Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Lync “To-Do” Checklist

Have you ever asked yourself:

  1. I have published the Lync Topology, now what?
  2. When is it required to re-run Step 2 (Install role components from the Deployment Wizard) on my servers?
  3. Have any of the changes I made in the Topology affected anything else?

A much over-looked feature in the Lync Topology Builder is the To-Do list.  This list only appears after you have published your topology and action needs to be taken directly on the server components to reflect the updated topology.  This means that more is needed than just Lync replication.

View if action is needed:

Lync To-Do - Publish - marked

View if no action is needed (Lync replication will take care of all changes):

Lync To-Do - Publish - not needed

After clicking on the “Click here to open to-do list”, a text file is opened and will explain the changes needed to your environment.

Lync To-Do - text file

Looking at this closer, I have changed the Simple URLs for one of my SIP domains.  The to-do list shows that I will need to update DNS, possibly modify my certificates and also run local setup on two of my servers: lablyncfe01.homelab.local and lablyncfe02.homelab.local.

This means running Step 2 from the Deployment Wizard on these two servers:

Lync To-Do - Step 2 - markup

After re-running Step 2, my Front-End servers will pick-up the changes to the Simple URLs and be able to answer traffic for them.

The Lync To-Do list from the Topology Builder is a great check to make sure nothing needs to change locally on your Lync servers to support configuration changes made in the Topology Builder.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Enabling Privileged Accounts for Lync

While it is not recommended to enable privileged accounts (e.g. Domain Admins) for Lync or Exchange, sometimes it is needed.

By default, Lync blocks the option when trying to enable a Domain Admin from the Lync Control Panel.  In my example, I am enabling the Administrator account.  I receive the following error:

Active Directory operation failed on <DC server name>. You cannot retry this operation: “Insufficient access rights to perform the operation…..”

Lync - Enable Admin failure

The error is pretty explanatory.  So to test out the solution in the error, we should try enabling the privileged account by:

  • Logging into server as a member of the Domain Admins group
  • Enabling the user using the Lync Management Shell (LMS)

So trying again from the Lync Management Shell:

Enable-CsUser Administrator –SipAddressType SamAccountName –SipDomain twhlab.com –RegistrarPool pool.twhlab.com

Lync - Enable Admin command

The command runs successfully and now the Administrator account is enabled for Lync.

Lync - Enable Admin CP

Enabling privileged accounts must be performed from the Lync Management Shell.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MVP Award Switched to Lync Server


If you have been a follower of my blog, then you will know that I have been awarded the Microsoft MVP award for Exchange Server the last two years.  Also, if you have been a follower, you would have noticed that my blog has taken a sharp turn to focusing on Lync Server for a while.

As of today, my award expertise has been switched from Exchange Server to Lync Server.  After spending all of my time with the other Lync MVPs and product group at the recent MVP Summit, I am very excited to be associated with this passionate group of people. 

Exchange Server will always be in my blood and you will probably still see me blogging and participating in the Exchange Server communities for years to come.

Thanks to everyone that follows and supports my efforts.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blocking Lync From Searching Outlook Contact Folders

NOTE: This functionality requires the latest Lync client hotfix, KB 2670326, from Feb. 2012 (7577.4072).  Download Here: 32-bit or 64-bit

Lync does a great job at searching across multiple sources for potential Lync contacts.  For example, in my scenario, I have personal contacts defined in Outlook and my Lync client will show both Lync enabled users and Outlook contacts in search results.

Lync - contact - outlook folder

Lync - contact search1

Note that Outlook contacts will show with the (Contacts) description beside the result.

There may be reasons that this experience is not desired.  Some companies will want to suppress the Outlook contact results to either not cause confusion or for other reasons.  Lync allows this control by using in-band client policies. 

For this example, I will create a new client policy and configure it to not search the Outlook “Contacts” folder.  Note that any contact-type folder can be specified.  I create the policy by running:

New-CsClientPolicy –Identity “ExcludeContactSearching” –ExcludedContactFolders “Contacts”

Lync - contact command policy

I have created a new policy, but the –ExcludeContactFolders parameter can be configured on any client policy already defined.

Next, assign the policy to the user by running:

Grant-CsClientPolicy –Identity <user> –PolicyName “ExcludeContactSearching”

Lync - contact command policy apply to user

After the user receives the new in-band policy, the same search tried originally will not show the Outlook contacts:

Lync - contact search1 - after

Again, this requires the 7577.4072 version of the client to work.  Hope this helps.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lync February 2012 Server and Client Updates Released (CU5)

The Lync team has released server and client updates for February 2012. There are a lot of important updates in this CU, including video support for RCC, mobile fixes, and DFS support in Topology Builder. Here are all the details:

Server Updates (7577.190) – DownloadKB 2493736

Note: Use the cumulative LyncServerUpdateInstaller.exe to install the updates to make sure all needed updates are applied.

Clients (7577.4072)

Phone Edition (7577.4066)

Group Chat