mandie.net – New Domain Name, Same Geeky Posts

Slug Bug GREEN!

Sometimes, a move can be difficult. This one wasn’t.

Since I’ve changed over to my company’s Communication Systems team, and am now focusing on Lync instead of ActiveRoles Server, this blog was due for a new identity – “Ars de ARS” at “insideactiveroles.com” is a strange place to go when you’re looking for Lync information. Regular readers may have noticed the change from “Ars de ARS” to “Mandie’s Memos”; now I’ve gone in for a new domain name. I got “mandie.net” back when I was in college and hadn’t been using it for much other than a vanity email address, so now it points to my blog, where it is being used for vanity publishing.

ActiveRoles Server is still an important part of my company’s user and groups management, and our Lync automation ties into to, so I will continue to write about it occasionally. If you want to read something that still is mostly about ActiveRoles Server, check out a fellow Dell/Quest ARS forum regular’s blog: http://clan8blog.wordpress.com. An “Active Directory engineer at a large hedge fund in the city (London)”, he mostly writes about automating AD administration with PowerShell and ActiveRoles Server. Lately, his posts have been getting deeper into PowerShell.

As for Mandie’s Memos, Lync is the current focus, with a heaping side of PowerShell. I will keep all the old stuff about Exchange, Active Directory and ActiveRoles Server around, because people hit those pages via Google all the time – it must be helping someone, and that’s what this is all about (that and me writing things down for when I’ll later forget them). I’ll also keep the old domain name for awhile, at least until it looks like Google and Bing have figured out that I’ve moved.

Windows Fabric Gone Wild!

Amanda Debler:

Does anyone know WHY Windows Fabric would generate logs like mad? Our Lync Front End servers have about 10 of these per DAY right now. I’ve not turned off the logging or changed it to circular as I want to have the logs on hand to send Microsoft if needed – instead, I’m moving them over to an empty volume with this script running as a scheduled task each night.

if (-not (Test-Path "E:\Windows Fabric Traces")) {
	New-Item -ItemType Directory -Name "E:\Windows Fabric Traces"
}
$fabrictraces = Get-ChildItem "c:\ProgramData\Windows Fabric\Fabric\log\Traces" | where { $_.name -like "fabric_traces_*"} | sort -Descending LastWriteTime
#skip the first two - one of them is the trace file in use, the other is the most recently full one
for ($i=2; $i -lt $($fabrictraces.count); $i++) { $fabrictraces[$i] | Move-Item -Destination "E:\Windows Fabric Traces\" }

$leasetraces = Get-ChildItem "c:\ProgramData\Windows Fabric\Fabric\log\Traces" | where { $_.name -like "lease_traces_*"} | sort -Descending LastWriteTime
for ($i=2; $i -lt $($leasetraces.count); $i++) { $leasetraces[$i] | Move-Item -Destination "E:\Windows Fabric Traces\" }

However, this is only treating the symptoms, not the cause, so the search continues…

Originally posted on Thoughts From a Bot Named Flinch:

CrashHow’s that for the title of a blog article! Apparently I’ve been reading too much Huffington Post or something. For the record, I never read that website. I have standards, as low as they may be.

So back to the title and the point of this post. Are there actually hidden log files that could cause some unintended problems with your Lync 2013 environment? Absolutely. I am assuming you are already aware that IIS logs could fill up your local hard drive. It is also a good idea to keep an eye on the trace files created by OCS Logger and Snooper.

However, there are some hidden logfiles that are created by Windows Fabric that could very much fill up your hard drive and it would be a decent challenge to find them. If you are unaware, Lync 2013 sits on top of a technology called Windows Fabric. For a…

View original 381 more words

Lync Phone Edition PIN Authentication and Cisco ACE Load Balancer – It’s About the Certificate Chain Group

This is truly the article I would have LOVED to have found when we first got the DHCP settings in for our Lync Phone Edition devices and other Lync phones, and were going crazy trying to figure out why the LPE devices were fine right after being tethered to a PC, but were not if someone logged in and out of them while disconnected and after rebooting. And that I sort of promised to write when I was raving about a certain switch.

The symptoms: Test-CsPhoneBootstrap works flawlessly. Other Lync phones can log on with extension and PIN. Your Lync Phone Edition device (in our case, the Polycom CX3000) will cheerfully log on with the extension and PIN if you’ve logged it in tethered to a PC via the PC’s Lync client first, but gives you “An account matching this phone number cannot be found. Please contact your support team” after a very quick flash of another error, “Account used is not authorized, please contact your support team” for the very same extension and PIN if you’ve logged out of the device and powered it down. I did what another admin did, taking a video on my phone, then replaying it really slowly – the time from entering the PIN to getting the final failure message was less than 4 seconds, and that was necessary to see the first failure message that briefly flashed on the screen.

Continue reading

Comparing Lync Policies – or How to Flip Just About Any Array of Hashtables in PowerShell

If you are reading this blog and can read German, I don’t need to tell you about msxfaq.de, former Exchange and now Lync MVP Frank Carius’ online (but not very alphabetical) encyclopedia of Exchange and Lync – it probably gets more page views in a day than this blog ever has. Even if you cannot read German, you have still probably run into it when searching for Exchange or Lync topics and then seriously wished you could read German – machine translation only goes so far.

Anyhow, one of the most helpful things he’s put out there and that I use all the time is a Swap-Table script. I wasn’t able to turn it up with “flip table in PowerShell” or “pivot PowerShell table” or any of several variations, so this is a little attempt to make that wonderful file findable for the English-speaking world. Scroll to the bottom and look for the “Code” section. You can make it a function in your PowerShell profile by putting the contents of that text file inside the curly braces {} of the following (code not posted here because plagiarism is evil):

function Swap-Table {
# contents of swap-table.1.0.ps1 go here

}

It has been particularly useful for comparing ClientPolicies and ConferencingPolicies in Lync, as ClientPolicy has over 70 attributes! Once you have the function in your session and you’re connected to Lync Management Shell, it works like this:

Get-CsClientPolicy | Swap-Table | Out-GridView

Deploying Deskphones for Lync? You Want This Switch!

Test-CsPhoneBootstrap said that we were doing the right thing. Jeff Schertz’s guide to configuring Lync for Lync Phone Edition devices said that we were doing the right thing. Elan Shudnow’s post about Cisco switches and PIN authentication said we were doing the right thing.

But our Lync Phone Edition devices just were NOT authenticating.

One of my network guys mirrored one of the wall ports for me, and I alternated between the happily-authenticating AudioCodes 420HD and the stubborn Polycom CX3000, capturing WireShark traces I could barely read (I’ve since gotten to know the handshake process those LPE devices need way better than I ever wanted to). But what a pain.

msxfaq.de, long-time Exchange and now Lync MVP Frank Carius’ mostly-German variety shop of Lync and Exchange experience to the rescue – most specifically, his page on port mirroring. He recommends the NetGear ProSafe Plus series, the least expensive of which is the 5-port, non-PoE (Power over Ethernet) version, the GS105E. If you can read German, he explains several other options, along with exploring how you might connect to it without using Adobe AIR (and Windows) and some possible security implications of it having a default, hardcoded password to a web interface (theoretically, someone could break in and set up mirroring). If you can’t read German, it’s still good for screenshots of how to set up the port mirroring on the ProSafe Plus switches.

I, on the other hand, found the GS108PE, with 4 PoE ports and 4 regular ones to be the right balance between cost and convenience. This means up to four phones plugged in at once, and without power adapters. The non-PoE (and less expensive) versions will require you to use the phones’ power adapters. Later, if you want VLANs, VLANs you can have.

Port Mirroring Screenshot

Port Mirroring made easy – too bad about the Adobe AIR interface…

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PowerShell Summit Europe 2014 – Registration Ends September 10!

PowerShell, in my not quite humble opinion, is the best thing Microsoft has done in the past decade, with the second best being Lync. It is mere coincidence that my professional life currently revolves around both.

So, if you are a cheap flight away from Amsterdam, you have until September 10 to join several PowerShell legends like Jeffrey Snover, Don Jones, Richard Siddaway, Tobias Weltner and Steve Murawski, as well as about 60 regular PowerShell enthusiasts like me for three intense days at a price far lower than a regular Microsoft course at some random training center.

The summit starts September 29 (Monday) and goes through October 1, with most people arriving (and hanging out) Sunday evening.

Registration and more summit info: http://powershell.org/wp/community-events/summit/

 

August 2014 Lync Server 2013 CU Solves Address Book Delta Issue… Eventually.

The Address Book delta issue that we and so many other large Lync environments have experienced is resolved by the Lync Server 2013 Cumulative update for August 2014 – about 30 days after the update is installed. So, patience, Grasshoppers.

What should have been the early July 2014 Lync Server 2013 Cumulative Update became the mid August 2014 update, but we’re not complaining – it beats the early July update followed closely by the August update to fix the damage done by the July update!

Installing the Cumulative Update – and Waiting

First, a warning passed on to me by the MS Support engineer who handled our original incident: after you connect to each of your Lync Front End servers and before you install this update, make sure that Event Viewer and Performance Monitor are not open. To be safe, close all MMC windows, including the “Server Manager” one that comes up by default when you log on to Windows Server 2008 or 2012. If you’ve read the release notes (which you should have!), you’d have seen this, but I’m stating it again, as the MS Support engineer thought it important enough to contact me directly.

Our installation of the update went smoothly, taking less than half an hour per server, including the time to stop all Lync services before and for them to start again after. We only had one server out at a time; the pool was still running.

Now, back to the whole “eventually” part. You will not see a “good” delta the first day you run an address book update, no matter how many times you enter “Update-CsAddressBook”. Continue reading