Friday, September 23, 2011

Exchange 2007 SP3 Update Rollup 5 Available

An update for Exchange 2007 SP3 has just released and can be downloaded at: Exchange 2007 SP3 Update Rollup 5 Download

This brings the build number to:

  • For a description of all the included fixes, see KB 2602324

If you have a clustered environment, please see this article: Applying Exchange 2007 Update Rollups to Clustered Mailbox Servers

If you are running Forefront, it is important to disable Forefront protection during the update:

  • Before running patch: fscutility /disable
  • After running patch: fscutility /enable

Also remember to disable or remove all third party software during the upgrade (like antivirus, backup agents, disclaimers, etc.)

        NOTE: Update Rollup 6 for Exchange 2007 SP3 is scheduled for April 2012. More info from the Exchange Team

        Wednesday, September 21, 2011

        Understanding and Enforcing Licensing for the Lync Standard User CAL–Part 2

        In Part 1 of this article we looked at what functionality is included in the Standard CAL for Lync.  Now it is time to show how to enforce functionality by creating or modifying policies and configurations.

        There are three primary places that must be configured to enforce the Standard CAL:

        • Conferencing Policy
        • Meeting Configuration
        • Lync Outlook plug-in

        Conferencing Policy

        By default, Enterprise CAL functionality is enabled.  By looking at the Global conferencing policy (which gets assigned by default), we can see that most conferencing functionality is enabled:

        Lync SCAL2 - global default

        If your environment will only have Standard CAL users then all the following configurations can be performed at the Global scope level.  Looking at the parameters in the Global conferencing policy, we need to modify the following:

        • AllowIPAudio: False
        • AllowIPVideo: False
        • AllowUserToScheduleMeetingsWithAppSharing: False
        • AllowAnonymousParticipantsInMeetings: False
        • AllowPolls: False (wasn’t 100% sure on this one since it is not specifically defined in the licensing matrix)
        • EnableAppDesktopSharing: None (remember you can view, but not initiate)
        • EnableDialinConferencing: False

        I will create a new conferencing policy based on these criteria:

        New-CsConferencingPolicy –Identity “Conf-StandardCAL” –AllowIPAudio $false –AllowIPVideo $false –AllowUserToScheduleMeetingsWithAppSharing $false –AllowPolls $false –EnableAppDesktopSharing None –EnableDialinConferencing $false

        Lync SCAL2 - conf-scal

        Note the following:

        • Data Collaboration must be enabled to allow for multi-party File Transfer
        • Do not throttle the Max Meeting Size parameter to two or less since this would disable multi-party IM.  The following screenshots show the effect of throttling the Max Meeting Size:

        Lync SCAL - drag 3rd limited meetingLync SCAL - drag 3rd limited meeting - other

        Meeting Configuration

        By default, users within your company join Online Meetings as presenters.  You should change this default setting so that only the Organizer is the presenter.  This will prohibit Standard CAL users joining the meeting as a presenter.  The Organizer can always change per meeting at the time of scheduling the meeting within the Meeting Options of the Online Meeting.  To change the default behavior, navigate in the Lync Control Panel to Conferencing –> Meeting Configuration.  Select “None” in the Designate as presenter drop-down.

        Unfortunately, the only scope options are Global, Site, and Pool. Change the options of the Meeting Configuration so that “None” is set to the default presenter:

        Lync SCAL2 - meet config - markup

        Lync Outlook Plug-in

        Lync will install the Lync Outlook plug-in by default as part of the Lync client install.  This is great compared to OCS where it was two different installs, but can cause a confusing experience for Standard CAL users.  The only reason to use the plug-in is to schedule conferences. 

        Remember that Standard CAL users can attend a conference, but cannot initiate/schedule a conference.  If the Outlook plug-in remains visible, the Standard CAL user can still create an online meeting.  My suggestion is to disable the Lync Outlook plug-in, this will not prohibit them from attending a meeting that they are invited to.

        The registry setting that controls the load behavior of the Outlook plug-in is:


        • DWORD: LoadBehavior
        • Value (Decimal): 2

        This can easily be rolled out and applied to StandardCAL users with a GPO:

        Lync SCAL2 - gpo

        Part 2 of this post describes how to enforce the Standard CAL Lync settings described in Part 1.  Licensing and interpretation of licensing is always tough, so if you feel that I have misrepresented the licensing provided to the Standard CAL user or feel that I have missed a configuration, please leave a comment.

        Thursday, September 15, 2011

        OCS R2 September 2011 Updates Released

        Looks like OCS R2 just got better.  Microsoft has released some updates for OCS 2007 R2.

        Here are the components that were updated for this round of updates:

        Server Updates (6907.236) - KB 968802

        Note: As always, the easiest way to make sure your server is up to date across all components is to use the Cumulative Server Update Installer (ServerUpdateInstaller.exe package)

        Client Updates

        • Communicator Client (6907.236) – KB 2590699
          • One of the fixes included is IM and call history are not stored in the default Exchange mailbox correctly (KB 2569723)
        • Attendant Console (6907.236) – KB 2590692

        Group Chat (6907.236)

        Monday, September 12, 2011

        Understanding and Enforcing Licensing for the Lync Standard User CAL–Part 1

        I think we can all agree that Microsoft licensing is confusing.  Most products have two types of user CALs: Standard and Enterprise.  Lync is even more confusing with three different user CALs: Standard, Enterprise, and Plus.  This article explains all the different CALs and what functionality is contained in each.  I have read the reference many times and can still walk away with my head spinning. 

        Part 1 - Explain and point out some of the misconceptions about the Standard CAL. 

        Part 2 – Show how to configure Lync to enforce the features of the Standard CAL. 

        I will never profess to be a licensing expert and encourage others to leave comments based on their interpretations.

        Let’s start by taking a look at the features mentioned in the article for the Standard CAL:

        • PC-to-PC and multi-party IM
        • PC-to-PC and multi-party File Transfer
        • PC-to-PC computer audio
        • PC-to-PC computer video
        • Group Chat
        • Skill Search
        • Rich Presence
        • PC-to-PC IM, audio, and video with federated and PIC contacts
        • Ability to attend conferences as an attendee (not a presenter) and participate with audio/video, view shared applications, view/write on whiteboard
        • View application sharing session

        So, I was previously under the impression that all PC-to-PC communications is allowed with the Standard CAL, but this is not the case.  What is missing from this list?  The following PC-to-PC communications are listed in the Enterprise CAL section:

        • Initiate ad-hoc application sharing (P2P or multi-party)
        • Initiate ad-hoc whiteboarding (P2P or multi-party)

        Basically, as a Standard CAL user, you have the right to:

        • All PC-to-PC communications except initiating a desktop/application sharing session or whiteboarding
        • Multi-party IM and file transfer
        • Attend web conferences as a participant only

        Anytime you want to add a third+ person to a conversation or web conference that will require an Enterprise CAL.  Anytime you want to schedule a meeting or audio conference that will require an Enterprise CAL.

        How do we enforce the Standard CAL list of features?  Stay tuned to Part 2.

        Again, comments are welcome on your interpretation of the licensing features.

        Thursday, September 1, 2011

        Lync Resource Kit Book Now Complete And Available For Download

        Members of the Microsoft Product Team, MCS, MVPs, and others have contributed to probably the most technical Lync resource around. 


        This book is available by download only (free).  Download the Lync Resource Kit Book Now.

        The following is a list of the chapters:

        • Address Book Service
        • Archiving and Monitoring
        • Client Administration
        • Conferencing and Collaboration
        • Direct SIP
        • Enhanced Presence
        • Enterprise Voice
        • Exchange Unified Messaging Integration
        • External User Access
        • Interoperability with Third-party Systems
        • Interoperability with XMPP Systems Using the XMPP Gateway
        • New Features Overview
        • Response Group Application
        • Server Administration
        • SharePoint Integration
        • Technical Overview
        • Troubleshooting Basics

        I highly recommend this book…happy reading.