Finally got a chance to revisit Monitoring Reports this week. I’ve wanted to write about these for a while. They’re a huge help when it comes to technical support – and today we’ll give some examples how.

Lync Server/Skype for Business Monitoring Reports display in 4 main report categories:

  1. System Usage Reports – Shows you activity summaries, phone inventory and Call Admission Control usage data.
  2. Call Diagnostic Reports (per user) – Shows you data on different users’ calls & conversations.
  3. Call Diagnostic Reports – Like the previous section, these reports show you diagnostic reports and summaries of call & conversation activity. But in this case they’re divided up by categories, such as “Conference Diagnostic”.
  4. Media Quality Diagnostic Reports – Shows you performance & quality reports for the servers and endpoints.

Lync/Skype4B Monitoring Reports

Skype for Business Server added some more details to the reports, of course. But for the most part they’re the same as before. These instructions will work for both versions.

Access your Monitoring Reports using the URL you set during Lync/Skype 4 Business setup. Open the Reports Homepage.
*Note: Make sure you have appropriate permissions to the SQL Server database where Monitoring Reports live.

Now, on to the examples. I’m looking at a few typical issues Lync/Skype4B administrators will encounter. As you’ll see, Monitoring Reports provide helpful data to inform the troubleshooting process.

Calls are Dropping

Probably the most common support issue we see. Calls drop for many reasons – some of which you don’t control, like PSTN signal quality or Wi-Fi speeds. But you can still identify those reasons.

First place to go is the Call Diagnostic Summary Report, under Category 3. This report gives you graphs & pie charts showing session types & failure rates.

Here’s an example from our own reports.
Call Diagnostic Summary Report

The peer-to-peer sessions report a 6.64% failure rate. That may seem high, but this report covers 3 months’ worth of data. (Otherwise the rate would have been too low to see!)

PRACTICAL USE: Click the Failure Rate percentage. You’ll find more data on where, when & how many failures occurred. Digging down like this helps you isolate the failure origin & causes.

(In our case, half of these were “Expected Failures” – call failures you expect to happen. Like when a user has their Presence set to Do Not Disturb & someone tries calling them.)

Noise Heard on Calls

Call noise has many potential causes. So let’s open 2 reports here – one for the user hearing the noise, one for their device.

User: Open the User Activity Report under Category 2. The per-user sorting helps us out, letting us search by SIP URI or username to locate the user who’s hearing noise.
Call Diagnostics Per User

PRACTICAL USE: Once you’ve located the user’s recent activity, dig through the data to find the noise’s cause. One click takes you into Session Detail Reports for each record. If necessary, click “Detail” here to access Diagnostic Reports below that. They might have an echo, or signal noise from their connection.
If the user’s activity appears fine, it may not be the connection at all. It could be their headset. We can check that too.

Device: Open the Device Report under Category 4. This report shows you data on the devices used for calls – phone, headset, even a laptop mic!

Here’s part of our list.
Lync Devices Report

Practical Use: Depending on the noise type, high values in the Echo Microphone In & Calls With Echo columns indicate noise leaking into conversations. Use this report to determine if the user’s hearing noise from their own phone/headset.

Internal calls are fine, but calls won’t go out

Uh oh! Head to the Server Performance Report under Category 4. Right away you’ll see a list of Lync/Skype4B servers and their current statuses.

(I can’t post a screenshot of this, since it would have our server names & IPs. Please refer to this TechNet article for a full report description: Server Performance Report in Skype for Business Server – TechNet)

PRACTICAL USE: Check your Mediation Server and/or Edge Servers for high values in Degradation, Packet Loss and Jitter. Yellow highlights mean trouble. If you don’t see all of your Enterprise Voice-related hardware, it’s not working properly. Which is why calls aren’t going out!

Monitoring Reports Give You All Sorts of Troubleshooting Help

It’s important to note that you’re not limited to one method with Monitoring Reports. You can reach the same data from a few different routes, or create your own custom reports. I’ll address those later on.

Spend a little time digging through Lync/Skype for Business Monitoring Reports. The data gathered can help you in almost ANY support situation.

What’s the Monitoring Report you reference the most? Please comment or email. I’m also curious to hear why you refer to that report (if you’re able to share).

I’ll do a Part 2 on more Monitoring Report practical uses, coming soon. Don’t forget to check back next week!

Which Monitoring Report Do I Use for X? (Part 1)

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