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

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.

Lync server KB3080353 breaks your mobile and web app clients

Nice post by Rune Stoknes on a recently discovered faulty patch from Microsoft on the Lync server.
This post proves why you should never rely on Windows Update to install your Lync patches. Always use the LyncServerUpdateInstaller that comes with the CU released for Lync/Skype4B.

Rune's blog about things I see and UC

Keeping your servers up to date is essential, and not only the application server parts but the OS and others as well. The other day I went with a Windows Update that also included a Lync Server security update. After a short while I would get feedback from users no longer being able to use the mobile client, and later I also got reports on the Web App not working.

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Is your next productivity headset the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC?

This headset is an excellent choice if you require something a bit more advanced than most people 🙂 The features implemented in this headset makes it a great choice for both soft phone clients and mobile phones as well as for listening to music when you’re working.

One of my favourite functions is the Auto Answering feature which lets you answer an incoming call just by putting on your headset if its in the charging cradle or lying on your desk. It will answer any incoming call wether it’s to your soft phone client or mobile phone.

Great posts by Ståle Hansen and Matt Landis.

msunified.net

I say, yes!

Why?

  • It is optimized for Skype for Business
  • It is wireless using bluetooth, connection to up to eight devices, two at the same time
  • It has noise cancelling, removing the white noise but keeps voices when people are talking to you
  • It has really good music quality, can be compared to the best music headsets on the market
  • By installing the Plantronics Hub software it will set your Skype for Business status to “In a Call” when you answer the call on your cellphone
  • It can easily be charged using MicroUSB or the charging stand

Check out my thoughts on the headset on YouTube

Also check out the video review by MVP Matt Landis

Link to the product page: http://www.plantronics.com/us/product/voyager-focus-uc?skuId=sku7140027#fndtn-overview

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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.