This was a question asked by a university in North Carolina. (Screenshots courtesy of the Exchange product team)
What can I share my calendar with?
Basically any platform that supports iCal (.ics) format can consume this such as Google, Zimbra, Yahoo, Windows Live, and even external Outlook users can view your calendar without the need for calendar federation.
What does it look like?
On the client side, within OWA, you select “publish this calendar”. note: I haven’t seen equivalent feature in Outlook 2010.
Select secondary calendar publishing options such as details, how many months, etc.
To share your calendar via ICS externally, using OWA select “send links to this calendar”
Email put together to external person with .ICS links
External Recipients view of ICS HTML URLs:
External Recipients view of your calendar using HTML view of Internet Shared Calendar:
How do I enable Internet Calendar Sharing?
The exchange administrators will have to run some cmdlets to enable this:
PRE-REQUISITE: OWA External URL must be set
set-owavirtualdirectory –Identity <CAS> -ExternalURL <externalURLforCAS>
PRE-REQUISITE: Mailbox webproxy must be set
set-exchangeserver –identity “servername” –InternetWebProxy ”webproxy URL”
Admin must enable Internet access to exchange published calendars
set-owavirtualdirectory –Identity <CAS> -CalendarPublishingEnabled $true
Admin must enable sharing policy for Internet Publishing
set-sharingpolicy –Identity <PolicyName>
Optional Step 5: If using OWA “publish this calendar” is not an option this is an alternative step
Once policy and vdir access are set, can publish calendar
set-mailboxcalendarfolder –Identity <alias>:\calendar -SearchableUrlEnabled (default $false) -DetailLevel (default AvailabilityOnly)
-PublishDateRangeFrom (default ThreeMonths)
-PublishDateRangeTo (default ThreeMonths)
Optional Step 6:
Once calendar is published, can retrieve users URL’s
get-mailboxcalendarfolder –Identity <alias>:\calendar
Final published URL format you would place in external email systems clients would be something like this:
or they could just leverage the HTML view.
Today, we announce OCS 2007 R2 virtualization support for certain OCS 2007 R2 roles. This includes our own Hyper-V technology as well as other SVVP certified virtualization technologies. I know a lot of schools have been waiting for this since they want to reduce HW footprints, etc.
What OCS R2 functionality is supported on a virtual server?
· IM (including remote access, federation, and Public IM Connectivity)
· Group Chat
What R2 roles are supported and not supported as a virtual server/guest?
Here is a matrix which lays it out nicely:
Why are some roles not supported as a virtual guest?
Virtualization of the other OCS voice, video, LiveMeeting, desktop sharing roles are not supported because of possible quality issues with real-time media.
What are the virtualization requirements?
Sample Hyper-V OCS R2 configuration showing FE, Group Chat and Edge as virtual guests:
The sample Hyper-V architecture above was stress tested to support 40,000 IM users and 10,000 Group Chat users.
For more on this, download the OCS R2 Hyper-V virtualization whitepaper here.
This is some good news on the IM interop front.
Announced at VoiceCon today:
IBM and Microsoft plan to support interoperability between Sametime and OCS, commencing with Sametime version 8.0.2 and OCS 2007
In other federation news, Cisco announced SIP/SIMPLE based Interdomain Federation with LCS 2005/OCS 2007 as part of their Unified Presence 7.0 in September 2008.
Net: With OCS 2007 you can now Interdomain federate with the following IM systems:
We are working on some other IM interop scenarios to be announced at a later time.
This is was from a Midwestern university which asked a question around how does MOSS and OCS work together. Below is a sample of how presence or click to chat/call is surfaced in MOSS:
Based on above you would think there would be some server side configurations on MOSS required to surface OCS presence or click to chat/call functionality. The reality is this is all performed with client side controls and the Office Communicator client.
In order for rich presence and/or click to chat/call to work in SharePoint the following is required on the end user’s side:
How does it work?
When a SharePoint page is displayed, the ActiveX control is invoked on the client to display the presence icons on the web page such as above. The ActiveX control talks to Office Communicator locally on the client to request the presence status of the user(s) being shown. The ActiveX control also talks to Outlook (if Outlook is open) to gather additional information such as availability based on calendar. Outlook gets this information from Exchange Server. Because this information is collected from the other client-side applications that the user is already running, you can be sure that the presence controls only ever show information that the user already had permission to see
Do I have to migrate server or client to R2 first?
Migrate the servers first and then clients. The preferred server option is called a side by side migration. More on that below.
What server options do I have to migrate to R2?
You have two options:
The first option is the preferred option called a side by side migration which provides the least amount of downtime but requires additional hardware.
The second option is where you export data, tear down production, and then rebuild R2 on the same hardware if it is 64-bit capable. The final step is to re-import the user data. This saves money on hardware but requires downtime to make the switch.
Side by side migration
For a side by side migration, the recommended approach is called an inside out migration since you internal components first and then you migrate Edge roles. The steps are as follows:
Note1: R2 users can continue to use R1 director and R1 Edge roles
Note1: R2 users can continue to use R1 director and R1 Edge roles
Note2: You can move back to R1 from the R2 pool if needed
Note2: You can move back to R1 from the R2 pool if needed
How do you move LCS 2005?
You can move LCS 2005 SP1 users as well to an R2 pool – Note: Don't enable enhanced presence to still use LCS client - if you want to use enhanced presence upgrade client
What if users are logged into LCS or R1?
This is okay as users will be re-logged in after they are moved.
Export data migration
This is the second choice in R2 migration options but if HW is limited, etc this may be an alternative:
In the next post, Greg will post about how to migrate Edge, CWA, and Mediation servers to R2.
I was asked this from a school district in Southern California who was rolling out OCS R2 and enterprise voice for the all their faculty and staff.
The answer depends on your OCS R2 architecture and whether your access is from internal or external networks. For most schools, a single pool would apply and therefore a director would be optional depending on your external access security requirements.
Here is some information gathered from our product team to think about when considering a director:
Director traffic flow with External user access:
Director traffic flow with Internal user access:
What are the benefits of directors?
Security: In an environment with an access edge and no director, unauthenticated traffic will be sent to your production pool for authentication. The director lets you isolate that unauthenticated traffic to a server that is less critical (Director). Some schools will find this very critical even in single pool deployments. Other schools more than likely won't care.
Performance: For remote users, the director will proxy all SIP traffic. Without directors and with multiple pools, you have to pick a pool that will proxy the traffic. This could potentially have a performance impact to the users homed on that pool.
When I should I use a director server?
Environments with multiple pools and remote access: The director serves a critical role as the "next hop" inbound from the edge and proxies traffic from remote users to the appropriate pool. A director should always be used when the customer has multiple pools and remote users.
Environments with multiple pools and no remote access: The only supported solution that provides automatic configuration of Communicator involves configuring the internal DNS records to point the client to the director. Some customers will be uncomfortable requiring the use of a remote director to sign into a local pool and may prefer an unsupported solution that involves configuring DNS differently (or use manual or group policy-based configuration).
Environments with one pool and remote access: The benefit of preventing unauthenticated SIP traffic from reaching the user pool may be sufficient to justify a director.
Environments with one pool and no remote access: Even if the customer is not currently planning multiple pools, during migrations or for piloting different versions or configurations, it will be required to establish multiple pools. Start the design with no director but add it as part of the project that installs the second pool.
The director or the pool doesn't really know if the user is external or internal. All it knows is whether it is the first hop or not (based on VIA headers). The default behavior of every OCS front end (whether in a director pool or a user pool) is to redirect traffic to the correct home server if it is the first hop and proxy the traffic if it is not.
This was a question I was asked from a university in the Midwest who was interested in moving from another email platform to Exchange in the cloud.
As you may or may not know, we are extending Exchange Server and Office Communications Server into the cloud as part of our Software+Services vision. For Exchange, we have three Exchange cloud offerings to choose from.
Where do I begin?
First you should identify what are the key email service requirements for your school district or campus.
An example of some requirements:
What factors are driving me to the cloud?
What factors are driving me to the cloud?
Do we require service level agreements? What are they? Do we have Exchange in house expertise? What are my mobile device needs? Do we have archiving needs? Do we have backup needs? Do I want to host just students, faculty and staff, or both? Are you currently on Exchange or another email system? Do you currently have OCS? What do I need to migrate? Do I want other cloud services now or in the future such as conferencing, IM, SharePoint, etc? What is my unified communications roadmap? Does it include OCS voice? Do I need voicemail?
Do we require service level agreements? What are they?
Do we have Exchange in house expertise?
What are my mobile device needs?
Do we have archiving needs?
Do we have backup needs?
Do I want to host just students, faculty and staff, or both?
Are you currently on Exchange or another email system?
Do you currently have OCS?
What do I need to migrate?
Do I want other cloud services now or in the future such as conferencing, IM, SharePoint, etc?
What is my unified communications roadmap? Does it include OCS voice?
Do I need voicemail?
What are the Exchange offerings?
1) Exchange Online Standard – which most Education customers will more than likely use for faculty and staff. This provides you most Exchange functionality (Spam filtering, Outlook anywhere, Activesync, OWA, etc), SLAs, 5GB quota, backups. It also has archiving, and Blackberry support at additional cost per month if needed. It is a lower cost point since it is multi-tenant. Note: The site linked above does not reflect Education pricing.
2) Exchange Online Dedicated – which only very large Education customers will use with 20,000 mailboxes or larger. This is more geared towards enterprise customers and therefore more cost effective for Education customers with larger number of mailboxes. This is a higher cost point since it is dedicated servers for just your mailboxes, dedicated administrators, etc. Note: The site linked above does not reflect Education pricing.
3) Outlook Live – which is an email option of Live@Edu and is free for Students and Alumni and can also host faculty and staff. We are currently hosting over 4 million students on the platform. A perfect fit for students and alumni since students can use Outlook Anywhere, iPhones, etc and it relieves the pressure off of your current email platform (rackspace, storage, viruses, etc).
For faculty and staff, it may or may not be a good fit based on your requirements above. Since it is free, there are no hard SLAs, no backups, no archiving and no BES support at this time. You do get a larger quota 10GB, and it is on Exchange14 beta so you get some new feature benefits.
4) On premise Exchange – This provides you the most flexibility since you can also have Exchange voicemail, custom transport rules, etc. This also allows you a richer on premise OCS experience for voice and conferencing.
5) Hybrid combination of cloud and on premises
You may have a need to have some on-premise Exchange and some cloud based Exchange. I have seen where executives may have a local Exchange server and everyone else is in the cloud.
What is BPOS?
BPOS stands for Business Productivity Online Suite (Standard). It consists of Exchange Online, OCS Online, Live Meeting Online, and SharePoint Online. You can get sign up for all these services per individual or mix and match services per individual need.
Here is a breakdown of the BPOS features:
Does OCS Online have every feature of OCS on premises?
At this point in time, it does not have federation and enterprise voice.
Which Exchange offering should I use?
For students, I think Outlook Live/Live@Edu is a no brainer since it is free and allows you to synchronize with on-premise Exchange if needed. Lots of interest to move students to the cloud.
For faculty and staff, this all depends on your core email service requirements. A lot of customers considering this want to move from an alternate email platform and do not want to hire in house Exchange experts for example. Other customers want to cut costs and gain stability by using our Microsoft Exchange administrators in our datacenters.
You certainly should think about your OCS voice strategy and how that plays into your strategy since placing Exchange in the cloud will greatly reduce the OCS on premise experience.
In my opinion at this point in time, I think most education customers will either stay with Exchange on premises or go with Exchange Online Standard. The benefits of Exchange Online over Outlook Live are you get SLAs, BES, Archiving, etc. at the time of this post.
Another benefit customers have told me with Exchange Online is they like having the flexibility of using the other BPOS services such as SharePoint Online, OCS Online, and LiveMeeting Online. They also like the fact you can mix various offerings (e.g. 500 full BPOS, 1000 Exchange and MOSS Online, and 500 Exchange only) and even a deskless worker option which is a reduced Exchange experience (OWA only).
Feel free to post what your school is considering as I would be interested in what direction education customers are thinking.
For an Exchange Online Standard 30-day trial you can try it here.
What is a Lync query response bot?
A Lync query response bot is custom developed automation component accessible via IM where end users can query via IM for information against various databases, Internet like Bing, or even connect you with other live experts. I put in a few Lync bots and other Lync customizations below developed using the Lync Server 2010 SDK.
IM an Expert bot
One of our useful Lync bot tools we use inside of Microsoft is called the Lync “IM an Expert” bot. This bot can be used by Microsoft employees where you can IM the bot a question about many different topics and it will ‘find’ the expert related to the question being asked based on who has signed up as a particular expert. The IM an Expert has connections to search the vast expert knowledge of Microsoft employees around product related expertise, development, HR, Xbox Kinect, home repair, automobiles, and many many other areas of expertise.
Here is a sample of the workflow of how IM an Expert bot works:
You can now have our IM an Expert bot for free:
Grab the Lync IM an Expert Setup documentation here.
Grab the Lync IM an Expert bot here.
Other Lync bot examples:
We have another Microsoft bot we can use to translate, get stock quotes, get product information, do a who is, do a bug lookup, etc.
You could think of education scenarios here such as a student IMing a bot for a course schedule, loan status, or maybe finding a financial aid expert on campus.
IM language translator add-in:
Here is a cool Lync IM translator add-on for Lync which leverages the Bing Translator web service:
If you want to install this translator add-on to use with Lync use this registry entry:
Create the registry key by opening a new Text file and copying the following:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Save the Text file and change the extension to .reg file. Close Lync and run the Reg file.
We have another Microsoft bot for scheduling reminders where it will call you back on your Lync or mobile endpoint and provide text to speech over VOIP based on what you put in quotes:
This might be a nice education add-on for teachers and students to get mobile phone reminders about tests, labs, etc.
A few other examples of the extensibility of Lync:
Timecard Lync integration:
Timecard add-on for Lync from Modality Systems. This is nice since it will IM you as reminder to enter your time and then you can enter it right from the Lync client.
Add in timecard approval workflows, etc:
Lync Call tracking app from Geomant called UC Client Accounting:
Building Map extension for Lync:
We developed an internal mapping program that will map a Lync user’s building/cube to a map:
Lync Voice to VHF two-way radio via twistedpair solutions useful for campus security or other scenarios:
GPS capable two way radios will show a Bing map location of the person with the radio inside of Lync:
Lync IM to SMS text via Geomant solution called SMSforLync:
ContactSync for education by The Via Group:
Pulls the class roster out of a student information system and can prepopulate fellow classmates as contacts, show your courses and schedule, etc. Students really liked this feature as they could IM fellow students and connect and share desktops on projects, etc. They could also IM professors and teacher assistants on the bottom, etc.
Blackboard Lync/OCS integration with Enabling Technologies Corp:
Speech recognition, Tellme, and IM text to speech integration with Lync with Gold Systems Vonetix 7:
This is cool demo on how Gold Systems combined several interesting technologies with Lync into a product called Vonetix 7 for contact centers, etc.:
The are many many more ISVs developing examples like above with Lync using our CEBP and SDK. I hope this gives you a good taste of what some ISVs are working on and even some of the Bot scenarios that can really leverage the power of Lync.
For more on Lync Bot samples including the Lync IM Bing translator bot see here and here.
This was asked by a university in California. The answer is yes it is possible with Exchange 2010 and Microsoft IT has been running in a backupless state for all mailboxes in production since the beta of Exchange 2010. Note: pics from our documentation
What backup and recovery requirements did MS IT have?
Support mailbox capacities of 5 GB.
Reduce backup costs by eliminating third-party backups.
Reduce administrative overhead by simplifying the mail restore process.
Provide recovery of mail items up to 30 days old.
What were the objectives MS IT had to meet to move to this state?
A minimum of 30 days of data available to be recovered at any time
The ability to recover any single item that was deleted within those last 30 days
The ability to hold information for longer than 30 days if active litigation required it
The safety to know that if one or two copies of the data went offline, the e-mail system data could still operate or be recovered
How did MS IT accomplish backupless Exchange 2010?
1) Implement Exchange 2010 DAG for high availability and general resiliency
2) Leverage the new dumpster and additional feature called single item recovery
How do I recover something from single item recovery?
Administrators can recover purged items from Exchange Control Panel E-Discovery UI (Ent. CAL) or Search-Mailbox cmdlet (Std. CAL). Below are your options:
Is a lagged database copy needed?
Initially, MS IT implemented this during the beta however it did not really align with their core objectives such as reduced complexity, lack of quick recovery, and if logical data corruption occurred reseeding is required which, in effect, loses the lagged aspect of the copy. Non-lagged DAG database replicas better met the objectives of MS IT and also allowed for recovery during a rare case of logical data corruption. Read more here on seeding, lagged copies, etc.
What is the general DAG and makeup of an MS IT mailbox server?
Exchange Native Data Protection – no backups
4 real time DB copies on JBOD – see more on JBOD decision here
Single item recovery set to 30 days
5 GB mailbox quota
Approx 300 users per DB
35 DBs per server
Variable number of nodes per DAG (up to 16)
Backup cost savings?
MS IT reduced its backup costs from ~$5 per mailbox per year using daily incremental backups to disk to $0 per mailbox after the move to Exchange 2010.
Read more on MS IT’s backupless approach here.
Updated 3-15-2011 with new RMX screenshots
Updated 2-18-2011 with new interop information
I was asked by a university in Oregon if we work with existing video conferencing solutions such as TANDBERG (now Cisco) and Polycom. The answer is we can coexist with Polycom video conference systems directly and Cisco TANDBERG or Cisco Telepresence indirectly via a 3rd party video gateway in the coming future.
Polycom interop with Lync
With Polycom RMX, you can connect Lync Server to existing Polycom video conferencing investments.
Here is an example of Polycom RMX conference room integration with Lync:
I joined a Polycom RMX MCU from Lync even via federation and had my other UC amigos Bill and Greg join as well from their Lync clients. The red highlight shows who is speaking actively. Pretty slick. This demonstrated nice interoperability between Polycom and Lync video endpoints. The scenario here is you could have federated Lync off campus users/students join your existing campus Polycom conference rooms over the Internet.
This example below shows how Lync users can connect to existing Polycom VTC device called Polycom HDX. The device is registered in Lync and Active Directory. You can also see device presence, even connect to federated Polycom VTCs and conference rooms in other organizations.
The sample above I have joined a Polycom VTC in Polycom’s organization via Lync federation. This is a pretty powerful way to extend your Polycom investment to Lync video conferencing and even extend your Polycom to federated customers.
With the Polycom video conferencing interop you can also achieve ‘Brady bunch’ style multiparty video conference sessions right from your Lync client such as the sample below:
When I join a Polycom HDX conference device registered in Active Directory, the presence for the Polycom device turns to busy. I also heard some of their video conferencing devices are slated to adopt Lync Server’s RT Video codec some time soon.
See more here.
Cisco TANDBERG or Cisco Telepresence interop with Lync
Currently, there is no official direct support to connect directly to Cisco Tandberg or Cisco Telepresence video conferencing systems with Lync video endpoints. There is Cisco TANDBERG support for OCS 2007 R2 however. There are video gateway vendors like RADVISION and others working on a way to bridge Cisco TANDBERG and Cisco Telepresence all in one session.
Cisco TANDBERG has been testing some Lync interop. This video below shows an early beta test of some of the TANDBERG and Lync interop however it is not final and not all the features are working.
One way Cisco TANDBERG can help maintain current and future interoperability with other video conferencing/UC systems such as Polycom and Lync is by joining the Unified Communications Interoperability Foundation UCIF org. Microsoft, Polycom, Juniper, HP and other vendors have joined. See list of UCIF members here.
See OCS 2007 R2 interop with TANDBERG here.
RADVISION UC gateway with Lync
We also work with RADVISION as well using a SCOPIA Unified Gateway for Lync:
This gateway is slated to provide H.323 and H.264 video conference bridging to Lync Server 2010 which means you can connect multiple video conference systems at the same time to Lync such as Cisco Telepresence, Cisco TANDBERG and Polycom.
See more on RADVISION’s interop here.
LifeSize interop with Lync
LifeSize video conferencing systems also support Lync video interoperability.
Read more about LifeSize’s Lync integration here.