Unable to patch Skype on Sonus SBA

I recently was working on a Sonus SBA, patching away, when I found the patch process failing me. The copying, installation, and what appeared to be overall process was generally working but when the last patch (server.msi) was being applied, the process would fail.

Looking at the ASM/server directly I found the Skype server service was not starting – in fact it was unable to fully start as the DynDB database and log files were missing. Odd – must have been dropped during the last patch process, more than likely when the databases were being upgraded. Simple fix (or so I thought) – run Install-CsDatabase -LocalDatabases -Verbose and the missing database and log would be created…or should have been. However, the process failed with an error stating network name not found:

RtcDyn db state is: DbState_DoesNotExist

Dyn Data Path = C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynDbPath, Dyn Log Path = C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynLogPath.

Creating database rtcdyn from scratch. Data File Path = C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynDbPath, Log File Path= C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynLogPath.

Clean installing database rtcdyn.

System.IO.IOException: The network name cannot be found.

Now that is just silly – C:\ not found? I could navigate to the path, the permissions matched the FE servers I have in production, so something else was off. Turns out, when the database install process happens local (SBA/SE) or remotely (FE) the installation still uses the \\servername\c$ method to connect and create the databases. In the SBA case, it was hardened by Sonus security template and the C$ was removed.

It is also interesting to note this impacts tools like SCCM and its ability to push the client – no C$ = no ability to connect. So, in our case, the fix was simple. Add the C$ share to C:\ and re-start the upgrade. To add the share simply right-click in the Shares window, select New Share, and start the share wizard.

Enter C:\ as the folder path you wish to share.

Windows will warn you this is a bad idea – acknowledge that you know more than the system by clicking Yes.

Enter the hidden share name of C$ (and optionally enter a description (the standard being Default Share)).

Select the second radio button, granting administrators full access and others read. The permissions will be reset after a reboot and selecting the second option allows you to validate/test the process.

The final result should show the admin share in your list.

As mentioned, this is only a temporary fix – the share is removed when rebooted and the system policies are reapplied. So make sure you perform this workaround just before the patch is installed and all should work as expected.

RtcDyn db state is: DbState_DoesNotExist

Dyn Data Path = C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynDbPath, Dyn Log Path = C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynLogPath.

Creating database rtcdyn from scratch. Data File Path = C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynDbPath, Log File Path= C:\CsData\RtcDatabaseStore\rtclocal\DynLogPath.

Clean installing database rtcdyn.

Creating database rtcdyn. Attempt: 1

Setting the database rtcdyn to restricted mode.

Database rtcdyn set to mode Restricted.

Setting database options.

Begin transaction.

Creating objects from dbcommon.sql.

Creating database objects.

Executing Types.sql...

Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition Released

Microsoft has released the Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition (CCE), now generally available for download. The download is quite small and for good reason - it is simply a process that kicks off the download of all the ISO files required to create the virtual environment.

To use the CCE, a dedicated Windows Serer 2012 R2 server is required (and yes, you must license the VMs so more than likely Data Center will be what you use or multiple Standard edition licenses). The installer will check to make sure you have the minimum required resources which. To plan for the hardware look to the planning guide found on TechNet here.

So while the CCE is free, there are a couple of paid requirements. One, you must have a SIP trunk on premise which you can connect to - a qualified SIP trunk or SBC - as control over the digits coming to and from the SIP trunk is limited (read E.164 expected/required). Two, one or more dedicated Hyper-V hosts (multiple if HA is required). Three, O365 licensed Skype users with Cloud PBX. The last point is a big one in that CCE will work ONLY in environments where there is no on premise Skype/Lync/OCS installed. This solution is designed for those that want to have Enterprise Voice in their O365 deployment but for whatever reason wish to use their on premise voice solution / plan / gateway.

The release of the Skype for Business Cloud Connector Edition opens up doors for those that cannot or will not license PSTN via O365 and remember, this is Gen1 so expect development and growth of the product solution as time moves on. Happy downloading.