Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lync Online, Exchange Online and SharePoint Online Bandwidth Planning and Estimation

Bandwidth planning comes up a lot with customers who are coming to the cloud. Most customers are initially concerned with understanding Exchange Online bandwidth. There are definitely new email traffic patterns that must be considered (especially if you are retaining the MX record on-premise). This can be remediated pretty quickly.

However the one that requires even more planning and consideration is Lync Online.

Here is the reference for the Office 365 Internet Bandwidth guide - In this article it has references calculators for both Exchange and Lync bandwidth calculators. The Exchange bandwidth tool is fairly straight forward.

The real reason why I am writing this blog is for Lync Online Bandwidth estimation. Today Microsoft does not have a Lync Online bandwidth tool; there is only the on-premises tool. However we have always said when using this on-premises tool if you:

1. Treat Lync Online as your Lync server deployment.

2. Then treat all end users as “external” users.

3. Then model out all the locations for where you have end users.

The first 30 minutes of the Lync Online How to Estimate Bandwidth presentation ( at the recent Lync Conference 2014 has a great discussion of how you should look and understand the traffic. There are several considerations you need to account for when estimating this traffic. I highly recommend sitting down and watching this session.

If you feel I missed on mentioning SharePoint Online, as you may see here - - that there is a tool in the works. However if you are a SharePoint person, you can look at many of the existing SharePoint on-premises planning tools, plan out your content acquisition strategy and look at how much content you have today. It comes down to knowing how many upload / download transactions you expect to have at peak times and what is the average file sizes. There can be other considerations for geographically dispersed organizations that again are working with large files. Organizations can look at their current SharePoint on-premise logs to plan.

Office 365: How we run it

My job requires me to talk with a lot of prospective customers about Office 365. One of the biggest tasks I have is to explain to large enterprise customers how we actually do Exchange, SharePoint and Lync in the cloud. Many customers come to the table with a lot of know about Exchange, SharePoint and Lync. They have a lot of operational experience for supporting these products on-premises and they want to know how Microsoft does it? Not to say they do not believe us; but I get the question a lot “show me”. Personally I am not on the operations team however I have to take customers through a lot of conversations to demonstrate to them how we deliver on such a scale.
There are actually some really good presentations from the past Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) and SharePoint Conferences which explain how we do it. These discussions cover our operations support, incident response, security, networking, farm provisioning, etc.
I high recommend you take a look at the following sessions: