Installing OCS 2007 R2 Prerequisites on Windows Server 2008

[tweetmeme source=”stalehansen” only_single=false]OCS 2007 R2 is now supported on Server 2008 R2 as base OS and as domain functional level. There is some specific prerequisites that need to be installed for Server 2008 R2. I have created a new guide for Server 2008 R2 here: https://msunified.net/2010/04/09/installing-ocs-2007-r2-prerequisites-on-windows-server-2008-r2/

Commands to install the necessary prerequisites for OCS 2007 R2 on Windows Server 2008 SP2

Front End on Windows Server 2008
ServerManagerCmd -i web-windows-auth web-mgmt-compat web-mgmt-console web-http-logging msmq-server msmq-directory powershell was-process-model was-config-apis desktop-experience rsat-addc

Installs the following components:

  • [Web-Windows-Auth] – Windows Authentication
  • [Web-Mgmt-Compat] – IIS 6 Management Compatibility
  • [MSMQ-Server] – Message Queuing Server
  • [MSMQ-Directory] – Directory Service Integration
  • [RSAT-ADDC] – Active Directory Domain Controller Tools
  • [WAS-Process-Model] – Process Model
  • [WAS-Config-APIs] – Configuration APIs
  • [Web-Mgmt-Console] – IIS Management Console
  • [Web-Http-Logging] – HTTP Logging
  • [PowerShell] – Windows PowerShell
  • [Desktop-Experience] – Desktop Experience                                   

The last 3 in the list are not required, but they are highly recommended. IIS 7.0 Management Console is IMHO much easier to use than the IIS 6.0 version. The logging tools often come in handy when troubleshooting OCS IIS issues and PowerShell makes working with OCS WMI values a piece of cake.

NOTE: If you are to run the create pool wizard from the Front End server, you also need the MS SQL Native Client: X64 Package (sqlncli.msi) – 7963 KB
Also check out this post of mine whether to run create pool on OCS  Front End or Back End SQL server: https://msunified.net/2009/08/11/create-pool-%e2%80%93-run-on-ocs-or-sql-server/

Office Communicator Phone Edition deployment on Windows Server 2008
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Static-Content

Installs the following components in addition to Front End prerequisites:

  • [Web-Static-Content] – Static Content

NOTE: It exists default MIME types for both the .xml and the .cat extensions that is used by the updater. There is however no default for the .nbt extension and you need to configure it manually. See this post on how to do it http://www.codesalot.com/2010/communicator-phone-edition-update-issues/

Monitoring Server on Windows Server 2008
ServerManagerCmd -i msmq-server msmq-directory

Installs the following components:

  • [MSMQ-Server] – Message Queuing Server
  • [MSMQ-Directory] – Directory Service Integration

CWA Server on Windows Server 2008
ServerManagerCmd -i web-windows-auth web-digest-auth web-basic-auth web-mgmt-compat web-mgmt-console web-common-http web-ISAPI-ext web-ISAPI-filter web-request-monitor web-http-redirect web-http-logging

Installs the following components:

  • [Web-Windows-Auth] – Windows Authentication
  • [Web-Digest-Auth] – Digest Authentication
  • [Web-Basic-Auth] – Basic Authentication
  • [Web-Mgmt-Compat] – IIS 6 Management Compatibility
  • [Web-Mgmt-Console] – IIS Management Console
  • [Web-Common-Http] – Common-http-features
  • [Web-ISAPI-Ext] – ISAPI Extensions
  • [Web-ISAPI-Filter] – ISAPI Filters
  • [Web-Request-Monitor] – Request Monitor
  • [Web-Http-Redirect] – HTTP Redirection
  • [Web-Http-Logging] – HTTP Logging

Mediation Server on Windows Server 2008
ServerManagerCmd -i rsat-addc

Installs the following components:

  • [RSAT-ADDC] – Active Directory Domain Controller Tools 

To view a full listing of ServerManagerCmd commands see this page: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/datacenter/?p=294

Post used as a reference for this post
http://waveformation.com/2009/06/02/installing-ocs-2007-r2-prerequisites-on-windows-server-2008/

Create Pool – Run on OCS or SQL Server?

Any Post starting with this disclaimer means that this post was not written by me however I liked it and added to my blog. I will also include the link to the original or similar post to provide credit to the original author

OCS MVP Elan Shudnow wrote a great article on best practice for creating the OCS Enterprise pool on the Front End or the SQL Server. http://www.shudnow.net/2009/06/01/create-pool-run-on-ocs-or-sql-server/

Microsoft recommends creating the enterprise pool on the Backend SQL Server instead of the Front End pool. The exception to this is if the Backend SQL Server is running a different processor architecture than the OCS environment. 32-bit for R1 and 64-bit for R2. This breaks down into the following table taken from Elan Shudnow’s post:

OCS R1 with SQL 32-bit – Create Pool on SQL
OCS R1 with SQL 64-bit – Create pool on OCS FE
OCS R2 with SQL 32-bit – Create Pool on OCS FE
OCS R2 with SQL 64-bit – Create Pool on SQL

The article goes into specific details about the how and why this is recommended. Bottom line is that LCSCMD from the OCS installation media is the easiest way to create the pool from the SQL Server. This method eliminates the need to install any pre-requisites needed by the OCS setup GUI. See Creating Pools (Command Line) on Technet.

Thanks to Jamie Schwimm for the breakdown of the original post by Elan Shudnow: http://waveformation.com/2009/06/01/create-ocs-2007-enterprise-pool-on-front-end-or-sql/

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Downloads

Last update on 30/08/2009

Latest updates and hotfixes:
July OCS Updates

Deployment media:
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Trial
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat server
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 XMPP Gateway
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 UCMA 2.0 Speech Language Packs
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit Tools
Office Communications Server 2007 R2, 32 bit PreCallDiagnostic Resource Kit Tool
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Web Scheduler – see this post on how to install
Planning Tool for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2
Edge Planning Tool for Office Communications Server 2007 R2
Office Communications Server Public IM Connectivity Provisioning Guide
Office Communications Server Public IM Connectivity Provisioning Site

Desktop client installation media:
Office Communicator 2007 R2 Trial
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Attendant
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat client
Office Live Meeting 2007 client and addin
Recording Converter for Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007
Agent Communications Panel for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0
Messenger for Mac 7.0.2

Mobile client installation media:
Office Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 (SmartPhone)
Office Communicator Mobile 2007 R2 (Pocket PC)
Office Communicator Phone Edition 2007 R2 (Tanjay)
To install directly on the cellphone and get java client, use http://getcomo.com

Testing, Training and Troubleshooting Guides:
Office Communicator 2007 R2
Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat
Office Live Meeting Client for Office Communications Server 2007 R2
Unified Communications Adoption and Training Kit 2007 R2
Unified Communications How-To

White Papers and Technical Documents:
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Technical Documentation
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Deploying Certificates White Paper
Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Site Resiliency White Paper
Unified Communications Phones and Peripherals Datasheet
The UC White Paper
Configuring XMPP Gateway with Jabber XCP 5.4
Configuring XMPP Connectivity to Gmail
OCPE Device (Tanjay) Upgrade Guide

Post was based on a great post by Aaron Tiensivu: http://blog.tiensivu.com/aaron/archives/1834-My-collection-of-OCS-2007-R2-information-official-MS-download-links-only.html

Exchange and OCS Google custom search

Exchange and OCS Google custom searchI have created a Custom Search engine using Google custom search. I have set it up to only search the sites, blogs and technical resources that I have specified. I will use this search engine when troubleshooting and finding useful information. The point is to remove all the unnecessary hits you get from using the regular search engine and make sure I get hits from the brightest bloggers out there.

I have tried to collect good blogs and resources for Exchange and OCS and have made a list of the sites that are added. Try it out and please let me know if there are sites that should be in the search engine and I’ll add them.

http://anewmessagehasarrived.blogspot.com/
http://aspoc.net/
http://blog.insideocs.com/
http://blog.tiensivu.com/aaron/
http://blogs.3sharp.com/deving/
http://blog.misthos.com/
http://blogs.msdn.com/byrons/
http://blogs.msdn.com/dgoldman/
http://blogs.msdn.com/douggowans/
http://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/schertz_jeff/pages/
http://blogs.technet.com/benw/
http://blogs.technet.com/evand/
http://blogs.technet.com/jenstr/
http://blogs.technet.com/jkunert/
http://blogs.technet.com/mfugatt/
http://blogs.technet.com/scottschnoll/
http://blogs.technet.com/themasterblog/
http://blogs.technet.com/toml/
http://blogs.technet.com/uc/
http://cacorner.blogspot.com/
http://cmcgreanor.wordpress.com/
http://communicationsserverteam.com/
http://communicatorteam.com/
http://edge.technet.com/Tags/Exchange/
http://edge.technet.com/Tags/OCS/
http://evangelyze.net/cs/blogs/mike/
http://exchangeinbox.com/
http://exchangeshare.wordpress.com/
http://gsexdev.blogspot.com/
http://mostlyexchange.blogspot.com/
http://msexchangeteam.com/
http://msexchangetips.blogspot.com/
http://msgoodies.blogspot.com/
https://msunified.net/
http://ocsguy.com/
http://smtp25.blogspot.com/
http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/communicationsserver/
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchange/
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exchange2010/
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/exrca/threads/
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/
http://theessentialexchange.com/blogs/michael/
http://theucguy.wordpress.com/
http://unified-communications.blogspot.com/
http://waveformation.com/
http://www.exchangepedia.com/blog/
http://www.msexchange.org/
http://www.ocspedia.com/
http://www.outlook-web-access.com/
http://www.petri.co.il/
http://www.robichaux.net/blog/
http://www.shudnow.net/
http://www.telnetport25.com/
http://www.viveksharma.com/techlog/

Update 11.08.09: Added Exchange and OCS blogs from Pointbridge
http://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/mcgillen_matt/pages/
http://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/steele_aaron/Pages/
http://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/nielsen_travis/pages/
http://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/enger_erik/pages/
http://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/greve_david/pages/

Update 14.08.09 added the following blogs taken from the great collection over at the Communicatins Server Team:
http://blogs.msdn.com/midunn/
http://blogs.msdn.com/scottos/default.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/brettjo/default.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/dodeitte/default.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/dougl/
http://blogs.technet.com/gclark/default.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/jitreddy/
http://blogs.technet.com/jkruse/default.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/kpalmvig/
http://blogs.technet.com/msukucc/
http://blogs.technet.com/perez/default.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/ramo/
http://blogs.technet.com/rickva/default.aspx
http://blogs.technet.com/ucedsg/default.aspx
http://chrislehr.com/blog.htm
http://www.cinline.se/
http://it-proknowledge.blogspot.com/
http://msmvps.com/blogs/andersonpatricio/default.aspx
http://msmvps.com/blogs/ehlo/default.aspx
http://russkirk.typepad.com/
http://servusinc.org/myblog/
http://unifiedcommunications.mindsharpblogs.com/RussK/default.aspx
http://www.exchange-genie.com/
http://www.leedesmond.com/weblog/
http://www.technotesblog.com/
http://www.unifysquare.com/blog/

Update 07.02.10 added the following blogs
http://www.msexchangeguru.com
http://www.msexchangegeek.com
http://www.nitingupta.in/blogs
http://howtoexchange.wordpress.com/

Update 02.05.10 added the following blogs
http://www.mikepfeiffer.net
http://sysadmin-talk.org/

Update 24.10.10 added the following blog
http://blog.schertz.name/
http://marjuss.wordpress.com/

July OCS Updates

Communicator Attendant Hotfix

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=970275

Communicator Rollup – July 2009

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=969695

Communicator Phone

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=565595be-6cf3-4a61-a1e4-12555749ca64&displaylang=en

Communications Server:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=b3b02475-150c-41fa-844a-c10a517040f4

Live Meeting Client Update:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969697

Conferencing Addin for Outlook:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969696

Group Chat Update Package:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e5924bf9-b042-4c53-b4a6-79c7e5c9749b&displaylang=en

Links to sources below, thanks guys for some great posting
http://ocsguy.com/2009/08/04/microsoft-releases-live-meetings-updates/
http://blog.misthos.com/2009/07/july-ocs-updates.html

Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Site Resiliency White Paper

Using backup and restoration procedures for site disaster recovery as described in the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 documentation library topic Backup and Restoration, can entail some downtime for users. This white paper describes a site resiliency solution for Office Communications Server 2007 R2. The solution includes an Enterprise pool that spans two geographically separate sites. The solution provides a failover mechanism between the two sites to ensure that Office Communications Server functionality such as instant messaging, presence, and conferencing remains available even if one of the sites becomes unavailable.

This white paper is divided into three main sections:

  • The Solution section provides an overview of the tested and supported site resiliency solution described in this paper.
  • The Test Methodology section describes the testing topology, expected behavior, and test results.
  • The Findings and Recommendations section provides practical guidance for deploying your own failover solution.

To successfully follow this paper, you should have a thorough understanding of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=c930febb-3a44-4bf3-969d-1c52675a7063

How to interpret OCS 2007 R2 Monitoring reports

Diagram

After deploying the Monitoring Server role in your OCS organization you start getting some feedback and reports to analyze. In this blog I will try to explain in short how to analyze the data from the monitoring reports.

On how to deploy the Monitoring role, see my earlier post on the subject https://msunified.net/2009/05/20/ocs-quality-of-experience-qoe-%e2%80%93-quick-facts/

The MOS value

In the monitoring reports you see a MOS score for each instance that is being measured. To determine the MOS score an absolute categorization rating (ACR) is used. The ACR scale rates from 1-5 where 5 represents an excellent experience. In a manual process the users are asked to rate the quality their experience. When all the users have rated their experience, the average of these values are calculated as a mean option score (MOS). Although MOS scores are not a perfect representation of the listening experience, they do make it possible to compare and contrast listening experiences.

If group A reports an MOS of 4.1 and group B reports an MOS of 2.2, it is safe to say that, on average, listeners in group A had a much better experience than listeners in group B. 

The Monitoring server does not ask users to rate their listening experiences on scale of 1-5; instead the Monitoring server uses a series of algorithms to predict how users would rate the quality of each listening experience. Based on those algorithms the Monitoring server reports several MOS scores.

The MOS scores

  • Listening MOS –A prediction of the wideband quality of an audio stream being played to a user. The MOS score takes into account audio fidelity and distortion as well as speech and noise levels
  • Sending MOS –A prediction of the wideband quality of an audio stream sent from a user. The MOS score takes into account audio fidelity and distortion as well as speech and noise levels
  • Network MOS –Another prediction of wideband quality of an audio stream played to a user. In this case, however, only network factors are considered such as the audio codec used, packet loss, packet errors, and jitter (the variation in delay time of packets arriving at a destination) 
    • NOTE: Latency should not exceed 150 ms. In my experience a latency up to 300 gives a satisfying experience, as long as jitter is under control
  • Conversational MOS– A prediction of the narrowband conversational quality of the audio stream played to the user. This value is indicative of how a large group of people would rate the quality of the connection for holding a conversation

NOTE: Narrowband refers to audio codec that use an 8-kHz sample rate. Wideband refers to audio codecs that use a 16-kHz sample rate. Telephone-quality communication is normally categorized as narrowband.

For the complete documentation on how to deploy and use the Monitoring Server download the Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 Quality of Experience Monitoring Server Guide here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=9ED29D74-3391-4902-BF2C-6757410F3335&displaylang=en

Technical Refernces:
Technet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb894481(office.12).aspx

Single consolidated EDGE server clarified

Any Post starting with this disclaimer means that this post was not written by me however I liked it and added to my blog. I will also include the link to the original or similar post to provide credit to the original author

http://blogs.pointbridge.com/Blogs/schertz_jeff/Pages/Post.aspx?_ID=33#EntryTabs

Deploying an OCS 2007 R2 EDGE server can be confusing at times. I have been looking for the most cost effective way to deploy a consolidated EDGE server utilizing the least amount of NIC’s and public IP addresses. In the past when I have deployed EDGE server I have used separate NIC’s with publicly routable IP addresses to save myself some grief.  I found Jeff’s blog very easy to understand and I am sharing an excerpt clarifying the different ways to deploy a consolidated EDGE server.

The documented, recommended, and unquestionably supported configuration is simply to deploy separate physical network interface cards which are connected to separate IP subnetworks.  (This includes a single physical card with multiple ports; whatever physical configuration that allows you to plug two cables into the server and the host sees separate interfaces. Let’s not get silly here.)  By definition this means that the internal and external subnetworks need to be uniquely different, which is typically found in a standard Perimeter Network located between separate firewalls.

A simple Access Edge deployment utilizing NAT:

IMAGE_1

Or a consolidated Edge deployment with all three external roles assigned publicly routable IP addresses:

IMAGE_2

The above configuration only works for a consolidated Edge Server when all external IP addresses are on a public IP subnetwork, otherwise separate adapters connected to separate IP subnetworks would need to be used.  The Access Edge and Web Conferencing roles can be co-located on the same same external interface using the same IP private subnetwork.

Here’s a consolidated Edge deployment using the least amount of public IP addresses:

 IMAGE_3

This can be expanded up to separate physical adapters for each external role in a consolidated Edge server, as shown repeatedly in the documentation, for enhanced performance and security.  And if plenty of public IP addresses are available, then assigning each role a public address simplifies the configuration further:

IMAGE_4

Microsoft Office Visio Stencils for Exchange 2007 and OCS 2007

[tweetmeme source=”stalehansen” only_single=false]Microsoft Office Visio

Update November 2010: Many of you reach this site while searching for the Exchange 2010 Visio stencil. They are now released and can be downloaded here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=901d471c-8bd9-47ad-b6db-452309f12ebe. Also check out Visio stencils for IT Pro posters.
 
Are you creating new diagrams or architecture drawings for your OCS rollouts? If so, take advantage of the new OCS 2007 Visio stencils. The icons in the stencil include all OCS 2007 components. They also include various individual functions that you can use to create your own new icons. The icons and your new icons can be added easily to the stencil. Download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=543705f6-d02a-436e-8b34-5c796550022a&displaylang=en
 
The Exchange 2007  stencil and template provided enable you to create Visio drawings that contain Exchange Server 2007 objects. These shapes include icons for Exchange 2007 server roles, networking, telephony and Unified Messaging objects, Active Directory and directory service objects, client computers and devices, and other Exchange organization elements. Download it here: http://www.microsoft.com/Downloads/details.aspx?familyid=45F7EA49-CEB2-4B04-8D46-2B0AE5E10694&displaylang=en
 

How Windows Live Messenger works

Any Post starting with this disclaimer means that this post was not written by me however I liked it and added to my blog. I will also include the link to the original or similar post to provide credit to the original author

Read the entire post here: http://www.milkaddict.com/?p=21

How does Windows Live Messenger works? there are millions of users typing messages everyday but maybe few of them ever asked themselves how the messenger really works! so here I wrote a little post about it. Windows Live Messenger it’s an hybrid Client-Server / Peer-to-Peer application. It basically started as a client-server application. Let’s say that the client A wants to contact the client B. The client A logs in a CS (Connection Server) through a persistent TCP connection (eventually using proxy,gateway..). Behind the CS there are the PS (Presence Server). Each person get always the same particular PS, which is where your personal status message, description of your user photo and similar things are stored.

Msn1

Another element of the architecture is the Address Book. The client A gets directly from the Address Book his list of contacts. Then the client A tells to his CS who his friends are, the CS subscribes to his friend’s PS to get the presence information that are sent up through the client server connection. If the client A change his status to OffLine for example, the change goes up to the CS of A, then to the PS of A, then down to the CS of B through the subscription and then down to the client B.

CHAT

If the client A wants to chat, tells to his CS that wants to contact somebody, and the CS tells A to contact a Mixer, which sends IM traffic to a destination, for example to B (passing through the CS of B). Then A and B and talk back and forth through the Mixer.

Msn2

You can watch also an original video where some of the developers and visionaries behind Windows Live Messenger explain how it works. http://channel9.msdn.com/posts/Charles/Windows-Live-Messenger-What-How-Why/