I am like everyone else in that sometimes I just don’t have the time, the attentiveness, nor the in-depth knowledge to completely diagnose some of the off the wall stuff that I run into. I am also cheap in that I don’t want to pay for a Microsoft case every time something strange happens in Lync. I am not saying that I stick my head in the sand, either.
So, being a reasonably responsible engineer, I look at some of the basics, and then I leverage some of the many tools available to help troubleshoot issues. I hope this collection of tools helps.
This is probably one of the easiest pieces to test for Lync. Microsoft has had the Remote Connectivity Analyzer for years, and it does a great job.
There is a great deal of information out there on this tool, so I won’t replicate that. Please remember that it is out there.
I don’t know the history of this site, but I know that I have learned to love the Microsoft Support Diagnostics site. What I love about this site is that you can use it to upload and Microsoft’s server go through the logs and configurations of your environment. Go to the site, enter Lync in the search field, and you will find several options to download diagnostic packages that can then be run on the servers. The resulting data is then sent to Microsoft for analysis and a report is sent back.
The Lync 2013 Pre-Call Diagnostics tool is available for download from Microsoft’s site. This somewhat simple tool allows us to test a user’s connection and use the data for troubleshooting performance and identify the expected user experience when they make calls. The tool provides Network MOS, Packet Loss Rate, and Jitter for a particular connection at a certain time. The results may change because of changes in network load. However, if the tool provides the data that indicates that the call will be poor, then the call will almost certainly be poor.
Part of the Lync install can include monitoring services. The Monitoring role can provide a great deal of information. Monitoring reports can provide information about specific calls as well as information about the overall environment.
Lync Edge Port Tester Tool
The ability to properly test an Edge server environment can be challenging. James Cussen put together a nice tool and a post. The Lync Edge Port Tester provides the ability to save the day from evil typos and other mistakes. I really can’t see enough about this great tool, and I encourage everyone to take a look at it. In the past, I used to build a script that would leverage the port query tool and test the ports to and from each server in the environment. With this tool, it is really easy to set up the different profiles and test the Edge environment and the firewalls between the Edge servers and the internal Front-End pools.
Well, of course there are tools for testing and validating certificates. I would guess that over 90% of all Lync issues are related to Certificates and DNS. That might even be low. Digicert has a great help page that has all sorts of great tools for testing certificates even if they are not issues by Digicert.
Remote UC Troubleshooting Tool (RUCT)
The Remote UC Troubleshooting Tool was developed by Cutis Johnstone. I highly recommend Curtis’ blog as a site that you should visit on a regular basis. As described on the website for the RUCT, the tool can be used to test DNS records used for Lync, Testing network availability, Certificate testing, and retrieve important client-side troubleshooting information.