Step by Step Skype for Business Server 2015 In Place Upgrade

Skype for Business Server 2015 has a simplified in-place upgrade path which is very welcome. Here is my step by step of the process to upgrade our Standard Edition lab’s Lync Server 2013 Standard Edition to Skype4B Server 2015 SfBS2015. An overview of the process is as follows:

  • Install the prerequisites & get SfBS2015 ISO
  • Install Admin Tools on non-Lync Server, Upgrade To SfBS2015 in Topology Builder, Publish Topology & Upgrade
  • Stop Services on all servers in pool to be upgraded
  • Run Setup.exe to launch in-place upgrade
  • Start Services

Step 1- Install the Prerequisites & Get Skype4B ISO

  • Install CU5+ latest hotfix to Lync 2013 topology
    • Lync Server 2013 Needs to be version 8308.815 or newer (click here)
    • How to check?  run below. (or click here)
      • Get-WmiObject –query ‘select * from win32_product’ | where {$ –like “Microsoft Lync Server*”} | ft Name, Version –AutoSize
  • PowerShell RTM version (6.2.9200.0) or later
  • Have at least SQL server 2012 SP1 installed
  • Kb2533623 Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Kb2858668 Windows Server 2012
  • KB2982006 Windows Server 2012 R2
  • 32GB of hard drive space on servers being upgraded
    • The setup has a little policeman that checks this before you can proceed.
  • Some Other Things to Ensure Before Proceeding
    • If LRS Portal was installed on this server, remove it: Click Here

NOTE: You will not escape doing the above updates (I tried), so I suggest just do them upfront.
Get the Skype for Business Server update here: Click Here (requires MSDN login)

Step 2 – Install Admin Tools on non-Lync Server, Upgrade To SfBS2015 in Topology Builder, Publish Topology & Upgrade

Note: This step should take less than 10 minutes.

Run the SfB2015 setup (on a machine that does not have Lync installed) and install the Admin Tools


Accept License Agreement…


“Install Administrative Tools”


When finished goto “Start” | more apps and run “SfBS2015 Topology Builder” (below)


“Download Topology from Existing Deployment” and save.

Now you will see the Skype4B Server 2015 Topology Builder. In the pool you want to upgrade, right click & “Upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015”




Note that the pool (in our case Standard Edition server) is now a Skype4B Server 2015 group.


Publish Topology


Will now publish…


Databases should automatically upgrade (this doesn’t apply to SE)


Now we are done on this machine. Now move to the Lync 2013 machine you want to upgrade. Before you move on, make sure the CMS has replicated using Get-CsManagementStoreReplicationStatus | ft

NOTE: Do not move on until the replication has completed.

Step 3 - Stop Services on all servers in the pool to be upgraded

On  Lync 2013 machine you want to upgrade we will stop all Lync service.
Use Powershell: Disable-CsComputer -Scorch

NOTE: You might be thinking: “I could Stop-CsWindowsService”. The reason Microsoft recommends using “Disable-CsComputer –Scorch” is that if you use “Stop-CsWindowsService”, some services may restart automatically after a reboot and this may cause the In-Place upgrade to fail.

Step 4 - Run Setup.exe to Launch in-place upgrade

This will launch setup UI


Progress of update will be displayed. This takes a little time…


After this you will see the Completed.


Upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015 completed successfully!


Step 5 - Start Services

Start service on all the servers in the upgraded pool at the same-time (to avoid loss of services due to quorum loss) (Obviously not an issue on 1 server SE pool)

Start-CSPool  -PoolFqdn

NOTE: For none Front End servers use: Start-CsWindowsService

Let’s check that all our services are running (sure enough that are!) and…we’re Done!


How about we check what the new version numbers are? Just run: Get-WmiObject –query ‘select * from win32_product’ | where {$ –like “Skype for Business Server*”} | ft Name, Version –AutoSize


And let’s log in to the Skype for Business Control Panel


Done & Tested!

A Few Administrator Notes for after the upgrade

  • Use the Skype4B admin tools to move users to and from Skype4B (click here)
  • Administrators should use Skype for Business Management Shell to move conference directories from Lync 2013 pools to Skype for Business pools.

A big thanks to the Skype4B team for making this process easier and smoother and a big thanks to the Office365 Summit team that put on great training around this and was the basis for my know-how and this blog post.

See the other articles in this series:

Get the free eBook Skype for Business Server 2015 Step by Step for Anyone:

Skype4B Server 2015 Upgrade Gotcha:

Matt Landis’ Microsoft Ignite 2015 Notes #msignite #skype4B


I will be at Microsoft Ignite [IN PERSON] and will be covering all things Skype for Business. Let’s talk! I will be assisting the Attendant Pro team at booth #415.
Bookmark his page as it will be continuously updated.

Some Ignite Links

Some things to not miss:

New Microsoft Announcements/News Around Skype for Business

Some official Skype4B related announcements:

  • Skype for Business Broadcasting Officially Announced: Click Here
    • Broadcast to  up to  10,000 users
  • Skype for Business for Mac will be Delivered by End of this Calendar Year: Click Here
    • This a brand new client from ground up Click Here
  • “Skype for Business In-call co-authoring will make it easy for multiple people to work together on a single document right in a meeting.” Click Here
  • Data Leakage Protection Coming to Skype for Business Q3

Interesting Skype for Business Vendor Announcements

Below are some items from vendors that caught my eye:

  • Panacast looks interesting: 200 degree video camera that vendor notes works with Lync/Skype4B click here 


Quick Look at Some New Features

Skype for Business Co-Authoring  (Prerelease)

imageall photos via MSIgnite session “Overview of Skype for Business” around 11:05

Now Skype4B will open OneDrive and when the user selects a file, the Permissions will  be set based on Skype4B participants in the meeting.


The file now loads on all the participants machines. Also, those participating in the coauthor session will have a “Call Monitor” window with some new options like IM and a Skype4B button that lets them move and close the “Call Monitor” window. (below)

coauthoring call monitor window

For scheduled meetings you can attach documents that will load on user machines when they join the meeting.

Skype for Business Server 2015: What’s New

Here is my log of significant new features of Skype for Business Server 2015 that weren’t noted before (that I know off). I will update as I see new items.

Skype for Business Server 2015 Gets New Skype theme Control Panel

Looks like a bit of new theming for Server Control Panel.



Skype Directory Search Details: Search for Skype Users in Skype for Business

Requires Skype for Business Server 2015 Edge Server in environment

Skype for Business User QuickTip #32: Client Based Call Recording for All Calls for $18

I’ve previously written an article how to use the built in Skype for Business/Lync client call recording feature to achieve on demand PSTN call recording. This solution will record all conversations on a PC from the skype4b/lync user’s perspective. For this we will use the “Total Recorder” product, but there are likely a lot of other apps out there that can do the same thing.

Steps to Setup

#1 - Get the “Total Recorder Standard Edition” here: The link directly to the trial software is here: NOTE: the trial software works fully, but every minute it puts a burst of static in the recording.

#2 – Install and restart your PC. Now run “Total Recorder”


Click on Parameters” (above), then in the “Recording source and parameters” (below) select “Audio Recording source” = Software.


In “Advanced parameters for Software recording”

  • Check – “Record also input stream (Internet telephony only)
  • Check – “remove silence”
    • this will only record when there is a call going


Now you are ready to make calls and have them all recorded.


  • Records PSTN, Skype4B/Lync peer to peer calls and conference calls. (in other words all call types)
  • (With “Total Recorder”) It seems when you use a Skype4B/Lync audio device that is not the default audio device, the remote caller is not recorded in some cases.

Looks Like #Skype4B Mobile Is Getting UI Refresh As Well


via @novoaGO

While we haven’t heard much about Skype for Business mobile UI it would be expected that the UI will get refreshed as well. @NovoaGO has posted a picture of an updated Lync/Skype for Business mobile app with what appears to be a new UI.


Q-When will the Skype for Business mobile client update be released?
A-“Skype for Business mobile application will available…in the coming months” ( click here

UPDATE: According to Windows Central the Windows Phone Skype for Business client will be updated May 15: Click Here

Note: We have not seen this update on our Windows Phone or Android devices…yet.

Lync 2013/Skype for Business Client User Interface Changes

The process of moving from the Lync to Skype for Business look (see it here) is taking a big step April 15, 2015. The cumulative update for the Lync 2013 client will include the new Skype for Business (Skype4B) client user interface.

What will happen if my users are updated to latest cumulative update of Lync 2013 client?

If you have Lync Server 2013 or Lync Server 2010 and get the new Lync cumulative update on April 15, 2015 the users will keep the Lync 2013 user interface. (But do note: after the Lync client updates your users will see the new Skype for Business (Skype4B) user interface, but will be prompted [see below] to restart their client so they get the Lync 2013 user interface again)


How can we avoid the need for users to restart the Lync 2013/Skype4B client to get the Lync 2013 user interface?

To make it so that the client starts in Lync 2013 user interface mode on first run after the update, you need to have the below registry key in place before the update:


  • Value name: EnableSkypeUI
  • Value data: 00 00 00 00


What WILL change, no matter what we do when we get the Lync 2013 CU on April 15, 2015?

  • The Lync/Skype4B sounds will change to new Skype for Business sounds
  • Outlook “New Lync Meeting” will change to Skype branding and say “New Skype Meeting”
  • Lync/Skype4B client Application/taskbar icon will be the new Skype for Business icon


What if we want to immediately turn the Skype4B client User interface on?

If you want to turn on the Skype4B user interface when the Lync/Skype4B client update comes out you need to:

  • Have the December 2014 Lync Server 2013 Cumulative Update Installed (or February 2015 CU
  • run Set-CsClientPolicy –EnableSkypeUI $true

More Reading…

This is a short and sweet version, but if you want the longer version that covers more scenarios and details, please jump over to Tom Arbuthnot’s excellent and detailed article: click here

Skype for Business Readiness Download: