#Lync Question 15: How to build a great #Lync Demo Environment (Quickly)

For the most part I usually build my own test and demo environments.  I usually rebuild it every few month as I use 180 day evaluation versions of Windows and Office etc plus after a few months they are usually in need of a rebuild anyway due to the constant change and reconfiguration in my environments.  It’s not like I have a change control system and remember what I changed and why.

However building a demo environment takes time and usually you need Lync, Exchange and SharePoint up and running to showcase Microsoft Unified Communications in all its glory when in customer meetings however as good as you can build an environment they are never representative of a corporate environment as you need real data to play with.

I came across the Microsoft Customer Immersion Experience (CIE) environment [1] recently and this is the complete environment to showcase CRM and BI scenarios and flexible working.

It can be deployed on-premise (via Hyper-V) or delivered via Office 365.  I haven’t as yet looked at the Office 365 consumed version.

The On-Premise CIE 4.5 deployment covers the following server products:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
  • Microsoft Project Server 2013
  • Microsoft Office Web Apps 2013
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011
  • Yammer (New)
  • Windows Phone (New)
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012

And the following client products:

  • Windows 8 Enterprise operating system
  • Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2010 SP1
  • Microsoft Office 2013 (Click-to-Run)
  • Microsoft Visio 2013 (Click-to-Run)
  • Microsoft Project 2013 (Click-to-Run)
  • Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2013 (Click-to-Run)

The on-premise deployment requires a Hyper-V host and cover 7 VM’s covering only the server infrastructure products.  It is required (strongly recommended) that the Hyper-V host has 48GB of RAM, 8 cores, 2 Network Adapters and a 10K RPM Hard Drive.  Clients, Tablet, Phone, IP Phones, Webcams, headsets etc are extras.

Although it says it needs 48GB of RAM, you can squeeze it down a bit.

CIE 4.5 is a 60GB download and expands out to 250GB, you will need at least 500GB of disk space to play with.

There is a very good technical guide covering the download, setup and provisioning of the environment including clients. Also there is a Facilitator Guide covering demo scenarios and various common enterprise challenges “A day in the life at Contoso”. There is also Customer takeaways and presentation decks.  What more do you need.

What is really great is the environment is that it is provisioned with data and is very representative of a corporate environment with a Contoso intranet on SharePoint, it’s really professionally done.

CIE 4.5 are been released is coming and will support Windows Phone 8, hopefully they might squeeze the persistent chat server onto the Lync Server in the future, however with it already running SQL and Dynamics CRM 2011 in the same VM with 10GB of RAM, I’m not sure you’ll be saving much resource as the persistent chat VM is only 2GB of RAM and considered optional.

I just need a bigger laptop to run it on and a bigger backpack for the other stuff for demos.

[1] https://www.microsoftcie.com

UPDATES

UPDATE #1 (19/07/2013) – Covering CIE 4.5

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