woensdag 25 april 2012

Performance Test your Internet Connection to Office 365

This tool has been around for a while, but still worth mentioning.
Before you migrate your mailboxen you can use this tool to your connection with Office 365.
This helps a lot in making a decent planning and make calculations on how long it takes for all of your mailboxes to get moved to Office 365.

The difference between a normal speed tests is that this tests the actuel up and download to and from Microsofts Datacenter.

The site is available for each Microsoft datacenter.

Europe : http://speedtest.emea.microsoftonline.com/

Asia : http://speedtest.apac.microsoftonline.com/

America : http://speedtest.microsoftonline.com/

The first page display a summary of your connection. QoS, Delay, Up and Download speed.


Second page shows the route with number of hops. There are also tabs available for a map, analysis and graph.


Fourth page shows the max delay for up and download speeds.


Fifth page shows a summary of your connection, if values are not OK it shows in an orange or red circle.


The sixth page shows advanced statistics for your connection.


With these results you can make a good calculation for migrating your mailboxes.

How to use CSContactImporter for OCS and Lync

Recently, a new tool came available for OCS and Lync to import contacts or contact groups into Lync or OCS. This can be a great addition if you want to provide standard contact lists to new users for example, or add contacts or groups for all of your existing users.

A quote from MS Download Center :

“ Small tool for OCS 2007 R2 and Lync Server 2010 which allows an administrator to import contacts into the database. Importers are included for AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and for generic text based lists. This tool is provided as-is and is not supported by Microsoft support. “

So, where do I get it, what do I need, how does it look like and how can I import contacts? At the end of this blog, you will know.

You can download the tool from Microsoft Download center
Download both files and run Setup.exe.

One of the system requirements is Microsoft.NET 4.0 for Lync Server 2010.
Make sure this is installed.

The tools has a graphical interface, once opened it looks like this.


It allows you to import contacts to OCS or Lync from:

AOL Instant Messenger (blt export, version 2)

Windows Live (csv export)
- Cannot import groups
- Non Live e-mail addresses may not import properly.

YAHOO Messenger (Yahoo csv export)
- Cannot import groups

Plain Text
- User SIP address, add comma and group name if you want to place them in groups
  For example:

It allows you to import a single contact, or a batch of contacts.
We will discuss the batch option, as this is the most interesting and probably most used.

You need DBImpExp.exe to export contacts from Lync contact store to an XML file. You can only export all contacts, or a single contact. So if you want to add contacts using CSContactImporter, you do it for a single users, or all users.
The tool can be found at:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Lync Server 2010\Support
To export contacts using Lync standard :
“dbimpexp.exe /hrxmlfile:”c:\Export\lynccontacts.xml”
To export contacts using Lync Enterprise :
“dbimpexp.exe /hrxmlfile:”c:\Export\lynccontacts.xml” /sqldatabase:”sql server hostname”\”instance name”
For a single user, just add /user:sip@domain.com to the command.

After you exported the contacts to the XML you can use CSContactImporter to add contacts or groups to the contacts lists.
Windows Live, Yahoo and AOL do not need extra explanation, because contacts can be exported. For plain text I will make an example.
Lets say you want to add 4 users and place them in a group called UC Team, create a text file that looks like this and save it like newusers.txt :

User1@domain.com, UC Team
User2@domain.com, UC Team
User3@domain.com, UC Team
User4@domain.com, UC Team

Once you configure the right files, click generate and CSContactImporter creates a destination DBImpExp file that needs to be imported in the Lync contact store using DBImpExp.exe. The option “ Carry over groups” updates groups if they already exist.


To import contacts using Lync standard :
”dbimpexp.exe /import /hrxmlfile:”c:\Export\lynccontacts_new.xml” /restype:all”
To export contacts using Lync Enterprise :
“dbimpexp.exe /import /hrxmlfile:”c:\Export\lynccontacts_new.xml” /sqldatabase:”sql server hostname”\”instance name” /restype:all”
For a single user, just add /user:sip@domain.com to the command.

Once imported, the contacts and groups should be added when the users logs out and back in.

Things you should keep in mind :

  • Microsoft does not provide support if something goed wrong. ( Me neither!! )
  • Try this with one users first, before adding users to everyone’s contact list.
  • Make sure all files are in the same folder.
  • When using the /user switch , DBImpExp.exe is case sensitive, Sip address should be exactly like in the Lync database.
  • If a user adds contacts between the export and import, those contacts are lost.
  • If you don’t know what you are doing, don’t do anything at all!

I think this is a great addition to all the existing tools out there!

dinsdag 24 april 2012

Test your Office 365 DNS configuration

Recently I came accross a nice tool where you can test your Office 365 DNS configuration.

The tool is built by Paradyne and powered by Xstran.
When entering your domain name, it searches for Exchange and Lync records in DNS.
Because most of the issues in with Office 365 have to do with DNS, this is a great tool!
Not all records are mandatory, keep this in mind. Some records have certain functionality.
Notice the checkboxes for Exchange and Lync, if you don’t use Lync, don’t select the checkbox!

The tool can be found at http://www.testmyoffice365.com/ 


In our case, we only use Exchange Online and Lync onprem.
When testing our domain name, it shows my Exchange records are set-up correctly.


If something is set-up incorrectly, the tool shows that somethings is wrong.
For example, a customer where records are missing.


It shows there are no records found for Federation or SIP.
If the customer has issues with Federation, we now know why.
A great tool that can help in many implementations / migrations!

What it does not show are the MX and SPF records. Maybe this will be addes in future releases.
Examples of MX and SPF records are shown in the DNS settings within the portal mentioned below.

The required DNS records for your domain can also be found on the Office 365 portal.
On the admin portal, click on Domains in the left column under Management.
Select your domain name and click “View DNS settings”.


Onlinehelp Lync DNS records :

Source : http://thecloudmouth.com/2012/04/23/testing-your-office-365-dns-configuration/

vrijdag 20 april 2012

Migrate agents to new SCOM gateway with Operations Manager Shell

We are using SCOM to monitor our customers infrastructure, therefore we need to deploy SCOM gateways in the untrusted domain of the customer.

A gateway is used to monitor devices that are not in the same active directory as the management server and uses certificates on the managed computer and management server to provide mutual authentication. The devices in the active directory of the gateway server can communicate with the gateway by using kerberos.

From time to time gateways need to be replaced, moved or added.

In this blog I will explain how to replace a Gateway server  with a new one, without having to reconfigure the agents manually. To do this we use SCOM powershell to set the failover management server option.

It is important that you understand you can easily orphan an agent to where it cannot communicate with ANY management server.

If you change the primary management server (PMS) in the console or via powershell, the management server (MS) will receive a configuration update to not let the old GateWay (GW) communicate with it anymore.
This happens before the old GW receives a configuration update, resulting in it not knowing about the new configuration, and it still trying to communicate with the MS – which denies communication with the old GW.
So, this basically means that you just cut the communication with this Gateway.

To prevent this from happening, I am using the FailoverManagementServer (FMS) option in SCOM.

To create a new Gateway Server :

  • Run Gateway Approval Tool
  • Install new Operations Manager Gateway Server
  • Deploy and Import certificates on the Gateway Server

Documentation on the above steps can be found here :

The steps below will be addressed in this topic.

  • Configure New GW as PMS and Old GW as FMS
  • Confirm PMS and FMS configuration.
  • Configure Remove Failover Management Server value.

Step one is to configure a Failover Management Server (FMS)
Connect to your MS with remote desktop.
Open “Operations Manager Shell” from the start menu.
Execute the below script, edit the names of the PMS to the new GW name, and the FMS to the old GW name.

$primaryMS = Get-ManagementServer | where {$_.Name –eq 'NewGW.domain.local’ }
$failoverMS = Get-ManagementServer | where {$_.Name –eq 'OldGW.domain.local'}
$agent = Get-Agent | where {$_.PrimaryManagementServerName -eq 'OldGW.domain.local  }
Set-ManagementServer -AgentManagedComputer: $agent -PrimaryManagementServer: $primaryMS -FailoverServer: $failoverMS

What happens is that we configure the OldGW as a failover server.
In this case  we do not tell the MS to deny communications from the OldGW and the MS can still transfer the configuration updates to the OldGW and its agents.

To confirm the configuration change navigate to : “C:\Program Files\System Center Operations Manager 2007\Health Service State\Connector Configuration Cache\Managementgroup name” and open the OpsMgrConnector.config.xml with notepad.


Look for the OldGW name and NewGW name.
You should be able to see the NewGW where the IsPrimary = True, and the OldGW where the IsPrimary = False.


Event 1210 will also be logged on the agent saying that New Configuration Became Active.

When all agents have the new configuration ( I suggest you wait at least 30 minutes ) it is safe to change the failover server from the OldGW value to the real failover server you want to configure.

$failoverMS = Get-ManagementServer | where {$_.Name –eq 'NewFailoverGW.domain.local'}
$agent = Get-Agent | where {$_.PrimaryManagementServerName -eq 'NewGW.domain.local  }
Set-ManagementServer -AgentManagedComputer: $agent -FailoverServer: $failoverMS

How to configure agent failover to multiple gateways or gateway failover to multiple management servers can also be configured with above method.
Documentation on this can be found here :

Source : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc540382.aspx

donderdag 5 april 2012

Office 365 service updates for march

With the march update for Office 365 some new features and improvements are announced.
Some improvements will be available directly, others will be made available later this month.

The Kiosk plan has some major updates.
It's now possible to use activesync for Exchange Online and instead of 500 MB storage you now have 1 GB storage available.

Besides the improvements in the Kiosk plan there is also POP and IMAP support for Outlook 2003 and multi-language packs are made available within the Office Subscriptions.

Below a quote from the service updates wiki. Enjoy!

" Office Subscription multi-tenant language packs
Customers can now download free multi-language packs for their Office Subscription, making it easier for users to switch to their preferred languages for Office Subscription. They also reduce network overhead and user installation time. Look for the “Download Language Packs” link under Resources section on the Downloads page.

Office 365 Support for POP and IMAP Connections to Outlook 2003
Office 365 now supports POP and IMAP connections to Outlook 2003. However, please note that customers connecting to Outlook 2003 via POP or IMAP will experience the following limitations: no calendar support, no free/busy information, no Global Address List, no push email and when connecting via POP, all messages will be downloaded to the client, and there will be no synchronization between multiple computers or devices (such as between a laptop and a phone).
Additional Information:

Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) for mobile phones added to Exchange Online Kiosk plan
Exchange Online Kiosk users can now use any smartphone that supports Exchange ActiveSync, including Windows Phone, iPhone, Android phones, and Nokia phones (Symbian). However, users who want Exchange ActiveSync support on tablet devices, such as iPad or Android tablets, will need to upgrade to a SKU that includes Exchange Plan 1 or Exchange Plan 2. The price for Exchange Online Kiosk will remain unchanged.
*This update will roll out to customers over the next several months. We expect that all customers will receive the update by April 2012.
Additional Information:
For more information, please read the blog Office 365: New Capabilities for Kiosk Workers
Compare Exchange ActiveSync clients here

Email storage for Exchange Online Kiosk plan increased from 500 MB to 1GB
Due to lower storage costs, we have increased the mailbox limit for Exchange Online Kiosk plan users from 500 MB to 1 GB. The price for Exchange Online Kiosk will remain unchanged.
*This update will roll out to customers over the next several months. We expect that all customers will receive the update by April 2012.
Additional Information:
For more information, please read the blog Office 365: New Capabilities for Kiosk Workers "