Persistent Group Chat appears broken after udate

After updating the Skype for Business Persistent Group Chat server I noticed that the Skype client would give me an error message:

Broken pchat

Old messages would not load, and trying to enter new ones would simply time out.

Suspecting a back-end connection error (not able to retrieve messages from DB) I ran the Test-CsDatabase -DatabaseType PersistentChat cmdlet, but it completed with success.

Looking into Event Viewer on the Persistent Chat server showed no errors.

A quick search online gave few results, but this blog post had some similarities. Going with the suggestion that this might simply be client related I restarted the client- and voilá, it started working again! The client had been running during server update and probably just needed a kick in the “behind”.

 

Speeding up Invoke-CsComputerFailover

As of Skype for Business server 2015 there is a new cmdlet for the update process if you are running a 3+ server pool, named Invoke-CsComputerFailover, which differs from previous versions. This cmdlet makes sure all services are drained before they are stopped, much like the older cmdlet Stop-CsWindowsService -Graceful. But where the Stop-cmdlet actually would time out if a service would’t drain, say an ongoing conference was hosted on the server, the new cmdlet will keep on forever (or at least an hour, by default).

But what if you are on a clock, maybe a maintenance window closing in?

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Latest Skype for Business iOS client is not “foreign friendly” [LOCID]

I just got a new iPhone 6s and upon activating it I noticed the (Skype for) “Business” app being updated (v6.0.1447, released October 22nd).

When I logged in to Skype on the phone I noticed the UI being quite “funny”.

LOCID tag

At first I thought that the “LOCID” had some reference to my account being “local” or on-premise (not Office365). But even after logging in several status tags also had text like “LOC ID unavailable” or “LOC ID missed call”. I realized that this had to be reflecting some app code tag where my locale / location (language) settings were not being recognized by the app. So I tried to change the language settings to English.

Language preference

And voilá! Seems like “Norwegian Bokmål” isn’t Microsoft’s preferred language after all, even though it is listed as one of the supported ones in App Store.

Correct language

I don’t know if there are other foreign languages (non-English) that are affected by this, and I expect the bug to be fixed shortly. A funny one, though!

Upgrading to Skype for Business – some experiences

This weekend I finally got to upgrade our Lync 2013 servers to Skype for Business. The delay has been intentional as we have awaited at least the first cumulative update to be announced. We rely heavily on Lync/Skype for Business in our daily operations (1,362 A/V conferences over the last week and more than 103,113 participant conference minutes in our 250 pax company), both for telephony and collaboration, so any service disruption is poorly welcomed. As we are running an Enterprise pool with three Front Ends and the Lync 2013->Skype for Business requires an In-place upgrade this means quite some downtime as well as the added complexity of an Enterprise solution.

In the upgrade process I experienced several things that others might benefit from – so I thought I’d share some thoughts here. Continue reading

Lync server KB3080353 breaks your mobile and web app clients

Keeping your servers up to date is essential, and not only the application server parts but the OS and others as well. The other day I went with a Windows Update that also included a Lync Server security update. After a short while I would get feedback from users no longer being able to use the mobile client, and later I also got reports on the Web App not working. Continue reading

Using Chromecast in your Cisco enterprise WLAN environment

Chromecast is an interesting product even for businesses, especially it’s screen casting function (although still listed as experimental) can be utilized to present your PC to an external monitor – reducing the need for the right cables or adapters in between.

In an enterprise environment, however, it can prove difficult to connect a device like the Chromecast to WiFi networks that require features like dot1x authentication. This was the case in my company and searching for answers led me to a deployment guide from Cisco, the vendor we use our wireless solution. Although relevant it did not completely solve my issue, so if you are struggling with the same problem just keep on reading.

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Using Lync phones with voice VLAN and dot1x

In a recent project I have been working on voice VLAN implementation and 802.1x (or dot1x) authentication in our Cisco switching infrastructure. There was little to nothing on the subject to be found online, so I thought I would share my experiences.

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