The Three UC Amigos

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What is new for OCS 2007 R2 architectures?

What is new for OCS 2007 R2 architectures?

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I had a chance to review an upcoming OCS 2007 R2 architecture planning document and I have summarized some of the 350 page document below:

 

R2 Topology options

Similar to the current release of OCS there are three topologies to consider for your school’s R2 deployment:

 

  • Office Communications Server Enterprise Edition in a consolidated configuration.

This topology is recommended for most schools of any size. It provides performance, high availability, and scalability.

  • Office Communications Server Standard Edition.

This topology is for small or midsize deployments, such as branch and pilot deployments, that do not have high availability and performance requirements.

  • Office Communications Server Enterprise Edition in an expanded configuration

The Enterprise Edition in an expanded configuration continues to be supported in Office Communications Server 2007 R2. However, the recommended configuration in Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is the consolidated configuration listed as the first option. The primary advantage offered by the expanded configuration in Office Communications Server 2007 was its ability to scale in very large deployments. In Office Communications Server 2007 R2, the limitations for scaling have been removed from the consolidated configuration, making it the preferred solution both in terms of scaling and simplified administration. 

Below is a reference architecture OCS Enterprise Edition consolidated deployment which most schools might pattern if they deploy all the feature sets in R2:

image

As you notice above with the 64-bit architecture in R2, you can now effectively scale OCS even with a consolidated Edge and FE servers approach.

 

What are some of the new roles/servers in R2?

Running on your internal network at your school:

· Front End Server

Note:

IM Conferencing Server, Telephony Conferencing Server, are automatically installed with a Front End Server.

· Back-End Database

SQL 2008 or SQL 2005 supported

· A/V Conferencing Server

· Web Conferencing Server

· Application Server (New in R2)

· Four new unified communication applications:

· Conferencing Attendant

· Conferencing Announcement Service

· Outside Voice Control

· Response Group Service

· Director

· Mediation Server

· Archiving Server

· Monitoring Server (New in R2)

QoE and CDR consolidated on one server now

· Communicator Web Access

· Web Components Server (runs Internet Information Services, or IIS)

· Group Chat Server (New in R2)

 

Do each of these OCS R2 roles/server have to run stand alone?:

The good news is now that R2 is 64-bit only the answer is no and I would imagine most schools would run almost all of these roles on a few Front End servers in a pool and then just add more servers to the Front End pool as demand increases.

If you notice in the Enterprise consolidated reference architecture above there are only a few server roles broken out such as SQL, director, CWA, group chat server, monitoring, archiving and everything else is running on the Front End servers.

 

Is there a list of what OCS server roles I can and can’t run together?:

Yes, here is a table from the newly released documentation:

This server role/configuration

Can collocate with this server role/component

Cannot collocate with this server role/component

Standard Edition configuration

· Archiving Server (not recommended)

· Monitoring Server

· Director

· Communicator Web Access

· Edge Server

· Mediation Server

· Group Chat Server or Compliance Server

Enterprise Edition consolidated configuration

None

Never collocated

Back-End Database server

· Archiving database

· Monitoring database

· Group Chat database

· Compliance database (for Group Chat)

· Any other Office Communications Server role

Enterprise Edition expanded configuration, Front End Server

None

Never collocated

Enterprise Edition expanded configuration, Web Conferencing Server

None

Never collocated

Enterprise Edition expanded configuration, Application Sharing Server

None

Never collocated

Enterprise Edition expanded configuration, A/V Conferencing Server

None

Never collocated

Web components

· Archiving Server

· Monitoring Server

· Front End Server

· Web Conferencing Server

· Application Sharing Server

· A/V Conferencing Server

· Director

· Communicator Web Access

· Edge Server

· Mediation Server

· Group Chat Server or Compliance Server

Director

None

Never collocated

Communicator Web Access

None

Never collocated

Edge Server

None

Never collocated

Mediation Server

None

Never collocated

Archiving Server

· Web components

· Monitoring Server

· Front End Server

· Web Conferencing Server

· Application Sharing Server

· A/V Conferencing Server

· Director

· Communicator Web Access

· Edge Server

· Mediation Server

· Group Chat Server or Compliance Server

Monitoring Server

· Web components

· Archiving Server

· Front End Server

· Web Conferencing Server

· Application Sharing Server

· A/V Conferencing Server

· Director

· Communicator Web Access

· Edge Server

· Mediation Server

· Group Chat Server or Compliance Server

Group Chat Server

None

Never collocated

Compliance Server (for Group Chat)

None

Never collocated

 

 

What roles do I deploy into my school’s perimeter network (DMZ)?:

Access Edge service

Validates and forwards SIP signaling traffic between internal and external users.

A/V Edge service

Enables audio and video conferencing, desktop sharing, and audio/video (A/V) peer-to-peer communications with external users who are equipped with a supported client.

Web Conferencing Edge

Service enables external users to participate in conferences that are hosted by an internal Web Conferencing Server.

 

Do my Edge roles have to run standalone?:

Again, the good news is no with the 64-bit only scalability of R2. The requirement for the A/V Edge role having to be a separate dedicated server has gone away as well.

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Summary:

I hope this provides you a first look at R2 architecture considerations. In my next few blog posts I will talk about the R2 prerequisites, R2 deployment considerations, and migration from OCS RTM to R2.

Comments
  • I had a chance to review an upcoming OCS 2007 R2 architecture planning document and I have summarized

  • wow- I know Microsoft get revenue from pre-installed operating systems on servers and PCs but the ammount of servers required is ncredible!

  • Tim,

    It does appear to be quite a bit of servers however this is an enterprise scale reference so depending on the size of your business/school, availability requirements, and features needed your architecture may be only 4 servers for example (consolidated Edge, CWA, consolidated FE, SQL).

    The other point that will help here is OCS R2 is supposed to be certified for virtualization several months post release of R2 so you can reduce the amount of physical servers.

  • R2 looks like a great step in the right direction.  I really like how the roles can be combined.  Hopefully you can share the same NICs and IP addresses.

  • Thanks for your assistance-  do you have to pay for each software instance or is it per physical server?

  • Licensing has changed for OCS R2. With the introduction of new roles to simplify the cost only Front-end servers and Edge servers require a server license. We will be posting information on licensing on our site shortly.

    Greg

  • Hi

    For a scaled, consolidated edge deployment (two servers, load balanced), can you use OCS 2007 R2 Standard Edition?

  • I am trying to test R2 in a virtual environment with Hyper-V so I can have multiple roles running on same box. I can't get audio running in my VM under Hyper-V. Any thoughts?

  • Unfortunately we don't support virtualization with OCS R2 yet.

  • You cant use SE with Loadbalancing!

  • cwa cant be collocated with standard or front end server (consoliated config)!!!!

  • Thanks for keeping me accurate! I just updated blog to reflect the latest R2 released documents. I originally based this off of pre-released R2 architecture documents in December and some of the R2 final document charts have changed. The collocation table being the biggest change.

  • Can we install OCS inside a VM? I am confused because inside VM, Exchange Server does not support UM role.

  • Master4Masters,

    Yes, for certain OCS roles you can virtualize them as we announced it last week.  

    See my other blog post on it:

    http://blogs.technet.com/ucedsg/archive/2009/05/13/ocs-2007-r2-virtualization-announcement.aspx

  • Can the Front End Role and Mediation server role be collocated for a standard edition deployment of R2?

    Do you need 64 bit hardware with 64 bit OS as well?

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