Case Study 5: Network Servers

AMES ICT Department MOU with the project
Dora Troupiotis
Janusz Gruntowicz
Manar Salih

Lync Project Tech. Team
Ann Hardingham
Katt Matthews
Junita Lyon
What was the aim of the Session?
AMES has provided the Lync Communities Online project with access and use of their server to implement this project across the state.

The Lync Communities online project was housed as an external network to AMES existing internal Lync network. In a combined effort, we successfully enrolled, managed and maintained 87 end user accounts through the support of AMES and the ICT Department.

The AMES ICT Department were responsible for the setting up and maintenance of Lync project accounts as well as support for the Lync project tech team, troubleshooting login and software issues that were unable to be solved by the Lync project tech team. ,

What Worked?
AMES was able to elaborate on procedures and process that they went through for setting up and using Lync within their organisation which was a greatsupport for Learn Local Organisations and the Lync project tech team.

General troubleshooting, then the recording of issues and solutions for future use was critical in the success of the project.

For AMES this project was an extension to their previous project or setting up an internal Lync network within AMES.

Technical skills gained by the AMES ICT Department in the setup, management and maintenance of servers through working with Microsoft Lync specialists as an integral part of initial installation

The successful upgrade from Lync 2010 to 2013 which enabled increased functionality and features to the Lync client including the use of mobile devices.

Ability to connect to Lync sessions using mobile devices.

What Challenges did you have?
  • The installation of Lync was relatively easy with Microsoft Lync specialists performing the maiin installation. Using a Microsoft Lync specialist cut installation time down to a minimum and cut the time servers may be out of action or service interuptions. Although the expense was higher the result was less downtime due to configuration issues and less configuration troubleshooting.
  • Upgrade from Lync 2010 to 2013 made relatively easier due to using the same external Lync specialist - this meant that they already knew the AMES configurations and organisation design.
  • Initial setting up of accounts and making sure that all boxes needed were ticked so end users had full functionality accessing Lync and using features of Lync client.
  • Application forms used to initially set up Lync Communities online project participants – getting across to participants the importance of understanding their current firewalls and security settings and what would be needed to protect themselves and the entire Lync network in general.
  • Adding the Lync project external accounts to AMES internal network - The restrictions around what AMES could and couldn’t do in the sense of their configuration settings made it relatively easy as to what could be allowed and what could not.
  • Having a system in place when troubleshooting end user accounts. When things didn’t work, being able to get the correct information ie; information around the operating system, Microsoft office and versions of as well as understanding end users terminology and phrases around the issues in comparison to ours. This was greatly assisted by the Lync project’s tech teams use of the Discussion board on the ACENetwork ning and their encouragement to take screenshots as errors and issues presented making it easier for troubleshooting and resolving.
  • Bandwidth and Internet Connection resources – Was there an impact on AMES resources as a result of increased activity during project timeframe. There was no noticeable draw on AMES resources either bandwidth or internet usage and although AMES did upgrade its bandwidth limits it was due to other internal factors not Lync. With the advent of more mobile users this means more VPN connections.

  • Requires a server running 32 GB of RAM or above and software Windows Server 2008 or above operating system and Lync Edge server.
  • Using screenshots of problems and sharing the desktop. Testing the problem and referring this to Microsoft for follow up. Also sharing the problems on the ACE network Ning.
  • Having a system in place to solve the problems. Critical in gettingthe information from the user – When were you using? What were you using? What was the problem? Challenge to provide the right information to assist with helping to solve the problem. The end point user required knowledge about their operating system – issues with up-dates. The Discussion Board was a good collaborative hub.
  • Pre knowledge of what the Learn Local Centres had in the way of infrastructure & knowledge. Learners will also need to be given knowledge that the Web App is easier to deal with.
  • The mobile app was a breakthrough. Both accessible on iPad, iPhone and Android. Version 1 iPad Mobile App didn’t work. Literature says that the whiteboard should be available. Web Browser should be used for the Mac users which gives extra functionality i.e. the whiteboard and viewing presentation content
  • Choosing a Microsoft Lync specialist for installation – more expensive however in the long run time and expense saving in the troubleshooting processes. Working with Lync specialists results in an increased understanding of how things work and increased skillset enabling more efficient management and troubleshooting skills.
  • Ongoing management – fortnightly checks and applications of required Microsoft patches / updates. Yearly reviews internally to check what is working well and what is not, and what internal and external systems might be impacting on current installations to determine system, hardware and software upgrades etc.
  • Internally in 2014 AMES is looking at running a pilot where they will replace their current PBX telephony with Lync, creating Lync and voice gateways within their organisation to reduce internal running costs with current set up.
  • Microsoft Exchange server is required for Microsoft Outlook integration with Lync.

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