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Office Communications Server 2007 R2 almost there

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.