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Lync 2010 Edge Server – OCS R2 FE Pool Problems

February 11, 2011 3 comments

Let me premise this by saying you should follow Microsoft support guidance when migrating from OCS 2007 R2 to Microsoft Lync Server 2010. It is recommended that you migrate internal services and users to Microsoft Lync Server 2010 before migrating the Edge services to a Lync 2010 Edge Pool. (Migrating from OCS 2007 R2 to Lync Server 2010 – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg413057.aspx)

Sometimes however you want to add new features to your environment that were not previously available. This was the case when I began to assist a colleague today with an interesting issue. Existing OCS 2007 R2 users were amazed that when they took their laptops home with Communicator R2 running that they were able to connect without VPN. They did not previously have this capability and this was due to corporate policy. In an attempt to resolve this issue, user policy was updated to remove “External Remote User Access”


This however did not resolve the issue. Communicator R2 users were still able to login via the Lync Edge Server. The topology was as follows for external user connectivity: Lync Edge Pool next hop = Lync FE Pool, Lync FE Pool and OCS R2 Pool Federation Route = Lync Edge Pool.

We logged SIPStack on the OCS FE server and Edge Servers and identified that the flag ms-edge-proxy-message-trust is being set. A call to PSS and our engineer was able to easily replicate the issue in less than 15 minutes. The important part about this post isn’t that OCS R2 clients are able to log in when remote user access is disabled, that is understandable given that it isn’t supported. The problem is that when you add a Lync Edge Pool to the environment and merge the topologies it adds the edge server as the federation route for OCS 2007 R2. Regardless of your policies you have in place, users will be able to connect via edge services during this time until they are either migrated to Lync and disabled for external user access or you remove the Edge server from the OCS 2007 R2 environment.

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Categories: Lync

The Most Common Question I Answer about Microsoft Lync

January 24, 2011 1 comment

“Is Microsoft Lync ready to handle my call load?” Miercom, a well-known and respected consultancy performed a myriad of tests against Lync Server (which was running in a virtual environment on Hyper-V). I was amazed to see that Lync was able to handle over 4 million calls over a 13 day period with 100% success.

So my answer to that question is a firm “Yes, absolutely it can!”

Report available here: http://bit.ly/hu39Gr

Source: http://blogs.technet.com/b/ucedsg/archive/2011/01/21/but-does-lync-server-2010-really-have-pbx-voice-reliability-or-call-scalability.aspx

Categories: Lync

Lync 2010 Response Group Call Transfer Fails

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I recently completed a Cisco Unified Communication Manager migration to Microsoft Lync Server 2010. During the planning stages we identified 2 simple Hunt Groups that needed to be created using Lync Response Groups. These were pretty simple in that an inbound call would use a list of agents when signed in and if nobody answered it would be sent to the Exchange UM Auto Attendant.

The problem comes when Lync transfers the call to another system like Exchange UM which as you can see in the process flow above we do if there is no agent available or it is outside of business hours. The configuration for the Response Group Forward is shown below with the SIP URI of the Lync Auto Attendant configured using OCSUMUTIL.exe.

By navigating to the Lync Server Control Panel – Selecting “Voice Routing” – then “Trunk Configuration” – then selecting Edit for the “Global” Trunk you will see “Enable Refer support”. “Enable refer support” when checked will send SIP REFER messages across the trunk (in this instance between Lync and Exchange 2010). However, it appears when selected calls from the PSTN to a Response Group that are then transferred to Exchange Auto Attendants will be dropped.

Categories: Lync

Microsoft Lync Has Reached RTM

December 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday, the Microsoft Communications Server Team announced that Microsoft Lync has reached the RTM milestone (Released to Manufacturing). This process begins the steps to get the code available to customers and partners worldwide called General Availability (GA). I know many of you are very anxious to get your hands on the final release and understand what it means to go from RC to RTM code, but please be patient. It typically takes 2 weeks from the RTM announcement to have code GA to Microsoft Volume Licensing (MVLS) and TechNet follows behind that. Make sure to follow the Microsoft Communications Server team here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/uc/archive/2010/10/27/microsoft-lync-released-to-manufacturing.aspx

RC to RTM Migration

Those of you that have deployed the Release Candidate of Microsoft Lync Server will take solace knowing that there will be a process to migrate to the RTM code. Notice however that I said migration; this will be a side by side migration with new servers and new enterprise edition pools (this includes a new SQL instance to avoid overwriting the RTC databases!).

There is a lot of excitement out about this product and how it is going to truly change the landscape of PBX deployments. This is the reason I started this blog 2 years ago! It is an exciting time to be a UC consultant and I am very proud to be a Microsoft UC MVP!

Categories: Lync

Lync 2010 Edge Server Deployment – “The Supplied Handle is Invalid”

November 29, 2010 Leave a comment

When deploying a Lync 2010 Edge server you may encounter the following error during the Enable-CsComputer operation:

Command execution failed: The supplied handle is invalid. This can happen when trying to set an ACL on an anonymous kernel object.

I have been able to replicate this issue several times on edge servers which have NetBIOS names that exceed 15 characters. It does not appear the length of the FQDN is an issue. To overcome this issue at this time simply use a server name for the edge server that is 15 characters or less.

Categories: Lync

“The era of the PBX, folks, is over”

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

The quote above from the Lync Server 2010 launch event in NYC is provided by Gurdeep Singh Pall, Corporate Vice President Microsoft Corporation. I have spent most of the past few weeks having “constructive” discussions with colleagues, customers and Microsoft about why I think Lync Server is a game changer.

First, Microsoft is a software company. This release wasn’t about enhancing your experience with the PBX by providing conferencing and click to call capabilities. It was meant to be a full service suite of workloads that are all integrated to enable users to communicate in the 20th century. The is the crux of the consumerization of the enterprise. The millennials don’t use email or the phone; they use SMS, IM and Social Media which is what Microsoft’s Wave 14 is based on.

Second, Imitation is the Finest Form of Flattery. This isn’t often talked about with Microsoft, but they got it right with Windows 7 and they must have got it right with Lync because other are developing their UC applications to look eerily like Lync and just happen to announce it one day before the Lync launch.

Third, I have always recommended to my clients to implement “best of breed” solutions. I am and have been a Cisco certified voice and data engineer for years, and believe Cisco makes the best network devices. This does NOT mean that because I recommend Cisco routing, switching, security and wireless solutions for my network that my recommendation for IP Telephony or UC would be based off a single vendor methodology would be foolish.

Fourth, don’t forget about or underestimate the cloud. Integration with not only dedicated hosted services like BPOS-D but with multi-tenant environments like Office 365 is going to be mandatory for success. Requiring an all or nothing approach will also not work. Seamless integration between on premise and cloud based solutions is key.

Fifth, standards are important. Microsoft’s participation and leadership in the UCIF is evident as Lync Server 2010 is released with support for third party phones, headsets, servers, gateways and integration with many SIP trunking providers out of the box.

Finally, a little fun. I believe there was a Roman Proverb that goes “He who owns the inbox will win the battle.”

Categories: Lync

Happy Windows 7 Phone Launch Day

October 11, 2010 1 comment

Fans of the Windows Phone (myself included) who may have recently diverted to another platform (or stuck with WM6.5) are rejoicing today as Microsoft prepares to release the new Windows Phone 7. There have been a number of device manufacturers that have awesome looking handsets like the HTC HD7, the Samsung Omnia 7 and the LG Optimus 7. The launch event will take place today at 9:30am eastern with devices announced to be available to at&t, tmobile and a multitude of providers across the pond. The only bad part about this is that I have Verizon (for now), if Verizon doesn’t launch a Windows 7 Phone by early H1 2011 as previously announced. I will gladly pay the cancellation fee and jump ship! I get the whole being upset about the Kin thing, but get over it and serve your customers!

 


        

 

In a Lync related event, Communicator Mobile will not be supported on Windows 7 phone at launch.

Categories: Lync