Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Effectively Managing Lync from a 32-bit Windows OS

Although it is less common these days, occasionally you may run into a situation where you or a customer may need to manage your Lync infrastructure from a 32-bit machine (typically Windows XP or Server 2003).  Leveraging both the Lync Control Panel and Lync Management Shell commands run remotely, this becomes one less obstacle for you to worry about.

Since the Lync Control Panel is web-based, it is accessible from any Silverlight capable PC browser, such as Internet Explorer (or even Firefox, Chrome, and some versions of Safari!, Silverlight Compatibility).  As I'm sure you're aware, installing the Lync Management Tools on a 32-bit OS are not possible.  And while you still cannot run Topology Builder on Windows XP or Server 2003 (32-bit), using the information below you can perform the majority of the Lync management tasks.

  • PowerShell 2.0 ( - Since Windows XP and Server 2003 were released pre-PowerShell, you'll need to download v2 and install it.  Vista clients were initially released with PowerShell v1, so they will also have to be upgraded as well.

Steps to connect your 32-bit client to Lync remotely through PowerShell:

Create a PowerShell Profile (more info on PowerShell Profiles here) by saving the following commands into a *.ps1 file:

#Import the Lync module
$lyncOptions = New-PSSessionOption -SkipRevocationCheck -SkipCACheck -SkipCNCheck
$lync = New-PSSession -ConnectionUri https://LyncInternalWebFQDN/ocspowershell `
-SessionOption $lyncOptions `
-Authentication NegotiateWithImplicitCredential

Import-PSSession $lync

By using a PowerShell Profile, any time you launch PowerShell, a Remote Powershell session will be connected to the server specified in the ConnectionUri parameter and will allow you to execute the Lync-specific commands even though you don't have the Lync PowerShell Module installed locally.  Alternatively, you could just run the commands above within PowerShell on an as-needed basis without creating a Profile.

Note that you will need to make sure you use the Internal Lync Web Services FQDN since we are making the connection over HTTPS.

*Additional credit goes to Mike Pfeiffer for the remote PowerShell syntax.  See his blog post here.

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