Installing Skype for Business Server 2015

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We are going to cover all the steps to install Skype for Business Server 2015 on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 in a new environment. This Tutorial is going to be the first of many and we will use this first article to keep track of all links related to this deployment.


The installation process is very similar to Lync Server 2010 or 2013, if you have done in the past and understand/remembers the deployment flow, then you will be good for Skype for Business Server 2015, although the order is not the same (for example, now we create a Share Folder and DNS entries before the deployment wizard).

Although this new version has tons of new features, and it supports coexistence with the legacy (Lync Server 2010 and 2013), and even a migration path from the pre-historic OCS (Office Communications Server 2007 R2) we will focus in a new deployment in an environment that has never had this type of service before.

Understanding the scenario of this Tutorial series…

Skype for Business Server 2015 can be installed on a high available scenario where we deploy an Enteprise Pool and each Skype for Business Server is a Front-End, and the database is hosted in a SQL Server outside of the Skype for Business Server. In this Tutorial series we are using a simple scenario with a single Skype for Business Server (although a single server can hold on up to 5000 users) and with only that server we will be able to offer several services to the end-users (IM, Voice and Video, Meetings and so forth)


Warming up… Installing the prerequisites…

The first step, is to make sure that the Windows Server 2012 R2 is up-to-date with Security Patches, just to be safe run a Windows Update and check for any new updates before starting the deployment process.

The second step is to install the Windows Features to support the new product, and we can do that using the following cmdlet:

Add-WindowsFeature NET-Framework-Core, RSAT-ADDS, Windows-Identity-Foundation, Web-Server, Web-Static-Content, Web-Default-Doc, Web-Http-Errors, Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Asp-Net, Web-Net-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Ext, Web-ISAPI-Filter, Web-Http-Logging, Web-Log-Libraries, Web-Request-Monitor, Web-Http-Tracing, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-Client-Auth, Web-Filtering, Web-Stat-Compression, Web-Dyn-Compression, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, Web-Asp-Net45, Web-Mgmt-Tools, Web-Scripting-Tools, Web-Mgmt-Compat, Server-Media-Foundation, BITS

After installing all those features, a restart is required and we can do that by running the following cmdlet:



Another requirement is a Shared Folder for Skype for Business. In our scenario we are using a single server (Standard) and for that reason we can use a Shared Folder located on the same Skype for Business Server, however if you are using an Enterprise pool, then it is recommended using a high available solution for the shared folder which could be DFS or Cluster.

The Shared Folder only requires the local Administrators group with Full Control at the Share Level, and remove any other entries that you may have on that area.


The next step by Microsoft would be to install the Administrative Tools however at this point we will do after getting the Skype for Business Server 2015 wizard in place.

Starting the installation process…

After mounting the Skype for Business Server 2015 media on the server, the image below will be displayed automatically, if not, then go to the X:\Setup\amd64\ folder and run setup.exe. In the first screen we will define where the Skype for Business Server 2015 installation files will reside, and if the setup will check for updates on the Internet. Let’s leave default settings and click on Install. This capability to check for updates is a new feature on the product, and it is called Smart Setup in the documentation.


In the License Agreement page. If you are okay with the agreement, select I accept the terms in the license agreement and click OK.


The setup will check any updates on the Internet, since it was released a couple of days ago it is most likely that it won’t find any updates, click on Next.


Now we are in the main page of the installation process, since we are here, let’s click on Install Administrative Tools and follow the wizard using default settings to get that task complete.


Step #2 – Preparing Active Directory…

In this step we will prepare the Active Directory to support Skype for Business including the Schema, Forest and domain. All steps are described in this following article:

Step #3 – DNS Configuration

After preparing the Active Directory we will build the DNS infrastructure to support Skype for Business, here is the article with all the required steps, including a script to build most of the entries automatically:

Step #4 – Central Management Store and first Topology

The next logical step is to prepare the Central Management Store (CMS) and build the first topology.

Step #5 – Skype for Business Server 2015 real installation

In this Tutorial we are going to deploy the server bits on the new Skype for Business Server.

Step #6 – Skype for Business – Certificates

In this Tutorial, we will cover the process to request certificates for the new Skype for Business server. 

Step #7 – Skype for Business – Certificates

In this final Tutorial of our series, we will be starting the Skype for Business services and checking out the Control Panel.

More Information:

If you are looking for more information of some of the topics that were covered in this article, here are some of the articles that we went over to write this Tutorial.

Written by Anderson Patricio

Anderson Patricio is a Canadian Exchange Server MVP and MCSM (Solutions Master) and he contributes to the Microsoft Community with articles, tutorials, blog posts, forums and book reviews. He is a regular contributor at, and (Portuguese).