Lync VMs and Virtual Audio Cable

The need to have dedicated PCs each with an audio device for testing Lync audio can sometimes be a challenge, especially in lab environments where all of the clients are virtualized. If you use the console or remote desktop on a virtual machine running Lync you’ll see the warning that no audio device is connected:

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And if you check your Audio Device settings, Lync will tell you that no device has been found. This prevents you from testing any audio functionality, which can be handy in a lab to validate Edge server or gateway integration scenarios.

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A solution here is to leverage a tool called Virtual Audio Cable, which offers a free trial available here: http://www.ntonyx.com/vac_demo.htm

To get started, unzip the package and run the installation on a VM. After the software is installed you can create the virtual audio devices. Navigate to the Virtual Audio Cable folder within the Start Menu. Right-click on Control Panel and select “Run As Administrator” to open the configuration utility.

Enter 2 for cables and press Set. Then exit the application.

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Now open Lync again and check the Audio Device settings. You can select Virtual Audio Cable Line 1 for the speaker, and Line 2 for the microphone.

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At this point you can now make and receive phone calls within the VM (although you can’t hear anything!)

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I should note that this has to be done from the console session of a Hyper-V or VMware VM. Connections via Remote Desktop will not work the same way. And to be perfectly clear, this has absolutely nothing to do with the VDI functionality in Lync 2010 or 2013. It is purely for lab and testing purposes.

Site Refresh

It makes me sad to realize this blog redesign started over a year ago, and it's still ridiculously unfinished, but I think it's in a usable state. My original intent was to finish every possible corner, and clean up my CSS and HTML code before launching the page, but I've long given up on that idea and realized it's probably a hopeless dream. Since the day I started this redesign I've gotten married and had a daughter, so I think the days of having extra free time to work on the website are long gone. I'm not sure any component of the page is in it's final state today, but I hope to keep fine-tuning and editing items incrementally (hopefully without breaking anything!)

So, enjoy.

Drop me a line on Twitter if you notice any problems and I'll try to clean them up. And yes, I probably make about 50 cents if you buy Lync Server 2010 Unleashed through the link on the pages. But you can feel good about funding my daughter's college education by buying it from Amazon.

Cisco UCS M81KR NICs on Server 2012

We use Cisco UCS internally at my company because of its flexibility and sheer awesomeness. On top of the ridiculously cool NIC failover abilities, it lets us do crazy stuff like move entire Hyper-V servers between different physical blades in a matter of minutes. I noticed today that after installing a new Server 2012 node from iSCSI boot only a single NIC was present on the server. I had added 3 other vNICs via UCS manager, but Windows had only activated the one iSCSI used for the boot process. I checked Device Manager and found all of the Cisco VIC Ethernet Interfaces appeared as if they were missing a driver. When I tried to update the driver Windows reported it was already up to date.

In order to fix this just open up the properties of the VIC in Device Manager, navigate to the Driver tab, and select Uninstall. Repeat for each VIC showing the yellow warning sign. At the end, right-click the Network adapters and choose Scan for hardware changes. The NICs should come right up with a functional driver.