Author: Gonzalo Escarrá

Skype for Business Server 2015 is OUT!

Today Microsoft released the next version of Lync Server 2013, called Skype for Business Server 2015.

Over the next few days i will be going through the process of performing an in-place upgrade from Lync 2013, and a greenfield installation on a new domain with no Lync infrastructure.

Here’s a sneak peek:

2015-05-01 12_28_30

2015-05-01 12_29_47

See you at Microsoft Ignite!

The Microsoft Ignite conference for 2015 is kicking off next week starting May 4th, and that can’t come soon enough. I’ll attend mostly Skype for Business and Exchange vNext sessions. If you’re going to the conference, see you there!

Skype for Business Release Announcement

The million dollar question (at least in my team). When will Skype for Business be released? Well… Microsoft announced today that the bits for Skype for Business client, server and online services will be released in April. That’s next month!

Also, the technical preview of the Skype for Business client is starting today.


2015-03-16 09_56_47

Enabling Flow Control on FreeNAS

My switch kept complaining about the links to my FreeNAS SAN not supporting Flow Control. To enable it, edit the interface options in FreeNAS and ass mediaopt flowcontrol then save. Flow Control (and Jumbo Frames) is pretty important for iSCSI workloads to avoid dropped frames and uneven traffic.

2015-02-26 15_23_31

Music on Hold issue with AudioCodes and VVX

After a few hours of headscratching and a support ticket with AudioCodes I’ve resolved an issue that VVX phones have with Music on Hold through an AudioCodes gateway. All VVX phones are running UC firmware, and someone else out there is having the exact same issue, but turns out the suggested fix of using voIpProt.SIP.useSendonlyHold=”0″ does not actually work in the 5.2 firmware.

For a bit of background, what’s happening is the VVX sends a=sendonly in the SDP when a call gets put on hold, but Lync clients send a=inactive. The AudioCodes will play MOH when a=inactive is in the SDP, but not with sendonly, and there is only one behavior that can be configured.

2015-01-21 13_18_09

Setting the SendonlyHold flag in the config files did not make a difference, and the VVX’s were still sending the undesired SDP parameter, so the fix was to use a message manipulation rule on the AudioCodes to change it.

Going to VoIP > SIP Definitions > Msg Policy & Manipulation > Message Manipulations then creating the following is the first step:

2015-01-21 13_12_00

  • Manipulation Name: VVX Hold
  • Manipulation Set ID: 1
  • Message Type: reinvite.request
  • Condition: param.message.sdp.rtpmode==’sendonly’
  • Action Subject: param.message.sdp.rtpmode
  • Action Type: Modify
  • Action Value: ‘inactive’

Then if you’re using SBC, you’ll need to apply the Manipulation Rule to the IP Group and call it a day… But in my case I’m using GW as the setup is from Lync to a PRI, and I could not associate the rule to the IP group for Lync. This was the difficult part because nothing I did applied that manipulation rule to Lync… then Janiel from AudioCodes came to the rescue with instructions:

Open the INI parameters from the Admin Page (http://x.x.x.x/AdminPage), then enter GWINBOUNDMANIPULATIONSET with a value of 1 (or whichever Set ID you used for your Manipulation rule)

2015-01-21 13_16_19

Once this was done, all reinvites back from Mediation with a=sendonly (call on hold) get translated to a=inactive and the gateway queues Kenny G or AC/DC. We can confirm the rule is applied and the RTP mode gets changed.

2015-01-21 13_22_31




October 2014 update for Lync for Mac 2011 14.0.10

Grab it here:

Biggest changes are Call/Conversation History, Media Resiliency (automatic reconnection) and OS X Yosemite support.

  • Update enables users to view call history in Lync for Mac 2011
  • Update for Lync for Mac 2011 enables users to store conversation history on an Exchange server
  • Location is not displayed in Lync for Mac 2011 when users join a wireless network
  • Error “One or more selected contacts cannot receive your calls” when you forward calls in Lync for Mac 2011
  • Delegation relationship is broken after a delegate signs in to Lync for Mac 2011
  • Computer shutdown is not processed when Lync for Mac 2011 is running
  • Update implements media resiliency mode in Lync for Mac 2011
  • Dial pad disappears when a user who is not enabled for EV joins a video conference or a video call in Lync for Mac 2011
  • Update enables users to interact with a contact from the call history in Lync for Mac 2011

Lync Quality of Service (QoS) with Sophos UTM

Since version 8.2, when Sophos UTM was called Astaro Security Gateway, the firewall distribution has the ability to filter by application instead of just ports, making it what marketing loves to call a “next-generation firewall”. Sophos calls this Application Control, Palo Alto Networks calls this App-ID, and other vendors have different names for it, but the underlying technology is similar to how an IDS would detect attacks by using signatures. In simple terms, the firewall identifies traffic based on application signatures and takes actions based on that.

The neat thing with Sophos UTM is that you can leverage this Application Control to select traffic and give it priority or throttle down the speed. When using Lync, it’s important to prioritize your media traffic at the edge so calls and sharing for external users or federated users gets the bandwidth it needs. Or perhaps you use Sophos UTM at home (because why not? it’s free), and want to make sure your calls get the right amount of bandwidth. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Set your interface bandwidths properly and turn on QoS on each. You can leave Automatic QoS checked (it’ll use WRED to balance your traffic nicely).
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  2. Create a Traffic Selector by going to Interfaces & Routing > Quality of Service (QoS) > Traffic Selectors > New Traffic Selector.
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  3. Pick the selector type as Application Selector, with source Any, destination Any, and browse for the Lync application objects. Note there are many, and we’re interested in the real time audio/video ones. Pick them, then hit Apply, then save the Traffic Selector.
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  4. Next move to Bandwidth Pools, pick your external interface, and then New Bandwidth Pool.
  5. Pick a name for it, a “reserve” bandwidth, and then select your Traffic Selector created earlier. The bandwidth setting should be the maximum Lync will get if your upload is completely saturated. For example, if you’ve got a 10 megabit line, and reserve 2048 kilobits, then Lync will be guaranteed 2 megabits even when the connection is being used 100%.
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  6. Save the rule and then turn it on.

You can also create the same rule on the inside interfaces to make sure your traffic gets priority on the way back as well. Note that you can really only control how you send packets, not how you receive them.

Hope this is helpful! Feel free to drop a comment!

AudioCodes hanging up UM call mid-voicemail

When integrating an AudioCodes gateway with Microsoft Exchange Unified Messaging, you may see an issue where the call is terminated while someone is leaving a voicemail longer than 30 seconds. This is because the gateway assumes the connection is broken the moment you start speaking, since UM is no longer sending RTP packets or silence suppression codes.

The solution is to turn of the Disconnect on Broken Connection on the IP profile used for your UM server within the AudioCodes gateway.

2014-09-17 09_03_51

August 2014 Lync Phone Edition Updates

Microsoft released updates to Lync Phone Edition devices yesterday, including updates for devices like the popular Polycom CX600 and CX3000 that we use around the office.

An item worth mentioning is an update that enables non-EV or non-UC users to sign-in to Lync Phone Edition devices, and still use them for PC-to-PC calls, detailed here.

Here’s the download (for CX series devices): If you have other devices like Aastra or HP, there are other downloads out there.


LDWin: LLDP “Reader” for Windows

Useful little utility if you’re probing network ports to find out where you’re plugged in. This reads Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) or Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) packets coming in the interface you pick, and displays it all. Sure beats filtering Wireshark packets!