The finer details of a Skype for Business In-Place Upgrade


The in-place upgrade feature allows you to upgrade your Lync 2013 servers to Skype for Business without the need to build and migrate as in previous versions. I have successfully used this method numerous times now, and have been surprised with how easy and reliable it is, providing you following a well thought out plan; trouble is, there is a lack of detail in the official documentation to aid you in this. This article supplements my in-place upgrade guide, details my process, and fills in some gaps.

First things first, take a backup!

If things go wrong you’re going to need a backup. The only way to do this easily and correctly, is by using Lasse Wedø’s back script which you can download here.

Make sure your environment is healthy

  • Check your “Lync Server” event logs for anything out of the ordinary
  • Make sure all your Lync services are running
  • Check that replication is up to date:
  • If you have pool pairing enabled, check that its in a healthy state:
  • If you are upgrading an Enterprise Edition pool, check the fabric state:

Take note of the CMS master

Microsoft recommends upgrading from the inside out; meaning Front End servers first, other internal servers, then Edge servers. They also recommend that the CMS is upgraded last, however that is not strictly required, and you could upgrade this while still having Lync 2013 servers in the mix. In any case you’ll want to take note of the pool that hosts the CMS. You can check this using the following command:

When it comes time to upgrading the pool owning the CMS, you might actually want to move it another pool so that it stays online while you are performing the upgrade. You don’t want the CMS offline for too long, as this will cause clients to go in to limited functionality mode after 20 minutes by default.

Keep things online while you upgrade

If you have the luxury of a multiple pool deployment, you can shuffle users and services around so you can keep them online while you upgrade. Most commonly you’ll want to move your users, conference directories and Response Groups.

Other things to take note of

  • Check your Kerboros configuration – if you are using Kerboros, you’ll need to re-create the account after the upgrade
  • After the upgrade is complete, apply the latest Cumulative Update, and don’t forget to apply the database updates as per the release notes!
  • Skype for Business now includes a call quality monitor that prompts users to rate their call – this is on by default in Skype for Business. Let your users know, or turn this off by policy:
  • If you are running the Lync 2013/Skype for Business 2015 client, you have two skin options. You can control this by policy, but by default in Skype for Business, users will see the Skype for Business look and feel. Notify your users of this change, or change this default:
  • Skype for Business no longer uses the Company_Phone_Number_Normalization_Rules.txt file to normalise numbers from AD to the Address Book. Instead this has move to PowerShell, and you can import the existing rules from this file using PowerShell e.g:

Make your life easy by scripting

Using scripts will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to complete an online upgrade. Here are some examples to get you started; make sure you understand what these do, and customise them to suit your needs – dont just run them!

Set some common variables

These common variables are used throughout the following examples.


Take a record of users on the pool to be upgraded


Take a record of conference directories on the pool to be upgraded


Take a record of Workflows with managers


Migrate users to a temporary pool


Migrate conference directories to a temporary pool


Migrate your Response Groups


Move users back to originating pool


Move conference directories back to originating pool


Move Response Groups back to originating pool


Happy upgrading

Hopefully this gives you a bit more awareness around the upgrade process and what you need to consider. Remember to check out my in-place upgrade guide that takes you through the overall process. Happy upgrading!





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