Mino – The UC Guy

Microsoft Unified Communications Blog

Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

PreCallDiagnostic Tool

Posted by Mino on September 21, 2009

The PreCallDiagTool is an application that reports expected audio quality as it relates to the network effect. The tool should be installed on any desktop or laptop PC that suffers from inconsistent network connection quality. The PreCallDiagTool can provide a quick check of the current network conditions and also preserve a history of quality data to let users profile their network performance over time or other conditions. The tool is particularly useful for home/mobile users and users using WIFI access points.

The tool is available for download here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=f16ab4c2-353f-4c9b-b353-22a656c03c9b

Monitor

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Posted in communicator client, Mediation Server, Miscellaneous, OCS 2007 R2, OCS Tools Kit, Phone Edition | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Address Book Download Issue (Vista Only)

Posted by Mino on July 6, 2009

This is a case I have faced right after the MVP award thing; it proves one thing to me.  You will always learn till the last minute of your life whether you are a Ranger or MVP or even one of the product team themselves. 

Ok here is the case; I have a Pilot on Isolated Environment where I have deployed 3 machines (AD+ CA+ Exchange, OCS Front End, OCS Mediation) And the users are on another production environment and they are planning to test the OC locally from their computers joined to the Production domain not the pilot one.

I have everything configured fine, hosts file edited correctly, Certificate Chain imported and Communicator is able to login correctly with no Problem. All of a Sudden all Vista machines are not able to download address book or to retrieve outlook free /busy information. However XP machines are working smoothly with no Problem

OK….then we think logic , what is common between Address Book and Exchange Free/ Busy?  Both are Web Services retrieved through HTTPS, so it has to be IE problem.

After some Googleing I found the solution on the UC No Evil blog as he describes details of troubleshooting steps he did and in the end it appeared to be the IE setting of Check for sever certificate revocation along with Disabling Windows Vista User Access Control

Below Are the Detailed Steps as described on the Blog:

  1. Make sure this symptom is the same on all of your Vista clients.
  2. Flush DNS by using ipconfig /flushdns on the client.
  3. Verify within IE that ‘Check for server certificate revocation* is disabled.  To do this go to IE > Advanced > Security section > Check for sever certificate revocation*.   Deselect the check box.
  4. Now  close Internet Explorer, close Communicator (Completely — sign-out and close application)
  5. Start Communicator| Sign in
  6. If you’re not presented with an error or the warning stating an issue accessing the Address Book, go to the %userprofile%\Local Settings\Application data\Microsoft\Communicator and verify that a GalContacts.db file exists.  If it does exist, GREAT! You’re done.   If not then continue with the rest of the procedure.
  7. Within IE add the Address Book URL that users will download the AB files.  IE > Internet Options > Security > Trusted Sites > Add the URL to trusted sites (ex.  https://ocsfrontend.company.com)
  8. Repeat steps 4-6
  9. If you still cannot download the address book try, move to step 10.
  10. Verify that User Access Control is off and then repeat steps 4-6.

Also some good technical details for the issue are available here on Microsoft Forums

Posted in Certificates, Common Errors, communicator client, Front End Server, Good Articles take from Other Blogs, Miscellaneous, OCS 2007 R2 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

OCS 2007 R2 Server Loses network connection on Server Startup

Posted by Mino on May 13, 2009

As strange as this might sound to you but this is the latest case I have faced which in the end appeared to be a known bug and Microsoft Premiere Support were able to solve it after 3 weeks of investigation

Setup

So you have OCS 2007 R2 implemented over Windows 2008 and the Backend is placed on SQL 2008 on windows 2008 server. The below roles are all implemented on windows 2008:

  • Front End 1
  • Front End 2
  • Mediation
  • Consolidated Edge not joined to the domain

Problem:

When you restart any OCS server you cannot remote access to that server again, the Ping over the server is lost and when you go and check the server you find the network is disconnected.

If you went through all of the OCS Server services you will find them all are in the mood of starting and it will take it like 10 minutes then it will fail to start .

If you set these OCS Services to manual start rather than Automatic then reboot. You will find that the server is functioning normally.

This is really a very strange problem and I never faced it before as I have already implemented the OCS on 2008 but I still up to this moment don’t know the symptoms that causes this problem to happen.

Solution:

– Set startup type for wmiApSrv to automatic

– Add dependency on RtcSrv to wmiApSrv

– Set startup type for RtcSrv to automatic

– Reboot

– RtcSrv is starting and running

– Set startup type for all Rtc* services to automatic

– Reboot

– All Rtc* services starting and running

 

To set the RTCSrv service dependency you can use the registry to modify the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RtcSrv and modify the DependOnService to include the wmiApSrv.

Posted in Consolidated Edge, Edge Server, Front End Server, Miscellaneous, OCS 2007 Components, OCS 2007 R2, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

CISCO or MICROSOFT

Posted by Mino on March 4, 2009

Any Post starting with this disclaimer means that this post was not written by me however I have liked it and added to my blog. I will also include the link to the original or Similar post to provide credit to the original author.

https://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/mcgillen_matt/Pages/Post.aspx?_ID=60

There’s a showdown brewing between Microsoft and Cisco in the UC space. Both companies offer a lot of different products, some overlap and some don’t. I made a chart below to show where the products that do overlap stack up.

If you believe that the future is based on a software-powered universe, you’d have to put your money on Microsoft

Feature  Cisco Product  Microsoft Product 
Telephony / Call Control  Unified Communications Mgr.  OCS 2007 R2 
A/V Conferencing  MeetingPlace / MeetingPlace Express
Web Conferencing  WebEx / MeetingPlace
Presence / IM  Cisco Unified Presences (CUPS) 
IVR / Speech Applications  Cisco IPIVR / IPCCX
Softphone  IP Communicator 
Video Calling  Unified Voice (formerly VT Advantage)
Voice Mail  Unity / Unity Connections  Exchange 2007 

One of the other major things MS has going for them is price. It’s not fair to Cisco to tally up all the licenses in the table above and compare it to an OCS ECAL per user, although that’s how you had to buy those products until recently. They’ve taken another cue from MS and unified the licensing.

Cisco have changed the licensing structure so customers can buy the above products in a unified bundle (CUWL) per user, so the pricing is much easier to swallow. Here’s how this breaks down:

Features  Cisco CUWL Pricing  Microsoft ECAL Pricing 
Voice, Presence, AV, Etc 

$425  

$204 

VoiceMail 

– 

$36 

Required Maintenance*

$125 

– 

Total (MSRP)

$550 

$240 

*CUWL requires 3 years of maintenance @ $125 a year

This is all list price and subject to great variance

Posted in 1-What is UC, Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

OCS R2 Updates about the Firewall Requirements for External User Access

Posted by Mino on February 25, 2009

One of the main topics that has been giving me hard times when communicating with a firewall System Admin would be why would the OCS AV Edge Server need a Publicely routable IP , and how secure it is to open 10,000 ports  ( 50,000 – 59,999 ) TCP/UDP ?

usually we used to get Microsoft articles and explain more about the STUN protocol and why It cant work behind NAT and then how to secure the Edge .

But now with the R2 I have good good news for the Firewall Admin team  :

1- If you are implementing a Single Consolidated Edge Server then you can work with NAT IP rather than the publicely routable real IP which was required before . Only Only if this is a Single consolidated Edge

2- the 50,000 – 59,999 UDP/TCP ports which are required to be open , are only required if you are planning to have fedration with other orginizations . if there is no fedration in your plan then no need to open these ports .

I hope you are happy now Firewall Admin team  J

Firewall Requirements for External User Access

 

 Publicly Routable IP Address

In any location with multiple Edge Servers deployed behind a load balancer, the external firewall cannot function as a network address translation (NAT). However, in a site with only a single Edge Server deployed, the external firewall can be configured as a NAT.

If you do so, configure the NAT as a destination network address translation (DNAT) for inbound traffic—in other words, configure any firewall filter used for traffic from the Internet to the Edge Server with DNAT, and configure any firewall filter for traffic going from the Edge Server to the Internet (outbound traffic) as a source network address translation (SNAT). The inbound and outbound filters must map to the same public IP address and the same private IP address, as shown in the figure below.

The A/V Edge Service requires the port range from 50,000 through 59,999 to be open only for the sharing of audio/video with federated organizations.

  • If you will be federating with organizations that run Office Communications Server 2007 and earlier, you must open this port range for both RTP/TCP and RTP/UDP, and for both inbound and outbound connections.
  • If you will be federating only with organizations that run Office Communications Server 2007 R2, you need only to open this port range for RTP/TCP, only for outbound connections.
  • Otherwise, if you will not be sharing audio/video over a federated relationship, you can close this port range.

  dd441361_6b3a5ede-4253-4874-b096-2e969bf52626en-usoffice_131

Source : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd441361(office.13).aspx

Posted in A/V Edge Server, Common Errors, Consolidated Edge, Edge Server, Miscellaneous, OCS 2007 R2 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Plantronics Strengthens Unified Communications Portfolio With Its First Phone Handset Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

Posted by Mino on February 5, 2009

New Wideband Handset Eases Unified Communications Adoption by Providing a Familiar Option to Professionals

tn-501514_audio1100m_jpeg

.Audio 1100M USB Handset Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator

SANTA CRUZ, CA–(Marketwire – February 3, 2009) – Plantronics, Inc. (NYSE: PLT) today expanded its growing portfolio of Unified Communication products Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator with the new wideband .Audio™ 1100M USB phone handset. Plantronics’ unified communication product portfolio also includes corded and wireless headsets, giving IT purchasers a broad selection of PC audio products as they deploy Microsoft Office Communicator 2007.

The Plantronics .Audio 1100M USB phone handset is optimized for Office Communicator 2007 to provide the functionality of a familiar phone interface for business users adopting PC telephony. The .Audio 1100M features a standard, 10-key dial pad combined with call-answer and call-end keys, a visual ring indicator, a speakerphone activation key and ringer volume control. A headset jack is also available on the handset for users who want a hands-free option.

The Plantronics MCD 100 USB speakerphone, also announced today, is an option for those conducting group conference calls via Office Communicator 2007. It provides 360-degree room coverage so more than one person can participate in a PC-based audio conference. To achieve call clarity, the MCD 100 includes acoustic echo cancellation, noise suppression and equalizer algorithms embedded within the product.

 Pricing and Availability

All Optimized for Microsoft Office Communicator Plantronics products are now available and may be purchased through authorized Plantronics resellers. The .Audio 1100M, a USB phone handset, has an MSRP of $79.00. The MCD 100, a USB speakerphone, has an MSRP of $179.00. Announced in September 2008, the .Audio 630M, a multi-purpose binaural headset featuring stereo, has an MSRP of $49.95. The .Audio 615M, a monaural headset, has an MSRP of $44.95. The SupraPlus Wideband USB monaural noise canceling headset has a MSRP of $169.00.

Posted in Miscellaneous, Phone Edition | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Microsoft UC Virtual Technology Solutions Professional ( TSP )

Posted by Mino on February 4, 2009

CONGRATULATIONS

Today We have Passed Microsoft assessment and Became officially UC Voice Partner  to be listed on Microsoft website http://www.microsoft.com/uc/partners/voice.mspx

Yes Officially on Microsoft UC Page along with Nortel , Siemens ,Gold System and other Big Boys

We are also officially now part of highest UC technical program, Microsoft Technical Adoption Program (TAP).

More Info here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/isv/bb190413.aspx

Also our team has been selected by name from Microsoft MEA to become some of few virtual resources within the Microsoft Virtual Technology Solutions Professional (TSP), to deliver on the same level of quality on critical workloads within the MEA region.

Special thanks for Katherine Green and Keith Hanna from Microsoft for their time and support

Let Everyone Know …They are playing with the Big Boys now

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Hoh Hoh Hoooo — we are back

Posted by Mino on January 4, 2009

I missed you all , i know i didnt write anything for the last month and simply i was on vacation .

but i am back now and all excited to tell you many many things about OCS R2 which i am curuntly testing in our LAB in LINK Development.

you will see lots of snapshots and many many How to stuff with the tips and tricks .

yes I have R2 source and it is really full of new stuff , sit back with your seatbelt because I am gonna take you for a real OCS Roller Coaster.

 

please feel free to send me any questions or comments about any problems you are facing, i will be very happy to help you .

C U 🙂

Posted in Miscellaneous | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »