Unity Connection 8.5 single inbox issues to be aware of (and work arounds)

Unanswered Question
Jul 11th, 2011

This isn't a question...more information published that I would have liked to have had access to that I'm sharing.

This weekend we completed an upgrade for a customer who did an upgrade from Unity v4 to Unity Connection v8.5.  Because they wanted to retain the unified messaging capabilities, they asked us to configure the single inbox feature (which places a copy in Exchange and then tracks both exchange and Unity Connection to keep the message status synchronized ….i.e. New, saved, deleted, etc.).

The customer environment includes 3 Microsoft Exchange 2003 clusters, and a new Exchange 2010 cluster that is not yet in use.  The plan is to migrate the users to the 2010 environment over the next few weeks.

Two options exist for the Unified Messaging connections.  They can be created by pointing to a specific server (which gives you access to mailboxes on that server only), or you can point it at Active Directory to get access to all the exchange servers via LDAP location of the mailbox as long as it's on an Exchange 2003, 2007, or 2010 installation.

There is some false information out there that Exchange 2003 cannot be used with the automatic location methodology.  I even had TAC tell me this.  It isn’t true.  It CAN be used but it REQUIRES that the Exchange 2003 setup be done in a manner so that it is using SSL (which is not the default setup for Exchange 2003).  If Exchange 2003 is not set up as a secure setup, then the only option is the specific server option.  It’s less flexible, but in the case of an upcoming migration, the customer is probably worried about things like BES server integration and other applications that could potentially break, and they won’t want to spend time fixing an environment they are retiring. 

The advantage to auto location is that since it’s tracking the mailbox via AD, if the mailbox is moved from the 2003 to 2010 environment, no reconfiguration of the Unity Connection server is required. 

It is possible to do the single inbox configuration in bulk at the time the users are created.  However, you must know which configuration each user requires at the time you create them.  If the customer can’t or won’t provide this, and you have to use the manual method, you will have to manually "find" each subscriber.  For 400 subscribers, it takes approximately 6 hours of sitting in front of the keyboard doing them one at a time if you validate as you go.  Plan accordingly.

We also ran into an issue where voicemail messages were synchronizing correctly with some mailboxes, but others on the same server weren’t working.  I suspected this was an exchange issue, and we eventually discovered the root cause to be an issue there.  The system threw an error into the Windows application event log that gave a message that said essentially “failed to create a new named property for database <cut> number of named properties reached the quota limit”.  This issue is documented by Microsoft, and fixed by adjusting/creating a registry entry.  We had to adjust the value of the NonMAPI Named Props Quota using the instructions found here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb851493(EXCHG.80).aspx

We doubled this from 8192 to 16384 (decimal), and this resolves the issue with no restart required. 

As a side note, when setting up single inbox in the lab environment, I found that there is also another possible problem when setting up single inbox with Exchange 2003.  The problem manifests itself that no messages in UCxN can propagate to Exchange.  I found that the root cause was that a tool had been installed (either as part of the original install, or one of the service packs) of something called IIS URLScan.  There is documentation on adjusting the filters, but I was unable to get them to work.  I ended up uninstalling the URL scan software via the Windows Add Remove programs, and that resolves the issue.

I have this problem too.
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Tommer Catlin Mon, 07/11/2011 - 08:46

I actually did a 2003 with NO SSL, and it worked fine.  The problem I had was the user account I had to configure Single Inbox with this Exchange 2003 enviroment, you had to login into the box to inititae the WebDav usage.  Apparently its a known problem.  So trying to be slick, I used one of the Unity Messaging service accounts to try and make it work.  Well, none of those had ever logged into Exchange email account.  Once we did that, it all worked fine.

I did not use automatic location but used the IP address of the Exchange server I wanted to cut down on some WAN traffic.

Good notes though!!!

Jonathan Schulenberg Mon, 07/11/2011 - 13:04

Great information Clifford. Do you have any links to Microsoft documentation that explains the Exchange 2003 SSL configuration necessary for auto-discovery to work?

cmcglamry Thu, 08/04/2011 - 02:39

Nothing specific.  Essentially, you have to set up SSL on IIS. If you do it on the root, then it will affect things underneath the root unless you specifically except them. 

There are some good articles on setting up IIS for OWA here:  http://www.petri.co.il/configure_ssl_on_owa.htm

You'll need to put a certificate on the server....it can be self signed as long as UCxN isn't configured to check for revocation, etc.  In the Default Web Site Properties dialog box, on the Directory Security tab, in the Secure communications area, click Edit.  In the Secure Communications dialog box, click the Require secure channel (SSL) check box, click the Require 128-bit encryption check box, and then click OK.  Click OK all the way out, and close Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager. Note that you might want to restart the World Wide Web Publishing service just in case, although generally this is not required.

panjwani80 Wed, 08/03/2011 - 21:56

Hi Tommer,

I need to do unity connection 8.5 single inbox integration with exchange 2003. The issue you highlighted in your post above

isn't making much sense to me. I would appreciate if you elaborate bit more on how you resoved this issue and explain what do you mean when you said "you had to login into the box to initiate the WebDav usage"?

Thanks

Aamir

twilson217@gmail.com Wed, 09/21/2011 - 05:39

Hey guys, I just posted this in another thread too. I'm just trying to get a quick reply. Can anyone tell me when you migrate from unified messaging to single inbox with connection 8.5, is single inbox able to recognize voicemails that have been previously left in exchange by unity? In other words, if I export data from unity with UM using cobras and import that into connection with single inbox, is it going to dump the same voicemail into my users' mailboxes a second time?

Thank you!

cmcglamry Wed, 09/21/2011 - 06:32

If you migrate from Unity to Unity Connection going from Unified Messaging with Unity to SIngle Inbox on Connection, the new system will not recognize the old voicemails already in the mailbox.  However, they will still be present (and accessable via Exchange/Outlook).  If you export the messages, and then import them into Connection, they will be present in Connection, and added to Exchange a second time by single inbox. 

jdiegmueller Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:23

Clifford McGlamry wrote:

If you migrate from Unity to Unity Connection going from Unified Messaging with Unity to SIngle Inbox on Connection, the new system will not recognize the old voicemails already in the mailbox.  However, they will still be present (and accessable via Exchange/Outlook).  If you export the messages, and then import them into Connection, they will be present in Connection, and added to Exchange a second time by single inbox. 

This is (unfortunately) 100% accurate, and the only real weakness in a Unity to Unity Connection migration.  If it wasn't for this, I could often get away without even alerting the user base of the migration. 

Evaluating the two options, "duplicate messages" has never seemed acceptable to me, so I've always opted to NOT import messages in to Connection.

For customers whose user base can't get their head wrapped around the concept of "your saved voice messages are still there in Exchange, you simply can't play them from your phone", we have handled this by leaving the old Unity server online for 30 days and renumbering the pilot point for that Unity server.  Combining this approach with a communique to the user base explaining when the switchover is, that they can still access their saved messages via Outlook, and that if they insist on using the TUI to access them they have 30 days to do so has been a successful approach for me.

-jd

jdiegmueller Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:05


Clifford McGlamry wrote:

It is possible to do the single inbox configuration in bulk at the time the users are created.  However, you must know which configuration each user requires at the time you create them.  If the customer can’t or won’t provide this, and you have to use the manual method, you will have to manually "find" each subscriber.  For 400 subscribers, it takes approximately 6 hours of sitting in front of the keyboard doing them one at a time if you validate as you go.  Plan accordingly.

I had a similiar situation this week, wherein my customer was only a part of a much larger Exchange 2003 environment.  Due to various factors outside of the control of my customer contacts, we were unable to use Connection's "Search for Exchange Servers" functionality and had to create individual Unified Messaging Services for each Exchange 2003 server we had users on.

The approach I used was as follows:

* I proceeded with the COBRAS export/import, and I did NOT apply a Unified Messaging Service to the User Template I used when importing the users,

* I then used Subscriber Information Dump (SID) on the old Unity server and included ALIAS and HOME_EXCHANGE_SERVER,

* I created my various Unified Messaging Services in Connection and (creatively) named them the hostname of the Exchange server they were manually configured to use,

* I applied the Unified Messaging Service to one (and only one) user,

* I ran a Connection Bulk Administrator Tool Export of Unified Messaging Accounts and download the CSV,

* Using the CSV from the previous step as template, I massaged the SID export to a format appropriate for Connection's Bulk Administration Tool "Create Unified Messaging Accounts" format, mapping ALIAS to SubscriberAlias,  HOME_EXCHANGE_SERVER to ServiceDisplayName, and blanking UMEmailAddress (since I am leveraging the "Use Corporate Email Address" field on the UM Services),

* I removed the Unified Messaging Service from the one user I applied it to (referenced above), and finally

* I ran Bulk Administation Tool Import of Unified Messaging Service Accounts with the CSV generated by the previous step.

This took maybe 10 minutes or so for over 2200 users, and eliminated the (very probable) possibility of me making manual errors when cross-checking the user's mailbox server.

-jd

abal Sun, 03/18/2012 - 07:39

I am doing an upgrade from Unity 5 UM to Unity Connection 8.6 with Single Inbox connecting to Exchange 2003 and 2010. I have a situation where the voice messages for users on Exchange 2003 are not going into their exchange/outlook inbox. The ip phone MWI lights and you can listen to the voice message using the phone but the voice message is not delivered to the user outlook 2003 inbox. For users in exchange 2010 messages are delivered to the Oulook inbox and can be played using VMO.

I have checked the following on CUC 8.6:

- Mailbox synch service is started

- Tested UM service account shows everything is OK with the UM service account connects using WebDAV.

- SMTP proxy address has correct email address

- Checked with Exchange Administrator no IIS URLscan software installed.

Any other ideas to assist with troubleshooting the problem?

abal Fri, 03/23/2012 - 04:07

Update for anyone who might be faced with a similar issue.

After extensive troubleshooting found out the problem to be with MS Exchange 2003 server database disk quota size. The Exchange administrator moved some mailboxes to another Exchange 2003 database and hooray voice messages started being delivered into Outlook inbox.

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Posted July 11, 2011 at 7:31 AM
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