Saturday, July 13, 2013

Microsoft Sommarkollo 2013 - Lync Enterprise Voice

Microsoft in sweden arranged an event this summer called "Sommarkollo", which sort of translates to "Summercamp". It is simply seminars around Microsoft technology on various technical and non-technical levels. And this year I had the opportunity to present something around Microsoft Lync. I named my session "Lync Enterprise Voice – a call from the future"

During the 3 hour session which was quite laid back we received a lot of questions and had some great discussions on features in Lync enterprise voice. We also had a lab environment on stage with a Snom One PBX and Snom telephones present in addition to the Aastra and HP Lync telephones as well.

Here are some of the questions we discussed during the session with links to more information on the different topics. I had a great time presenting - thanks for Sommarkollo Microsoft - and hope to see you again next year!

Which PSTN connection method is the most expensive – IP-PBX, gateway or an operator based SIP Trunk?

Most organizations already have a telecom solution in place before looking at Lync Enterprise Voice, hence it might be the most cost effective to set up a SIP Trunk to an existing IP-PBX. If the organization does not have any infrastructure already an operator based SIP Trunk is probably the lowest cost alternative. If ISDN is available and already considered a committed cost an ISDN gateway is not a very costly hardware device in comparison with other network equipment.

Which protocols and codecs are used by the Lync telephones, Lync phone edition and 3PIP phones?

TLS, SIP and RTAudio

Can Lync telephones work without an internal CA, but rather use certificates from and external internet CA?


How often are Lync Cumulative update packages released?

“Quite” often :-)
Lync 2010 Server
CU1 January 2011 (Version: 4.0.7577.108)
CU2 April 2011 (Version: 4.0.7577.137)
CU3 July 2011 (Version: 4.0.7577.166)
CU4 November 2011 (Version: 4.0.7577.183)
CU5 February 2012 (Version: 4.0.7577.190)
CU6 June 2012 (Version: 4.0.7577.199)
CU7 October 2012 (Version: 4.0.7577.203)
CU8 March 2013 (Version: 4.0.7577.216)

Lync 2013 Server
CU1 February 2013 (Version: 5.0.8308.291)
CU2 July 2013 (Version: 5.0.8308.420)

How many concurrent calls can a Lync 2013 Mediation Server handle?

A Mediation Server Collocated on a Front End Server (with 6600 Lync users homed on it) can handle around 150 concurrent calls, this is not an exact figure because we cannot say what the 6600 users will be up to at any given moment.

If you use a standalone Mediation Server following the hardware requirements of a 64-bit dual processor, hex-core, 2.26 GHz hyper-threaded and 32 GB of Memory such a mediation server can handle 1500 concurrent calls.

Is it possible to filter Lync debugging logs?

Yes, you can use the Edit Filters options to define filtering for log files so that only traffic to and from the addresses you specify is traced.

For a good description of the new centralized logging in Lync look here:

Could you configure “general” rules in the dial plan?

Yes, the "Catch All" rule "^(\d*)$" that people often put as the last normalization rule in a dial plan to catch any other number to pass it on, could be seen as a "general rule".

Also, UC Ken Lasko (aka. Hasselhof) have put a lot of work into the Lync optimizer page / tool. This is a tool that automagically will create dial plans for you in a sort of "wizard style" by asking you questions about the dialing habits of your users and your location.

Where do we configure the range of numbers used to park a call?

You can use the Lync Server Control Panel or the New-CSCallParkOrbit cmdlet to create the orbit ranges.

How do we configure private numbers for users?

With the Set-CsUser command.

What happens when you are busy on a call in Lync and receives yet another call?

Lync does not deliver a busy tone "out of the box". Rather a new incoming call is presented even if the user is on another call. IF you would like to change this behavior there are many third party products that can give Lync the option of actually sending a busy tone back to a caller, some are free others licensed.

Can we change the call forwarding setting using the outlook calendar?

Yes, and no, in outlook we have a concept of “working hours” which we can use to apply call forwarding during work hours or not. If you look at the call forwarding settings in Lync you will notice a setting that is named “These settings will apply”.

Using Exchange UM we can also configure “Find me” rules which can help to get the calls forwarded where we want them.

Is it possible to configure additional presence states in the Lync client?

Yes, to define custom presence states in Lync 2013, create an XML custom presence configuration file, and then specify its location by using the Lync Server Management Shell cmdlets New-CSClientPolicy or Set-CSClientPolicy with the parameter CustomStateURL.

Can we tie a voice policy to a group of users?

Yes, the "Voice policy scope" determines the hierarchical level at which the policy can be applied. In Lync Server, you can configure voice policies with the following scope levels (listed from the most specific to the most general) User, Site, Global.

Can we set up local access numbers to dial in to a Lync conference?

Yes, it is possible to set up several local numbers as a dial-in conferencing access number; any user from any location can call any dial-in access number to join a conference.

Can we monitor Lync peer-to-peer conversations to block files and URLs?

Yes, Lync contains an "IM filter" which can block URLs and files. There are also some interesting 3rd party software around that can enhance Lync IM with "Auto reply" and other features.

What are the options available for displaying and changing location in the Lync client?

This can be controlled in a number of ways depending on server settings, see this link for a good run through of the Lync 2010 options.

Also, please note that...

Is it possible to hide the Caller ID for outgoing Lync calls?

Configuring Lync 2013 to block private numbers is a simple task if you want it to be global, using the Suppress Caller ID option on the route. However, if you want to single out certain users to be hidden and others not, this is also possible but will require different sets of Voice policies, PSTN usages and Routes to be created. Also, you need a receiving end that understands the P-Asserted-Identity property in SIP correctly according to RFC3325, i.e. this will not work on any type of gateway, IP-PBX, SBC, etc.

Unfortunately there is no way of simply hiding my number for a single call like in GSM with a *31* code in front of the dialed number. (but could even this be implemented in Lync with some intelligent number conversion tricks? - let me know!)

We had more questions coming up during the event, but we did not manage catch all of them in this blog post. Please send in a comment to this post if I forgot to answer your question, and thanks for participating in "Sommarkollo" this year!

1 comment:

  1. What are the different protocols and resolutions/bandwidths of the different Lync Clients?