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Skype for Business Certificate Requirements (The Definitive Guide)

I wanted to address this topic because it appears to be cropping up on TechNet regularly. In this post we will discover what is and is not supported, what certificates we need for each server and their requirements. Before we start delving into the details, it is important to understand from the outset that Skype for Business has very strict certificate requirements and should you attempt to deviate from the supported model, then you will find that certain modalities will not work at all. The temptation is to try and save money on certificates, the most common error I see is people trying to use wildcard certificates. These are not supported for non web traffic whether you use Skype for Business or not, these are not intended for Unified Communications across all vendors. The justification for using a wildcard is to save money. This I can tell you is false economy. If you ignore the requirements and purchase a wildcard certificate, you will end up having to purchase a SAN certificate in the end to get your services working. In so doing wasted about £200 in the process. The justification for doing it the right way and not trying to cut costs on certificates is simple; you’ve spent £30K on servers, £100K on licencing Skype for Business, £50k on peripherals, £30K on SBCs for your Skype for Business deployment without worry, so why try so hard to save £50 on a certificate?? So there is no argument or justification for not doing it right in my opinion.


Skype for Business Backup Tool

First off I will admit that this is not ground breaking in terms of no one has done it before. I’ve ummmed and arrrrghhed about releasing this for some time as the backup script by Lasse Wedo is amazing and will do a great job. However, I believe that my script tool brings some added value to the table and offers something a little different. For this reason I have decided it is worth a release to the community.


The backup tool is a PowerShell script that has several modes of backup, ranging from a full Skype for Business backup to modular backups for backing up policies, or configurations, or topology etc. This script can be run as a scheduled task or ad-hoc using PowerShell. It can be run from a management workstation with the Skype for Business management tools installed or from a front end server. Each backup process has been written as a separate function that allows you to be selective in what you want to backup. When run, the script will create the required root and log directory on the machine using the default path C:\sfb_backup. This can be changed by editing the first few lines of the script.


  • Back up Topology
  • Back up CMS Database
  • Back up Persistent Chat Database
  • Back up User Data
  • Back up File Share
  • Back up All Policies
  • Back up All Configuration
  • Back up Response Groups
  • Send Email to admin on completion (Full Backup Only)
  • Compress Backup file to ZIP (Full Backup Only)
  • Full Logging capabilities
  • Progress indicator


Decommissioning Skype for Business Hybrid and Going Cloud Only

There is a lot of documentation out on the internet on the benefits of Skype for Business and Skype for Business Hybrid, how to configure, how to move users etc. However, there appears to be little information about what to do when Hybrid is no longer required. We have become so focused on what benefits hybrid gives us now and in the future with Skype Broadcast Meetings, Cloud PBX etc that perhaps we have forgotten not everyone needs it. There are still businesses out there who made a heavy investment in on premises infrastructure for Instant Messaging and Presence services only who are now looking at Skype for Business Online as a cheaper alternative due to its OPEX pricing model. For these businesses, they simply want to use hybrid to move users from on premises to the cloud and that’s it. So what to do once we no longer need hybrid – just turn off on premises servers? No.

Unlike Microsoft Exchange Hybrid where the integration is more heavily woven together, Skype for Business Hybrid is actually nothing more than 2 independent federated domains with the additional configuration that they share a common namespace. The sharing of the namespace allows administrators to move users between the two deployments with their data and redirect sign-in requests to the correct deployment. With any Hybrid configuration, the on premises deployment is the source of authority for that service. Therefore, sign-in requests will come to the on premises front end servers using lyncdiscover and SRV records. The on premises front end server is clever enough to realise that the user’s SIP identity and service lives (courtesy of AD) in Office 365 and will issue a redirect to the cloud service from the discovery phase. This allows the user’s client to sign in directly to the online tenant using Microsoft Office 365 URLs.


Skype for Business – Call via Work Manager

Call via Work (CvW) is the replacement to RCC in Skype for Business. Those wishing to utilise this feature will come to realise that setting the call back number administratively requires a per user based policy. Whilst on the face of it seems rather trivial, imagine having to keep track of potentially hundreds of individual policies? At present there is only one way to manage these policies and that is PowerShell.

To make this feature more accessible and manageable I have created a UI that will display every user who is enabled for CvW and their associated policy configuration.


  • Update user’s call back number
  • Enable, Disable their CvW policy
  • Enforce the use of an admin call back number
  • Update selected user’s or all user’s
  • Remove a user’s CvW Policy
  • Create and Assign new CvW Policies

Current version does not offer a filter capability, currently working on that.

Install Requirements

  • Must be run on workstation / server that has Skype for Business Management Shell



Available for Download at: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Skype-for-Business-Call-67ad2b59

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