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Before yesterdayAaron Tiensivu's Blog

Lync 2010 Technology Adoption Program (TAP) award

Sometimes there are pleasant surprises in the mail.

Yesterday, I received this in the mail:

It was pretty neat to deploy early and offer feedback that could potentially change the end result.

Lync 2010 hotfixes cumulative update - January 2011 (CU1)

Client side updates
Lync Attendee (system-level install) - KB 2467760 - download
Lync Attendee (user-level install) - KB 2467762 - download
Lync 2010 (Communicator) - KB 2467763 - download x86 / download x64
Group Chat - KB 2467765 - download

Server side updates
Lync Server 2010 - KB 2493736 - download
Group Chat Admin - KB 2467764 - download

Holiday lights changing color based on Lync / Communicator 2010 presence

Very cool proof of concept / festive geek-out project. Take advantage of the Lync 2010 SDK, Micro .NET Framework and some parts to make the holiday lights change color based on Communicator 2010 / Lync presence information.

Watch the video here and get the background information about the setup on the forum located here.

Thanks to @DrRez for posting this very cool use of technology on Twitter.

Reminds me of some of the projects over at Hack-a-Day.

Update: I guess I should check my RSS feeds more often - this was posted on Hack-A-Day this morning before I ever posted this entry. Oh well! :-)

Outlook 2007 Cumulative Update to support Exchange 2010 RTM/SP1 archive mailboxes now available!

The wait is over and native support for Exchange 2010 RTM/SP1's archive mailbox inside Outlook 2007 is here!

Hopefully, you'll soon be able to download the binaries for the December 2010 cumulative update from this link.

Notable limitations about the Outlook update:
1. Working with Archive policies
2. Independent searches of the archive and the primary mailbox

The following Office editions are supported for archival support with this update:
Office Ultimate (retail), ProPlus (volume license), Office Enterprise (volume license), and Outlook Standalone (retail/volume license)

Thanks for the announcement, Ankur Kothari!

Update: You can request the binaries from this link here. It looks like the KB release notes have not hit the web caches yet but you'll be able to view the release notes for the Outlook portion here.

Update 2 - 12/20/2010: Sounds like there are some known issues with this update so I would hold off using it for now. You can read more about the issues here.

OCS 2007 R2 CU7 released

Apparently the updated binaries from the last release were just an update/fix for CU6's RGS problem. What I originally called CU7 was actually something along the lines of CU6a.

This time around though, is the real Cumulative Update 7.

Server side:
OCS 2007 R2 CU7 - KB 968802 - download
XMPP Gateway CU7 - KB 2404570 - download

Client side:
Communicator 2007 R2 CU7 - KB 2291452 - download
Communicator Phone Edition 2007 R2 CU7 - KB 2466291 - download
LiveMeeting 2007 - November 2010 update - KB 2433231 - download
Conferencing Add-In for Outlook - November 2010 update - KB 2433228 - download

There are many Lync-specific fixes so if you are planning on deploying Lync and will have a coexistence period, I would install these on your OCS 2007 R2 server setup before installing Lync. This is only a personal opinion but it looks like it would avoid some known gotchas.

The phone edition reports 6907.222 instead of 6907.221 like the rest of the updated components. I suspect it was a last minute bug fix/issue check-in after the other builds.

Thank to Richard for pointing out there were new updates for Live Meeting and the Conferencing Add-in.

Verizon Novatel USB 760 EVDO Reg A 3G firmware upgrade eliminates the dreaded coma issue

Although it wasn't funny at the time, my original Verizon Novatel USB 720 adapter was stolen by raccoons that raided our chicken coop where the home wireless setup lived. They killed all the chickens but they also took the 3G modem because it had blinking lights.

That back story might seem extraneous but it relates to this blog entry. The replacement 3G adapter was a Novatel 760. The 720 never locked up. The 760 would about once a week or once a month depending on usage.

The telltale signs were a solid light on and even powering off the unit through the VZW software would not work. I eventually just got used to unplugging it and plugging it back in after a while. It effectively would go into a coma on any computer it was used on.

Recently, there were 2 firmware updates released inside of the VZW access software. You can grab the latest software and firmware update from here.

USB 760 firmware

With the new firmware, I can no longer make the device lock up and it seems to have better receive sensitivity. Either way, I recommend anyone using this device to perform the firmware update.

Quest Groupwise migration to Exchange 2010 SP1 requires elevated throttling

If you are migrating mailboxes from Groupwise to on-premise Exchange 2010 SP1, you will want to setup a throttling policy on Exchange 2010 SP1 that is almost identical to the typical throttling settings used for Blackberry and/or Cisco Unity.

I typically recommend not setting any of the throttling values to unlimited. This is a bit more restrictive than the suggestions made by the Blackberry and/or Cisco Unity settings.

The most important throttling value we need to increase for Quest's Groupwise Migrator is the RCAPercentTimeInAD. The telltale sign are throttling event logs on the Exchange server and see-saw network/cpu usage on the migration workstation. The Address Book service seems to receive quite a bit of traffic from the Groupwise migration tools due to user account look ups.

On most of my migrations, I ended up using a value of 200 for RCAPercentTimeInAD. I have yet to encounter a server that required value higher than 200.

Thankfully, you can apply this new policy on the user account that acts as the go-between Exchange and Groupwise. Typically, it is called something like GWMigrate.

Additionally, you can also apply this new policy on the migration workstation's computer account. Typically, it is called something like GWMigrateServer.

Using that server name and user name as an example, this is what you would execute with Powershell on the Exchange server:

New-ThrottlingPolicy "Groupwise Throttling Policy" -RCAPercentTimeInAD 200

$b = Get-ThrottlingPolicy "Groupwise Throttling Policy";
Set-Mailbox GWMigrateServer$ -ThrottlingPolicy $b;
Set-Mailbox GWMigrate -ThrottlingPolicy $b;

After setting those values, you will need to stop and restart the Exchange Throttling services for the updated settings to take effect.

Using Outlook 2010 with Communicator 2007 R1 - avoiding Outlook integration errors

Although not listed as a fix in the May 2010 Communicator 2007 R1 update (KB 974599), it does seem to solve the Outlook integration/MAPI errors that occur when used with Outlook 2010.

This update brings the Communicator 2007 R1 client up to build 2.0.6362.189.

I am guessing this is probably one of the last updates that will come out for Communicator 2007 R1, unless there is security fix that needs to be addressed.

If you are by chance still using build 2.0.6362.0 (OCS 2007 R1 RTM), I would highly suggest upgrading your desktop clients to use this version.

The best course of action, of course, is to go straight to Lync 2010, but I am quite biased on this, I must admit. :-)

OCS 2007 R1 and OCS 2007 R2 in environment cannot upgrade to Lync

Many organizations have OCS 2007 R2 servers installed and one lone OCS 2007 R1 CWA server installed, specifically for the Blackberry client support that relies on APIs that are only available on OCS 2007 R1's CWA server.

This typically isn't a problem until you are upgrading to Lync.

If you have all OCS 2007 R1 servers in your environment, you're fine.
If you have all OCS 2007 R2 servers in your environment, you're fine.

The deployment blocker is a mixed OCS 2007 R1 and OCS 2007 R2 environment.

BlackBerry has promised an OCS 2007 R2 CWA compatible version for a few years now but I have yet to see it materialize.

The easiest workaround, which I haven't tried yet due to lack of time and lack of a lab environment with OCS 2007 R1 CWA, is to remove the R1 CWA server, install Lync, and then re-introduce the R1 CWA server into the environment. I'd be curious to hear if people have been able to do this or not.

The other noteworthy item, which is much like the limitation of newer Exchange versions, is to make sure to install OCS 2007 R1/OCS 2007 R2 servers into your environment before installing Lync, if you ever want or need to use OCS 2007 R1/R2 servers in your environment.

Lync launch day - an interesting look at Lync online meetings

Lync 2010 launched today and with it a flurry of activity and press. It is an exciting piece of software, and my MVP award now changes name from "Communications Server" to "Lync".

As an example of some of the subtle integration that occurs with Lync, I'll show you two screenshots.

Regular meeting
Regular Meeting

Lync-a-fied meeting
Online Meeting

Subtle difference but very convenient.

I'm pressed for time but I will be posting a few Lync in-depth entries in the coming weeks.

Bad Zelda joke: Does this mean OCS 2007 R2 is a Lync to the Past?