Better late than never, I finally got me a Skype for Business Server ISO image for testing, I always wanted my Blog to have everything my readers could need, so I decided to write guide on how to upgrade from Lync to Skype for business, and because there are a number of good guides out there detailing the steps I decided to take another approach using a one diagram that describe what will you be doing in a nutshell, for details I recommend following one of the following Guides written by SkypeFB MVPs:

Before you Begin, plan ahead

Number of stuff you need to consider before starting the upgrade, first let’s talk about the possible way of upgrade, I will be talking about In-place upgrade in this article. In-Place upgrade is what we have been waiting for is finally here, allowing organizations to utilize the same hardware and upgrade to SkypeFB in a matter of minutes. The options Microsoft provided for In-Place Upgrade are:

1. Online In-Place upgrade: include no downtime for services, where you have more than one pool and you migrate users out of a pool, upgrade it, then migrate them back to it, and then upgrade the other Pool.

2. Offline In-Place upgrade: include planned downtime for the services, where you stop all Lync services, upgrade the pool, then start the services again (good for organization with only one pool).

Also you would want to make sure your infrastructure is ready to host Skype for Business Server by a number of unspoken pre-requisites that is mentioned in my diagram.

One thing important to keep in mind is the upgrade order, you should start from inside out, so start with all standby pools you have, then upgrade your Edge pool and finish up with the CMS Pool (Pool that host the CMS) that’s what Microsoft recommend

Upgrade the topology from the inside to the outside. Upgrade all your pools first, then the edge servers, and finally the Central Management Store (CMS) pool.

P.S it was mentioned that you should uninstall Lync management tools before upgrading to Skype for business nevertheless, I did not uninstall it, and used the steps I mentioned in my diagram and faced no problem related to this, so until I run into a problem because I did not uninstall the Lync management tools before upgrading, those steps are correct.

In-Place upgrading in a Nutshell

Following is a diagram I use with my clients to explain to them the In place upgrade steps that I will be doing on their Lync infrastructure.

You can download in-place-upgrade in PDF format.

hope it helps