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Is OCS 2007 viable as a solution for SMB RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just ran the planning tool and found that  wants me to use 16 servers.  Granted I can colocate some of these to a single server as per http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd425201(office.13).aspx but still dont seem to be able to get it below 8. Thiss seems excessive for 50 users. All though I see in other articles where MS espouses that Standard eddition is a single server proposition.   Can any one give me a definitive answer on this given that I want to support the following features.

    1.       Instant messaging and presence for internal  users.

    2.     On-premise Web conferencing. 

    3.       A/V conferencing.

    4.       Address Book Server.

    5.       Archiving and Call Detail Records

    6.       External User Access .  Provides access for invited external users.

    7.       Federation. 

    8.       Public IM Connectivity.  .  Provides access for invited external users.

    9.       Enterprise Voice



    Cheers Mal










    Monday, March 16, 2009 2:43 AM

Answers

  • You only need 3 servers - the front end (Standard Edition), Mediation, and Edge.  Items 1-5 are handled by the front end, 6-8 by the Edge, and 9 by the Mediation server.
    Mike Stacy | Evangelyze Communications | http://www.evangelyze.net/cs/blogs/mike
    • Proposed as answer by .Mike StacyModerator Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:52 AM
    • Marked as answer by slipery Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:44 AM
    Monday, March 16, 2009 4:28 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • You only need 3 servers - the front end (Standard Edition), Mediation, and Edge.  Items 1-5 are handled by the front end, 6-8 by the Edge, and 9 by the Mediation server.
    Mike Stacy | Evangelyze Communications | http://www.evangelyze.net/cs/blogs/mike
    • Proposed as answer by .Mike StacyModerator Wednesday, March 18, 2009 2:52 AM
    • Marked as answer by slipery Wednesday, March 18, 2009 11:44 AM
    Monday, March 16, 2009 4:28 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Mike great reply. Concise to the point and most of all answers the question.
    Thanks again
    Monday, March 16, 2009 12:19 PM
  • Hi Mal,

    I just wanted to add to this that OCS is indeed viable for an SMB.  We are a company of 30 and completely replaced our old ISDN PABX with OCS 2007 and a gateway from NET (VX1200).  Works like charm for a price comparable to a standard, basic, no-frills, SMB VoIP PABX from one of the large vendors.  The advantages are that OCS has way more functionality. :-)

    best Regards
    Wim
    Monday, March 23, 2009 9:51 AM
  • Can communicator web access be consolidated on FE?  I'm new to R2 but it seems to me that this role is isolated now...requiring another server from what I've read.  Also what about the ISA server requirement?  This brings things to 5 unless I'm misunderstanding the docs.

    Kelly
    Tuesday, March 24, 2009 5:14 PM
  • Hi Kelly,

    As I did not install R2 yet, I cannot answer that from the back of my head, but the OCS instructions on Technet do detail very well which roles can be collocated on a single server.

    As for the ISA server:  that is indeed one server you would need in the Microsoft recommended default configuration.  For OCS R1 there are reports you can find where people are skipping ISA and are using port forwarding on their firewall to accomplish the same task.  This is somewhat less secure, but probably also depends on your network architecture and what security goals you set for yourself.  In any case it is "use at your own risk".

    So officially you would indeed need ISA :-)  (although I would like to avoid to install it as well.... )

    Best Regards
    Wim
    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 8:28 AM
  •  To add few comments to SMB, it seems OCS has to be deployed along with some servers such as AD, Domain Controller, DNS, SQL server, and IIS, etc even for a startdard edition. It is too much hassel to configure and maintain all of them to make calls.

    I am prety new to OCS, reading doc now, wondering if there is a minum configuration just for a few SIP user accounts and be able to make SIP calls w/o any of above servers. For lots a SMB less than 20 people, maintains all those servers may be a burden if not IT guru. Any suggestions or comments are greately appreciated.
    Charlin
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 6:52 PM
  •  Because OCS can't exist without an AD forest, SQL back-end services, DNS name resolution and other supporting services there is no way to setup OCS without going through those steps.  The Standard Edition installation will mask the SQL services by installing and configuring SQL Express, but most SMB should already have an AD forest deployed with DNS, and IIS is a built-in component of Windows Server that doens't require any configuration for OCS short of a certificate installation.
    Jeff Schertz, PointBridge | MVP | MCITP: Enterprise Messaging | MCTS: OCS
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:14 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for good comments.  The assumption of most SMB have an AD is questionable, for example, lots of small law firm or no-IT firm, it has a very basic networking infrastructure. To prepare a AD schema, it requires a domain controller. After all those servers are put on one machine, the machine is dying slow on bootup and system admin. i doubt its capability to do mediation for SMB (I am using DELL PowerEdge SC430 server, 2003 Server is installed).
    Charlie
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:34 PM
  • In that case I you have to say that a SMB networks with no AD presence and minimal hardware would not be a good candidate for OCS due to it's complexity and unification with other MS products.  Environments like those might be better suited for either free services like Live Messenger and a an ITSP hosted VOIP system, or Microsoft's BPOS hosted solution which gives clients the ability to use Outlook, OCS, SharePoint and Live Meeting without the need for any on-premise equipment.

    You can check it out here: http://www.microsoft.com/online/demo/v2/demo.aspx

    (FYI, the OCS portion is not yet included in the suite but is coming next month.)
    Jeff Schertz, PointBridge | MVP | MCITP: Enterprise Messaging | MCTS: OCS
    Thursday, March 26, 2009 7:47 PM
    Moderator