Getting Started with the Skype for Business On-Demand Assessment

The Skype for Business Assessment is a proactive service to diagnose potential issues with your environment. This service can be used against a single Lync/Skype for Business Server environment with up to 85 servers and 150,000 users. Lync Server 2010, Lync Server 2013 and Skype for Business Server 2015 are supported, in either single or mixed version environments.

Edge service configuration is analyzed, however, Edge servers are not, due to the necessary deployment within the perimeter network. Office Communication Server products are not supported.

The recommendations cover areas such as change control, monitoring, disaster recovery, service level agreements, configuration items and the proper function of the major components of the Lync/Skype for Business environment.

The recommendations cover areas such as Hardware Configuration and Settings, Event Logs Information, Lync/Skype for Business Server Information and Settings, Server Performance Analysis, Quality of Experience and Call Detail Data Analysis, and Operational Excellence

This assessment is designed to provide you specific actionable guidance grouped in Focus Areas to mitigate risks to your Lync/Skype for Business environment.

The Skype for Business Assessment focuses on several key pillars, including:

  • Hardware Configuration and Settings
  • Event Logs Information
  • Lync/Skype for Business Server Information and Settings
  • Server Performance Analysis
  • Quality of Experience and Call Detail Data Analysis
  • Operational Excellence

Running the Skype for Business Assessment

Prerequisites

In order to take full advantage of the On-Demand Assessments available through Services Hub, you must:

  1. Have linked an active Azure Subscription to Services Hub and added the Windows Server Assessment. For more information please see: Getting Started with On-Demand Assessments or watch the how to link video.

  2. Install the Microsoft Monitoring Agent and choose the appropriate agent setup option on a supported Windows Server machine. You can also watch the video guide on how to install the agent or how to configure the gateway.

  3. A domain account (User or Managed Service Account) with the following rights:

    a. Domain Admin on every domain of the forest, or, Local Administrator access for all Lync/Skype for Business Servers (including Survivable Branch Appliances or Servers, also known as SBA/SBS)

    b. Membership of Lync/Skype for Business Server related Active Directory groups:

    • RTCComponentUniversalServices
    • RTCSBAUniversalServices
    • RTCUniversalSBATechnicians
    • RTCUniversalServerAdmins
    • RTCUniversalUserAdmins
    • CSAdministrator

    c. Local administrator on all SQL servers that support Lync/Skype for Business Server (for clusters, on all nodes where the instance can be present)

    d. For each Lync/Skype for Business Server related instance, minimum set of permissions need to be at least

    • Connect SQL
    • View any Database
    • View Server State

    e. For each Lync/Skype for Business Server related database, specially RTC database on Enterprise Edition pools, and LcsCDR and QoEMetrics databases that support Lync/Skype for Business Server Monitoring server role, minimum set of permissions need to be at least

    • Connect
    • Execute
    • Select
  4. Review the Pre-Requisites document for the Skype for Business Assessment. This document explains the detailed technical documentation of the Skype for Business Assessment and the preparation needed to run the assessment. It also documents the different types of data collected by the assessment. Note: On average, it takes an hour to initially configure your environment to run an On-Demand Assessment. After you run an assessment you can review the data in Azure Log Analytics. This will provide you with a prioritized list of recommendations, categorized across six focus areas. This allows you and your team to quickly understand risk levels, the health of your environments, act to decrease risk, and improve your overall IT health.

Setup the Skype for Business Assessment on the data collection machine - Watch Video Guide

Note: You will only be able to successfully setup the assessment once you have linked your Azure Subscription to Services Hub and added the Skype for Business Assessment from Health -> Assessments in Services Hub.

  1. On the data collection machine create the following folder: C:\LogAnalytics\SfB (or any other folder as you may please)

  2. Open regular PowerShell (not ISE) in Administrator mode and run the below cmdlet:

Add-SfBAssessmentTask -WorkingDirectory <Directory>

command where Directory is the path to an existing directory used to store the files created while collecting and analyzing the data from the environment.

Note: If the directory does not exist, it must be created before you continue with the execution.

  1. Data collection is triggered by the scheduled task named “SfBAssessment” within an hour of running the previous script and then every 7 days. The task can be modified to run on a different date/time or even forced to run immediately from the task scheduler library -> Microsoft -> Operations Management Suite -> AOI*** -> Assessments -> SfBAssessment

  2. During collection and analysis, data is temporarily stored under the Working Directory folder that was configured during setup

  3. After a few hours, your assessment results will be available on your Log Analytics and Services Hub Dashboard. You can navigate to see the results by going into Services Hub -> Health -> Assessments and then clicking on "View all recommendations" against the active assessment

  4. If you wish to get a Microsoft Accredited Engineer to go over the issues about your Lync/Skype for Business environment with you, you can contact your Microsoft Representative and ask them about the Remote or Onsite PFE Led Delivery

    Contract Remote Engineer Onsite Engineer
    Premier Skype for Business Remote Datasheet Skype for Business Onsite Datasheet
    Unified Skype for Business Remote Datasheet Skype for Business Onsite Datasheet

For general feedback on the Resource Center or content, please submit your response to UserVoice. For specific requests and content updates regarding the Services Hub, contact our Support Team to submit a case.