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Skype for Business Server In-Place Upgrade Step by Step

Step by Step Guide: Skype for Business


  • Ensure that your Active Directory is healthy and replicating
  • Ensure you have a backup of your Lync and AD servers just in case
  • For a single Standard Edition deployment make sure you either have a temporary SE server to migrate users to or plan some serious downtime (4 to 6 hours)
  • Perform a full Windows Update on all Lync Servers
  • No Lync 2010 and 2013 servers in coexistence

Front End Server Pre-requisites for Skype for Business

  • Ensure that update KB2858668 is installed if using Windows Server 2012 or KB2982006 if using Windows Server 2012 R2 on all Lync servers
  • The version of SQL that hold the databases must be at least 2012 SP1. For Standard Edition Lync FE you must patch SQL beforehand. It is not part of the in-place upgrade.
  • The Front End Server must have at least 32GB of free disk space for in-place upgrade to work.
  • A server or workstation without Lync 2013 Admin Tools installed

Patching SQL Express 2012 RTM to SP2

You can download SQL Express 2012 SP2 from here. The process of patching the instances is quite simple.

To check your SQL Patch level, download the getinfo-SQLServer PowerShell script from here


1. Stop the Lync Services on the Front End Server


2. To update all database instances open command prompt and change the working directory to where you downloaded SQL 2012 SP2 executable. Run the following command

SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe /ACTION=Patch /allinstances /IAcceptSQLServerLicenseTerms



This will launch SQL setup in update mode and patch all RTC, RTCLOCAL and LYNCLOCAL instances



3. Run getinfo-SQLServer.ps1 script again and you should see the Level change from RTM to SP”



4. Start the Lync Services up again using the following PowerShell


All services should start OK


Installing Skype for Business Administration Tools

This needs to be installed on a server or workstation that is joined to your domain. We need a separate server or workstation for this in order to use the Skype for Business Topology Builder to upgrade the topology from Lync 2013 to Skype for Business Server 2015.

1. Mount the Skype for Business Server 2015 media to the target machine and launch setup.exe. At the time of writing there were no updates, so Don’t check for updates right now was OK to select



2. Choose the installation directory


3. From the deployment wizard choose Install Administrative Tools


Note there are no AD Schema updates to install! AD Team will be happy!

4. Once installed open Skype for Business Server 2015 Topology Builder and download the current topology


5. Navigate to Lync Server 2013/Standard Edition Front End Servers and right click on your FE server. Choose Upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015


This will move the FE server to the Skype for Business 2015 Servers container in the topology



6. Now Publish the Topology.




This process can take upwards of 2 hours to complete depending on your deployment scenario.


Now we are ready to perform the in-place upgrade on the FE Server

Performing the in-place Upgrade of Lync 2013 to Skype for Business Server

Now we have completed the ground work, we are able to get on with our in-place upgrade.

1. Stop all Lync Services on the Front-End server


2. Mount the Skype for Business Server 2015 media and launch Setup

You will see some familiar screens


3. Click next and accept the EULA


4. Click next and in-place Upgrade will start


This process will take around 2 to 3 hours to complete, so go and watch a film 🙂

5. Once complete you should have ticks next to all tasks


6. All that is left to do now is start the Skype for Business Services from the S4B PowerShell

Start-CsPool -PoolFqdn pool.domain.com



And that is it. Launch your new Skype for Business Server 2015 Control Panel and enjoy.



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