Skype for Business to Skype – adding contacts

Being able to communicate with Skype users via Skype for business is fantastic – however, the interface for adding Skype users – well, is confusing.

Skype1

Generally, when talking to someone and exchanging Skype details – the other person will quote their Skype name – which is fair enough – that’s how it works with Skype….

When using Skype for business, the address bar forces you to use a full SIP address format…. but, its fair to say that’s its not really clear from the UI how to add someone correctly

First up, you need to get the email address associated with their Skype account.

If this email address is a Microsoft account, such as outlook, Hotmail etc – then you can use that address.

If this email address is not a Microsoft account, its a bit whacky, the format is

user(domainname.com)@msn.com

So joe.Bloggs@contoso.com would be joe.blogs(contoso.com)@msn.com….

Hopefully Microsoft will sort this out at some stage – as its not very intuitive.

 

 

Lync Connectivity Analyzer crash on startup

The Lync Connectivity Analyser is a handy tool for troubleshooting some issues – and is available from http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/download/details.aspx?id=36535

Recently i found it was crashing on startup, seemingly from a recent patch.

Uninstalling KB2840642v2 (.net framework 4.5 update) made it work again for me.

Obviously this might not be an issue for everyone…. either way, i hope the patch gets updated or the LCA gets updated soon-ish.

Lync 2010/2013 to Skype

The full guide is here…

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=39071

For those of that already have PIC enabled (most of you i would assume)…. i found the guide to be a little bit off, in that my existing provider was called “MSN” – not “Messenger”

So, my suggestion is to open up your Lync powershell and…….

Get-CsPublicProvider

note the name of your msn/messenger federation partner (it will likely be “messenger” or “MSN”)

Remove-CsPublicProvider -Identity MSN (or messenger, depending on step above)

New-CsPublicProvider -Identity Skype -ProxyFqdn federation.messenger.msn.com -IconUrl “https://images.edge.messenger.live.com/Messenger_16x16.png” -VerificationLevel 2 -Enabled 1

Restart your lync client and check that Add Contact | Add contact not in my organision | Skype exists

now enjoy IM and audio calls between Lync and Skype…. video apparently coming soon.

 

Lync 2013 client unable to sign in – Kerberos error

I upgraded my servers to Lync 2013 a few months back and all has been working fine….. but in the past few days, i upgraded a couple of home machines with fresh installs – everything was working ok apart from Lync 2013 client, which came up with access denied errors. (but if signed in on an existing install, everything was still fine)

After some investigation, i found the following event in the System Event Log (event ID 4)

The Kerberos client received a KRB_AP_ERR_MODIFIED error from the server im04$. The target name used was HTTP/im04.company.com.au. This indicates that the target server failed to decrypt the ticket provided by the client. This can occur when the target server principal name (SPN) is registered on an account other than the account the target service is using. Please ensure that the target SPN is registered on, and only registered on, the account used by the server. This error can also happen when the target service is using a different password for the target service account than what the Kerberos Key Distribution Center (KDC) has for the target service account. Please ensure that the service on the server and the KDC are both updated to use the current password. If the server name is not fully qualified, and the target domain (company.COM.AU) is different from the client domain (company.COM.AU), check if there are identically named server accounts in these two domains, or use the fully-qualified name to identify the server.

fair enough…. next thing setspn -q http/im04.company.com.au, which returned the account LyncKerbAuth… a computer account created by the lync install process.

“thats correct” i thought…. but after some short searching, found the test PS commandlet of “Test-CSKerberosAccountAssignment -Identity <sitename> -Report “C:TempLog.htm” -Verbose” which failed with lots of red!

Test-CSKerberosAccountAssignment : The Kerberos configuration on im04.company.com.au is invalid. The expected assigned account is companylynckerbauth. Ensure that the account has not expired, and the
configured password on the machine matches the Active Directory password of the account.

After some short searching, the process to reset the account is

  1. Set-CsKerberosAccountAssignment -UserAccount “CompanyLycKerbAuth” -Identity “site:<sitename>”              (this step sets Lync to use that account)
  2. Enable-CsTopology                                                                                                                                                                         (this step activates the above change)
  3. Set-CsKerberosAccountPassword -UserAccount CompanyLyncKerbAuth                                                                      (this step sorts out the passwords)

Then i ran Test-CSKerberosAccountAssignment -Identity <sitename> -Report “C:TempLog.htm” -Verbose again, and got muchy less red – and all clients can now logon.

Not sure how it broke – maybe something in the 2010 to 2013 migration process that i missed – but it is/was a little odd that it didnt show up for existing clients and seemed to lay dormant for a few months – or it coulld have been something to do with Lync 2013 CU1.

Anyhoo – hope that helps someone else that might into the same issue.

 

Exchange/Lync/Office 2013 now available

well, so much for “available to technet subscribers in mid november” – Exchange, Lync and Office 2013 are available on the technet downloads site now….

Exchange 2013 is kind of usless right now – as to interoperate with exchange 2010, SP3 is required (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719(v=exchg.150).aspx) – and SP3 isnt out yet – and according to this (http://blogs.technet.com/b/exchange/archive/2012/09/25/announcing-exchange-2010-service-pack-3.aspx) wont be out until “1st half” of 2013…. thats a potential long wait…. so really, the product has bene released before its ready.

VOIP config for Billion 7404VGPM and Nodephone (internode)

So i finally decided it was time to put this in today….. and stop using our mobiles for everything…. the billion config web interface doesnt make ity easy – so i thought i would put up a quick doc in case anyone else is running into the same issue…

Via the Web GUI

  • Configure all your standrad voip settings (username, sip proxy etc)
  • Delete all PSTN dial plans (assuming your voip only)
  • Telnet into the Billion
  • voip endpoint 1 set digitmap ‘(x.T) +x.T’
  • voip endpoint 2 set digitmap ‘(x.T) +x.T’
  • refresh to web interface to ensure the settings are there

save config and restart device.

At some point ill get around to using asterisk to talk to nodephone, so i can then integrate with both the old school phones and Lync…. i was hoping Lync 2013 would have authenticated sip trunks, so i wouldn’t havent bother with asterisk, but alas it does not look like it does.

Microsoft and management interfaces….

Consistency…. its what we spend a great deal of time fixing for clients…. sure, they see us writing standardisation documents for AD/Exchange/Group Policy/Logon scripts etc….. but really, what we are doing is trying to delivery consistency – simply because the more things that are consistent within an environment, the more logical it is – and the easier it is to support.

Take for example the very simple case of mapped drives….. some clients have the whacky situation where S: is mapped to \server1common for some people and \server7finance for others…. this ofcourse makes the job the the helpdesk much harder – as users dont know (nor should they need to) what a unc is…. they just cant find the file on their S: drive. A consistent naming standard for user accounts, email addresses etc are commonly used by the majority of places we deal with – as it just makes sense.

Anyhoo – onto the point of the post – Microsoft products and their management interfaces.

A while ago, the NT 4 option pack to be exact, MMC was introduced, with talk about MS products standardising on using MMC’s for management…. this kind of took off…. AD tools, computer management, event viewer, services etc etc all were (and still are) available as mmc snap-ins….. very handy for standardised management and also creating your own snap in. Other products such as Exchange, ISA/TMG, OCS and SCCM used an MMC-like management console….

Some of these weren’t necessarily the best….SCCM 2007 was universally panned for its shit interface (but it still did the job)…. OCS 2007 i didnt think was that bad, but the devs apparently did…. and exchange 2010 EMC was fucking awesome (a bit slow… but functionality and layout wise it was great)

On the upside, the SCCM 2012 interface is not an MMC at all, and its awesome… well laid out, relatively easy to find stuff, responsive etc….

The we have Lync 2010 with the silverlight interface…. for some of the admin tasks, but an MMC for the topology tasks and powershell for all taks, but some must be completed via powershell. While i find it usable – and dont mind it, its a bit dis-jointed.

Then we have the slight shift to the side – in powershell. Basically the only was to do all the tasks required in exchange 2007/2010 and Lync was to use powershell…. this was a little annoying for clients, but offered an absolute crapload of scripting power… so it was, on the whole, awesome.

Now, we have the wave 15….. SCCM 2012 interface is awesome…. Lync 2013 interface is the same a 2010…. a bit of a (oddly ok) thrown together mees…. Exchange 2013 has thrown out the awesome 2010 EMC and replaced it with a web interface, which is ok… but not as good as the interface it replaced!

So, whats the point of this article… give us some consistency!

1) Having a powershell interface for products is awesome…. keep doing it – and keep exapnding the number of features it covers. The commandlets however need to keep consistency as well… which so far, has been reasonable (i have a vague memory of a few of the Lync commandlets not quite fitting wtih the get/set/new/remove nomenclature)

2) A web interface for certain admin tasks as an option is fine – but a web interface should never be the primary interface in my opinion…. sure the silverlight ones are slightly less painful – but they still suck compared to a GUI

3) Give us a consistent GUI interface…. i get that the teams internally at MS might not see eye to eye a lot of the time and that the interface has to be right for the product…. but FFS… the reason that the OCS 2007 interface sucked, wasnt because mmc sucks, its because the OCS interface sucked. The SCCM 2012 interface is awesome – and even though its not an MMC, I think that same type of interface would also fit well for exchange/lync/AD etc….

4) i’d be disappointed if MS went all web with every interface, but if they did it for every product – at least it would be consistent!

In short MS – please give us some consistency with your management interfaces across product lines….

August 15th – Win 2012 and Win 8 available for DL

http://www.bink.nu/windows-8-has-reached-the-rtm-milestone

I’ve made the (fair) assumption that server will become available at the same time as the client.

Im not convinced that many people (in the corporate space) actually care about Win 8…. part of that is because Win7 is a bloody good OS…. if Win-7-to-go existed… i think there would be even less interest in Win 8.

Server 2012 is a bit of a different matter…. while many features are a bit ho-hum, Hyper-V replica’s… there is some big cash savings to be made by swapping from VMWare and SRM… so will be interesting to see how that plays out.

Oh – and the rest of the Wave 15 products that have previews – Exchange, Lync and office 2013… well, im also quite “meh” about them too…. dont get me wrong – its not as if they are terrible – but there is just nothing particuarly exciting about any of them.

The exchange 2013 web management interface, after a few days of using it, i no longer dislike…. i fucking hate it…. moving to that after using the very good exchange 2010 management console is a huge step backwards…. i can only assume the manager that made that decision had smoked something or was busy crapping on about how great “the cloud” was to some sales idiot… or both.

With Lync, its cool to have the web client back – outside of that, while there are improvements, im a bit meh….. annoyed at the lack of authenticated sip trunk – still.

Office…. well, its office… i can imagine its hard for those guys to come up with anything new… it would be nice if they worked with the exchange team to achieve true, no impact exchange failovers… (which they well may have, but im not setting up test DAG’s and CAS arrays to find out until RTM)

On the up side, the more i use SCCM 2012 – the more it rocks. Sure, there are still improvements that could be made….. but holy shit it has come a long way since 2007, its so much more usable, responsive and quick compared to 2007. Now theres a team that got their shit together – well done.