Introduction to the Lync Server Central Managemet Store

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This article explains the following topics to its readers:

  • A description of the Lync Server data structure and its replication process
  • An introduction to deploying the Lync Server CMS
  • An introduction to CMS management using Lync Server PowerShell cmdlets

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Introduction to Lync Server

Lync Server is the next generation of Microsoft Office Communications Server. Lync Server provides real-time communication for audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, file transfer.

Lync Server provides small businesses with the opportunity to take advantage of advanced cloud-based telecommunication and collaboration while lowering costs.

Introduction to the Lync Server Central Management Store

The Central Management Store (CMS) is an important Lync Server component. The CMS is an Microsoft SQL Server repository that stores configuration data about the servers and services in the Lync Server deployment. In Office Communications server, this information was stored in Active Directory (AD), Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) as well as SQL Server. 

Note Lync Server still stores user object information in AD to maintain backward compatibility with Office Communications Server. For example, Lync stores user phone numbers in AD.

By storing this configuration data in SQL Server, Lync Server is easier to administer:
  • The configuration data is easier to find because it is stored in a single location.
  • Administrators no longer have to extend AD schemas when they add features and functions.
The following types of data are stored in the CMS as XML documents:
  • Topology - The CMS stores topology information that was generated by the Topology Builder tool.
  • Policy - The CMS stores all of the different available policies that you can configure in Lync.
  • Configuration - The CMS stores configuration information such as certificate and dial-in conferencing access numbers.
Scope levels

You can also store information in different scope levels:
  • Global
  • Site
  • Service
  • Tag
There is one XML document per information type and scope. For example, there is one XML document that contains dial-in conference information with a Global scope and another XML document that contains dial-in conference information in a Site scope.

How to update data in the CMS

You can use any of the following Lync Server tools to update the data in the CMS:
  • Topology Builder
  • Lync Server Management Shell
  • Lync Server Control Panel
The Lync Server management tools write to the XML documents through Microsoft.Rtc.Management.Core programming interface. This DLL enforces validation and scope for all data written to the CMS.

Note Manually changing XML documents is not supported.

Installing the CMS

We recommend that you install the CMS per the following guidelines:
  • Microsoft Lync Server Enterprise Edition - Install the CMS on a Front End pool to take advantage of the high-availability features that are built-in the Enterprise Edition. In this configuration, the master xds database is located in the same SQL Server instance as the back-end database. A replica copy of the xds database is located locally on each Lync Server role as an instance of SQL Server Express named "RTCLOCAL"
  • Microsoft Lync Server Standard Edition - The master xds database is located locally as part of the SQL Server Express instance named "RTC". A backup copy of the xds database is located in an SQL Server Express instance named "RTCLOCAL" on the same server.
Note Lync Server 2013 uses the rtcxds database to maintain an backup of user data

How the CMS replicates

All server-level information is stored in the CMS. The CMS uses a single master with multiple replicas format. In every Lync Server deployment, there is a single master CMS store. When the information in the master CMS store is updated, this configuration is copied to the other servers. This provides redundancy for remote servers.

The shared folder structure that the CMS stores the master copy of the topology in is described below:

  • Lync Server front end pool's FileStore share which is user defined in the Lync Server topology will list the 1-CentralMgmt-1\CMSFileStore folders underneath it.
  • The xds-master folder and its subfolders that are used in the CMS replication process will be listed under the CMSFileStore folder.
  • The xds-master\replicas folder contains a folder for each replica. This folder is named after the FQDN of the replica. Each of the replica folders contains two folders named, from-replica and to-replica.

Each replica uses a network share to synchronize with the CMS master. The network path for the share on the replica is \\FDQN_of_the-replica_server\xds-master. The xds-master folder on the replica server contains from-master and t0-master subfolders.

The process to replicate data is:
  1. The CMS store information is written to a local shared folder on the CMS store master.
  2. Every 60 seconds, the CMS master determines whether changes have been made to the data.
  3. If the data has changed, the XML document that contains the change(s) is placed in a file. The file contains all of the XML documents that have changed since the last replication.

    Note The file is typically less than 100 kilobytes. This helps to reduce the time that is required for replication.
  4. The File Transfer Agent service copies the Data.file to the replica servers, except Edge servers, by using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.
  5. On the replica, the Replica Replicator Agent service extracts the data from the file and applies the changes to the CMS on the replica.
  6. The status of the replica server updates is reported back to the CMS store master in a file named

    Note Edge Servers use the ReplicationWebService over an HTTPS connection to copy the file. The ReplicationWebService at https://Edge_Server_FQDN:4443/ReplicationWebService uses the server certificate that is issued to the internal edge of the Edge Server.

Using the Lync Server Management Shell to manage replication

The following table lists some the Lync Server Management Shell cmdlets that you can use to manage CMS replication:

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Lync Server Management Shell CmdletPurpose
Get-CsManagementStoreReplicationStatusCheck the replication status for a Lync Server deployment
Get-CsManagementStoreReplicationStatus -CentralManagementStoreStatusCheck the replication status for the active CMS master in a Lync Server Deployment
Invoke-CsManagementStoreReplicationForce replication in a Lync Server deployment
Set-CSConfigurationStoreLocation -SqlServerFqdn-SQLInstanceName Change the location of the CMS master
Get-CsManagementConnectionGet the connection information that is used when communicating with the CMS, Topology Builder, and the Lync Server Control Panel
Get-CsManagementStoreReplicationStatus -CentralManagement StoreStatusDesignate the Front End server that will become CMS master if the current CMS master server fails.
Export CsConfiguration Filename data.zipExport the CMS data. This command can be used to back up CMS data.
Note The local Services on a Lync Server always read from the local CMS replica. Therefore, many of the Get-Cs* cmdlets accept the LocalStore parameter.


Article ID: 2667713 - Last Review: September 27, 2013 - Revision: 2.1
Applies to
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2013
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