5 Tips for Installing the Lync 2013 Monitoring Reports

The Microsoft documentation for Lync Server 2013 has improved considerably from previous releases. Having recently walked through a couple of installations of the native Lync Monitoring reports, the process is documented much better than in the Office Communication Server days! The documentation related to installing the prerequisite SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) for example is much improved.  

If you are installing the native Lync Server 2013 reports, along with the TechNet documentation, these 5 tips will get you up and running faster.

1] What are the High Level Steps to get the Lync 2013 Monitoring Reports Working?

There are many Microsoft TechNet articles on planning, configuring, deploying, and installing the monitoring reports. The basic process boils down to these 4 steps (and many associated configuration tasks):

  1. Enable and Activate Monitoring on your Front End Pools
  2. Install Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
  3. Install the Lync Server 2013 Monitoring Reports
  4. Set the Native Lync Monitoring Reports URL

The associated configuration tasks for each of these steps are described in more detail in this Microsoft TechNet article: Deploying Monitoring.

2] Can the Monitoring Reports be Installed on the Lync Back End SQL Database?

            Yes.  This is likely in Lync Server 2013 because you can collocate one monitoring database with one back-end database on a single SQL instance, and it is recommended to install the native Lync Monitoring reports on the same computer where the monitoring database is installed to simplify permissions.

            If the Lync deployment requires more than one monitoring database, it must be installed an another SQL instance. See the TechNet article “Server Collocation in an Enterprise Edition Front End Pool Deployment” for more information.

            Also remember that a single monitoring store can be used by multiple Lync pools – as long as it can scale.

            3] How can I Quickly Determine if the SQL Server Reporting Services are Installed? 

            The SQL Reporting Services Configuration Manager can be used to check if SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) is installed. In the screen shot below, if there is no Report Server Instance available to connect to (i.e. the Connect button is greyed out), you do not have SSRS installed.

            When you do have a Report Server Instance installed, it will look like this:

            image

            Quick Tips for Installing SSRS:

            • You can start the installation through: Programs | SQL Server 2008 R2 | Configuration Tools | SQL Server Installation Center (64-bit)
            • Advance to the Feature Selection page in the installation wizard and select "Reporting Services" (see screenshot)
            • Enter an Account Name that the SSRS service will run under.  I used my Domain Administrator.
            • After installing SSRS, be sure to follow the directions for creating a new Report Server database (i.e. the “If no database is listed next to the Report Server Database Name label then do the following…” step).

            4] How do I know if Lync Monitoring is Installed, Configured, and Enabled on my Lync pool?

            Because the Monitoring service in Lync Server 2013 is now collocated with the Front End, and is a check-box during installation, it can be easy to forget if it is installed and configured.  A quick look at the Pool properties in the Topology Builder let’s you know if monitoring is enabled and where the database is configured.

            The next question is whether Call Detail Record (CDR) and Quality of Experience (QoE) data is actively being collected and stored. You can check this through the Lync Control Panel or the Lync management shell.

            In the screen shot below we can see that CDR data is enabled and it will keep the data for 60 days:

            image

            See the "Configuring Call Detail Recording and Quality of Experience Settings" in TechNet for the all the CDR and QoE configuration settings (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj204621.aspx).

            5] Setting the Native Lync Monitoring Reports URL

            Although this last step is described as a “must” in the TechNet documentation (Installing Lync Server 2013 Monitoring Reports), the native Lync monitoring reports seem to work fine without it.  Following this step however does enable the “View Monitoring reports” link work in the Lync Control Panel Home Page (see screen shot below).

            I have found an issue with the TechNet documentation describing how to set the native monitoring reports URL (Installing Lync Server 2013 Monitoring Reports).

            The instructions for finding and specifying the “ReportingURL” parameter used in the Set-CsReportingConfiguration cmdlet will set the URL to the "Report Manager URL” instead of the intended home page for the Lync Monitoring Reports Home Page.  The consequence is that the “View Monitoring reports” link in the Lync Server 2013 Control Panel home page will go to root Report Manager web page and not the home page for the Lync reports.

            Instead follow the directions in the Set-CsReportingConfiguration cmdlet documentation as follows:

            1. Open the SQL Server Reporting Services Configuration Manager for the SQL Server instance that contains your monitoring database.
            2. In the Configuration Manager, click Report Manager URL and then click the URL for your Monitoring Reports. If you see two URLs, click the one that uses the https protocol.
            3. In SQL Server Reporting Services, click LyncServerReports.
            4. On the LyncServerReports page, click Reports Home Page. That will take you to the home page for the Monitoring Reports. You can then copy the URL and use that URL in conjunction with the CsReportingConfiguration cmdlets.

            image

             

            BONUS TIP : Enabling the Call Leg Media Quality Report

            The February 2013 Cumulative Updates for Lync Server 2013 included an update to the Core Components that enables a Call Leg Media Quality Report. See An update is available that enables you to use a Call Leg Media Quality Report in a Lync Server 2013 environment for more information.

            The Call Leg Media Quality Report allows you to analyze the number of calls and the associated media quality on call legs between devices on the network.

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