Lync Topology Builder error: "The directory name is invalid"

Earlier this week I had a project where we were moving the back-end Lync database from a standalone SQL to a clustered instance (pilot to production for Enterprise Voice!), but we ran into an error I haven't hit before when trying to add the new SQL store to the topology - Topology Builder was failing on the enabling topology step with the error "The directory name is invalid." As a result the databases and permissions were not even being populated in the new instance.

We checked the usual suspects: firewalls, permissions, etc with no luck. In the end we just used a different machine that had Topology Builder installed and the same topology file published OK. After doing some more research it seems this is a very generic SQL error that can typically be resolved with a reboot (of the server trying to talk to the SQL instance). So if you hit this error I would suggest just using a different machine, or restart the one you're using.

Bulk-Uploads of Lync Phone Edition Updates

For environments with only a few Front-End pools applying device updates is a fairly simple process. You run the Import-CsDeviceUpdate cmdlet a few times to cover each phone vendor and you're done, but I've found that once you have a number of pools to update this process becomes incredibly tedious. In order to expedite this I've created a simple little PowerShell script which will search the environment for all Front-End pools and upload all the .cab files to each FE.

You can copy this text and save it as a .ps1 file on your Lync server.

Get-CsService -WebServer | Select PoolFQDN | ForEach {
	Import-CsDeviceUpdate -Identity ('WebServer:' + $_.PoolFQDN) -FileName
	Import-CsDeviceUpdate -Identity ('WebServer:' + $_.PoolFQDN) -FileName
	Import-CsDeviceUpdate -Identity ('WebServer:' + $_.PoolFQDN) -FileName
	Import-CsDeviceUpdate -Identity ('WebServer:' + $_.PoolFQDN) -FileName

The only actions required from the admin are:

  1. Download each of the Lync Phone Edition packages.
  2. Extract each files to a single common folder. Rename them as follows:,,,
  3. Open the Lync Management Shell, and CD into the folder where the .cab files were extracted.
  4. Launch the script.

    Linksys E4200 and Apple AirPlay

    Not Microsoft related, but I wanted to point out the Linksys E4200 is something to avoid for anyone who uses Apple AirPlay. Bought one a few weeks ago and updated to the latest firmware they offered. Any time I tried to stream audio to more than 2 devices via AirPlay the router would die and need a power cycling. All other features were fine, but I could consistently crash it by trying to stream to a 3rd AirPlay device. It would go totally unresponsive - wouldn't even reply to a ping from a device physically plugged into it. The AirPlay streaming to my AppleTV was also really choppy and unreliable.

    Replaced it tonight with a Belkin N750 and everything seems well.