Microsoft Lync is a commonly used collaboration application by organizations that runs a Windows environment. Employees in large organizations often use Lync as a medium to send chat messages, setup internal and external conference calls, share screens with remote users, and other call recording facilities. All this makes Lync a critical application that system administrators need to monitor continuously to prevent from failing.

   

When Microsoft released Lync Server 2013, it shipped Lync Server 2013 with a built-in monitoring functionality. All you have to do is enable the monitoring functionality on the Front-End Server. If you’re using a previous version on Lync then you probably have a dedicated monitoring server running separately. You don’t have to do this if you’re using Lync Server 2013. Using the built in monitoring functionality in Lync 2013 allows you to access a variety of reports based on Lync’s call detail recording. Some of the key reports you can access are:

  • User activity report: Get a summary of what users are sharing via the instant messaging window in Lync. It can be any multi-media files, and other file transfer sessions.
  • Conference summary report: Get a summary of conference calls involving more than 3 people. Look at conference call times and other conference activities.
  • IP phone inventory report: Generate a report that shows user logins and which IP phones they’re mapped to. Get a complete list that shows which users are active on Lync and which users haven’t logged on to Lync. Have an up to date phone inventory based on user login patterns and determine active and inactive users.
  • Call admission control report: This report shows you all conference activities and user activities. The call admission control will alert the leader whether video calls are permitted with a particular call. In some instances, if many users are having a video call, there can be a network bottleneck. Also, depending on the type of session, you can estimate your network speed and availability.

       

These reports give you the overall system usage summary for all your users. As IT admins, you can also answer key questions that are raised by your senior IT managers on Lync performance – whether it’s related to the amount of calls made in a given hour, if call recordings are taking a long time to process, how many users are connecting from outside the office with or without a mobile device, or if latency issues are present, etc.

     

The built-in monitoring functionality will only tell you information about the performance of the Lync server. To drill down deeper to diagnose and troubleshoot when issues arise, you need an application performance monitoring software that will show you: where the bottleneck in Lync is, connection delays are, incoming and outgoing requests, messages, responses, and many more that goes beyond Lync performance. All these components in Lync Server 2013 are critical to monitor. With these, you can assess the status and overall health of services as well as the performance of front-end Microsoft Lync Server 2013.