My new home – on Azure

Back in 2014 I announced the relocation of to Azure. Today I can announce we’ve moved again – this time to Azure.

For the last few years we’ve been living on Azure’s version of WordPress as an “App Service” hosted in the West US Region. This choice of platform has to date necessitated the use of a third-party (in this case ClearDB) to host the WordPress database.

It’s an understatement to say that I’ve not found the blog’s performance anywhere near my expectation. Googling “slow WordPress on Azure” reveals this isn’t an issue unique to me, and none of the fixes offered in any of my occasional shopping expeditions improved matters:

Continue reading ‘My new home – on Azure’ »

SfB 2015 Server Update CU6 – December 2017

Our December 2017 update – the first in 7 months – leaps the server from 6.0.9319.281 to 6.0.9319.510. It updates 7 components on my Standard Edition Front-End.

What’s Fixed?

This update enables Location-Based Routing to support the Skype for Business mobile clients. It also fixes the following issues:

  • Kb4043636 Skype for Business on Mac can’t retrieve meeting information in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4043634 Sign-in dialog box is always displayed when you try to access external web services in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4043638 Incorrect format of location information about an E911 call from Skype for Business on Mac
  • Kb4043641 Update to add a Strict-Transport-Security header to the path of all web service responses in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4043637 Update to enable Skype for Business on Mac to restrict external access in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4043633 Synthetic transactions fail after installing February 2017 update for Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4043635 You cannot sign in Web Scheduler in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036633 “We can’t sign you in because you aren’t set up to use Skype for Business” error in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036631 Can’t join an application sharing session of meeting in Skype for Business Server 2015 that has May 2017 update applied
  • Kb4036632 UCWA clients still can sign in from external networks when the external access is disabled in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036630 Can’t schedule or join a meeting after you apply May 2017 Cumulative Update for Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036625 Enables the peer-to-peer file transfer feature for Skype for Business on Mac clients in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036627 Event ID 16385 floods in Skype for Business Server 2015 Director pools
  • Kb4023993 LS Data MCU events 41024, 41025 and 41026 are constantly generated after you install the May 2017 .NET Framework update
  • Kb4036621 Mid-call control like “Stop my video” fails if a call occurs from a VTC endpoint in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036622 “ONLINE_USER_COUNT_SETTING is immutable” error occurs if you manage chat user roles with BeginAddUsersOrGroupsToRole
  • Kb4036623 “Action couldn’t be completed” error when you upload a file to a persistent chat room in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036615 Sets the default value of the “EnableDelegateManagement” attribute to “true” in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036614 “From number” is missing in the Peer-to-Peer Session Detail Report when you dial a PSTN number in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036620 Can’t join meeting by using Skype for Business Room System or Surface Hub devices in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036618 Meeting URLs are visible in search results of a search engine in Skype for Business Server 2015
  • Kb4036619 Lync or Skype for Business client can’t be started to join meeting if default browser is Firefox 52 or a later version
  • Kb4036612 Event Id 53530 is logged and connection to SQL database is lost in Skype for Business Server 2015 Persistent Chat Server
  • Kb4036617 User move fails and many SIP messages are queued after you apply August 2016 update for Skype for Business Server 2015

Continue reading ‘SfB 2015 Server Update CU6 – December 2017’ »

Lync 2013 / SfB 2015 Client Update – December 2017

Our November update took us to 15.0.4981.1000 and today Kb 4011284 nudges us up a few builds to 15.0.4989.1000.

What’s Fixed

This update fixes the following issues:

  • Kb 4054669 Can’t set the maximum number of contacts for a Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013) user
  • Kb 4054671 “The requested operation was blocked by policy” error when signing in to Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013)
  • Kb 4054670 Delegates and call forwarding settings are removed in Skype for Business Basic for Office 365 ProPlus users

Continue reading ‘Lync 2013 / SfB 2015 Client Update – December 2017’ »

Tricking Windows 10 into talking to an old SBC


Deliberately circumventing browser security is NOT a good idea.

OK, with that mandatory common-sense warning out of the way, those of you who know why we’re doing this are welcome to continue reading.

Today was the *second* occasion in the last fortnight where I’ve needed to talk to a customer’s SBC that was still running a relatively ancient version of firmware – and none of my browsers would let me circumvent modern-day security practices to access these “unsecure” sites. The Catch-22 is of course that the only way to upgrade their inbuilt web-server to use currently secure protocols is via their present-day obsolete web-server, which your browser is “correctly” shielding you from.

These are the sorts of messages you’ll encounter if you try to browse to a Sonus or AudioCodes SBC that’s been neglected, languishing on old firmware, and unless you’re mighty lucky, you’re not going to get anywhere:



Can't connect securely to this page
This might be because the site uses outdated or unsafe TLS security settings. If this keeps happening, try contacting the website's owner.


Continue reading ‘Tricking Windows 10 into talking to an old SBC’ »

Add-WindowsFeature for AudioCodes IPP Express

I hit a snag earlier this week when installing AudioCodes’ IP Phone Manager Express.

The installer adds the usual Windows Features/Roles – but it does so assuming the media is in D:\sources\sxs, and it’s not something you can change.


Rather than just remapping drives & folders when there was an opportunity for some PowerShell, I manually translated the DISM commands back into their PowerShell equivalents so I could easily install them myself. When I then re-ran the installer it found no additions were necessary and was able to continue on its merry way.


add-windowsfeature -source c:\temp\sxs -name net-framework-features,Web-WebServer,Web-Server,Web-Common-Http,Web-Static-Content,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Dir-Browsing, Web-Http-Errors,Web-Http-Redirect,Web-App-Dev,Web-CGI,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,Web-Health,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Log-Libraries,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Http-Tracing,Web-Security,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Digest-Auth,Web-Client-Auth,Web-Cert-Auth,Web-Url-Auth,Web-Filtering,Web-IP-Security,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-DAV-publishing,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Scripting-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Service,Web-Mgmt-Compat,Web-Metabase,Web-WMI,Web-Lgcy-Scripting,Web-FTP-Server,Web-FTP-Service,Web-FTP-Ext,Web-Net-Ext45,Web-Asp-NET45,Web-AppInit,Web-WebSockets,Web-CertProvider,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console

I hope this is helpful to someone in a similar situation.

Revision History

25th November 2017. This is the initial post.


– G.

Review: SEFAUtil Server – Enterprise Edition

Earlier this year I looked in some depth at the Beta version of Landis Technologies’ “SEFAUtil Server”.

It’s since hit a formal “GA” milestone, and I’m pleased to see it’s a more stable platform as a result of its lengthy gestation.

If you’re not familiar with Microsoft’s “Secondary Extension Feature Activation Utility” for Lync and Skype for Business – or why there’s a burning need for third-party add-ons like SEFAUtil Server – have a read of the intro from my Installing SEFAUtil Server and pop back here when you’re done.

Continue reading ‘Review: SEFAUtil Server – Enterprise Edition’ »

Lync 2013 / SfB 2015 Client Update – November 2017

Our October Security update took us to 15.0.4971.1000 and today Kb 4011255 jumps us up 10 builds to 15.0.4981.1000.

What’s Fixed

This update fixes the following issues:

  • Kb 4051054 Phone number instead of contact name is displayed for an Active Directory contact in Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013)
  • Kb 4051055 A contacts group is deleted when renaming the group by using the Delete key in Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013)
  • Kb 4051056 Anonymous meeting join fails if the meeting organizer is disabled for federation in Skype for Business 2015 (Lync 2013)
  • Kb 4051057 Can’t join a meeting through Lync Web App after the meeting can’t be joined from the Skype Meeting Add-in in Outlook

Continue reading ‘Lync 2013 / SfB 2015 Client Update – November 2017’ »

Review: TechSmith Snagit 2018

The screen-grabs here at are these days all captured & refined by TechSmith’s “Snagit” screen-capture utility. Prior to becoming an MVP I relied entirely on the free Windows “Snipping Tool”, but that all changed when TechSmith was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of Snagit. It quickly became indispensable, and so I purchased a separate copy for my work PC.

Snagit gives me a lot of editing power in a small economical package. I love how what I call the “munching tool” (aka “cut out”) lets me imperceptibly remove white-space, or add tear-marks to show where I’ve removed part of an image for brevity. I can delete text (like an unwanted date-stamp) leaving only the background, blur sensitive details, highlight the important bits, and much more.

Compare an original with the edited version:



New: “Grab Text”

Continue reading ‘Review: TechSmith Snagit 2018’ »

Polycom VVX & Trio Time Zone Location Description

I was working on a Polycom VVX configuration file recently and it took me a while to find where the timezone cities were defined: all I had was a mysterious integer.

I found them in the PDF “3725-49078-018a-uc-software-skype-for-business-deployment-guide-5-6-0.pdf” but for future reference I decided to copy and re-post them here.

From the PDF: “The following two parameters configure a time zone location description for their associated GMT offset”

  • device.sntp.gmtOffsetcityID
  • tcpIpApp.sntp.gmtOffsetcityID

Here’s one in context (with Sydney showing in this example):

<device device.sntp.gmtOffsetcityID="113" device.sntp.gmtOffsetcityID.set="1" />

Continue reading ‘Polycom VVX & Trio Time Zone Location Description’ »

Office 2016 client path prevents SfB MOH playing

It’s been a big week for Music On Hold. I’ve found a bug in the Office 2016 client that kills MOH if you mute, and another one again – this time related to the path your Office installed itself into.

The symptoms were simple enough: internally, or for external parties when the Sonus SBC’s own MOH feature was disabled, putting callers on hold resulted in them hearing silence.

I thought this was going to be a simple client policy fix, but nup:

get-csclientpolicy | ft identity,*music* -auto


Continue reading ‘Office 2016 client path prevents SfB MOH playing’ »