Installing Persistent Chat on a SfB Standard Edition Server

Requirement

I was asked to install and configure Persistent Chat on a SfB Standard Edition Server by a customer.  The customer is running a single SfB Standard Edition Server, they don’t have Archiving & Monitoring, therefore no SQL Instance is available to use for Persistent Chat.  Also they don’t have the option of providing an additional SQL Instance elsewhere.

I believe it is possible to use the RTCLOCAL Instance; however, I’d rather leave RTCLOCAL well alone.  I instead installed an additional SQL Server Express Instance on the SfB Standard Edition Server.

Step 1: Install additional SQL Express Instance

I used the SQL Express installer that comes with the SfB Server Install Media (this is SQL Server Express 2014).

XSQL01

Click New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation.

SQL2

Click Next.

SQL3

Check Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2014.  Click Next.

SQL4

Check I accept the license terms.  Click Next.

SQL5

Under Instance Features, check Database Engine Services, and SQL Server Replication.  Click Next.

SQL6

Checked Named instance.  Type the name of the instance (here it’s pChat).  Instance ID should follow what you type in the Named instance box.  Click Next.

SQL7

Leave Service Accounts as they are unless you have some need to change them.  Click Next.

SQL8

I’ve set the Authentication Mode to Mixed Mode, however if you want to go with Windows authentication mode you can.  Make sure you add some SQL Server administrators.  Click Next.

SQL10

On successful completion, click Close.

SQL12

Open SQL Server Configuration Manager, expand SQL Server Network Configuration, Protocols for INSTANCEx (here it’s Protocols for PCHAT).

SQL13

Set TCP/IP to Enabled.

SQL15

Click OK.

SQL14

Restart the SQL Server Service for the Instance (here it’s SQL Server (PCHAT))

ServiceRestart

Step 2: Define new SQL Server Store

The new SQL Server Instance for Persistent Chat needs to be defined in the SfB Topology before it can be targeted when creating a New Persistent Chat Pool in the next step.

In Skype for Business Server 2015 Topology Builder, expand the relevant site, expand Shared Components, right click SQL Server stores, click New SQL Server Store.

Type the SQL Server FQDN (this should the the FQDN of the Standard Edition Server), check Named instance, type the name of the instance (here it’s PCHAT).  Click OK.

SQLStore1

Publish the Topology.

Step 3: Install additional SQL Express Instance

As the SQL Server Instance for Persistent Chat is now available and defined in the SfB Topology, we can create a new Persistent Chat Pool using Skype for Business Server 2015 Topology Builder.

Expand the relevant site, expand Skype for Business Server 2015, right click Persistent Chat pools, click New Persistent Chat Pool.

Type the FQDN – this needs to be the same name as the Standard Edition Server FQDN.  Check This pool has one server.  Click Next.

PChat1

Set the Display name of the Persistent Chat pool (here it’s pChat Pool), the Persistent Chat port (leave this at the default – 5041).  Check Use this pool as default for site.  Click Next.

PChat2

Select the SQL Server store for PCHAT that was defined in Step 2.  Click Next.

PChat3

I’m using the existing File Store.  Click Finish.

PChat4

Publish the Topology.

Step 4: Install Persistent Chat Role on SfB Standard Edition Server

MSMQ needs to be installed on the SfB Standard Edition Server as this is a prerequisite for Persistent Chat.  Run the following PowerShell Command to install it:

Add-WindowsFeature MSMQ
Success Restart Needed Exit Code Feature Result
——- ————– ——— ————–
True No Success {Message Queuing, Message Queuing Server, …

On the SfB Standard Edition Server, run the Skype for Business Server 2015 Deployment Wizard.

Click Install or Update Skype for Business Server System.

deploy1

Under Step 2: Setup or Remove Skype for Business Server Components, click Run.

deploy2

Click Next.

deploy3

On successful completion, click Finish.

deploy5

Step 5: Basic Testing

Persistent Chat is now available for configuration and testing.

Here I’ve created a Category called pChat General.

pChatConfig1

With the following settings…

pChatConfig2

I created an AD Security Group containing a couple of test users, and assigned this group to Members and Creators for basic testing.

I’ve Enabled Persistent Chat in the Global policy.

pChatConfig3

Persistent Chat Configuration is fine for testing.

pChatConfig4

After a short wait (approx 15 mins), the chat rooms icon appears in my Skype for Business Client.

SfBChat1

I’m following a test room I created, and can participate in Persistent Chat Rooms.

SfBChat2

 

 

 

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