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Planning for external user access in Lync Server 2013


Topic Last Modified: 2013-01-19

Communications in most organizations involve services and users that are not inside your internal network. These services and users include employees who are temporarily or permanently offsite, employees of customer or partner organizations, people who use public instant messaging (IM) services, and potential customers, partners and anonymous users whom you invite to meetings and presentations. In this documentation, these people are collectively referred to as external users.

With Microsoft Lync Server 2013, users in your organization can use IM and presence to communicate with external users, and they can participate in audio/video (A/V) conferencing and web conferencing with your offsite employees and other types of external users. You can also support external access from mobile devices and over Enterprise Voice. External users who are not members of your organization can participate in Lync Server 2013 meetings, allowing anonymous attendees.

To support communications across your organization’s firewall, you deploy Lync Server 2013 Edge Server in your perimeter network (also known as DMZ, demilitarized zone, and screened subnet). The Edge Server controls how users outside the firewall can connect to your internal Lync Server 2013 deployment. It also controls communications with external users that originate within the firewall.

Depending on your requirements, you can deploy one or more Edge Servers in one or more locations. This section describes scenarios for external user access in Lync Server 2013, and it explains how to plan your edge and reverse proxy topology.


Although you need an Edge Server to support Enterprise Voice and external user access, this section focuses on support for IM, presence, A/V conferencing, federation, web conferencing, and Lync Mobile. For details about support for Enterprise Voice, see Planning for Enterprise Voice in Lync Server 2013 in the Planning documentation.