Missed Call Notification Failure

Who knew that users would actually get upset if they don’t get their Missed Call emails? Who knew that they would also get upset if they received hundreds of notifications in their email that they missed all of those calls while out on maternity/paternity leave? Who knew that users would get upset no matter what?

Oh wait, all of us admins knew. Smile

Not much has changed in the last several years regarding how the Missed Call Notification works. Jens Trier Rasmussen covers the process very nicely, and it is still pretty accurate, today.

Recently, I have had a couple of users complain that they are not getting their notification emails. The answer, in these cases, has been simple. Would you guess it is because they have too many folders in Outlook? Yes, it is the same issue as with Conversation History not being saved after it has worked for a long time. Exchange Web Services has an issue when there are over 1,000 folders in the mailbox. Once the mailbox is cleaned up, the Missed Call Notification starts working again.

Of course, the best solution might just be to turn it off for everyone by using a Client Policy: Set-CsClientPolicy “PolicyName” -EnableCallLogAutoArchiving $False

If users want to disable the notifications, they can do it in the Lync/Skype for Business client application: In Lync/Skype for Business, click the Gear in the upper tight, then click on Tools, Options, then click on the Personal tab and disable the checkbox for Save call logs in my email Conversation History folder.

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Address Book Regeneration–Different in Lync 2013

As often happens, I miss some interesting changes between versions of OCS/Lync/Skype for Business.

This time, I missed the following changes:

RtcAb and RtcAb1 – In Lync Server 201o, the Address Book uses two databases, rtcab and rtcab1. The two databases are used so that one database can respond to queries while the other one is updated at 1:30am. This way, there is always an active version available, and then when the other one is finished updating, it becomes the active one.

In Lync Server 2013, the rtcab responds to queries while it is updating and the second version is not required.

Manual Address Book Update – In Lync Server 2010, the manual process to update the address book requires two different PowerShell cmdlets. The process is to run Update-CsUserDatabase, then after the update completes, you run Update-CsAddressBook to sync the content.

In Lync Server 2013, all you have to do is run the Udpate-CsAddressBook. The cmdlet triggers the user replicator process as part of the process.

I guess I need to take more time away from actually working and doing more research. Smile

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Lync 2013 Client and Remote Call Control – CUCM

Yes, I know. Remote Call Control (RCC) is dead in the world of Lync. Well, it’s not dead yet, but I am sure it will get fully clubbed over the head soon.

This issue reared its ugly head the other day when upgrading Lync 2010 clients to Lync image2013 clients. Every time you would start Lync 2013, it would generate this warning pop-up:

Cannot apply your new call forwarding settings. To turn off call forwarding, click OK. To ignore this error, click cancel.

If you click OK, it goes away until the next time you sign into Lync 2013. If you click Cancel, it goes away until the next time you sign into Lync 2013. Basically, nothing gets rid of it. This does not happen if you are using Lync 2010, though.

The reason? Well, Cisco… Yep, it isn’t a Lync 2013 issue, even though it appears to be it’s fault. Lync 2010 doesn’t experience because it doesn’t care what the Cisco Unified Call Manager tells it.

Basically, the issue is that CUCM tells the Lync 2013 client that call forwarding is set, even though it isn’t. See the Cisco Bug report for more info. The good news is that Cisco is going to fix it. Hopefully, it won’t be too long.

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Unable to Publish Change to Trunk Configuration

This is a short post.

I tried to make a change to a Trunk configuration,. I needed to set up the Trunk so that it would use TCP and to port 5060. I made the change in Topology Builder, and everything looked great. However, when I tried to publish the change, the Publish Topology option was greyed out. I could not publish the change.

No errors were generated and nothing told me that there was a conflict. However, the solution was an easy one. I turned off “Enable hardware load balancer monitoring port” which was also set to use 5060. I later changed the monitoring port.

The next step will be to let the load balancer team know that they need to update their monitoring port so the load balancer can know not to direct traffic to a downed server.

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Persistent Chat is Deployed–Now What?

Persistent Chat (PChat to those near that have come to love it or hate it) is an interesting beast in that it isn’t very widely used in many organizations, if it is used at all. However, I have found that PChat provides valuable communication and collaboration opportunities for many user groups in a company.

For example, help desk personnel can post information in a room about trending issues caused by an application upgrade, and they can share their fixes. Once the next shift comes in, they can review the information previously posted.

Deploying PChat is covered by several Technet articles and several blogs. It is fairly simple, unless you want stretch pools, to deploy PChat. The basic steps are to:

  1. Create the PChat Pool in the Topology Builder.
  2. Install the prerequisites on the target servers.
  3. Run the Deployment Wizard.
  4. Make sure you update the install to match the rest of the environment.

The next steps are pretty simple, as well. However, it is easy to forget a few steps. So, let’s cover the individual pieces that are needed.

Persistent Chat Policy

Configure the Persistent Chat Policy to enable PChat, and assign it to the user accounts. You can edit the existing Global policy if you want, or create another policy and enable PChat for it and then assign it to users.

Create a Category 

You will probably want to create multiple categories depending on your permission model, the types of users, or even the location of the users.

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The Category needs to include:

  • Allowed members – To add users to the room, they must be listed in the Allowed members list. This can be confusing in comparison to Group Chat. The category basically defines what users are allowed to be assigned to rooms in the category. Allowed members can include OUs, Distribution Groups, Domains, and individuals
  • Denied members – As in all Microsoft products, deny overrides allowed.
  • Creators – You need to define the list of creators. These are the administrators that will have the permissions to create rooms in the category.

Note: The Enable file upload does not work for Lync 2013 clients, it will only for down-level clients.

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Create Rooms

The creators can create rooms, and then assign the Managers role so that the managers of a room can add and remove users to the room. Remember, they can only add users that have been previously identified in the category.

The page for creating new rooms is pretty self-explanatory.

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Edit/Modify Room Settings

Changes can be made to a room in the My Rooms screen by hovering over the room name and then clicking on the Edit icon when it appears. Another method would be to use the Lync 2013 client, enter the room, and then click on the ellipses and expose the menu that allows you to Manage the Room.

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Rate My Call–Skype for Business

I would say that this is definitely one of the Top 10 questions that I hear from those that are investigating the upgrade to Skype for Business or have recently deployed it.

Question: How do I turn off the Rate My Call feature?

Microsoft’s Jens Trier Rasmussen covers this topic very well for us on the Technet Blog. I strongly suggest reading his blog post as it has some great information.

From what I keep hearing, Administrators have two major concerns:

  1. They don’t want users to be bothered with the pop-ups.
  2. They don’t want to be bothered with explaining why there are so many poor quality reports when the call quality is just fine.

I think the second issue is the most important to administrators. I hear from administrators that they don’t want to collect the call rating information as they are pretty sure that managers will be wanting to see reports on the data. The first time a manager sees the pop-up requesting feedback, they will know that the data is being collected and will want to know all about it. The call quality reporting that is self reported by users is not as reliable as we would like it to be, and it can be hard explaining to management that users are providing less than stellar responses despite the environment providing for top quality calls.

Keep in mind that in order for this feature to work properly, users need to have the following:

  • They need to be running Skype for Business 2015. Please note that the feature works whether running the Lync User Interface of the Skype for Business User Interface.
  • They need to be on a Skype for Business pool.
  • The Client Policy needs to be configured.

How do I Turn it Off?

Run the PowerShell cmdlet: Set-CsClientPolicy –RateMyCallDisplayPercentage 0

Set the parameter to zero, and users will not receive the pop-ups.

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DIY Lync Diagnostics

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.

Remote Connectivityimage

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.

Microsoft Support Diagnosticsimage

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.

Pre-Call Diagnostics

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.

Monitoring Server

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.

Certificates?

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.

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