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 Aastra.cab
	Import-CsDeviceUpdate -Identity ('WebServer:' + $_.PoolFQDN) -FileName HP.cab
	Import-CsDeviceUpdate -Identity ('WebServer:' + $_.PoolFQDN) -FileName Polycom.cab
	Import-CsDeviceUpdate -Identity ('WebServer:' + $_.PoolFQDN) -FileName Tanjay.cab
}

The only actions required from the admin are:

  1. Download each of the Lync Phone Edition packages.
  2. Extract each UCUpdates.cab files to a single common folder. Rename them as follows: Aastra.cab, HP.cab, Polycom.cab, Tanjay.cab
  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.