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Unified Communications Analytics 8.6 - Release Notes

Quest® Unified Communications Analytics 8.6

Quest® Unified Communications Analytics 8.6

These release notes provide information about this Quest® Unified Communications Analytics release.

About Unified Communications Analytics 8.6

UC Analytics was rebranded to Quest and the installation path became Quest as of release 8.4.1. If you are upgrading from a version prior to 8.4.1, the UC Analytics program files and binaries are installed in the Quest directory but your storage folder is not changed from its previous location.

Before you install or upgrade UC Analytics, disable any anti-virus software that is running against your storage folder. The anti-virus software locks files in the storage folder, causing issues when the installer attempts to upgrade your stored data or during normal operation, when your configured data collections attempt to update the stored data. You should exclude the storage folder from anti-virus scans.

As 8.5, If you have a configuration file with custom settings, (such as job status interval time in the UC.Analytics.Insights.DataEngine.DataCollector.dll.config file), the existing configuration files are copied to a backup folder located at Quest\UC Analytics\Backup Config Files. You can copy backed up files back into the installation after upgrade. For the changes in the config file to take effect, you must manually restart the Data Service Engine.

If you are upgrading from versions 8.1 or later, perform an in-place upgrade to ensure you maintain your collected data. Do not uninstall the previous version. If you uninstall the previous version, you will lose all the collected data.

During upgrade, program files and other binaries are moved to a Quest\UC Analytics folder. However, the storage directory is not moved and remains in the same directory as before upgrade.

Unified Communications Analytics 8.6 does not support a direct upgrade from versions before 8.1. To upgrade from 8.0 or 8.0.1, the upgrade is a two-step process. First, you must upgrade to 8.2. At this point, you can upgrade from 8.2 to 8.6.

If you previously configured the backup and restore scripts provided in UC Analytics, you should review the script configuration after upgrade to ensure that the correct paths are specified. As of version 8.4.1, UC Analytics was rebranded to Quest. During upgrade from a version earlier than 8.4.1, the UC Analytics program files and binaries are moved to the Quest installation path but the storage directory is still at the same location as before upgrade.

If you have created a Windows scheduled task to automatically back up the storage directory, verify the following parameters:

For more information about configuring the backup and restore batch files, see Appendix E in the UC Analytics Deployment Guide.

New Features

The following new features are available in this release:

New data sources to collect Exchange meeting data and new insights to show meeting data. The Exchange Calendar and Exchange Online Calendar data sources are added to allow you to collect Exchange calendar items (appointments and meetings created by your users in Outlook). You can view the collected data in two new insights: Exchange Meetings - Summary and Exchange Meetings - Details. By default, a preset filter in the insights includes only meetings. To add appointments, you can remove the filter. (141147, 153678)
New data source to collect Exchange Online public folder statistics and configuration data from hybrid or native Office 365 environments. The Exchange Online Public Folders data source can be added to either an Active Directory or Office 365 target environment to collect public folder statistics and configuration data from Office 365 hybrid or native deployments. The new collected data appears in the existing public folder insights: Public Folders – Inactive, Public Folders – Inventory, Public Folders – Migration Trend, Public Folders – Summary, and Public Folders – Trend. (124580)
New insight to show mailbox activity and inactivity. The Mailboxes - Active and Inactive Summary insight shows the full list of individual mailboxes and their recent activity or lack of activity. The insight only shows message activity or inactivity for the specified date range. (158468)
Option to change service account. A new button is also added to the Deployment Manager (Manage Deployment | Change Service Account) that lets you update the service account in Windows for UC Analytics services and in the UC Analytics configuration database when necessary (127304).
New filter for groups. You can now set a filter to show the mailboxes whose owners are effective members of a specific group (instead of only the direct members). For example, in the Mailboxes - Inventory insight, you can set the following filter: Owner | All Groups Member Of | Name Equals "<GroupName>" (120662).
Performance options are added for Data Query Availability commit jobs. The Data Query Availability job is the background job that commits the collected data to the Cassandra database to make the data available for queries (122928).
Support for Exchange 2019. UC Analytics Exchange data sources can collect from Exchange 2019 and Exchange insights can provide data about Exchange 2019 environments. (107546)


The following is a list of enhancements implemented in UC Analytics 8.6.

New options are added to the Exchange Mailbox Contents and to the Exchange Online Mailbox Contents data sources that allow you to restrict data collection to groups that are direct message recipients. By default, the data source collects message data for groups that were direct message recipients and expands the groups to include any child groups that were message recipients. If you have a lot of child groups that are hidden or deleted you might want to restrict the data collection to only groups that are direct message recipients.


Database setting improvements have been made for performance optimization. Out of the box, the Cassandra database is now configured for regular physical disk drives instead of for SSD drives. Partial merges are enabled for faster Data Query Availability job performance on shards with 1,000 or more segments to be merged.


Since free security updates for Java 8 from Oracle have ended, UC Analytics also supports Zulu OpenJDK for components that require Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 8. For more information and a download link for Zulu OpenJDK, see Software requirements.


In the resource kit, for Microsoft Power BI queries to UC Analytics OData endpoints, custom code is added for use with the Advanced Editor to allow you to restrict query results by specifying a start date and end date before the records are loaded. This allows you to reduce the scope of the query from the entire database to specified data shards. The custom code, which is inserted in a query after the OData feed information but before the table and data specification, is as follows:







After you click Done, you must click Refresh Preview to see the reduced result set. For more information, see the UC Analytics Resource Kit guide.


In some large environments, the Skype for Business/Lync data collections that access the CDR and QoE SQL databases could not complete due to the CDR or QoE SQL database being locked. Also, though the UC Analytics data collection process was blocked by SQL deadlocks, the error reporting showed misleadingly errors such as "Server time out". In the UC.Analytics.Insights.DataEngine.DataCollector.dll.config file, new settings are added to the lyncQoeDatabaseJobSettings and lyncCdrDatabaseJobSettings sections. These settings allow the data collection to be performed in smaller time ranges to mitigate SQL deadlocks.

The two new settings (enableTimeSlice and timeSliceHours), allow you to “slice” the time ranges. For example, for a date range of 2019-6-1 00:00:00 to 2019-6-6 23:59:59, UC Analytics will gather six days of data. If the enableTimeSlice=True and the timeSliceHours = 1, UC Analytics will split this time range to 24 * 6 = 144 new time ranges and the jobs will gather data from each new time range.





In the Exchange IIS Logs data source, when you are using a specific credential (instead of the service credential) for data collection, the number of logins performed and the number of handles in the Data Engine service process are now reduced.



The Data Query Availability job (which runs in the background) has been split into two parts: one part for the most recent shards and one part for more distant shards. How often each part is run can be configured separately to reduce the number of times the job runs and to create an interim version of a shard while gatherings are still collecting and writing the data for the shard.

By default, both the “most recent” shards (within the last 3 days) and the “more distant” shards (older than 3 days) are still committed every hour. The values for each Data Query Availability job type are located in the UC.Analytics.Insights.DataEngine.DataCollector.dll.config file in the commitJobSettings section:





You can modify the job run frequency for each part separately. For example, you might set recent shards to run every 3 hours and more distant shards every 12 hours.

When you view data collection status on the Data Collection Status page, you will see two Data Query Availability jobs which are responsible for committing both recent shards and distant shards.


Three new columns are now shown in the Mailbox Folders table view in the Mailboxes - Folders Inventory insight, The new columns are:

The values in the columns are calculated recursively for everything in the current folder. In addition, for each mailbox, UC Analytics collects an additional root folder, equivalent to mailbox-level statistics.


You can now set a filter to show mailboxes whose owners are effective members of a specific group. For example, in the Mailboxes - Inventory insight, you can set the following filter:

Owner | All Groups Member Of | Name Equals "<GroupName>"

Previously, you could only filter by "Groups Directly Member Of", but not by "All Groups Member Of”. A new filter "All Groups Member Of” is now available.


A new view is added to the Email - Delivery Times insight that shows the number of messages that were received within the configured threshold. To see the new view, retrieve a library copy of the insight.


UC Analytics now collects the MailNickname (Alias) attribute from Active Directory. Using the Customize option, you can add a column for Mail Nickname to insights such as the Mailboxes / Mailbox Activity / Summary insight, and you can set a filter for Mail Nickname.


Previously, most Skype for Business / Lync insights would include only user accounts and did not include room, shared mailbox, equipment, or other types of accounts. A new default filter still restricts the initial display to user accounts, but you can click the FILTERS at the top of the insight and remove the Object Type Equals User filter to include all the different account types in the insight. You can also use the FILTERS option to filter the insight by a specific account type (Object Type). The insights affected by this change are as follows:


When you open an insight, the insight data is loaded immediately. Also, if you change any insight query parameters (such as filters, date range, customized columns, etc.) the data is immediately reloaded. For users with a large amount of data, data loading can be very slow.

To help these users, a new manual query option is available. If you enable the manual query option, a blank insight displays, allowing you to apply filters or change the date range and then click Query to display the insight with data.

Select Edit Profile.
Under Insight, select Enable manual Query option.
Click Save.


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