December 15 2010

Find out how many users are connected in Lync Server 2010

In OCS it was really simple to see how many OCS clients / users were connected to the pool and the version numbers of each client as well as the total number of enabled users.

To get the number of clients connected in Lync 2010, you need to do it via performance counters on the SQL server. Look at the SQLServer:User Settable performance counters for the backend SQL instance and add ‘user counter 1’ – this has the number of currently connected users.

To find the total number of Lync enabled users, use the “Get-CsUser -Filter {Enabled -eq $true} | Measure” Powershell cmdlet.

This seems to be another one of those things that was so easy in OCS but seems so much more difficult in Lync.
 
 

December 10 2010

Enable all users in an OU for Lync with Powershell

I much prefer the old OCS way of enabling users for OCS / Lync, I believe it was much easier, but it looks like we are going to have to get used to using Powershell to do this. An example I have put together to enabling all users in an Organisational Unit for Lync 2010 is:

get-csADuser -OU "OU=Users,OU=Head Office,dc=danovich,dc=com,dc=au" | Enable-CsUser -RegistrarPool pool01.danovich.com.au -SipAddressType emailaddress

More reading here:

 
 

December 9 2010

Add SRV record for Lync to Unix BIND DNS

Recently I need to add the _sipinternaltls SRV record for Lync to a DNS server running BIND on Unix (same process for _sipexternaltls). After reading through this article – http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-networking-3/howto-ms-active-directory-with-bind-on-linux-379377/ – I found that it wasn’t too hard – just needed to add the following line to the db.zonename file:

_sipinternaltls._tcp.danovich.com.au. SRV 0 0 5061 sip.danovich.com.au.

In my case I pointed the SRV record to an A record – sip.danovich.com.au that had the IP address of the internal Lync pool. I did it this way because otherwise you will get an error on your Lync client stating Lync cannot verify that the server is trusted for your sign-in address. Connect anyway?. More about this error here – http://www.confusedamused.com/notebook/780/.

Don’t forget to restart BIND so it reloads your DB file.

 
 

October 29 2010

Explanation of OCS and Lync terms

There are some obscure and misleading terms used when describing an OCS or Lync environment. For those new to OCS or Lync, some of the more common terms are explained below:

IM Conferencing

Lync supports text-based instant messaging conferencing (also known as “Multi-party IM conferencing”) which allows users to initiate text messaging with more than one peer.

Audio / Video Calls

One core feature of Lync is to provider peer-to-peer (P2P) Audio and Video Calls. In this mode, session is established through the SIP protocol and Media Path negotiated between clients and does not route through any Lync server.

Audio / Video Conferencing

Audio / Video Conferencing differs from Audio / Video calls since the Media Path is established between clients and the Audio/Video MCU (Multi-Conferencing Unit) located the Lync front-end server. In A/V Conferencing mode, there is one active speaker (upstream) and at least two listeners (downstream).

Web Conferencing

An often misleading term, Web Conferencing does not provide conferencing features through a Web browser. Web Conferencing extends previous conferencing modalities and adds additional features such as Audio/Video/IM Conferencing, Collaboration tools (Poll page, Whiteboard, Q&A, Text, Web pages), Application and Desktop Sharing, Conversion of PowerPoint presentations to streamed content, Meeting Control, Scheduling, Recording and Playback.

The Web Conferencing feature can integrate with Outlook through a specific add-in to allow scheduled meetings to be held online.

Federation

Federation allows a company to communicate with another through various gateways and for designated services.

Desktop Sharing

Desktop Sharing allows users to share their desktop (and optionally share control) with the RDP protocol embedded in the Media Stream, with one or multiple peers.

Group Chat

Group Chat enables users to engage in persistent, ongoing IM conversations. Group Chat differs from group IM in that the latter is not persistent. After a group IM session has ended, its state is lost. With Group Chat, the conversation persists, along with all files, Web links, and other associated data. This persistence makes it possible to maintain complete records of each session. It enables the instant exchange of information across an organization and with external partners in a way that makes it possible to maintain a continuing flow of information among project members.

Edge Servers

Edge Servers allow connection of internal Lync infrastructure to the external world.

Communicator Web Access (CWA)

Communicator Web Access Servers provide Web Sites to allow users to logon to Lync services from a Web browser, which may be extended to support connecting from any endpoint on the Internet.

SIP Address

A SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) address consists of a user name and a domain name, similar to an email address. This is completely separate to an email address, but many organisations opt to keep the format of the SIP addresses in the same format as user’s primary email address in an attempt to keep the user logon process as simple as possible.

Public Instant Messaging Connectivity (PIC)

Enables organizations to interoperate with four proprietary instant messagne services – AOL Instant Messenger, .NET Messenger Service (Windows Live Messenger), Yahoo! Messenger, and Google Talk.

Lync Server 2010

Refers to the server component of Lync.

Lync 2010

Refers to the client (workstation) component of Lync.