Monday, March 31, 2014

Dialin Simple URL in Lync 2013 (Change of Default SIP Domain)

WARNING: Do NOT change the default SIP Domain in Lync!

As Microsoft wrote in the article Planning for Simple URLs, you will also see during your Topology setup, if you use multiple SIP domains, you only have one (1) active DIALIN URL.

This is by design and normal.

If you default SIP domain should be different from that you want to use in your simple URL.
Say your default SIP domain is CONTOSO.COM, you are able to Change your DIALIN and also MEET URL to say: CUSTOMER.COM.

If you need to do this, you have to add, as Best Practice, CUSTOMER.COM as additional SIP domain. Even if this domain will not be used for user SIP addressing.

If you want to make those changes after certain times, meens after you deployed Lync 2013.

Be Aware about the Impact.
You need to change your DNS and all related certificates.

1. NEVER DELETE nor CHANGE your Default SIP Domain
2. after you changed the simple URL, you MUST run Enable-CsComputer on all Frontend and Director Servers.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Export Lync User Configuration (former DBIMPEXP)

You for your information, with Lync 2013 some former tools are depreciated.

While in LCS, OCS and Lync 2010 exporting the user data was done with the dbimpexp.exe utility.

Now with Lync 2013 new EXPORT-CSxxx commands are integrated within the Lync Management Shell.

Convert-CsUserData
Import-CsUserData
Sync-CsUserData
Update-CsUserData

As we now from former days, we had to use DBIMPEXP to extract the user data, e.g. the Lync buddy list, to export data directly out of the RTC database.

Lync 2013 made the export functions more convenient and added PowerShell commands to do a more simplified export. With this EXPORT-CSxxx commands, you can export:
  • User Data
  • Conference Directories
  • LIS (Location Information Service) - E911 Data
  • RGS - Response Group Data
  • Persistent Chat Data

With the Convert-CsUserData command, you are able to convert former XML formats into the actual Lync 2013 format. But if you need to convert Lync 2013 data backward to Lync 2010, you need to do this during the Export-CsUserData command with the option parameter: -LegacyFormat

Other helpful parameter are:
-UserFilter: filter for dedicated user or bulk users
-ConfDirectoryFilter : Filter for Conference Directories, with you should first identity with Get-CsConferenceDirectory and than use the number display as the identifier.

NOTE/ WARNING:
The Export-CsUserData command also exports Lync Application User.
If you for example had a deployment, where you changed the default SIP domain and deleted this default SIP domain (Which by the way is UNSUPPORTED), you will have to clean up the XML file or you make sure, that only Lync Users are exported, which you need for this.

Best Practice:
You run a command and export the User names:
Get-CsUser | fl *sip* > C:\CsUser.txt
and
Export-CsUserData -PoolFqdn "frontend.pool.fqdn" -FileName C:\UserDataExport.zip
Than if you import, do so selective, that means write a script, which will use the CsUser.txt to import only the user you need and make sure you excluded the Lync Application users.
Make sure the txt file has the SIP identifier in first row.
SIP
usera@sip.com
userb@sip.com

Import-csv C:\scripts\CsUser.txt | ForEach-Object {Import-CsUserData -PoolFqdn "frontend.pool.fqdn" -FileName C:\UserDataExport.zip -UserFilter $_.SIP}

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lync 2013 Edge Server - DNS Resolution, cannot resolve IP addresses

A new topic came along my way, even I personally work with windows server since NT 3.5, but in very tight configured network environments you might run into server DNS resolution issues.

Principals regarding Lync Edge Server DNS resolution.
It is recommended to resolve DNS queries on the Internet, which means via the external NIC.
For internal DNS resolution, best practice is a dedicated hosts file, or make it possible to resolve intern DNS.

Therefore a common practice is to simply let even external DNS names resolve by the internal DNS servers.


NOTE:
Make sure you have the put in the DNS Servers on the correct network interface!

What and how Windows Server really works:

A we know, each IP setting for every NIC allow us to specify a DNS Server entry.

As I figured out and very important to know, DNS resolution will work ONLY on the network adapter, where DNS servers are configured. While we still keep in mind, if a hosts file is used, the hosts entries are loaded into the DNS Client Cache.


Let's tap into several possible setups:

Also: NetBIOS and LMHOSTS should be disabled.

1. Only a internal DNS Server is used.
You need to configure a DNS Server on the internal network card
Firewall: PORT 53 TCP/UDP configured for internal DNS Server and Edge Server internal IP


2a. A HOSTS file and a external DNS server is used.
The HOSTS is used for internal Lync Server only, so specify all Lync Server in your internal Topology, configure the DNS Server only on the external NIC
Firewall: PORT 53 TCP/UDP configured for external DNS Server and Edge Server external IP (primary IP, the Access Edge)


2b. A HOSTS file and a internal DMZ DNS server is used.
The HOSTS is used for internal Lync Server only, so specify all Lync Server in your internal Topology, configure the DNS Server on the internal NIC, which has a route into the DMZ net.
Firewall: PORT 53 TCP/UDP configured for external DNS Server and Edge Server external IP (primary IP, the Access Edge)


3. Split DNS resolution, two DNS server are used
Configure the DNS Server for external resolution on the external NIC and the internal DNS server on the internal NIC.
Firewall: PORT 53 TCP/UDP configured for external and internal DNS Server and Edge Server external (primary IP, the Access Edge) and internal IP

Also the routing is very important.
However, make sure the routes have als o assigned the correct interface.
Recommendation:
alway use the ROUTE ADD -P command to manually set the routes.This ensure the correct METRIC as well as the corrcet INTERFACE.

Assume this IP addresses:
NIC: Interface 11
ACCESS Edge: 192.168.10.10
WEBCONF Edge: 192.168.10.20
AV Edge: 192.168.10.30

NIC: Interface 12
INTERNAL  Edge: 192.168.20.10

LAN Segement: 10.0.0.0

Default Route:
ROUTE ADD -P 0.0.0.0 MASK 0.0.0.0 192.168.10.254 METRIC 10 IF 11
ROUTE ADD -P 10.0.0.0 MASK 255.0.0.0 192.168.20.254 METRIC 50 IF 12

If now your DMZ DNS Server is used, make sure which path (interface and route) can be used to reach the DNS server. You might have to admit the route.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Polycom VVX 600 with Color Expansion Module (Business Unit Phone)

Amazing the actual Polycom VVX series.
The first Lync Design Phone System for Lync.

The VVX series has the black+white screen based models (VVX 300 / VVX 400) and the color screen models (VVX 500 / VVX 600). Another model is the executive model VVX 1500.

As this is manly well know, i want to highlight the VVX extension module.
This module is also available in black+white or color.

What's use full is for attendants, the simple way how it can be configured. You simple need to add some more Lync user into your Lync client and it is simple sync'ed with the Expansion Module.

This Unit can support 3x28 Lync users and can be expanded with 3 modules, this means you have more then 3x3x28 = 252user on the Expansion Module, plus the 15 users on the VVX 600 phone. this is quite a lot, i think.


Note the VVX Camera is not yet supported with Lync, but should be quite soon.

Two more features which are amazing, the "Better together over Ethernet" and the touch screen usability with you PC mouse and keyboard.
The "better together" feature is the same feature as you know from your other desktop phones, like the CX600 via USB.


Lync Room System (LRS) - Polycom CX8000

Today i like to show you the simple setup for Polycom's CX8000 Lync Room System

First, the CX8000 is combination build with Polycom CX5100 new Round Table camera in combination with Crestron LRS components.
This combination from Polycom has the advantage of a really professional camera, since Microsoft has made the requirements, that Crestrons system is only allowed to work with any Lync certified USB camera.
Personally, I'm not so happy here, since a professional Video Conferencing System should make us of a professional camera instead of any Desktop cam. Additionally the system is quite expensive, another reason for need of better cameras. Since the newly developed CX5100 with 5 HD cams, this is acceptable solution. Polycom, as I was informed, is still working on a solution making use of their Eagle Eye III cam. Lets hope this will be available soon.

First you need to setup up the system physically, so the cabling.
Important is, you need a large touch screen. I recommend the Crestron systems, due to at this moment they will be proper recognized a touch USB device. With other monitors we had issue the Crestrons Windows based LRS system was recognizing the touch screen not a usual mouse.

The LRS can be setup with a single or dual screen touch screen.

Note - Idea:
Another option is the Crestron LRS in combination with a Polycom GROUP 300. What you need here is a Polycom DMA and RMX Video Conferencing Bridge. If you do so, you make use of the highest possible HD Video experience. The Group 300 will here provide the the conferencing video and the Crestron LRS the better work together touch based content sharing.

You need the USB device from the touch screen and the CX5100 to be connected with the Crestron unit.
 

The cabling looks like this:
As you see, the perfect power adapter plate is well organized and the Polycom CX 5100 is integrated with its power unit also quite well.


 Polycom CX 5100 Round Table and the Crestron LRS unit:

Now it is time to configure the LRS. When you login with the local administrator, the system will first reboot, than it allows the setup.
I spare here the very details, since you can see the simple establishment.

LYNC SETTINGS:
provide the LRS with its login credentials and this are the same as you will define with the Microsoft Lync Room System Management (see my other blog)

SYSTEM SETTINGS:
You will activate the Tutorial Slide Show

WEB UPDATES:
You can configure the WSUS Server (Lync Updates) and OEM Server (System Update). Other required updates can be applied automatically.

PASSWORD RENEWAL:
This settings depend on if you are on-premise or on Office 365.

NEXT SETTINGS:
Here you will have to configure all relevant information, like IP Address, Routings or Join to Domain options. Important to remember here is the Diagnostic Logging options.


Once this has all be setup, you will Apply the settings and the system will reboot. Afterwards the LRS is ready and can be used with Lync.

On the table unit, you have the touch panel where you will operate the LRS, you can join conferences, start adhoc calls or change the video screen presentation setup.

While you are not in a conference, the large (here 65 inch) touch screen will show you the same Exchange calendar view as the desk unit.

On the desk unit you can operate the LRS with the same user experience as you are familiar with from your desktop or App Lync client.

Under Display, you can change the view of your singel/ dual screen solution to best match your conference requirements.

You are also able to use IM or invite adhoc Lync users into your conference:

Once the conference is established, you are provide e.g. with the preview of your CX 5100.


Since we had only a single screen setup to play with, we use the desk unit to change to view and presented our content.


At last I also want to say thanks to Wolfgang Matheus from Polycom for his kindly help and providing the opportunity to present the Polycom CX 8000 LRS.