Forcing Use of Lync Web App to Join a Conference

When you receive and click on a meeting request to join a Lync-based meeting, If you have Lync Client 2010 installed it will be used to join that meeting.  What if there’s a problem joining the conference using the Lync thick client (there are scenarios where it may not work if there are problems with the company hosting the Lync meeting’s Federation setup, etc).  Or, maybe you just want to join the meeting and use the Lync Web App instead of the Lync thick client?

Unfortunately, there’s no button you can click to do this…and if you’re using IE8 and above, the IE window quickly closes after you click on the link in your email so that you can’t access the “Use Lync Web App” link.

However, there is a way to force the use of Lync Web App.

Solution

To force connecting to a Lync meeting using the Lync Web App instead of the Lync thick client, do the following:

  1. Open a web browser window
  2. Copy & paste the URL for joining the meeting that you received.  But do NOT press ENTER yet!
  3. Append the following string to the URL: “?SL=1” (without the double quotes)

courtesy of Joe Schaeffer of Microsoft

Lync 2013 – Pool Pairing and what’s supported by Microsoft and actually works in practice

With the new Lync 2013 server topology we now have the option of something called pool pairing, but what does that actually mean in reality.

Pool pairing is the ability to have one pool being the DR pool for the other and vise versa. This means with enabling the pool pairing option the secondary pool holds a copy of the CMS database and all the other nuances that are needed for things like conferencing and sponge groups etc. then in a DR situation the users automatically failover to the secondary pool (automatic means up to 5 minutes before the user sees presence again)

In truth I like this feature and it does work well in real life. A caveat to pool pairing you need to be aware of is the voice elements as the last thing you want is in a DR situation your voice calls start routing out of your secondly pool which you might have in a data centre in Asia etc. voice costs will spiral..

So what is supported from Microsoft. Quite simply is has to mirror the server and pool type.

Enterprise edition = Enterprise edition in the second pool

Virtual servers = virtual servers in the second pool

 

That said there is no technical reason that you can't have your primary pool as EE and the second pool at SE. (Common sense though if your EE homes 12000 users, then failing over to the SE which can only home 6000 users will simply not fly)

So if you want Microsoft support go with the mirror type approach, but in your lab you can mix the types to test the failover feature.

 

 

Lync 2013 Frontend Server installation error – Execution failed: Cannot find any suitable disks for database files.

Short blog post and a small finding with Lync 2013’s frontend installation.

As you would have seen with my installation blog guides, I’m building a comprehensive guide for Lync 2013 with all the key features being installed. What this means is both RAM and disk space is at a premium in my lab environment.

So for the SQL server i allocated 25gb disk space, and on the pooled front ends I’ve initially allocated 20gb’s of disk space. In the old Lync 2010 set up this was always enough space per server to complete an installation whereas with Lync 2013 i was getting an annoying error which at first left me wondering why. ? My SQL Server mirrors had 3gb space available and my Lync Frontends also had 4gb of free space still so why the error???

The problem information in the error log file gave very little help as to why i was getting this issue on the local database setup for collocated databases.

 

Error

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well after a little bit of fact-finding with trial and error, it looks like there has to be a minimum of disk space available on the frontend servers even if its not going to be unitised by Lync.? Why oh Why Microsoft?!
Upping the disk space in 5gb iterations, in the end i’ve added another 20gb of free space meaning i was allocating a total 45gb per frontend which is madness for a lab machine. <of which 24 was still unallocated>

Following a server reboot and a install rerun. I successfully got past my issue.

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Whats more annoying is I’m now left with 19.3gb of free space not used on the front ends.

I will ask the Microsoft Lync Partner group about what the reasons are for such a requirement on the install.

Regards

Iain S 

 

Complete Lync 2013 Installation Guide including – Pre Reqs, Enterprise Edition Pool, SQL Mirroring and Witness, Archiving/Monitoring, Persistent Chat, Edge Setup and XMPP integration PART 1 of 6

Quote

This blog post will be made up of several parts covering all the main aspects of a greenfield Lync 2013 installation. The reason for the post is to help others who are not clear on the requirements and installation methods used within Lync 2013 plus also to raise awareness of the new features that are imbedded in the Lync 2013 build.

The blog parts will be made up of the follow posts

Pre Req’s upto Topology Publishing – Part 1

Front-end Installation and Certificate enablement – Part 2

Archiving and Monitoring installation – Part 3

Persistent Chat – Part 4

Edge Setup – Part 5

XMPP integration – Part 6

Please feel free to request additional areas as i would gladly add them to the build guide. Any comments or feedback is also welcome

PART 1

Server Pre Reqs – Domain Name is northernlync.local

Domain Controller Server

Within my lab DC, I’m running DNS, AD services and my certificate authority. This is a Windows 2008r2 server running 2008r2 Domain and Forest attributes.

DNS Entries

Under my Forward look up zone, i’ve added the following entries for Lync 2013

Lync frontend servers 1 – lync2013fe01.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.4

Lync frontend servers 2- lync2013fe02.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.20

Lync Pool – lyncpool1.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.4 & lyncpool1.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.20

Lync SQL Mirroring Server 01 – lync2013SQL01.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.2

Lync SQL Mirroring Server 02 – lync2013SQL02.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.3

Lync SQL Mirroring Witness – lync2013SQL03.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.21

Lync Web Access Server – lync2013wac01.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.5

Lync Persistent Chat Server – lync2013pchat.northernlync.local = IP 192.168.1.6

Updated DNS Entries I missed off – Thanks Andy for the headsup ! blog @legendarytechy

Lync Contol Panel access – For the purpose of the lab, im simply going to point this to the lync2013fe01.northernlync.local IP 192.168.1.4

Lyne Meet and Dialin for webaccess again Im simply going to point this to the lync2013fe01.northernlync.local IP 192.168.1.4

SRV Record

_sipinternaltls
_tcp
5061
lyncpool1.northernlync.local

Users and Member Groups

For my installation i always use a recognisable named account to do my installations. In this lab install, i have used the following account throughout the whole process of the installation.

User account

name = srv_lync which is a member of = Domain Admins, Schema Admins, Enterprise Admins (All are required for the AD prep as part of the initial build of Lync 2013)

***Thats it for now for the Lync administrative tasks. At a later point we will need to circle back and add the CSAdministrator permission to src_lync and also users accounts into Active Directory

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

 Lync Frontend Server preparation.

As with Lync 2010 there are a number of pre reqs required on the actual servers for Lync, e.g.: dotnet3.5 etc. Below is a the installation guide for adding the required roles and features needed for a successful topology publish.

– Note: My Lync 2013 front ends are Windows 2012 running the latest updates. (Note: Lync 2013 requires a operating system of 64bit architecture)

Roles Required List

Your Front-ends will require the following to be installed
Roles
Web Server (IIS)

Roles additional 
Web Server (IIS), Role Services, Common Http Features Installed, Static, Default doc ,Https errors, Health and Diagnostics, Http logging, Logging Tools, Tracing, Performance, Static Content Compression ,Dynamics Content, Compression, Security, Request Filtering, Client Cert Mapping Authentication, Windows Authentication, Management Tools, IIS Mgt Console, IIS mgt Scripts and Tools, Application Development, ASP.NET 3.5, ASP.NET 4.5, .NET extensibility 3.5, .NET extensibility 4.5, ISAPI extensions, ISAPI Filters

Features
Message Queuing, Message Queuing Services, Remote Server Administration Tools, Role Administration Tools, AD DS and AD LDS Tools, User Interfaces and Infrastructure, Desktop Experience, Windows Identity Foundation 3.5, .NET Framework 3.5, HTTP Activation, Non-HTTP Activation .NET Framework 4.5 (Should already be installed as part of win2012)

****NOTE: Anyone running the installation against windows 2012 without update will encounter an issue with trying to enable .net3.5 as part of the roles and features install. (At the time of writing there is a bug which doesn’t allow the install direct from the GUI. You have to run the below cmd line to install .net3.5.

dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /Source:D:\sources\sxs /all

– Source D being your DVD media!

Step 1

Guide to adding the roles required.

Select add new roles and features from the server manager wizard

Add Role1

Select Role-Based or Feature-based installation

Add Role1

Select the defaults of your frontend server in the server pool area of the wizard

Add Role3

As you can see Web Server IIS and .net4.5 is now installed

Add Role4 5

Add Role5

—- Now onto the Features list

Messaging Queue and all the other features listed above.

Add Role5 5

Add Role5 7

Now all our Roles and Features are installed its time to move onto the Lync frontend installation wizard.

Its also worth noting that as part of the SQL mirroring setup you will also require .net3.5 on the SQL servers as well.

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Deployment Wizard – Defining your Topology

From the Lync 2013 installation media, navigate to Lync2013\Setup\amd64 then select Setup.exe (NOT Setup2.exe)

you will then be prompted with a screen like below, select the default path and press the install button

Deploy wzd install 5 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once this install is completes, then navigate to your start menu where you will find an option called ‘Lync Server Deployment Wizard’.

Select the option.

Deploy wzd install 6

Once the deployment wizard opens up, select the option Install Administrative tools as below screenshot

Deploy wzd install 6 1

You will see nothing happen apart from a green tick appear next to the selected item,

Once you get your green tick as above next to the admin tools, its time to go back to your Start menu again and select ‘Lync Server Topology Builder’

Topology 7

You will now be greeted by a few new dialog boxes for the topology

First dialog select ‘New Topology’

Then select OK

Topology 7 1

Before you start to configure your new topology you have to save the topology. this is incase you make an error and you then have the option to revert back to the previous topology build (you will be prompted to save your topology each time you enter the topology builder)

Name the SaveAs, then select Save

Topology 7 2

On the below screen enter your primary SIP domain name. In my lab case its nothernlync.local, if you are running a split brain domain you can add other SIP domain on the next screen

then select Next

Topology 7 3

Topology 7 4

Once you’ve added your SIP names etc its now time to Define your site details

Give your site a name and description, then select Next

Topology 7 5

And now add location details, then select Next

Topology 7 6

Now we’ve added all the required details for the topology, its now time to start defining details for the frontend topology elements

Leave the tick in the ‘Open Frontend Wizard option and select Finish

Topology 7 complete

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Deployment Wizard – Defining your Frontends

Add your Lync 2013 Pool FQDN name into the dialog box.

In this guide i will be building the lab as enterprise edition setup, meaning i can add multiple frontend servers to my pool topology for resilience.

* Note – Enterprise Edition requires a separate SQL server, whereas Standard Edition runs SQL express within its only frontend server build.

** Note – Standard Edition can’t have a multiple servers in the pool BUT can be paired to another Lync 2013 pool for some resilience if required.

Please ensure you select the option which is right for your organisation.

8 definepool 8 1

Add the FQDN’s of your front ends then select add. Once you have finished select the Next button

8 definepool 8 2

Select the features you require. If your unsure, its better to deselect options then go back at a later date and add them as a separate exercise.

For the Lab, I’m going to select Conferencing, Archiving and Monitoring (Archiving and Monitoring as part of 3)

8 definepool 8 3

Also I’m going to Co-locate my mediation server onto the frontend for my lab as i have no requirement for voice apart from the demo purposes.

8 definepool 8 4

Next Dialog relates to Edge enablement. As part of our demo we are not going enable this for the time being as we will jump into edge as Part 5 of this guide.

8 definepool 8 5

Lets now go ahead and add the new information for SQL Store information. (My SQL has three new instances created LyncCore, LyncArcMon, LyncPChat)

Select New

8 definepool 8 6

Now add information for your first SQL server. (if you now doing SQL Mirroring, you will not be prompted for a second SQL server or SQL Witness)

8 definepool 8 7

For SQL Mirroring select New to add your second SQL server information

8 definepool 8 8

8 definepool 8 9

8 definepool 8 9 1

Now before committing your SQL setup information, this is a good chance to double check your details.

8 definepool 9

We need to now add the information for the Lync Share which holds the address book information etc. (You need to have writes to the share for the topology to completed successful)
As part of this lab, i have added the share to the first SQL Server

8 definepool 9 1

Enabling your Web Access Server. If you already have a WAC server in your organisation you don’t need to have a  separate one for Lync 2013, as you can utilise your existing WAC server.
For this lab demo i will add a WAC server for guide purposes.

8 definepool 9 3

8 definepool 9 4

Ok at the next dialog click Finish.

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Deployment – Prepare Active Directory

So before we can publish our now defined topology, we need to update the AD Schema, Domain and Forest.
Again from the Lync deployment wizard select ‘Prepare Active Directory’ and then accept the Run options and Next options in order of them becoming  defaults

9 extra define top  AD setup1

9 extra define top  AD setup2

9 extra define top  AD setup4

9 extra define top  AD setup5

At this point select local domain.

9 extra define top  AD setup6

9 extra define top  AD setup9

Once your AD is prep’d, at this stage i like to add the CSadministrator role to my user account src_lync

9 extra define top  AD setup8

9 extra define top  AD setup10

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Publishing the Topology

Ok onto the last step of Publishing the topology

select Lync Server from the topology pane on the left as right click and  select Publish topology

10 publish top

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For your SQL Mirror you will need to select your file share for holding the mirroring information

10 publish top 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Ensure your Topology publishes without Errors. If you do have errors ensure that you resolve all errors and warnings before continuing on.

10 publish top 6

 

Thats it for Part 1,
You’ve completed your PreReq’s and also added information about your Lync environment plus published your topology.

I will upload ((Front-end installation and Certificate enablement – Part 2)) in the next couple of days

Regards

Iain Smith

Lync 2010 Error “Exception calling “Create” with “0″ argument(s)” when installing Lync monitoring reports

This blog is a quick one with key information in a small number of lines.

Today i was asked by a client for help with a self installation of Lync archiving and monitoring server which had gone wrong. In truth the Archiving was just a case of policies within the lync control panel as the install was correct.

However on the monitoring side of things the client had installed the relevant modules from the lync deployment wizard but was then getting an error when selecting to install the monitoring reports. This is not unusual and the error presented to the client is one I’ve seen a few times before, and i can say now its all down to permissions on the SQL instance for Monitoring. 

So as part of the install you have to select a domain\username for the installation. (see below)

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Whatever you enter here has an knock on effect on whether the install is successful, for example if you add your domain <northernlync.local> and account which you installed lync with <srv_lync> then you need to make sure that this same account has an account with permission on the LDSCDR and QOEmetrics databases on your SQL instance.

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Inevitability if you don’t have these permissions for the user account you enter you will get the error “Exception calling “Create” with “0″ argument(s)” when trying to install the monitoring reports.

So to be clear, just add permissions to your account to the LcsCDR and QOEmetrics and you should be good to go.

Regards

Iain Smith

USB headset devices not working using Lync for Mac Client

So I’m a Mac user by trade and unless I’m on client sites or demo’ing Lync i undertake all my day to day consultancy work on a Macbook Pro.

I know some will say that within office for Mac and particularly the Mac Lync client its rather undercooked in terms for functionality. For me though once you get your setup correct i can work without issue and mirror a Windows counterpart.

That said of late I’ve been seeing issues with my headset estate, and the headsets I’ve been using ive questioned recently as being ‘dodgy/faulty’. The below list of the suspect devices

Jabra Pro 9470

Jabra UC Supreme

Jabea 510 Speaker Phone

Plantronics Voyager Pro 

My issues have been ranging from the lync client simply not recognising the headset, or part way through a call i would loose voice either inbound or outbound, or even though the headphone was seen and enabled within Mac OSX system preferences no audible tones could be heard.

 

This morning i thought i had to get this fixed and with a little help from my friend ‘Google’, and also a Modality systems colleague Justin Morris (www.justin-morris.net) the answer and resolution is out there and available if you look closely enough. In August 2012 Microsoft did in bring an update out for the Lync for Mac client. The problem is though the ‘check for updates’ within the Lync for mac client does NOT pick this update up14.0.3 AND you have to request the update from Microsoft support. 

Weighing in a 101mb this update does solve all my audio issues in one swoop. Now within the Lync for Mac client we now have another tab called audio. (see below)

Image

Once you set this all is good again. You no longer have the faff about in systems preferences to set your audio.

I hope this small snippet of information helps others

Regards

Iain Smith