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We installed a series of Lync updates last week. The full list is here:
Updates for Lync Server 2013: January 2014

As you’ll see, the updates included patches to Core Components, Conferencing, Front End Servers, Mediation and several others. Like many other Microsoft support packages, it also includes updates previously released for completion & dependencies. Which is helpful if you haven’t already done the July or February 2013 updates.

I don’t have to tell you how important it is to keep your Lync Server up-to-date. (At least I hope not!)

So why a post on following an update process? Isn’t it pretty much self-explanatory?

While there are instructions – and we should all follow them – it’s useful to have perspective on people actually doing the process. There may be snags you encounter. Steps you don’t need to take. Alternate ways to install components.

And if nothing else, having our process laid out here can provide you, our readers, with another reference point.

So with all that in mind, here’s how we installed the January 2014 Lync Updates.

The Updating Process: Prep

Log onto your Lync Server as Administrator.
From here, go to the Update page. Download the updates manually. Microsoft offers them as separate files, so you can install the updates you need. Most are in .msp format. We grabbed all of them, just in case.

Leave the Updates page open, so you’ll have instructions & details handy.

(One point to make here: We did not always specify certain criteria. The reason was, not doing so encourages the servers to put existing values into the updates. For example, auto-detecting our SQL Server. You’ll see this later.)

At this point I need to clarify something on the Update page. There are two install processes – one for Standard Edition, one for Enterprise Edition. They are clearly marked. Use the set which corresponds to your Lync Server!

(We followed the Standard Edition instructions below.)

The Updating Process: Running Step by Step

(Important Note! Make sure this takes place during a maintenance window. The Update Installer WILL bring down Lync services while it works.)

The update process begins at Step 1, with running the LyncServerUpdateInstaller.exe file on the Front End. Run it directly, not through Management Shell. And make sure to run it as Administrator if you have UAC on. Otherwise it will error out.

The installer will examine your system for its patch status. It then shows you which updates are needed with red icons. If an update has a green check icon, it’s up-to-date and will not be messed with.

The Update Installer, when you tell it OK, will apply the necessary updates to your Front End Server. The easy part. Sit back and relax a moment.

Once the installer is done, reboot the Lync Server.

Step 2 is to apply database updates. The SQL database will drop as you do. Once the server is back up, you’ll need to update your backend database via the Management Shell.

The cmdlet to use for this in Standard Edition is:
Install-CsDatabase -ConfiguredDatabases -SqlServerFqdn SE.FQDN -Verbose

Enter the SQL Server’s FQDN where you see SE.FQDN in the cmdlet above. If you don’t remember it, open up Topology Builder. (We’ll reference Topology Builder in a moment anyway.)

The backend databases updated without a hitch for us. I hope they do as well for you.

Next, the Persistent Chat databases. Run the same cmdlet again, with some different parameters:
Install-CsDatabase -DatabaseType PersistentChat -SqlServerFqdn PChatBE.fqdn -SqlInstanceName DBInstance -Verbose

Remember what I said earlier about letting servers fill in values? You can try this here. Try leaving the PChatBE.FQDN value blank and see if it works. Same with the DBInstance name.

Another thing to note: When we first ran this cmdlet, it failed. We took the SQLInstance name off, and it worked by auto-detection.
And finally for Step 2, we re-ran the cmdlet for the Monitoring store.
Install-CsDatabase -ConfiguredDatabases -SqlServerFqdn SQLServer.FQDN -Verbose

Placing the Monitoring Server’s FQDN in for SQLServer.FQDN. (If you need to recall the Monitoring Store FQDN, you can check in Topology Builder.)

The Monitoring Store may already be updated by the backend database update. If so, Management Shell will say “already up to date.” It’s still OK to do this; you won’t hurt anything.

Step 3 is to apply the Central Management Service (CMS) Update. We did not do this.

Why not? Because we’d already done the February 2013 Cumulative Update. If you did too, then you can skip Step 3. If not, follow the instructions!

And now, Step 4 – enable the Mobility service again. Very simple – just run:
Enable Cs-Topology
No parameters needed.

The Update Process: Verification

Step 5 is titled, “Enable the Unified Communications Web API.” Essentially, it wants you to activate Lync Services and verify that they’re running. To do this, we run Bootstrapper.exe.

If you haven’t run the Bootstrapper before, there are two ways to access it: via Management Shell cmdlets, or via the Deployment Wizard. We opted for the Deployment Wizard here, as it’s an easy process.

(I’ll do a post on Bootstrapper.exe later on.)

In Deployment Wizard, go to “Install/Update Lync Server System”. Run the “Install Local Configuration Store” command. You should see green check icons pop up for the window’s listed commands. Bootstrapper has done its job.

Note: Bootstrapper.exe creates an HTML log file of its activity. If you experience any errors, look in the log file. If you use Bootstrapper.exe via Management Shell, you’ll see the log file’s name and location. This is not displayed within Deployment Wizard (but the log file still exists).

Repeat for Edge Servers

This update process must also be run on every Edge Server in your topology. (Sorry.)

The good news is, it’s the exact same process. Just follow the instructions as we did above. Our Edge only needed 3 of these updates, and one reboot.

When Edge Servers reboot, you’ll drop outside connections like phones. Again, do updates within a maintenance window!

The instructions do not say to, but we ran Bootstrapper.exe again on the Edge Server. It may not be needed, but we covered the base. Making sure all components are updated.

As before, we opened the Deployment Wizard, running “Retrieve Local Replica Store.” It should work fine, since it’s a live, communicating environment.

Lync Server Now Up-to-Date!

All updates are complete! Your Lync Server should be back up and purring. This update took us a little less than 1 hour to complete. Provided there are no serious snags, yours should take about the same time.

One final recommendation: Check your Services.msc on the Windows Server. Verify that all Lync Server services are Running.

Have you experienced a snag with Lync Server updates recently? If so, please comment or email me! Let’s talk about the stranger errors we find, and what we can do to solve them.

See you next week!

Follow Along With the Lync January 2014 Update Process
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