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Office Communications Server update complete

December 20th, 2010 No comments

I realized it’s been a while since I posted anything about OCS here, but it’s (mostly) done. Everyone was moved to the new environment and the old servers were decomissioned.

I’m now working on a Communicator Web Access server and desktop sharing environment. I’ve got it working internally, and, using this excellent article here (and this one), I have it set up to work externally as well. Unfortunately I have to wait for the firewall to get updated before it will work on the outside.

I also have it in the hands of our desktop people to update everyone’s Communicator client to v3.5.6907.206 (Communicator R2 with the July 2010 update), then I also need to go around and patch all the servers (FE, Edge, Archive/Monitor, SQL and CWA) with the November 2010 update.

In the mean time I’m also starting to plan out the MS Lync 2010 environment, probably for a whole, new domain.

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 almost there

August 30th, 2010 No comments

I’ve got a full OCS 2007 R2 environment built, just waiting for the big switch this weekend to the new environment. It’s been quite a learning experience.

Setting up a new OCS pool is not exactly a double-click-next-next-finish type of install. Lots of planning has to go in to it, even for an updated environment where we’ve already done all the legwork in DNS, certificates and firewalls. This was also a transition to a 64-bit OS environment from a 32-bit one, and trying to preserve all the connectivity at the same time.

I learned, for instance, that you can do all the configuration-moving and schema updates, and bring up a new front-end server for a new pool in the same domain as your old OCS pool, and everyone is none the wiser. No impact until you actually start migrating people.

However, if you bring up a new Edge server, and configure that in your new pool, it becomes an Edge server not only for your old environment, but for your new one as well. I had to unconfigure that real quick. The server is still up and running, but I’ll need to manually add it to the new pool and remove the old one at the same time that I migrate all 5,000 of our users.

So, I’ll have to remember this: Edge servers (and, I’m guessing, CWA servers as well) are forest-level resources. They are not limited to the pool in which you created them, even though the docs say that a R1 Front End can’t communicate with an R2 Edge server, and an R2 FE can’t communicate with an R1 Edge server.

For a brief time, though, I found I could connect from the outside through the R1 Edge server to the R2 pool when I was a member of that pool. In retrospect, though, Federation was probably not working.

How do larger companies do this, I wonder, since as near as I can tell, there’s no command-line tool for migrating users to the new environment?

Anyway, the big switch will take place hopefully this Sunday night when all the US and Canadian branches are on holiday.

After that I need to set up backups, archiving, and eventally the Communicator Web Access server our last environment didn’t have.

See, this is why I can’t have a nice blog

April 6th, 2010 No comments

It’s great that I have a blog, and that it posts my Twitter updates (which is now blocked at work, by the way). But that alone does not make for an interesting blog.

Work has kept me busy, and I’m now gearing up to preach a sermon this Sunday at church. The Gospel lesson is on Thomas after the resurrection (‘doubting Thomas’). I have some ideas about how to approach that.

I also noticed some links in Twitter going to WordPress-based blogs that looked really nice on my iPhone, so I tracked some of them down. The ones I liked best used WPTouch for WordPress. Works great, as you could see if you were accessing this from an iPhone or BlackBerry.

The Unified Communications stuff is proceeding apace, and I’m hoping we can get an Exchange 2010 upgrade out of it, along with a migration to OCS Enterprise 2007 R2 (from OCS Standard R1). “Wave 14” (probably Office Communications Server 2010) is due out in the Fall, and we can probably get our hands on the beta. If we can roll out Enterprise Voice, UM and other features to a 9000-person company worldwide, we can pretty much ask MS to do anything. They’d love the reference.

It’s clear, though, that the cloud is not ready for UC. Other folks might have made some dents, but right now Microsoft’s own BPOS offering only has IM and presence for OCS; Exchange 2010, but no UM. Sharepoint 2010 will be there soon, but it’s going to be at least a year before the cloud is on feature parity with on-premises solutions. Cisco has a decent cloud offering, but it’s not available in Europe, and they want us to buy all their IP-PBX infrastructure.

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