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Clarifying Support for Skype for Business Server 2019 Virtualization

Thanks to Corbin Meek, Senior Supportability Program Manager – Teams and Skype for Business at Microsoft for reaching out with an update/clarification.

Skype for Business Server 2019 is supported on virtualisation, provided it is deployed in line with the Planning a Lync Server 2013 Deployment on Virtual Servers guidance.

Some highlights of the guidance:

  • Do not use processor oversubscription; maintain a 1:1 ratio of virtual CPU to physical CPU.
  • Moving a guest server while operating is not supported
  • Virtual machine portability or failover techniques such as live migration are not supported
  • You should disable hyperthreading on all hosts
  • Do not configure dynamic memory or memory overcommitment on host servers
  • Use fixed or pass-through disks rather than dynamic disks
  • “Hypervisors require an amount of overhead (typically 6 percent to 10 percent) above and beyond what the virtual guest requires.”

You should check the Lync 2013 guidance document for full details.

Note that supported does not in any way mean recommended. It has always been recommended to go physical hardware to reduce the number of potential complications, especially in large or highly utilised environments.

There is no updated guidance specifically for virtualising SfB Server 2019 at this time, but Microsoft intends to release specific guidance in the future (no public ETA).

Expect an official support statement from Microsoft when the formal guidance is completed by Microsoft. If you can wait for the official virtualisation guidance and support statement that would be the best thing to do.

The Lync Server Stress and Performance Tool (LSS) does not run against SfB Server 2019. So today, you cannot use that tool to validate your virtualisation platform. There is a plan to update these tools to work with SfB Server 2019

I believe most of the KHI’s/Perfmon counters are similar, you should definitely be monitoring and reporting on those in a virtual environment. Again expect updated guidance in due course.

Which Hypervisors are supported?

SfB Server 2019 is supported on Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019, so is therefore supported on Hyper-V on those versions of Windows Server

For third-party hypervisors, as before, you need a hypervisor that has passed the Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) testing for the relevant OS.

For Windows Server 2016 that is listed versions of

  • VMware
  • Citrix XenServer
  • Nutanix

SVVP reference here

So for Windows Server 2019 that is listed versions of

  • VMware
  • Red Hat
  • Citrix Xenserver
  • SUSE Linux
  • Nutanix

SVVP reference here

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 Collaboration news and opinions