Finally, here is the last part of the series and I hope the most insightful one.

To get started

The following diagram depicts the server architecture to support up-to 50,000 subscribers for a UC offering, it considers redundancy & high availability for all the server components of the solution:

 

This architecture is based on the following assumptions:

  • Assumes Exchange MAPI experience (Activesync/RPC over https), Sharepoint Foundation capabilities (to start of), and Lync Voice services.
  • Provides redundancy and high availability for the core services of the solution
  • considers 50% concurrency
  • supports mobile clients
  • supports the following services: E-mail, collaboration, document management, presence, integration with IP/PBX (for VoIP services)
  • includes the infrastructure for a self-service web-based control panel
  • assumes software updates to be applied through Windows Server Update (WSUS)

 

Ramp up

As a partner, you need to consider a ramp-up period to reach such scale of subscribers, the following section outlines the HW configurations needed to scale up-to 50k subscribers, beyond this volume, the architecture would have to be revised.

As part of the infrastructure readiness needed to support UC services, the following has to be considered as well:

  • Service Provider Cost
    • Core Hardware Components
    • Storage Costs
    • Network & Facilities
    • Operators
    • L1 & L2 Support
    • L3 Support
  • Software Cost
    • Infrastructure Licensing Costs

The following table consolidates an estimated monthly Software cost*, to deliver UC capabilities based on the volume of subscribers:

# to subscribers

5k

10k

50k

Infrastructure SPLA Cost per month (in USD$)

5,300

6,800

10,200

* These are indicative figures; a SPLA Reseller should be approached to obtain the final quote. Please also note that these figures don’t include the incremental service cost per subscriber (e.g., Exchange, SharePoint, Lync).

  

Following you’ll have a summary view of the number of servers needed based on the volume of subscribers:

Server Role

# of servers

5k

10k

50k

Outer Firewall & Proxy

1

1

2

External Hub

1

2

2

Lync (Edge)

1

1

2

Self-service portal

1

1

2

Exchange (CAS & HUB)

1

2

2

Lync (Front-end)

1

2

2

LWA (Lync Web Access)

1

1

2

Collaboration server (WSS)

1

1

2

Domain Controllers

2

2

2

Monitoring Server

1

1

1

Self-service (Back-Ends/DB)

1

1

2

Exchange (Mailbox)

1

2

2

Lync (Database)

1

1

2

Collaboration server (Database)

1

2

2

  

In the section below you’ll find a breakdown view of the specific Hardware Profiles & Software being implemented for each configuration.

 

Hardware profile – 5k subscribers

 

 

Hardware profile – 10k subscribers

 

Hardware profile – 50k subscribers

 

 

Final Thoughts

The growth of the knowledge-based economy and the service sector, together with pressure on IT departments to streamline processes and create operational efficiencies, means that Unified Communications is rapidly gaining ground as organizations seek to reduce IT costs and boost employee productivity. Hosted UC provides a common communication structure for businesses, integrating features such as presence (real-time staff availability), instant messaging, VOIP telephony and email through a single software system, making it easier and more cost-effective for employees to collaborate. This represents an opportunity for Cloud providers to deliver such capabilities on a subscription-based model and provides more value to the end customer; Telcos become the best enablers of these scenarios, as Voice is already a service they do provide, but with UC they could extend such capabilities to the IP/PC world, and fully embrace the transformation towards an ICT provider. 

Throughout this series, I’ve shared with you a summary of the MS offering and how it could be implemented. We are not done yet, this is just the beginning of the journey into UC cloud services. What matters now is how to drive sales and to recover this initial investment as fast as possible, with the right approach and vision towards Cloud, it should be an enjoyable & profitable journey.

Thanks for taking the time in following this series, I’ll share later on my views on how to GTM such services.