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System or Configuration container and which domain to install into? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I'm new to OCS and plan on an evaluation using a single OCS 2007 R2 Standard server. I've read through the deployment guides and tried to digest them as best I can :) - I have a few questions that I'd appreciate some assistance with.

    I have a single forest with multiple domains that looks like this:

          A
        /   \
       /     \
      B      C


    Domain A is not an empty placeholder and it has users in it, there are DC's for this domain in two sites, one of which is the main datacenter.

    Domain B contains the central Exchange server, has users in it and there are DC's in two sites, including the main datacenter, these two sites are well connected by a high speed WAN link.

    Domain C is distributed over multiple sites which span international boundaries, there are DC's in the satellite offices and the main datacenter. There are two small Exchange servers in this domain in satellite offices.

    Users from all domains and eventually all locations will require access to OCS. The plan is to implement CoS over the WAN links when OCS is deployed for real to try to avoid having servers in multiple locations where possible (obviously depending on usage levels which have not yet been defined)

    I am not sure which domain would be the best to install OCS into, and whether the global settings should be installed into the configuration container or the system container. The OCS server will be installed in the main datacenter.

    My thoughts at the moment are that OCS should be installed in domain C, this way relevant SRV DNS records in domain C would be easily accessible to the majority of users without WAN traversal or additional zone replication. I was thinking that the global settings should be installed in the configuration container because this will be replicated to all DCs so the data is closest to the end user in all sites and domains, however I am not sure what the interaction between the client and AD is with OCS, so not sure whether this concern is relevant. I am also not sure how the interaction between OCS and Exchange, and Exchange UM which we are also thinking of using and whether this has any bearing on the decision.

    What are people's thoughts on this?

    Many thanks,

    Richard
    Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:09 AM

All replies

  • Typically you'd install OCS in to the same domain which holds your Exchanges servers and user accounts.

    And if you have root domain controllers online in each site then the System Container is fine, although either will work.  But if there is limited availability to root DCs from all site where than using the Configuration container may be advantageous.

    See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd425231(office.13).aspx:

    "With Office Communications Server 2007 R2, the recommended container for Office Communications Server global settings is the Configuration container, which is the default container. In previous versions of Office Communications Server, the default container was the root domain System container. Although storing global settings in the System container has advantages, such as faster replication and fewer replicated copies, in centralized topologies, this approach might not perform as well in geographically distributed topologies if root domain availability is insufficient. If you deployed Live Communications Server 2005 with Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Office Communications Server 2007 with global settings stored in the System container and experience performance problems, such as long service start time or long replication delays when you manage global settings, you can migrate from the System container to the Configuration container."
    Jeff Schertz, PointBridge | MVP | MCITP: Enterprise Messaging | MCTS: OCS
    Thursday, May 14, 2009 11:21 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the response.

    Can you expand on why it is better to install OCS in domain A with the Exchange server? You are suggesting we install in domain A when there are users in domain C who exist in sites without domain controllers or DNS servers for domain A - is this not a concern for OCS?
    Thursday, May 14, 2009 1:41 PM