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I'm planning out a new Lync 2010 deployment (mixed with Office 365 E4, completely replacing a legacy PBX system), and am getting a bit confused with some of the docs that MS provides.

The company I'm building this for is very lightweight - only 50 full-use phones, and then about 15 common area phones. The 50 full-use phones will get full external telephony, and about half of the common area phones will be strictly internal calls.

Because of the very lightweight environment (and small budget), I'm trying to virtualize as many of the server roles onto a single box as I can. This document gives an example of hosting the four main compontents, FrontEnd, Edge, SQL, Monitor, and Archive on a single physical server, in 4 separate VMs. This arch is said to support 2000 users. Check out the visual: Lync VM Example

So that would be pretty awesome. That would mean that I need to get one incredibly beefy server for all of those roles, and then one additional lightweight server for the director. However, according to this article, collocating Mon/Arch and FE is only supported in a test environment.

Standard Edition server with Monitoring Server and Archiving Server (for test purposes only) You can collocate the Monitoring Server, Archiving Server, or both on the Standard Edition server in a test environment.
Important: Do not collocate these two server roles on a Standard Edition server in a production environment.

So who do I believe? Ideally I could drop everything onto a single box, but I don't want to end up getting awful service because of it. The single-box solution is approved for 2000 users, which is way more than what we are shooting for. Does that mean that I should be totally find to virtualize everything?

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Yes you've got it right... a bare minimum setup would be an Edge server and a Standard edition server with all other roles collocated and using SQL express. A dedicate SQL server is obviously superior.

Ideally, the environment's web facing services would be protect by a third server running Forefront TMG or another reverse proxy software.

Our training instructor said that throwing it all together was fine, and if you ran into resource contention issues you can offload those roles down the road.

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The graphic in the Q seems to suggest that Edge and the SE FE can be collocated, as long as I have a VLAN to the DMZ? Is that possible, or do I need two physical servers? – jwegner Apr 23 '12 at 14:18
The Edge and FE roles cannot be on the same server logically, but it's perfectly fine for them to be under the same hypervisor. – SpacemanSpiff Apr 23 '12 at 14:46
I would also say... try and dedicate some nics to certain tasks if you can. Avoid traffic trombones :) – SpacemanSpiff Apr 23 '12 at 17:54

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