Lync 2010/2013 and Exchange Online

As the distribution of Office 365 spreads accross the planet, the need for hybrid deployments rises. In many scenarios we find that environments are partly hosted on-prem and in the cloud. The reason for  such deployments vary in some degree, and when it comes to Lync deployments it’s often due to enterprise voice which is not possible in the cloud(at the moment).

To implement a hybrid configuration where Lync resides on-prem and Exchange is hosted online, we have to do some configuration in the on-prem environment.
First, if the Lync environment is a Lync 2010 installation the minimum requirement is that the March 2013 server Update is installed on the Lync servers. In addition to this, a standalone server with Lync 2013 Administrative Tools has to be deployed in order to be able to connect with Office365. All PowerShell commands against the Online environment has to be executed on the server running Lync 2013 Admin Tools.

To enable Lync On-prem integration with Exchange Online, the first step is to make sure that federation is allowed(most environments already have open federation enabled):

Set-CsAccessEdgeConfiguration -AllowFederatedUsers $True

The next step is to configure the shared address space with Exchange Online:

New-CsHostingProvider -Identity "Exchange Online" -Enabled $True -EnabledSharedAddressSpace $True -HostsOCSUsers $False -ProxyFqdn "exap.um.outlook.com" -IsLocal $False -VerificationLevel UseSourceVerification
  • Identity specifies a unique string value identifier for the hosting provider that you are creating (for example, “Exchange Online”). Values that contain spaces must be in double quotes.
  • Enabled indicates whether the network connection between your domain and the hosting provider is enabled. This must be set to True.
  • EnabledSharedAddressSpace indicates whether the hosting provider will be used in a shared SIP address space scenario. This must be set to True.
  • HostsOCSUsers indicates whether the hosting provider is used to host Office Communications Server or Lync Server. This must be set to False.
  • ProxyFQDN specifies the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for the proxy server used by the hosting provider. For Exchange Online, the FQDN is exap.um.outlook.com.
  • IsLocal indicates whether the proxy server used by the hosting provider is contained within your Lync Server topology. This must be set to False.
  • VerificationLevel Indicates the verification level allowed for messages that are sent to and from the hosted provider. Specify UseSourceVerification, which relies on the verification level included in messages sent from the hosting provider. If this level is not specified, the message will be rejected as being unverifiable.

Check replication status to verify that the changes has replicated to the access edge server:

Get-CsManagementStoreReplicationStatus
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Upgrading to Skype4B, things to consider.

Wrote this blogpost in May when attending the Microsoft Ignite Conference in Chicago.
Should have been posted then, but I still think it’s relevant 🙂

As you all know, the Skype4B server upgrade can be done as an in-place upgrade from Lync 2013. However, there are things to consider.

If the server is a Lync 2010 server, there is no way to do an in-place upgrade. Migration is the only way.

Lync 2013 supports the in-place upgrade as long as you can schedule downtime because the services are removed during the process.

When it comes to the server OS, you would want to concider upgrading the server if you’re on WinSrv 2008 or 2008R2. The Skype4B server install will upgrade windows fabric to the latest version, but only on 2008R2.

Recommendation: Win2008 or 2008R2 should be upgraded to 2012R2.

Implication: The upgrade process to Skype4B will have to be done as a migration if your servers are on Win2008 or Win2008R2.

Skype for Business – Recover Your Deployment from a Deleted or Corrupt CMS

Incredibly useful post by Mark Vale(@unifiedvale) on how to recover from a corrupt CMS. Please do note the points in the article about making a backup of your Lync environment. You never know when you need it.

Source: Skype for Business – Recover Your Deployment from a Deleted or Corrupt CMS

Implementing backup of your Lync/Skype for Business environment can be accomplished in many ways. Please check out MVP Lasse Wedoe’s blog on how to as one of several resources.

Skype4B/Lync Edge Server not replicating.

In a short period of time I’ve encountered two different cases of the Edge server not replicating. Everything seems OK, but the changes simply won’t move to the Edge.

I found a great blogpost by Jaap Wesselius here that describes the exact problem and how to fix it.

Simply add the following to the registry of the Skype/Lync Edge server:

New REG_DWORD(32bit) ClientAuthenticationTrustMode with value “2” in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\SecurityProviders\SCHANNEL

Restart the Edge server(not just the services) and toggle the Skype/Lync replication service on the FrontEnd server. Wait a few and the replication should be OK.

Lync client showing duplicate numbers on contact card.

A customer contacted me with a request to look into a problem regarding duplicate numbers in the Lync client contact card. When a Lync user would call a colleague, the numbers displayed in the list would be duplicates with normal eight digits and the same number with a + sign in front. After some digging in AD, Exchange and Lync without figuring out where this number came from, I kind of stumbled across the solution.

I created a normalization rule that normalized all numbers starting with a +, removing the + and adding +47(for Norway):

RegEx Matching pattern ^\+(\d{8})$ (for Norwegian eight digit phone numbers, replace with your own digit length), Translating rule +47$1 (Norwegian national prefix, replace with your own).

This change in normalization for workaround purposes turned out to be a valid solution to remediate the problem with duplicate numbers. Seems like Lync is collapsing the numbers based on the newly created normalization rule, thereby de-cluttering the number lookup in the contact card and call rooster.

Maybe this is documented somewhere in MS documentation, but if not, here’s how to fix the problem if you stumble across it 🙂

Comments greatly appreciated.

Upgrading to Skype4B, things to concider.

Blogging from the Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago.

As you all know, the Skype4B server upgrade can be done as an in-place upgrade from Lync 2013. However, there are things to concider.

If the server is a Lync 2010 server, there is no way to do an in-place upgrade. Migration is the only way.

Lync 2013 supports the in-place upgrade as long as you can schedule downtime because the services are removed during the process. For enterprise pools you would have to stop the entire pool to upgrade, so users will have to be moved to secondary pool or downtime will occur(there is no option for co-excistense of Lync 2013 and Skype for Business in the same pool).

When it comes to the server OS, you would want to concider upgrading the server if you’re on WinSrv 2008 or 2008R2. The Skype4B server install will upgrade windows fabric to the latest version, but only on 2008R2.

Recommendation: Win2008 or 2008R2 should be upgraded to 2012R2.

Implication: The upgrade process to Skype4B will have to be done as a migration if your servers are on Win2008 or Win2008R2.

Lync 2013 CU Build numbers

I know that sometimes it can be confusing to know what CU is the lates and what build number corresponds to my CU. I’ve put together a list of CU’s for Lync 2013 that can help get an overview:

  • CU21 – March 2017 Build Number 5.0.8308.987
  • CU20 – November 2016 Build Number 5.0.8308.974
  • CU19 – August 2016 Build Number 5.0.8308.965
  • CU 18 – April 2016 Build Number 5.0.8308.949
  • CU17 – January 2016 Build Number 5.0.8308.945
  • CU16 – December 2015 Build Number 5.0.8308.941
  • CU15 – September 2015 Build number 5.0.8308.927
  • CU14 – July 2015 Build number 5.0.8308.920
  • CU13 – May 2015 Build number 5.0.8308.887
  • CU12 – April 2015 Build Number 15.0.4711.1002 (Skype for Business patch)
  • CU11 – February 2015 Build Number 5.0.8308.872
  • CU10 – December 31 2014 Build Number 5.0.8308.866
  • CU9 – December 2014 Build Number 5.0.8308.857
  • CU8 – November 2014 Build Number 5.0.8308.834
  • CU7 – October 2014 Build Number 5.0.8308.831
  • CU6 – September 2014 Build Number 5.0.8308.815
  • CU5 – August 2014 Build Number 5.0.8308.738
  • CU4 – January 2014 Build Number 5.0.8308.577
  • CU3 – October 2013 Build Number 5.0.8308.556
  • CU2 – July 2013 Build Number 5.0.8308.420
  • CU1 – February 2013 Build Number 5.0.8308.291

Use Ståle Hansen’s script to check the current Lync Version and download the latest(updated With December CU’s, the latest is February 2015)

Lync headset: Jabra Evolve 65 MS, Stereo review

For some time now, I’ve had the pleasure of using the Jabra Evolve 65 MS Stereo headset on my Lync client. I would like to share my experiences in this blogpost.

As you all probably know, the importance of proper end user equipment in Lync is vital for user adoption. All Lync users should have access to a Lync certified headset and camera. Without such equipment, the user experience is most likely to be degraded and the user adoption of Lync as a communication solution will suffer.

The Jabra Evolve series is a new series of headsets from Jabra which focuses on design and audio quality. The models comes in both stereo and mono editions, and ranges from the top model Evolve 80 UC with active noise cancelling down to Evolve 20 which is the entry model. All models can be viewed here.

My choice of the Evolve 65 MS Stereo was based on portability and the option to be able to work wirelessly via Bluetooth connected to both my Lync client and cell phone. The headset comes in a pouch and is provided with a USB cable for connecting to the PC/Mac and a USB dongle for Bluetooth connection(if your computer doesn’t have Bluetooth integrated).
Evolve 65 MS Stereo

Connecting the headset is very easy, just turn it on and push the power button all the way up and hold until instructed on how to locate Bluetooth device.

Once connected, you can start using the headset for Lync, Skype and music.

Personally, I like the concept of being able to play music from my computer while working and at the same time being able to answer my incoming calls in one device. The Jabra Evolve 80 MS Stereo is probably better if you have to “zone out” an focus deeply in a matter which requires your absolute attention, but the Jabra Evolve 65 MS Stereo works absolutely to my expectations in my regular day to day tasks.

Jabra Evolve 65 MS Stereo

This picture shows the schematics of the headset. The microphone boom-arm can be flipped to either side as it has a 270 degree adjustment.

The busylight indicator can be turned on and off manually, allowing you to signal to you co-workers that you are busy and don’t want to be disturbed.

Using the Jabra Evolve 65 MS Stereo
Using the Jabra Evolve 65 MS Stereo, Busylight indicator on.

Some organisations may have limitations in what kind of equipment the users are allowed to purchase in terms of prices etc. However, it’s of great importance that the equipment is of a quality that allows for good end user experience regarding audio and video. The Jabra Evolve 65 MS Stereo is by my opinion one of the best alternatives when it comes to headsets, and the price should not intimidate anyone.

My recommendation when it comes to Lync Headsets.

Certificate missing private key.

Sometimes when dealing with certificates, a problem occurs when the certificate does not have a private key assigned to it.

In regards to Lync for instance, it’s not possible to assign the certificate to any services when the private key is missing. The solution to this problem is rather simple, and well documented in Microsoft TechNet but i still choose to write a post about it i case someone stumbles accross it and finds it useful.

Import the certificate in the MMC certificate Snap-In as you would do with any other certificate for the computer account. The certificate shows up in the Personal certificate store. Then doubleclick the certificate in the Personal view, and select the Details tab.

Cert_Properties

  • Copy the serial number from the cerificate properties.
  • Start a command prompt with elevated rights and type the following command:
    certutil.exe -repairstore my “serialnumber of the certificate”
  • Refresh the Personal certificates view, and you will see that the certificate has now been assigned a private key.

Ready to go.

Update:

Just to make it clear, as it’s correctly pointed out by Lasse in the comments, it’s not possible to restore a private key to a certificate without actually having the private key in your cert store.

 

 

 

State of Unified Communications 2014

Staale Hansen of Knowledge Factory sums up the yearly report from Gartner on Unified Communication. Recommended reading.

msunified.net

Is that time of the year again when Gartner releases their yearly analysis of the Unified Communications vendors and their offerings called Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications. The vendors evaluated must meet certain criteria which is a product portfolio that supports

  • Voice and telephony
  • Conferencing
  • Messaging
  • Presence and IM
  • Support for different client platforms
  • Support communications-enabled Applications

It is a tradition to comment on the Gartner UC MQ’s here at the msunified.net blog, and have done so since 2009. See the previous articles here:

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