Thursday, June 26, 2014

Lync Deep Diving - part 4

Today we discussed call quality. Do not miss to read the Network Planning, Monitoring, and Troubleshooting with Lync Server - updated in June 2014, and make sure you do not miss Appendix C! Especially if you are thinking about doing the 74-335 Exam: Lync Network Readiness Assessment this document is a must!

We have some tools.
Lync 2013 Pre-Call Diagnostic Tool

We have a a methodology.
Lync Call Quality Methodology

And we have the amazing
Lync Call Quality Methodology poster / game

Get your six-sided die out and invite the family to play!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Lync Deep Diving - part 3

In case you missed it and have good Lync ideas that you would like to share, please visit the site: Here you can enter your own ideas as well as "vote" for ideas you like. So far I have posted 5 ideas and have a few more in mind.

Lync Edge and User Replicator

It seems as the Lync Edge server is running the User Replicator without actually needing it. In some cases it even causes the Lync Server 2013 Access Edge service to fail to start or hang. You can read more about it in the KB article:

Lync Server 2013 Access Edge service fails to start or stops responding after it starts

Now since the Edge server sits in the DMZ, and for performance reasons, you want to run as few services as possible on this server. So, the recommendation would be to always switch off the User Replicator on the Edge server.

Set-CsAccessEdgeConfiguration -EnableUserReplicator $False

Working with the Edge server, many are the occasions when you need to check, and double-check, ports.

This can be done with PortQry and PortQryUI, which is a user Interface for PortQry. This tool gets even cooler if you download a PortQueryUI Config.xml File for Lync from Flinchböt. The config file is for Lync 2010, but can easily be modified to work with Lync 2013.

Happy port scanning!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lync Deep Diving - part 2

Second day of diving is done. Glad to see that we have Andrew John Price (@legendarytechy) in class. Follow his blog at


First we discussed some nice tools that are free for anyone to download:

The collection of Debugging Tools includes...

  • Snooper
  • OCSLogger
  • OCSTracer
  • ClsController.psm1

...and a question that came up about the difference between OCSlogger and OCStracer?

OCStracer is the cmd line version of OCSdebugger. For example you could use...

OCSTracer.exe List /Filter:All
OCSTracer.exe start /Component:SIPStack
OCSTracer.exe stop /Component:SIPStack

...rather than using the GUI.

Lync client logging

Some logging settings were added to the client policy in Lync 2013.

Lync Contacts

Got a good question on Lync Contacts from a friend (thanks Robert!) Here is how Lync Contacts works for a user that is disabled or removed from Lync. If the user is "Temporarily disable for Lync Server" in CSCP (Set-CsUser -Enabled $False) and then enabled again - the user WILL retain the list of Contacts in the Lync 2013 client.

However, if the user is "Remove from Lync Server" in CSCP (Disable-CsUser) and then added to Lync again - the user WILL NOT retain the list of Contacts in the Lync 2013 client.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lync Deep Diving - part 1

Being an active PADI Rescue diver with some 250 logged dives, I like to dive... deep...
and this week I am diving into Lync :-)

Diving in the kelp forests at Catalina or into Lync - same thing!

I recently passed the 74-338 Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer exam, and this week I am attending a training class on the subject. Good course, and I think I will learn a lot this week. I will try to summarize some questions and good points day-by-day.

Why should we not mix physical and virtual servers in a Lync Enterprise Edition pool? 

 (and why should we not mix physical and virtual server pools in pool paring?)

On page 29 of the paper Planning a Lync Server 2013 Deployment on Virtual Servers we can read:

Mixing physical and virtual servers in the same pool is not a supported configuration.

The reason has not so much to do with the actual virtualization technique, but rather the fact that all servers in a pool should have about similar performance. So it would be just as bad to keep an old slow server in a pool with new high performing servers, users would get inconsistent response times and would maybe complain about this. Even virtual servers should have equal performance capabilities. Also, things like latency and virtual servers competing for resources on a physical host play into this. (The same reasons even apply to pool pairing.)

Some notes on Lync load balancing

Lync uses DNS Load balancing for SIP.

Reading this article on how to Configure DNS for Load Balancing, it states that DNS round robin should be turned on if using a windows DNS server.

However, reading this great old article on DNS Load Balancing in Lync Server 2010, we learn that the order in which these are returned to the client is irrelevant. The client chooses an IP address from the list of returned IP addresses at random.

So, the conclusion must be that for DNS Load Balancing in Lync, using round robin or not on the DNS server does not matter at all.

When building Lync lab environments with Enterprise pools the load balancing of non-SIP traffic in your Lync often poses a problem. However, checkout the Kemp Virtual LoadMaster VLM-2000. It is actually a software based "hardware" load balancer that will run on Hyper-V, and the best part is that as an MCP you get a "Not for resale" license for free for MCPs.

Happy balancing!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lync Callback Reminder

I have to write about this cool little tool for your Lync client!

The Lync Callback Reminder by Graham Cropley 

This tool allows you to right click any contact in Lync 2013 to create an Outlook task that will remind you to call this contact about something. Works with Outlook 2010 or 2013.

Download the MSI package here: Lync Callback Reminder

Here is how it works in pictures with a Swedish Lync 2013. 
Right-click a contact and you will find a new menu option.

Write a note and click set reminder to save it as a task in outlook.

And here is how the task looks like in Outlook 2010.

Read more about the tool here.