Skype for Business Server 2015 & .NET Framework 4.6.2 Compatibility

Hello Everyone!

As we know, the .NET 4.6.1 Framework, which was released in spring 2016, is not supported to be installed on a server running a Skype for Business 2015 server role. With the new S4B Server update this February it is supported to deal with .NET 4.6.2 on a Skype for Business Server. Unfortunately, this fact is not shown in the list of improvements and fixes and this means that at the moment the updated statement of the NextHop Team is the only source of this useful fact.

Also the Technet article about the server requirements regarding the support of Windows Server 2016 as operation system has not been updated.…

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Install Citrix XenServer 7 on Hyper-V

Hello everyone!

Over last years, I used to take Hyper-V for server virtualization of different kinds of Microsoft technologies like Windows Server with Lync / Skype for Business and SharePoint or Forefront products. I’m absolutely inexperienced with Citrix XenServer, so I thought to myself that I needed to get more practice with it and to get an better understanding of the capabilities. However, I didn’t want to switch my workstation from the familiar Hyper-V to XenServer and I didn’t have any physical server to install XenServer bare metal on it.

Hmm, so why not try to virtualize the new Citrix XenServer 7 with Hyper-V?…

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Office Online Server with Skype for Business – Deployment

Since May 4th, 2016 the Office Online Server (OOS) has been officially available (announced here). It’s the successor of the Office Web App Server and is used with Skype for Business Server 2015 for sharing PowerPoint presentations during meetings. The Office Online Server can also be used with Lync Server 2013.

Today I will talk about how to deploy Office Online Server for a Skype for Business Server 2015 environment. In this lab the Office Online Server will only be deployed for internal use.



You can download the Office Online Server from the Volume Licensing Service Center.…

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Install Ferrari electronic OfficeMaster Gate (virtual edition) – Part 1

Hello Everyone!

during the last few days, I had the job to implement the virtual edition of OfficeMaster Gate (short: “OMG”) by Ferrari electronic AG and I’m going to write about my impressions in a mini series of blog posts.

  • Part One: Overview and installation process


Facts about the OfficeMaster Gate VE

The OfficeMaster Gate is a Session Border Controller, which is qualified for Lync Server 2013 and can be deployed on Microsoft Hyper-V and vSphere/ESX(i) from VMware. Like virtual SBCs by other vendors, this device is made for pure IP environments – there are no physical interfaces like ISDN- or FXO/FXS-ports.…

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Quickie: Mainstream support for Lync 2010 ending soon

On April 12th the mainstream support for Microsoft Lync 2010 will end, it will then enter the extended support period. The exception is the Lync (2010) Phone Edition – because it is supported by Lync 2013 and Skype for Business, the mainstream and extended support period for the Phone Edition have been prolonged for 2 years.

The following table shows the support lifecycle periods for Lync 2010:

Product Lifecycle Start Date Mainstream Support End Date Extended Support End Date
Microsoft Lync 2010 01/25/2011 04/12/2016 4/13/2021
Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendant 01/25/2011 04/12/2016 4/13/2021
Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee 01/25/2011 04/12/2016 4/13/2021
Microsoft Lync 2010 Group Chat 01/25/2011 04/12/2016 4/13/2021
Microsoft Lync 2010 Phone Edition 01/25/2011 04/10/2018 04/11/2023

You can read about the Microsoft Support Lifecycle at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle .…

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Lync Front End Service (RTCSRV) won’t start

Hello everyone!

After not having that problem for a while, I’ve recently had some trouble with the Lync 2013 Front End service (RTCSRV) which was stuck on Starting… state. Interestingly, in my case this problem occured on a Lync 2013 Survivable Branch Server (SBS). Up until now I have only known this issue from Enterprise Front End Pools.

In order to resolve the issue, I started with checking the event log on the Lync 2013 SBS and I found the typical events which usually come along with this problem. I found some events (event ID 32173, ID 32174 and 30988) from the LS User Services plus some 32027 events from the LS Storage Service.…

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Skype for Business – Beta Exams available

Hello everyone!

The last Skype for Business Partner Connect Newsletter announced two upcoming Skype for Business exams.

Microsoft provides you an insight into these exams in form of a beta exam period from December 10th 2015 to January 31st 2016. You can take these exams at your preferred Pearson VUE testing center. Those who want to schedule the exams within the beta period will find two voucher codes in the Skype for Business Partner Connect Newsletter – December 2015.

Here are the Microsoft Learning websites to the new Skype for Business exams and an overview of  measured skills:

Of course, there are no official preparation guides available at the moment, so those who are interested must prepare by themselves.…

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Using SEFAUtil – Part 2 – Perform configuration using the tool

In part 1 of this series I covered the installation of SEFAUtil and how to get it to run. This part will focus on using the tool and what commands can look like.

This two part series of posts is all about SEFAUtil:

Available Switches

SEFAUtil comes with various switches, which allow you to get or make configurations for features like delegate ringing, call forwarding, etc. You can get a list of all available switches by starting the tool without typing a command.…

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Change friendly name of a X.509 certificate

Hello everyone!

During my last Office Web App Server deployment I was in a ‘complicated’ situation: The friendly name of the needed X.509 certificate wasn’t defined and so the creation of the new Office Web App Farm wasn’t possible.

TechNet describes the requirements for securing the Office Web App Server Farm (OWA) with HTTPS. OWA identifies its certificate by friendly name, therefore it must be defined and be unique. You can find the full article for planning and securing the deployment of the Office Web App Server Farm here.

I didn’t want to request a new certificate so I did a short research.…

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Lync 2013 exams are now available until November 2015

Hello everyone!

In the last MCP newsletter Microsoft announced the “deadline” to retire the Lync 2013 exams is moved to 30th November 2015. Only the Lync 2010 Exam “74-332 – Advanced Design and Deployment” is now retired for scheduling.


You can find an overview of all exams which are scheduled to be retired here.

I didn’t hear any news about possible exams for Skype for Business. Maybe there will be some information in the next months…


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Quickie: SefaUtil and Skype for Business Server 2015

This is just a short addition to my last post about SefaUtil.

At the moment there is no Resource Kit for Skype For Business Server. So for me this means the Lync 2013 ResKit should do the job until there is something new. Unfortunately SefaUtil from the Lync 2013 ResKit will not work properly with Skype for Business. SefaUtil requires UCMA 4.0, but Skype for Business uses UCMA 5.0.


There is a not supported workaround: Social Technet

I hope there will be a fix soon. It is rumored a fix will come with SfB CU1.



SEFAUtil is available for Skype for Business since 6/24/2015  – here.…

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Using SEFAUtil – Part 1 – Prerequisites and Installation

SEFAUtil is part of the Lync Server Resource Kit. This Kit is a collection of various tools to help with tasks while deploying and managing Lync Server.

This two part series of posts is all about SEFAUtil:

  • Part 1 – Prerequisites and Installation: Set up a Trusted Application Server and get SEFAUtil to run
  • Part 2 – Perform configuration using the tool


What is SEFAUtil?

As said SEFAUtil is part of the Lync Server Resource Kit tools. It’s a command-line tool that enables you to configure the following options:

  • delegate-ringing
  • call-forwarding
  • simultaneous ringing
  • team-call settings
  • group call pickup

Most of the options can be configured by the Lync user himself using the “call forwarding” settings within the Lync client.…

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Lync 2013 exams will retire in summer 2015

Hello everyone!

During my study for the Microsoft Exam “74-338 – Lync 2013 Depth Support Engineer” I stumbled upon an interesting fact:

Microsoft will retire all currently available Lync Server 2013 and the last available Lync Server 2010 exam on July 31, 2015! From August 2015 on, it won’t be possible to take these exams.


Of course, if you already passed these exams, they will still be valid.

There are probably going to be new exams available for Skype for Business Server 2015 later this year. At the moment I cannot find any information or announcement from Microsoft about this.

You can find an overview of all exams which are scheduled to be retired here.…

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Migrate to Skype for Business 2015 – Part 2 – Perform the migration

There are a couple different ways to upgrade to Skype for Business Server 2015. In part 1 of this series we had a look at what these options are. Today we will actually go through the process of an In-Place upgrade. You can only use this method if you have a Lync Server 2013 deployment as a starting point. In this case I am using a Lync Server 2013 environment with one Standard Edition Front End.

This is a two part series of posts:

  • Part 1 – Your Options (this part focusses on the theory and your options from which you can choose for the migration)
  • Part 2 – Perform the Migration (this part takes a closer look into the actual steps you will perform while migrating)

For the upgrade we will follow these steps:


Step 1: Install Prerequisites

You want to start with installing the following prerequisites:

  • CU5 and latest hotfix for Lync Server 2013
  • Windows PowerShell 3.0 (at least build version 6.2.9200.0)
  • At least Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1
  • And also one of the following:

Also, you want to have 32 GB of free disk space before you start the upgrade.…

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Migrate to Skype for Business 2015 – Part 1 – Your Options

If you are using Microsoft Lync Server and want to move on to Skype for Business 2015 you have a couple different ways to perform the migration depending on your starting point.


Note: I will be concentrating on the migration from Lync Server (2010/2013) to Skype for Business. If you are using the Office Communication Server (OCS) you should migrate to Lync Server first, before moving on to Skype for Business. You can also set up a new Skype for Business environment.

This will be a two part series of posts:

  • Part 1 – Your Options (this part will focus on the theory and your options from which you can choose for the migration)
  • Part 2 – Perform the Migration (this part will take a closer look into the actual steps you will perform while migrating)

So this part will cover options for migrating.…

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Prerequisites for Skype for Business Server 2015 Standard / Front End Server

After planning your upgrade path to Skype for Business Server 2015 you should first install the required prerequisites before moving on to installing the application itself.

Required operation system

The only supported operating systems for a clean installation of SfB Server 2015 are:

  • Windows Server 2012 Standard or Datacenter with SP1,
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Enterprise.

If you want to do an in-place update from an existent installation of Lync Server 2013 you could also use Windows Server 2008R2.

Note: The mainstream support for Windows Server 2008 R2 has reached its end on 1/13/2015. For the future reliability of your system you should think about upgrading your Windows Server!

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Changes in User Interface for Lync 2013/Skype for Business Client

A big step for the transition from Lync to Skype for Business (SfB) has been made. Along with the client update pushed out on April 14th comes the new Skype for Business user interface.

Continue using the Lync 2013 user interface

If you are using a Lync Server 2010/2013 the default user interface will be Lync. If the update is installed and you start your Lync/Skype for Business Client for the first time, you client will start in “Skype for Business Mode”.


After a successfull login the user is prompted that Skype for Business is available, but your admin either would like you to use Lync or it is not supported by your server.…

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