the prior set of virtual machines are still present on the system, if anything goes wrong during the upgrade that software is still available to handle calls.
So if you already have Cloud Connector Edition operating in your Office 365 environment, now is the time to upgrade! If you do not upgrade to our auto-update Cloud Connector Edition, it is possible that updates to the cloud part of the service may cause issues with down-level Cloud Connector Edition deployments at some point in the future. The directions to update from either the 1.3.4 or the 1.3.8 versions are located here. Just think, this is the last time you’ll have to upgrade the environment!
For those of you who haven’t tried out Cloud Connector Edition with Cloud PBX in Office 365, now is the time. You can get started by downloading Cloud Connector Edition at http://aka.ms/getCCE.