For telephony, he says he typically figures on one server for every 100 concurrent users. On average, Morimoto estimates that for many companies, about 10% of the employees are on the phone at any given time, meaning one server can likely handle 1,000 users. Ergo, a company with 5,000 people, would likely need five servers. On the other hand, with virtualization, this doesn't necessarily mean purchasing a lot of new hardware. "A company with that many people is going to be in three or four buildings. So you will probably have a server in every building anyway," he describes.
The upshot is that running a multitude of Lync's features means needing access to a good number of physical servers, plus load balancers. Lync will also need Microsoft-approved optimized SIP phones or Windows desktops to function as full-featured phones (with Mac support coming soon).
Another legitimate complaint Schurman lobbed at Lync was that it was far more expensive than users expected. Like every other Microsoft product, a discussion about Lync licensing feels like falling down a rabbit hole. Lync has a reputation of being free because when Lync was introduced, users who had already had the Microsoft Office Communications Server Enterprise client access license and a Software Assurance agreement, got the Lync Plus CAL for free.
That deal no longer exists, although most Microsoft customers will not have to pay extra for the Lync Enterprise Edition CAL. It is included in the Enterprise CAL Suite, which covers Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint, System Center and Forefront as well as Lync.
However, when using the Lync Enterprise Edition, other licensing may apply, such as a requirement to license SQL Server. Microsoft confirms that the Enterprise Edition uses SQL Server for the backend server and therefore Microsoft requires Lync users to have a valid SQL Server to cover that server.
Again, SMB could be spared as "Lync Server Standard Edition users need no separate SQL license," a Microsoft spokesperson says.
In all fairness, these drawbacks in Enterprise Lync have caused many more untrue rumors to circulate about the product, too.
Microsoft has dismissed some of them: Lync does support site-to-site failover. In a well-planned system, if one server role goes down, the others need not be affected. And Direct SIP, Microsoft's interconnection with PBX systems, supports multiple vendors' products, Microsoft says. These include Cisco and Avaya.
Julie Bort is the editor of Network World's Microsoft Subnet and Open Source Subnet communities. She writes the Microsoft Update and Source Seeker blogs. Follow Bort on Twitter @Julie188.