Skype for Business Mac client October 2017 Update Summary

I noticed on tech community there was an update for the Skype for Business Mac client released yesterday on 5th October. So great to see the Mac client being invested in and updated for fixes and new features. The tech community blog post is here

Updating

  • New version – 16.11.149
  • Manual Download URL here
  • For updates you can use Microsoft AutoUpdate or download and install manually from the above URL.

Client requirements

  • Skype for Business Server 2015 or Lync Server 2013 or Online
  • OSX 10.11 (El Capitan) or OSX 10.12 (Sierra)
  • Outlook Mac build 15.27 (161010) required for Outlook integration

SfBO / Lync Server 2013 / SfB Server 2015 requirements

First off what’s new ?

  • Join meetings without audio
  • Simplified sign in
  • Sign in with client certificate-based authentication
  • Hide and show meeting content
  • Join meetings from organizations that are not federated with your organization

Improvements

There’s some pretty critical improvements with E-911, presence when app quitted and reliability of screen sharing

  • Fixed an issue where a user’s location used for E-911 calls is not correctly identified when the user is connected to a network inside their organization.
  • Fixed an issue where a user’s status continued to show as Available after they had quit the app.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented users from signing in with an Alternate ID.
  • Fixed several issues to improve the reliability of viewing screen sharing in a meeting.

Known issues

Please don’t forget to make note of these as well, this was last updated 27th September 2017 with the latest issues listed as below. E-911 still mentioned not supported! but is mentioned as improved above so not fully sure on this support yet, i would trend carefully.

For the full list see below.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&amp%3brs=en-US&amp%3bad=US&rs=en-US&ad=US

More details on what’s new

  • Join meetings without audio

Users can choose to join meetings without joining audio. Its been around in the Windows client for a long long time and i don’t use it heavily but its a very nice feature to have to simply the way you join audio for meetings. More details below from. As with the Windows client you can set your default audio option for joining meetings or have it prompt each time. You can Join via SfB audio and video, be called on your PSTN number (Landline or Mobile) or don’t join audio.

More Details from the “What’s new in Skype for Business 2016 articles here

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  • Simplified sign in

Easier sign in with the client with the user name field now moved to advanced options.

Example of simplified sign-in screen

  • Sign in with client certificate-based authentication

SfB Mac users can now sign with certificate based authentication.

  • Hide and show meeting content

Another feature that’s in the windows content that’s a nice to have is the ability to hide meeting content when someone is sharing. Option is in the more options menu and you can turn off and on content now which is nice.

Example of how to turn off or on meeting content

  • Join meetings from organizations that are not federated with your organization

Come across this a lot and another feature that helps join meetings users can now join meetings that are hosted by another organization even when federation has not been established between the two organizations. I do see this a lot where if either organisation is closed federated or hasn’t allowed the other party meeting joins in the client fail which confuse users so this is very welcome.

References

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Skype-for-Business-Blog/Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-version-16-11-149-is-available/ba-p/113958

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-s-new-in-Skype-for-Business-2016-cece9f93-add1-4d93-9a38-56cc598e5781?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US#OS_Type=Mac

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&amp%3brs=en-US&amp%3bad=US&rs=en-US&ad=US#new-3

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=54108&751be11f-ede8-5a0c-058c-2ee190a24fa6=True&e6b34bbe-475b-1abd-2c51-b5034bcdd6d2=True

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Understanding Media Flows in Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business BRK4004 Summary

Following ignite there’s a ton and awesome content and session recordings to watch so this today i saw Thomas Binders session on “Understanding Media Flows in Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business” and thought this should be a goodie.

Great session by Thomas Binder and there’s a ton of awesome information and tips on media flows and understand media / transports relays and the difference between Skype for Business and Teams. Its amazing just how much happens under the hood that users never see just how SfB and Teams finds the best media path, codecs to set up and have a best quality call possible with client connected everywhere. Towards the end great tips on tools to use to read logs and traffic and troubleshooting.

Hot TIP with teams logs towards the bottom of the highlighted Yellow is how to format Teams logs to noted with line breaks “\r\n this is line break so replace with “ “

Thank you Thomas for this great session! there was a lot of applause at the end and well deserved!

Lets go!

Reference URL – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD5mUg2ZzLQ

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Done this session a couple of times for SfB before and opens questions the audience

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Key Learning’s!

  • understand traffic peer to peer,
  • great to have local internet breakout and not all traffic to central locations,
  • stress UDP ports 3478, 3479 these are critical

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Not taking about signalling, its all about media

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Candidate is combination of IP and port and allow other peer to connect

ICE – uses two techniques, STUN and help to transverse a net device, TURN – relay technique. two types of relays., media relay and transport relay.

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Two endpoints that need to communicate

First they need Signalling to say “Hey I’m here”

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Here we have signalling via Office365

Call could be audio, video or desktop sharing

If they want a call we want to send as direct as possible, they could be in same site or same office or across floor but the network is directly routable.

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They have devices that don’t allow direct calls.this is a problem.

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Then theres Charlie’s,  outside the network as well

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Firewalls also may not allows direct communication from external clients on internet to internal clients. Charlie to Alice

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Now we need some logic that helps to establish all the different call flows

lets break down

NAT

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NAT – Network Address translation

Example at home you can have lots of different devices, Xbox’s, PlayStations, pcs with internal ip address all sharing a single public ip address. Your router does the NAT. Great as it provides security as well as unknown traffic to your ip would get dropped is not requested.

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  • Control traffic that’s coming
  • Additional features, deep packet inspections and proxies
  • Sharing of IP Addresses

HTTP proxy servers

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Now HTTP proxies

  • Bad for Teams and SfB as doesn’t allow UDP only HTTP will always use TCP
  • UDP preferred for real time
  • may corrupt packets
  • block traffic or slow down
  • real time may not be real time if any latency added

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The solution is ICE, STUN and TURN!

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First there’s signalling that goes via the Cloud

  • For SfB signalling is done via SIP
  • For Teams is not SIP its REST API via https and web sockets for more persistent comms no more sip

BUT

In terms of ICE very similar

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  • Now we have STUN and TURN server these are servers and function as a relay if client wants to talk to someone but cant it can use stun and turn server as relays
  • also same time helps us find our public ip address and will allows net to allow incoming traffic
  • client sends packet to relay servers and allocates candidates and sends back packet and knows my public ip is this and then client knows this is my public ip and maybe i can accept traffic there

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and ICE

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  • Calls to PSTN via Office 365 uses ICE
  • ICE used for all real time modalities
  • Teams we upload files to OneDrive for Business

Relay – very important for ICE negations

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Two types of Relay

  • Media relays
  • transport relays

Media relay component built for Skype for business server and was the edge server and was moved to the cloud but wasn’t built for the cloud so a cloud solution was born

Transport relay built for scales and more flexibility

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Media relay static in one DC, if your in Orlando and media relay in Europe traffic travels back to Europe to use the relay.

Transport Relays – much smarter and uses dynamic discovery via anycast

travel to orlando i can use transport relay in the US not Europe.

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Important for local internet connections as you may not be able to take advantages of the transport relay and keep traffic local.

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View the other two ignite sessions as well

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  • Media relay same UDP ports
  • Transport relays uses different UDP port per workloads

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Skype for Business uses Media Relay

Transport Relay in progress with SfB but is in use with Teams

Teams always transport relay!

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  • One IP for all Anycast servers
  • and closest servers is always used with least hops
  • based on endpoint location and privacy boundaries
  • US government cloud uses only US
  • Tenant in EMEA
  • all traffic encrypted with Key

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based on ECMP and how can easily distribute load

super easy to manage

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5 phases of ICE

1. request credentials

2. candidate discovery – once i know where i can be reached i send to client

3. candidate exchange and try to establish connection

4 connectivity Checks

5. candidate promotion selects best media path

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Sign into service, from signalling learn a relay configured for me

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SfB Online using Media relay or Lync 2010, Lync 2010 always uses media relay

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Option 2 SfB Online, Lync 2013 or never

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Teams always uses TRAP!

First Demo!

Snooper

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Shows different sip dialogs and left SIP header and on the right the details

Look for MRAS

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First incoming 200 OK – in band provisioning

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Learn Audio ports range

Interested in MRAS, here we have a relay configured. Office365 should always have this!”"

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Next Service request and there is a relay configure with credentials

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Valid for 480 minutes – 8 hours (SfB)

Teams valid 24 hours

Next Credential Response

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Here’s the credentials and used its own certificate to create this and if relay used it will present this

Media relay list

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Learn what media relay is, username and password and ports to use

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Only one relay listed and Office365 will only show external media relay

That’s was for SfB but for Teams its more tricky!

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For teams there’s is no nice tools to read logs, all traffic is https and sometimes web socket. You need to trust the certificate and it does a man in the middle attack.

Charles web proxy, Charles has a sequence view and structure view

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address is not a fqdn its an IP Address, different to media relay

Just tell the IP directly so faster

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  • Now i need to discover my ip addresses
  • first candidate is always the local interface address
  • then ask the relay and allocated candidate for me
  • and then relay sends its candidates

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then the same for TCP

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Always prefer UDP but can use TCP as its better than no call at all!

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3478 no matter the workload in TEAMS at the moment! 4478 listed above should be 3478 mistake on slides here

Candidates

Some SfB workloads always use TCP! 1:1 file transfer and desktop sharing via RDP

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  • send message to peer i want to talk to
  • then other endpoint will do the same with where they can be reached
  • then person picks up and this is the endpoint were talking to.

Lets look at these logs

back to snooper

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We can see here Martin calls Thomas by the invite

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we can see this was an audio call and the candidates

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scroll down and there’s more information

we can see the codecs Martins supports

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let look at the candidates again

first one are 1 and 1 candidate come in pairs, one for RTP and one for RTCP

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then UDP

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Then priority – the higher the number the more i want to use this candiate

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Then IP Address

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This is this IP of this actual candidate

then ports

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then Type

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here we have host and we know this is the local ip address of the endpoint!

there are other interesting types

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there srvflx  raddress this is where i send a packet to the relay and the relay says the address is the following

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then the ip address matches host address and relays says when you send messages from 192.168.1.110 the address is coming from 91.205.175.103

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then relay address

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if i can establish direct connection or srvflx address other may be able to talk to my relay address

also IPv6 candidates

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TCP passive and active candidates

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TCP passive will be able to received traffic as well, active and passive will match each other

overall looks

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now theres session progress 183 session progress – back from called progress and here my information

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There two here but Why ?

We see one from Skype for Business

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and the other coming from SfB but an android Phone

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user has more than one device we establish media session with all of them

now incoming packets there are no more pairs

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here we have rctp mux (multiplexing) so i send old version and hey i know the new version as well.

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and another thing that’s interesting is the encryption, so we can see hear cypto and suite and key this is how the two endpoints encrypt the traffic they will via the secure signalling channel and let each other know which cipher and only the two endpoints know how to encrypt the traffic, the relay never sees this and just passes them on.

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MRAS allow endpoints to allocate candidates

No encryption of traffic

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Connectivity Checks

Now each one know where the other one can be reached and will determine all possible udp and tcp ports pairing

IPv4 and IPv6

For SfB relay can bridge TCP and UDP, is SfB can only talk TCP and the other UDP and TCP the whole call needs to be TCP.

In Teams one can talk UDP and the other TCP and the relay will translate

We found out which candidate pairs work and prioritising and most optimum and that’s the one we use for the call

we can not see this for snooper or Charles

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After other person picks up and identified best candidate and then we can see which one

IPv4 over IPv6

UDP over TCP

Prefer more direct path

See re invite in logs and there’s only one candidate that will be used for this call

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TCP very good protocol as it protects against lost packets and lost information, if i send packet i will get acknowledge and if i don’t get it i wait then resend the packet but this times time and in real time comms we want to make sure traffic sent gets there as fast as possible, we don’t like lost packets but packet may contain 20ms of voice you may not hear that and codecs are smart and can recover

TCP adds lost packets , delays and can cause

UDP fire and forget approach ideal for real time communications

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lets look at final candidates

before that lets look at teams candidates

In Charles search for a=candidate

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select conversation

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its one super long line !

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\r\n this is line break

copy and paste into text editor and replace \r\n with line breaks and this gets you the below

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not super nice to read but

scroll down and we can see info on codecs

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look similar BUT

based on relay candidates it will use ports based on workloads

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here we have 3480 not the high ports

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other interesting thing all relay candidates will come with MTRUN ID this is security and who can access my service, in SfB we use the huge port range and when someone wanted to allocate we randomly picked one and gave some security and was opened for short time, it was additional, but if we use the same port for connections they can go there but they can as they need a MTURN ID to connect to that port.

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back to snooper for final candidate for SfB

search for a=remote candidate

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contains 1 candidate

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and its the prflx candidate mean relexivate and who ever im talking to they are talking to my net device and relexative, IP the same as the reflexactive but port is different.

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if we look at 200 OK

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we can see here remote candidate is the relay, this client is talking to the relay.

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we have talking from the calling person to the relay of the called person and theres one relay in the media path. we can understand how traffic is flowing.

Call Flows

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mentioned before we have 1:1 call we want to send as direct as possible, different if meeting as the cloud needs to mix

We have two SfB clients and there own relays with 443, 3478-81

Both connect to relay allocated candidates port 433 TCP or 3478 UDP, for udp it will then be redirected on workload 3479 for audio

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next try to establish direct call as best option

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same time they try to talk via the relay

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and now the calling client try’s to connect to called clients relay on the 50k port range as that was candidate allocated for me

then we do the same for the other relay

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If all work then Fantastic and we can pick direct

if direct doesn’t work we pick the relay of the called client or if that doesn’t work we use the calling client relay

and if both don’t work then the relays need to talk to each other! this is why its still useful for SfB if the 50K is still open! if you have 50k port range open then calls can establish for one relay if you close 50K port range as Microsoft recently said its not required anymore then you have two media relays in the media path

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Looked at the difference for quality if you close 50K and its not that big of difference, calls setup may be quicker, if you don’t have them open its seems not essential BUT if they are already open then no reason to close them.

TEAMS

Similar concept

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they connect to relay on 443 TCP or 3478 UDP, they connect to their own relay always talk 3478

test direct

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Then the other one via relay on 3479 – 3481 depending on workloads

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other relay will be tested

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and if all of that doesn’t work they could still talk to each other

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SfB and Teams side by Side for 1:1 (Peer to Peer)

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SfB – Client to Service

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Mediation server or conferencing server

Mediation servers on right side as its internal to network

Client talks to its own relay 443 tcp , 3478-81 UDP

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server does the same

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now the client will try and talk directly to the server and if not firewalled this may be possible but cant be guaranteed

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If it doesn’t work then we would use relay of called endpoint which is the servers

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If that doesn’t work we can talk to the realy of the end user

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you should not see two relays as the 50K port range is open as ports the cloud service

Teams: Client to Service

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Teams client allocated candidates

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The service will never allocate candidates as we know the service can talk its relays, it doesn’t needs its own relay

again we try direct connection, if direct works

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The Teams client we talk to assigned transport relay and the service component will talk tot the same relay

Bring that all together! in single table

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Left we have workloads, allocate candidate, audio, video, desktop sharing

Teams, SfB, service port media relay, transport relay

SfB Client port while i allocated candidates will honour client ports per workload, and all of this if i can have media relay to 3478 UDP or transport relay also to 443 tcp and be redirected and once sfb establishes audio send to 443 tcp / 3478 udp , transport relay 3479 udp for audio.

Teams client source port will always 1024 and up plan to change this and have similar to SfB so you can look at traffic and see what workloads

Teams client to transport relay it will be UDP 3478 always and plan to change this and you can look at source ports to destination port. still working on this.

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Direct is required, every client needs to connect direct to Office365 so they can establish media path, talk direct to transport or media relay

  • no proxy
  • no shaping
  • no deep packet inspection
  • If possible use local internet breakout and go to shortest route to transport relay and route over Microsoft network.
  • Prefer UDP over TCP – better for real time
  • TCP can be used as backup and in SfB used for some scenarios
  • Important to look at documented list of IPs and FQDN to open environment to
  • aka.ms/o365endpoints
  • quite a list and is updated a lot, subscribe to RSS feed!
  • Open UDP ports

If people have SfB a year ago for media open 443 (not changed) or 3478 but in the past we didn’t need 3479-3481 UDP these may not be open

Problems seen with transports relays and client try 3478 and works and then allocate candidates and talk to this IP BUT on port 3479 or 80 or 81 which could be blocked. Firewall may block this and UDP will FAIL ! now media will go over TCP! no one will call and say calls wont work but quality may be worse!

Be sure all UDP ARE OPENED!

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Skype for Business Hybrid you need your on premises servers needs to talk to Office365 they don’t need the new ports 3479-3481 just for client to service.

Edge server will still talk 3478

Tools and Troubleshooting

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SfB super easy! Uccapilog.log and have snooper

Teams – not so easy!

Need to do trick with local proxy, man in middle attack, collect traffic, examples are fiddler and Charles proxy.

SfB turn on logs

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may need to delete logs, sign out and sign back in, start with clean logs

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Search tips

a=candidate

a=remote-candidate

when reproduce problem and you want to see a=candidate sometimes after someone answer it may take 7-10 seconds for this so recommend to leave call running for 20 seconds then disconnect calls so can makes sure final candidates are there.

Reason for that is when other person picks up we may not do call over optimal candidate, in background may be talking for better connection and then switching to better connection.once final candidate pair is listed it wont change.

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Tips to configure, web sockets can be very persistent and in test had hard time to capture them each time and then close Teams and start and sometime would see it and sometimes not.

How teams does it today but it may CHANGE!

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Also CQD Call quality Dashboard, after every call over signalling it logs the call quality experience, IPs, ports,

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can look at data and create filters and look at UDP calls and TCP calls, shouldn’t see a lot of TCP calls,

Practical guidance on CQD.

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Filters created on this example as below

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then report created

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lots of TCP but that’s on App sharing so that’s expected in SfB

very few session using VBSS and it seems a lot of RDP going on, could be giving control or old clients.

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you can investigate client types and check if client support only RDP

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Other report with filters applied on the left

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subnets replace to hide customer data

can compare subnet by number of TCP and UDP

find top offending subnets and find out why so much TCP traffic

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Test that ports are open

SfB network assessment tool send real media to transport relay and collects information on jitter, delay and packet loss.

However SOON new version will be available to test connectivity for TCP and UDP ports! run from pc and find can it connect to required ports

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Tests all the ports against set of IPs and downloaded at run and always up to date IPs, any connectivity issue this tool is great to run on PC and test connectivity

might be situations where connectivity is working but something in the way may corrupt packets

IF the tools worked then perhaps trace a call

Resources and summary

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  • Now we understand the challenges
  • find most optimum media path
  • use tools
  • Traffic peer to peer
  • client to server
  • Leverage local internet if possible
  • Open 3478-3481 UDP on firewall !

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Skype for Business Server vNext Ignite Session – Twitter updates from community @ignite

First off thank you so much for everyone tweeting from inside the vNext session you kept me glued to my seat and twitter!

Below are snips of all the updates from twitter and thanks to

@getcsjosh
@uctonynunn
@kenlasko
@Bibbleq
@sublimeashish
@plemich
@twkisner
@mcmhenry
@guybachar
@canthonycaragol
@patrichard
@kkieller
@atreidae
@graham_walsh
@speedyt71
@tomarbhuthnot
@jpbret

Summary of news from community tweets

  • Name – Skype for Business Server 2019
  • Preview – mid 2018 / release late 2018
  • Continued commitment to hybrid and on premises
  • New SfB 2019 client Click to Run only! no MSI
  • Migration – Lync 2013 > 2019 / SfB server 2015 > 2019
  • Minimum of Windows Server 2016 and SQL 2016
  • Side by Side upgrades only NO inplace upgrades
  • NO SfB Server 2019 Standard Edition ONLY Enterprise Edition
  • No SfB Server 2019 Director role
  • No SfB Server 2019 Persistent Chat Role
  • Silverlight is dead in 2019
  • 2019 can leverage call analytics and retention in cloud
  • Single dashboard for on prem, teams and online
  • Voicemail, AA and call queues in Hybrid
  • Hybrid modern auth in public preview
  • Hybrid 2019 with Teams
  • New meeting migration service can work with on prem exchange
  • 2019 without hybrid will miss out on stuff like call analytics
  • sign up for preview – skypepreview.com
  • Some features only designed for hybrid mode
  • CCE can coexist with 2019 but ideally SIP trunks directly to Office365
  • With Teams intention is no CCE and direct to SBC
  • New update for Statatics manager
  • 2019 working on TLS 1.0 and 1.1 disabled
  • UCWA and UCMA solation should continue to work
  • Skype rooms systems still supported
  • Meeting web plugin still required for SfB 2019
  • Meetings with no plugins only in Teams
  • No decision on 2019 SDN
  • Hybrid RGS
  • SBS and SBA stay on 2015 codebase

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New Name – Skype for Business Server 2019

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Skype for Business Mac Client–September Insider Fast release available Summary

Saw a post on Tech Community Blogs around the SfB Mac Client and new features released in the Insider Fast release. Post on Tech Community here

What’s Insider Fast release ?

The Insider program allows  you to install early builds of SfB for Mac so you can test new features before they will be released publicly in a GA build.  More info on insider program here https://products.office.com/en-us/office-insider?tab=tab-2

Please note: So these new features and changes are NOT yet in the GA build of SfB for Mac.

To Check Insider Build information please check here

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Office-Insider-releases-for-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-7f190a71-2b56-4914-8044-668582997619?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

Build Details

Released – 14/09/2017
Build Number – Build 16.11.115
Previous Build – August 15 2017 16.10.0.88

New features

1. Simplified sign-in experience and support for certificate-based authentication

  • On initial sign-in, users are now only required to enter their sign-in address.
  • Based on the sign-in information, we will ask for additional information (such as password) only when necessary. If your organization supports certificate-based authentication and the certificate exists on the machine, you will sign in automatically.
  • We have moved some of the less-used options (such as user name) to the Advanced Options page to simplify the experience and avoid unnecessary confusion to the end users.

 

2. Meetings improvements

  • Earlier this year we added support for joining a meeting through phone.  We listened to your feedback and have now added the additional option to join a meeting without audio.
  • Users can choose to hide or show content that another user is sharing in a meeting.  When someone is sharing their screen, select to “Turn off content” under the More options menu. If content is available but not displayed, the option will show “Turn on content”.
  • The “End Meeting” option was added last release. This option allows a presenter to end the meeting for all participants before leaving a meeting.

 

Improvements

  • Fixed an issue where a user’s location used for E-911 calls is not correctly identified when the user is connected to a network inside their organization.

  • Fixed an issue where a user’s status continued to show as Available after they had quit the app.

  • Fixed an issue that prevented users from signing in with an Alternate ID.

  • Fixed several issues to improve the reliability of viewing screen sharing in a meeting.

Known Issues

Don’t forget to get the known issues a look over as well.

One critical known issue is

E-911 is not supported

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Known-issues-Skype-for-Business-on-Mac-494ac5d5-50be-4aa7-8f5a-669c71c98c9a?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US

SfB Broadcast Ep.50–What’s new with PSTN Conferencing

In the latest SfB Broadcast from Microsoft this episode goes into the “What’s new with PSTN Conferencing” so here’s my summary of the video

Link to the video is here

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Delanda Coleman and Oscar Ruiz Garcia

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Oscar is program manager for SfB and PM for PSTN Conferencing, been at Msft for 8 years. Started working with SfB 5 years ago, amazing team and product he says, working in conferencing space for three years.

What’s is PSTN Conferencing?

PSTN Conferencing Service for participants of online meeting to join meetings using traditional phone and dial a PSTN phone number and join with a conference ID and join when on the road and not by a computer.

Benefit is online participants can talk to PSTN participants, cell phones and landline callers.

Audio Conferencing isn’t new or a new innovation, what’s makes it special in Office 365 ?

  • Easy to use
  • Minutes to setup
  • Wide range of phone numbers
  • Simple service and a lot of time to make it simple and faster without problems

How does it work with Office 365 subscriptions ?

E1 and E3 you can add on PSTN Conferencing

Bundled with E5 as long as you are in a country PSTN Conferencing is sold

Easy to use and meetings details are automatically populated.

 

NEW Announcement

Msft are starting to Offer a new pay as you go model, existing offer is pay a monthly fee for the service for unlimited dial in and selected dial out.

Now Microsoft will off Audio Conferencing pay per minute!

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  • No flat price pstn conferencing
  • Toll and toll free inbound calls are charged on a per minute basis
  • All outbound calls are charged on a pre minute basis
  • Available to enterprise E1, E3 VL customer

Offered geared for customers that don’t need a wide range of minutes

Pay for as much as they consume

Details on offer

Previously subscription based dial was unlimited now this case dial in US France and Argentina now this is pay as you go. Toll free or toll numbers will all be pay as you go.

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Flexible model as you pay for your minutes.

For non E5 customers E1 and E3 and want to try PSTN conferencing you can use the pay as you go (consumption model)

OCTOBER 1st for BL customers

RATES will be posted online as well at this time.

PSTN Conferencing in market for almost 2 years and in the cloud new innovations come quickly IT admins don’t need to add or rollout new features.

Since launch lots of new features

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  • Customer can purchase in 72 countries
  • End user pin resets before only admins had access, now users can via a web page
  • Entry, exit announcement tones instead of voice
  • PSTN Conferencing in Regional Hosted Meetings, allow company to spread across different datacentre around the world
  • Meeting Migration Service – challenge in the past to update changes to meeting invites. There was an end user tool the Meeting Migration tool which end users had to run and now a service was released so users dont have to action anything.

Three features in preview program (Skype Preview)

  • Lobby Support
  • Disable toll free for specific users
  • Restrict dial outs for specific users

Dive into features in more detail

72 Country Reach

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Dial in for 90 and 400 Cities

Automatically you get a list of phone numbers and customer can acquire more from more cities. 400 cities available.

Dial out to 190+ countries

Expanded IVR – welcome to customer – support for 44 languages.

End user pin reset

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Meeting invites and Email has link and says forget your dial in pin and is in the SfB client. New Forgot your dial in pin url in meeting invite.

Organiser direct to portal and they can reset their own pin, easy can away from IT admin.

Supported and On premises and now online as well.

Meeting Migration Service (MMS)

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Updates meeting invites with PSTN and voip meeting details.

Automatically way to update existing meeting for users and done is different scenarios.

  • PSTN Conf license assigned or removed
  • Provider is changed
  • User moved to new PSTN bridge

Replace dial in numbers and update meeting invites.

Another benefit of the cloud service and can be disabled on tenant basis if you want and can trigger it on a user basis as well. Giving flexibility for automatically or on demand.

More information on MMS i did a blog post here

PSTN Conferencing service in Regionally Hosted Meetings

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More interesting with diagram, basically goal is you can have tenant spread in different regions, companies are globally and have users spread out and goal is to have meetings hosted at datacentres closest to them to reduce network latency and improves performance for meetings.

Its the same for PSTN access, when a tenant becomes enabled for RHM, becomes a spread tenant across regions and the concept of PSTN conferencing bridge is spread out as well, users in US are assigned NA bridge and Sydney users assigned APAC bridge, meetings hosted and PSTN access and mixing of PSTN stays all in APAC region and improves performance.

Any licence implications?

No, need to have a RHM meeting enabled tenant though. No enabled by default i believe.

Lobby Support for PSTN Conf. callers (Preview)

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In preview, you can see this functionality you can sign up and is a features already on premises and this allows PSTN participant is put in lobby and now you can see this in the rosta and members can admit or deny into the meeting.

Disable Toll Free for numbers of users (Preview)

Feedback from users they wanted to disable users being able to use toll-free numbers for their meetings.

Once toll free numbers are added they are assigned and available for users so now you can control the access of toll free numbers. IT Admins can choose on user by user basis to allow toll free numbers. If you restrict the find your local numbers page will not display toll free numbers and wont be included in meeting invites.

If you have the toll free and dial into a users meeting who doesn’t have toll free numbers enabled the caller wont be able to dial into the meeting using that toll free.

Toll free services does require PSTN consumption billing so its a way to control costs as well.

Restrict PSTN Conf. dial-outs (Preview)

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Based on user feedback. you can restrict dial out controls

Three levels of control

  • Allow International and domestic dial out (Default)
  • Allows domestic dial outs (New feature)
  • Restrict all dial outs

Combined with Toll free features it allows companies to have different profiles for users and their requirements.

Preview Program

Skypepreview.com and sign up for preview features

https://www.skypepreview.com/

Demo on PSTN Setup

Have licences through trials (E5) or purchase, licence are then assigned to users.

Office 365 admin centre > Users > select user > assign licence (Skype for Business PSTN Conferencing) > Save

Takes a few meetings to provision on back end

Admin doesn’t have to email them, users will get an email automatically to say enabled for PSTN Conferencing service and PINs are enabled.

 

Q and A

Can i mix PSTN subscription and pay per minute subscriptions ?

Yes

What’s is different between shared and dedicated number ?

Set of phone number are shared and assigned to other tenants, shared phone numbers primary and backup languages can not be changed.

Admins can get new numbers and have dedicated and dedicated solely to that tenant and are customisable and languages can be changed.

Can you support just PSTN conferencing only meetings ?

Yes, since launch, by default they will have a settings, allow only PSTN meetings and PSTN meetings don’t have to have a SfB client or authenticated user in the meeting.

 

Next episode

Before Ignite, guide to follow Ignite and get ready for successful time for ignite.

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SfB Broadcast Ep49–3 ways to bring your existing VTC into a modern meeting Summary

Last Friday August 18th there was a new SfB Broadcast featuring Eddie Clifton from Pexip and i wanted to give a summary on the broadcast. Also recommend watching the video and checking out the Questions and Answers from the session that Graham Walsh from Pexip has posted on the Microsoft Tech Community Site link here

Lets dig in!

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Presented by Delanda Coleman and Eddie Clifton

Eddies been in the VC business for many years worked for Polycom, Tandberg and other big vendors and worked on many large worldwide deployment. At Pexip they looked at what problems needed solving across organisations.

When video conferencing is used properly it drives productivity over traditional methods. Pexip looked to create and join large expenses legacy VCs or Modern VCs to the new and exciting PC based and modern based VC with the largest vendor SfB.

Pexip says they are the Rosetta Stone of the VC world (Not the software) where they  takes lots of different video languages and protocols and take them into one conference. very clever way of looking at it. More info on the ancient Rosetta Stone here

What are you seeing out there ?

We see large amount of companies with a large appetite for video conferencing

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  • People want a more authentic experience
  • 20 Billion $ plus industry
  • bringing Skype for business and VTC and Audio conferencing into one conference is a new thing.
  • enabling working from different places, working mothers working from home and flexible working. Video can do a lot of things

There are challenges!

Many large organisation cant move to the cloud due to laws, data restrictions so on premises has to be key and specialist area is on premises video interoperability and at the same time is a hybrid solutions so you can be on premises and in the cloud at the same time.

Equipment was made traditionally of specialist hardware and processors and average VC bridge was over a million dollars yes a 1 MILLION Dollars (Reminds me of Dr Evil)

Image result for dr evil one million

Pexip wanted to bring a solution based on standard Intel hardware and processors, everyone knows how to use it in a standard environment and go anywhere and buy a server and add the software and do it 8000 / 9000 dollars and massive savings in cost. By implementing solutions in large corps they can leverage existing vtc’s and Sfb in amazing ways.

Companies use Pexip where they were using 4/5 million mins of year up to 110 million minutes of video per year in a very short time and increasing usage of SfB, Azure and other technologies.

Reduced cost of computing to distributed workforces

Challenges with Hybrid and mixed environments ?

  • People don’t sit in offices all day and are out and about, working from home, train stations and client sites
  • Pexip allows you to bring everyone into one meeting to enable quicker decision making. You can bring people from cell phone, laptop, tablet, legacy vtc systems, surface hub, Skype room systems etc etc
  • Also you can share data as well!! All the different devices and you can also share data such as website, videos, excel , PowerPoint and enabling collaborating.
  • When people don’t see video being used they will move back to audio conferencing
  • Its key to get people using video and embracing video and embrace productivity with so many use cases.

There is a large amount of VTC equipment that gets written off over 5,6,7 or more years and you want to use this and Pexip will allows you to gradually move from legacy devices to new modern VTC, so saves a hard switchover. This can include thousands of VTCs and hard switching can be a problem, also you can have different sites with different architecture so makes multiple architecture and complex and Pexip are all about simplicity.

The user doesn’t know anything and Pexip do everything in the background, if you a SfB user you see the usual interface and the same for each device. Its all native to the user and the client. Pexip makes complex workloads very simple for users

Fundamentals of interoperability

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  • Hundreds of protocols to translate and present them in a common way
  • Join experience needs to be good and the same your used to
  • Audio, Video experience good and data sharing is key
  • Gradually bringing users into the new world

Easy to Administrator and Manage

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  • Single pane of glass for administration globally!
  • Azure and IAAS and hybrid computing you can create very reliable environments for VCs and Pexip allows resilient architect and testing
  • Management is KEY!

Scalability

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Beauty of Azure they allow elastic compute and when utilization is high you can add compute and low you can shut down. Also allows you to not have to pay and upkeep and manage large infrastructure when your not using it.

Pexip name their solution affinity

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From above Pexip can handle hundreds of gateway nodes

Each green dot is a gateway showing utilization these can be deployed in private datacentre of IAAS such as rackspace also in cloud compute such as Azure.

Scenario

Quarterly based calls for all staff and this can be spread geographically across multiple nodes. Infrastructure can be scaled up and then scale down and reducing costs.

  • Pexip is distributed and using local hop to local datacentre.

PEXIP are all about simplicity and efficiency!

Ways we can bring Pexip into SfB

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1. Standard SfB schedule meeting via Outlook, same as you would before. Pexip adds information to the bottom of the invite for VTCs to join. Seamless to users and no training needed.

2.Peer to Peer calls

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  • A SfB client calling a VTC device
  • Pexip creates direct link to VTC

3. Escalation mode (adding another person/VTC)

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Add them via SfB UI and add them in the call. they could be on legacy VTC or SfB.

Simplicity

Some people cant move to the cloud but Pexip allows them to maximise utilization of their VTC and benefits of the modern meetings with SfB.

Some companies move slow and will get there in the end but this help

Lync 2010 and Lync 2013 users are all covered!

DONT FORGET DATA SHARING

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Data sharing in all modes is available

Pexip is VBSS (video based screen sharing) and an example on surface hub when user draw on whiteboard it uses the latest data sharing methods to give a good and full motion video on data sharing. Data sharing is key and its not just video translation its data as well!

Questions

Pexip with SfB Online Meeting ?

Yes

Register VTC endpoints with Pexip to simplify VTC infrastructure?

Yes, you don’t need the legacy call control environment anymore.

Does Pexip work with legacy OTBP protocol for legacy VTC?

Yes, we work with ecosystem of partners, this is niche requirement Pexip would work with partners to do this with Pexip. 4 or 5 companies that can handle this.

Outlook integration – third party add in required ?

No, Add is from Pexip solution

Any insight into Pexip onsite MCU ?

Yes, its essence is standard HP or Dell running hyper V and can be a conference node. customer with 10,000 users with the ability to join a call.

Pricing model ?

Its cheap ! $3.99 USD per user per month

You have to buy server as well.

Content sharing as 1080p or higher desktop resolution?

720 or 1080p

Do i have to use Skype meeting id to join a meeting ?

Yes

Any roadmap on enabling media bypass ?

No sure on that question

Will you standout at Ignite in Crazy pants (Trousers) ?

Yes, Booth 1001

How to contact Pexip

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two weeks time

  • PSTN Conferencing updates over the last year
  • New business models
  • New features

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Two weeks after – Microsoft IT behind the scenes at Skype meeting broadcasts

After that its Ignite and filming from Studio floor!

Polycom VVX 400 Software upgrade to 5.6.0 and Web Sign in Walkthrough–Nice new SfB Enhancements

Old news now but I’ve just got chance to upgrade my VVX400 to the latest software 5.6.0 release and i read this should have some SfB UI updates! at last a more SfB looking VVX400. I’ve been waiting for this for a while.

There’s a lot more than just UI enhancements so recommend you check this out, this post will just look at the Upgrade, UI and web sign in.

http://support.polycom.com/content/dam/polycom-support/products/Voice/business_media_phones/release-notes/en/uc-software-release-notes-5-6-0.pdf

SfB Enhancements (more details on each at the above URL)

  • Dial Plan Normalization
  • Multiple Emergency Number Dial Plan
  • Skype for Business User Interface Enhancements
  • Skype for Business Conference on VVX Business Media Phones
  • Device Lock Enhancements
  • Profile Photo on Device Lock Screen
  • Secure Single Sign-On with Third-Party Supporting Solutions
  • Safe Transfer for Boss-Admin Enhancements
  • Busy Options for Incoming Calls
  • Support for Siren 7 Audio Codec

Lets go for the upgrade

So i wanted to walk you over the upgrade and web sign

So here’s my VVX 400, what a beauty!

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Signed in (SfB Online)

So yo upgrade i need to login into the phone via the web interface which i have enabled. So lets grab the IP from the phone.

Go to Settings > Status > Network > TCP/IP Parameters

Grab the IP, open browser and enter the IP

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default password is 456 but yours could be different

Once logged in go to Utilities > Software upgrade

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Here you can see current software version which i have 5.5.1.11526

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I next checked for updates via the Polycom hosted server, im not using any custom update servers at home yet.

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From the drop list after the update i can see a number of version and i wanted the latest 5.6.0.17325

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Software versions on the server you choose display in the Available software versions drop-down list. The currently installed version is shown in blue; older versions are shown in red; newer versions are shown in green.

So i selected the latest version click install

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Clicked yes

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I read all and clicked accept or i may have clicked just accept. lol

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Clicked ok

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And the phone started the upgrade

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After the upgrade took about 5 – 10 mins i saw this

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Awesome i love the UI already !

Entered my passcode set before and im logged in. Im liking the new look.

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Menu is much better

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When signed out a little nicer

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Next i logged on the web interface same as before and checked the current software version and all done.

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Also what i like is the Web Sign In so wanted to show you this as well

Select sign in > Web Sign in

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Open browser and go to http://aka.ms/sphone

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Enter Office 365 sign in address

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enter again grrr

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Show my tenant sign in and say hello to Spencer ! who guards my tenant, hackers beware lol

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Login and enter code on phone

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click continue

Click on name

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and says were done

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Phone jumps into life and starts signing in

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Enter lock code and confirm again

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and im in

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Release notes from Polycom

http://support.polycom.com/content/dam/polycom-support/products/Voice/business_media_phones/release-notes/en/uc-software-release-notes-5-6-0.pdf