How to Monitor Microsoft Lync

Microsoft Lync is a far-reaching platform that helps people connect from wherever they are through instant messaging, group chat, voice, audio, video and web conferencing – even in the context of other applications. But the fact that Lync connects to so many different things makes it trickier than most applications to monitor. Lync integrates with Exchange and is dependent on the SQL server as well as the Messaging Queue, IIS andEDGEservices. To properly monitor Lync, all of these things – as well as any other applications to which it is connected – must be monitored as well.

Start by running the Best Practices Analyzer for Lync

Before you begin to monitor Microsoft Lync, your starting point should be to run the Best Practices Analyzer, a very useful tool that comes with Lync. The Best Practices Analyzer will scan Lync, your Lync hardware, and all of the applications or features that your Lync installation is connected to, and then come back with reports and recommendations. The Best Practices Analyzer can be very helpful for flagging problems. For example, if you have insufficient bandwidth, too few processors on a particular server, certificate issues, or too many connections trying to connect to the Lync server, the Analyzer will let you know.

The reports that the Best Practices Analyzer produces can also be very useful. Before you begin to monitor Microsoft Lync you should run the analyzer and save the report to use as a baseline reference point. If problems should arise later, you’ll be able to run the Best Practices Analyzer again and then compare the results to a time (i.e. now) when things were running normally.

Install a third party monitoring tool

Although there are many monitoring tools built into Lync, getting these tools to generate useful alerts is more trouble than its worth. To make it easy to automate the monitoring process, we recommend that you use one of the many available third party monitoring tools.

Monitor Microsoft Lync

Here are the most important things to monitor in Lync itself:

  • Lync services – There are about 30 available Lync services. All of the Lync services that are being used in your environment must be monitored to ensure that they are in a running state.
  • Lync event log – Watch the event log for both warning and critical errors. While there are many different possible sources for these errors, all of the errors associated with Lync will start with the letters “LS”.
  • Performance counters –Performance counters give you real-time information about what’s happening on your server. Although there are hundreds of things you can choose to monitor depending on your needs, your list should include the following:
    • Client load on the Lync server – To prevent client load from causing bottlenecks on the system, be sure that this counter stays within appropriate parameters for your environment.
    • Queue depth – This shows the average number of database requests happening at any given time. Queue depth is another thing that can cause bottlenecks, and this counter also needs to stay within appropriate parameters for your environment.
    • Sproc latency – This represents the time it takes for the backend SQL server to service a request. This counter should always be less than 5,000 milliseconds, and ideally will be around 80 milliseconds.
    • LDAP search latency – This tells you how long it is taking to perform an LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) search. This should be less than 2,000 milliseconds.
    • Media operations global health – This performance counter tells you the health of all of the different Lync server media components that are installed on your Lync system. There are five possible states: normal load, light load, heavy load, overload or disabled. You must take action if the counter does not show either “normal load” or “light load.”

Monitor Lync’s components and affected applications

As I mentioned earlier, to monitor Microsoft Lync you also need to monitor all of the applications that your Lync installation interacts with, such as Exchange and SQL server, as well as the Messaging queue, IIS and EDGE services. In addition be sure to monitor all of the components of Lync itself that you are using, such as AV Conferencing, Mediation Server, Archiving Services, and Director Services. Problems in any of these areas can cause problems for Lync.

Get help monitoring Microsoft Lync

Have questions about how to monitor Microsoft Lync? Give us a call. Prefer to have your internal IT team focused on something other monitoring? Give us a call for this, too. Coyote Creek’s Remote Monitoring and Management services might be the perfect option for you.

Mohan Reddy, Senior Systems Engineer

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