Author: Miru Gunarajah

Publication date: August 2008

Product version: Office Communications Server 2007 R2

The Edge Planning Tool for Office Communications Server 2007 is a tool that takes a user through a set of interview questions regarding the proposed or current edge server deployment. The tool interviews users about their perimeter network settings as well as some questions regarding their internal deployment.

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=149e5dd5-eaae-46b6-afba-01c31e88a275&displaylang=en

Based on the answers to these questions and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 best practices, the tool generates a set of 6 reports. 

The first report is a best practices report. This report compares the user’s answers to Office Communications Server 2007 best practices and using a stoplight based UI, shows the users whether they are in line with the best practices or not. The UI consists of a banner that is either green or red with a blurb of text underneath stating why it is a best practice. The report also lists the common pitfalls and errors that users have been known to make – so users of the tool can read them and ensure that they don’t fall in the same traps.

The next report that is created is the OCS Admin report. This report is generated for the OCS Administrators as it has all of the configuration settings in one report. This report is broken down into 5 sections: Edge Report, Reverse Proxy Report, Next Hop Report, Edge Server Configuration Documentation and Internal Director/Pool Configuration Documentation.

The first sections of the report are table based reports that have the settings for each of these servers. The reports have information on the FQDNs, IPs, Firewall Rules, Certificate and DNS settings.

The last two sections of the report consist of documentation that is taken from various Office Communications Server 2007 resources. The documentation is modified to include the actually settings. For example in the current documentation it says: “In the Next Hop Network Address textbox, enter the FQDN of your Director or Pool”, the custom documentation report would say this: “In the Next Hop Network Address textbox, enter the FQDN of your Director or Pool (director.contoso.com)”. On top of the customized settings, these sections also provide screenshots of where you would apply the settings with captions under the screenshots stating exactly what settings to set.

The next 4 reports were designed to be handed off to the various teams in your organization: Certificate, Firewall, DNS and Custom Documentation. These reports are stripped down versions of the OCS Admin report. The main point behind this is that it saves the OCS Admin from having to get the necessary data that needs to be provided to the various teams.

The configuration settings that are provided in the reports should be used to setup the edge servers in your organization. This tool does not pull any information from your servers nor does it apply any of the settings. It should only be used to generate configuration settings.

Known Issues:

Configuration Only
This tool only provides configuration settings. It does not apply the settings nor does it query your system to find the settings. The output is solely based on a user’s input.

Topologies
Currently the tool only supports the Consolidated, Single-Site and Scaled Single-Site topologies.
The tool does not support the Remote Site Edge Topology (either scaled or un-scaled).
In order to get around this, users should use Single-Site or Scaled Single-Site to configure your primary Edge data center.

Cannot Modify Entries
Currently the tool only supports loading an XML file to go directly to the final report.
Currently there is no support for loading an XML file and being able to modify any of the entries.

Only View Output Reports in Web Browser
Users cannot print or save the output reports through the tool itself - the reports must be viewed in a Web Browser in order to print or save.

CWA
There is currently no support for CWA.

Certificate Wizard and Edge Configuration Wizard
The Edge Planning Tool does not have any way to integrate with Certificate Wizard or Edge Configuration Wizard.

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