Good news, Skype for Business Server 2019 Public Preview is here. The final generally available release is due before the end of the year. This release is for lab testing, not production.
Exchange Server 2019 public preview was also released
What are the new features?
- Cloud Voicemail – Have SfBS on-premises user voicemail routed to Azure cloud voicemail which can then deliver voicemail to Exchange Online or Exchange Server. This is important for those moving to Exchange Server 2019 as Exchange Server 2019 has no Unified Messaging Option. If your Exchange team are moving to 2019, and you want to stay on SfB Server, you will be forced to move to SfB Server 2019 to maintain voicemail functionality. SfBS 2019 still supports sending voicemail to Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016
- Cloud Auto Attendant – again, auto attendant functionality is being depreciated from Exchange 2019 Server, SfBS 2019 now supports Cloud Auto Attendant
- Call Data Connector
– Send Call Quality Data (CDR and QoE) up to the Microsoft cloud and view all SfBS and SfBO data via CQD and Call Analytics. It is still supported to keep this information in SQL as before. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/SkypeForBusiness/hybrid/plan-call-data-connector
- Migration to Teams – Migrating users from SfB Server to Microsoft Teams will be easier
The following features are gone:
- XMPP Gateways – rarely used so not likely missed by many
- Persistent Chat – will be missed by some niche customers, but not used by most.
- SQL Mirroring support. AlwaysOn Availability Groups, AlwaysOn Failover Cluster Instances (FCI), and SQL failover clustering methods are supported with Skype for Business Server 2019.
- In-place upgrades – SfBS must be deployed on new servers side by side with an existing installation
- Mobility Service (Mcx) – Mobility Service support used by legacy mobile clients. All current mobile clients us Unified Communications Web API (UCWA) so this shouldn’t be a big deal
The following tools will not be available for use at the initial release of Skype for Business Server 2019:
- Skype for Business Server Capacity Planning Calculator
- Skype for Business Server Debugging Tools
- Skype for Business Server Resource Kit Tools (some tools will be removed)
- Call Parkometer
- Lookup user console
- Unassigned number Announcement Migration
The following tools are not supported with Skype for Business Server 2019:
- Call Quality Methodology Dashboard
- Microsoft Call Quality Methodology Scorecard, v1.5
- Skype for Business Server 2015 Planning Tool
- Skype for Business Server 2015 Stress and Performance Tool
Office 2019 commercial prices will increase 10 percent over current on-premises pricing. The price increase will include Office client, Enterprise CAL, Core CAL, and server products. So all the Office 2019 Server products, not just Skype for Business Server.
Standard Edition: 6-core, 2.4 gigahertz / 32 GB RAM / 8 or more 10000 RPM disks or SSD / Gig NIC
SfBS Enterprise Edition Front End: 6-core, 2.4 gigahertz / 64GB RAM / 8 or more 10000 RPM disks or SSD / Gig NIC – big bump in recommended RAM, it’s not really clear why.
Edge Servers, standalone Mediation Servers, and Director: 6-core, 2.4 gigahertz / 16GB RAM / 8 or more 10000 RPM disks or SSD / Gig NIC/ dual Gig NIC for Edge
Windows Server 2016 (no older OS’s supported), no sign of support for Windows Server 2019 yet
Microsoft SQL Server 2016/2017 Enterprise (64-bit edition), and you must run with the latest updates, and with AlwaysOn availability groups.
domain functional level: 2012 or higher
Deploying in your lab? Be sure to use Pat Richards Set-CsFeatures.ps1 for the prereqs– Use the -skype4b2019 option https://www.ucunleashed.com/3600
Dedicated Tech Forum for the preview: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Server-2019/bd-p/SkypeforBusinessServer2019