Upgrade Lync 2013 to Skype for Business – Step by Step


Skype for Business Server 2015 was released a few weeks ago, and now it’s time to upgrade from Lync 2013 to Skype for Business.

First of all: why should I upgrade my installation?

Here the reference to Technet with the new features and changes introduced with SfB Server2015:


There are not so many changes in the architecture: we have a new role for the interoperability with some Cisco devices (I’m curious to see how it works), support for SQL Server AlwaysOn cluster was added (instead using mirroring) and important for this upgrade, in some cases we can have an inplace upgrade.

As you probably know, the “standard” upgrade procedure for previous Lync/OCS version was always to setup a new environment and move the users; now we can “simply” upgrade the current installation; there will be a downtime, but it’s a quite fast procedure.


Before starting it’s always a good practice to have a look to the documentation:

Plan to upgrade from Lync to Skype for Business

Upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015

Check if your environment can be upgraded or if some intermediate steps are required.

The best practice is to upgrade from “in-to-out”, that means first the Front-End servers, then the Edge and as last the CMDB.


In my case, I have to upgrade 3 Front-End servers and 1 Edge Server.

Let’s start with the first FrontEnd:

The first requirement is the newest SQL sever 2012 Service Pack:

After the installation the setup procedure complains that we need at least 32Gb of free space, so I have to expand my disk (I’m happy to work with VMs J )

After that I made Checkpoint/Snapshot of my VM in order to have an easy roll-back plan in case of failures.


Before upgrading the FrontEnd server we have to install the Topology Builder on a Server without any lync component installed; this allows to download the topology and upgrade the server in the topology.


After installing the administrative tools we can download the topology and select the upgrade:


After upgrading the server publish the topology.

Wait until the replication has been completed on all servers (ev. Use the get-csmanagementstorereplicationstatus cmdlet and verify that upToDate for all servers is True)


Now it’s time to install SfB Server:

We should stop all Lync related services (I used stop-csWindowsService)

Probably you must restart the server more than one time during the installation. The setup program will restart by itself after the login.

Installation will take some time…. Be patient.

At the end of the installation we have to start the CSPool manually and confirming that all of the servers of the same pool are running Skype for Business Server 2015.

Use the command start-csPool, specify the FQDN of the pool and confirm.

Now we can enjoy the new Control Panel’s UI:







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