Friday, December 30, 2011

Lync User Adoption And Training Kit

The team at Microsoft has made a great resource available for companies planning to roll out Lync within their organization.

Here you will find ready to use training material for end users, a pre made help site which you can make available in your intranet, a great overview of who needs what level of training and lots of useful resources and tools. Now, creating a Lync Adoption Plan for your organization has become a matter of hours and not days/weeks.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trend Analysis of Lync Servers using Reporting Services Snapshots

So you have a Lync farm and have monitoring set up. You keep the last 6 weeks worth of data for those reports but what about last year? How can you easily compare the usage and network statistics that the OOB Lync Reports give you effectively and efficiently?
SQL Server Reporting Services Snapshots could be the answer to your question. To enable Snapshots and start tracking usage over time you need to do following things:
1) un-hide the individual reports in Report Manager
2) create a snapshot schedule
3) subscribe to the snapshots so you don't forget to look at the data!

By default only the homepage and the dashboard can be viewed from the Report Manager url (http://your-report-server/Reports). At the root of that url you will find a folder called "Lync Server Reports". Within that folder is the Reports Home Page. This is the main dashboard that opens up directly when you open the reports from the Lync Control Panel. At the same location you will find a sub folder called "Reports Content" This is actually where all the juicy sub-reports are hidden. Yes. HIDDEN. But you can still see them by clicking the Show Details button found at the top right of the report manager. From there you can then unhide reports, set up snapshot schedules and even subscribe to the snapshots to easily stay informed about your general lync farm health.

First go to the Report Manager Url which is the fqdn of your report server followed by /Reports

 Then drill down to the Reports Content Page with the Show Details button at the top right. Just two Datasources and the Monitoring Dashboard are visible. Click on the

Click on the edit properties button of the report to change the visibility status.

That's the magic tick box to make the reports easily visible in the report manager again.

Click the History link of the Report to set up a snapshot schedule

From here you can run a snapshot at a regular interval

And finally add a subscription based on the snapshot so you get an email and can look at performance related data on a regular basis! (If email is not an option, check smtp settings of reporting server)

A couple of tips along the way:
  • Set up different schedules for different types of reports
  • Set up Subscriptions only for reports that you are planning on reading
  • Make sure your Reporting Services Server is properly configured and has a valid SMTP server address associated with it. (Report Server Configuration Tool on the Reporting Server). Otherwise the subscriptions page will not show email as an option!