by July 5, 2008 0 comments



We have covered Unified Communication a number of times in the past. This
time, we are going to focus on two very interesting applications. One is to
create a complete unified communication solution for your enterprise wide
communications channels and the other is to manage and monitor mobile clients
for accessing the UC backend. The similarity here is that both applications
revolve around MS Exchange 2007 and work on Microsoft platform. For the UC
backend we will show you how to deployMicrosoft’s latest Office Communication
Server 2007 and for managing the mobile clients and syncing mails on mobile and
fixed clients, we will use the ‘Good Mobile Messaging’ software from Motorola.
So let’s begin with deploying OCS.

Deploying OCS
Office Communication Server 2007 is a unified messaging solution that allows
you to manage VoIP, instant messaging, presence, audio and video conferencing
all from a single box. It is the next version of MS Live Communications server
that provides Presence and IM capabilities.

Installing OCS is a pretty complex task due to its long list of
pre-requisites. The components that you require before you can install OCS 2007
are as follows:

  1. SIP server
  2. MS SQL SERVER 2005 SP1 or above
  3. Certification Server.
  4. MS Exchange 2007
  5. Active Directory Services

To begin with, let’s first see how you can quickly deploy a SIP server for
your OCS. We used Asterisk/Trixbox, which is a free Linux based solution for
creating the SIP/VoIP server. You can download the ISO file from www.trixbox.org
or from the PCQuest Xtreme DVD, June 2007 (if you can get hold of a copy).
Installation of Trixbox is similar to that of any available Linux distro, which
means all you have to do is hit a couple of enters and provide details such as
the password, domain name, etc. If you plan to deploy the SIP server just for
making and receiving VoIP calls then you can easily install it on a virtual
machine. But if you are planning to add your phone lines to the system then you
have to install it on a physical machine, along with an FXO card.

Once the installation is complete, open the configuration page using a
browser from a machine which is on the same subnet. The IP address required to
open the link will flash on the first screen when trixbox boots up. Click on the
‘switch user’ link provided on the top right side of the page and give the
username as ‘maint’ and password as ‘password.’

OCS requires an IP-PBX for VoIP
functionality. For this we used the well-known Open Source solution called
Asterix. Here, we’re adding SIP extensions for users

Now the first thing you have to do is to create a couple of extensions by
clicking on the ‘Setup’ tab and then navigating to the ‘Extension’ option found
on the left panel. Now select the device as ‘Generic SIP Device’ and click on
Submit. Provide the user extension and display name, and in the secret text box
which can be found under ‘Device Options’ section, provide the passcode. Finally
click on the submit button to complete the process. If you are looking for a
detailed installation and configuration process of Trixbox, you can refer to our
previous article on the same at the URL http://pcquest.ciol.com/content/ handson/2007/107040304.asp.

While installing MS SQL SERVER 2005 SP1, we faced issues with its instance
name. We came to the conclusion that while installing it, make sure you choose
the named instance instead of a default instance. You just need to install MS
SQL Server and no further configuration is required. Also make sure that the SQL
Server machine is a member of the domain and also the user that’s logged in has
all administrative rights. If you plan to install MS SQL Server on a remote
machine then make sure that the SQL Server is configured to allow connections,
because by default it blocks all remote connections. To allow remote
connections, go to ‘SQL Server Configuration Manager’ and then expand the
network configuration node. Click on the ‘Protocol for <your instance name>’ and
then in the right pane set the ‘Named pipe’ and TCP/IP as enabled.

For a Certificate server you have the option to go with either a third party
certificate vendor such as Verisign or you can create your own Certificate
Server. For installing Certificate Server on Windows Server 2003, go to
‘Add/Remove Programs’ and then click on the ‘Add/Remove Windows Component.’
Check the ‘Certificate Server’ component inside the components listbox and click
on Next. Follow onscreen instructions and your certificate will be created. If
you still want to have a detailed look on how to create a certificate, than you
can refer to http:// pcquest.ciol.com/content/ enterprise/2007/107100202.asp.

For installing and configuring ADS on Windows Server 2008, please refer to
our article at http://pcquest.ciol.com/ content/enterprise/2008/108010302.asp.

Installing OCS 2007
Now comes the real task. If you are sure that all pre-requisites have been
installed on machines and all are in the same domain then you can start with the
OCS installation process. Place the OCS 2007 DVD in the drive and initiate the
installation by clicking on the setup file. On the first screen you get three
different scenarios to deploy on:

  1. Consolidated Topology: Deploy a pool and install all components on a
    physical server.
  2. Expanded Topology: Deploy a pool and install each front end server on
    separate machines.
  3. Deploy other server roles such as OCS archiving and CDR server, edge
    server, etc.

In the first step the schema, forest and domain of your Active Directory is
prepared for OCS 2007. For initiating the process click on ‘Prepare Active
Directory’ link and you get a new wizard with five different steps. The first
step is to prepare the schema. For this, click on the ‘Run’ button in the ‘Prep
Schema’ option. A new schema preparation wizard comes up. Here, click on Next to
proceed. This provides you with two options. First take up a default schema file
which is inside the OCS directory or you can specify your own schema file. To
specify your own schema file click on the browse button and navigate to the
location of your file. Select the file and click on Ok. Click on Next and then
click on Finish to complete the wizard. Next comes preparing Forest. For this,
click on ‘Run’ in the ‘Prep Forest’ section. A Forest preparation wizard
appears. Now, click on ‘Next’ to proceed. You get an option for storing global
setting. First store the global setting in the system container (recommended)
and the second option is configuration partition, which is used for storing at
the root of the domain. Choose the first one and proceed. Next select the domain
of your ADS and the SIP domain and proceed. Finally click on ‘Finish’ to
complete the wizard. In the next wizard, ie domain preparation, no input is
required; so with a couple of clicks the wizard can be completed.

When installing OCS, you have to identify
the pool of users who’ll use it, the domain they belong to, and the SQL
Server that will store all user data for the server

Now you have to create an enterprise pool. Click on ‘Run’ under the create
enterprise pool section to launch a wizard. Click on Next and specify the pool
name and path where the MS SQL instance is running. Now click on Next twice. If
you have any existing database with the same name then you have the option of
replacing it by checking the ‘Replace existing database’ check box provided in
this set. Click on Next and provide the path to the shared folder where OCS can
store content (an FQDN path). You need three such folders with full rights
(read, write and modify). Next provide the folder for storing address books, ie
the third folder that you have created. Click on Next and then click on Finish
to complete the wizard.

Now we’ll configure the pools. Click on ‘Run’ under the ‘Configure Pool’
section. Select the existing pool name from the drop down box you just created
and click on Next. Then add the SIP domain to your environment, if it is not
already in your domain, else check if your domain is listed and click on Next.
If your domain name is not present in the list, then add the domain by clicking
on the ‘Add’ button. Next check how you want your clients to login. You have two
different options, one will use DNS SRV records and the second is to do it
manually. Next select the SIP domain supported by the pool and click on Next.
Again click on ‘Next’ and then on ‘Finish’ to complete the wizard.

Next configure the Certificate by clicking on ‘Run’ under the ‘configure
certificate’ section. Choose ‘create a new certificate’ and proceed. Then,
select the first option i.e. ‘send request immediately to an online
certification authority’ and click on Next. Then you have to specify the
certificate name and bit length, name of the organization and unit, the subject
name and location information like country name, state, etc. Keep clicking Next
as you complete this information. Lastly, select the certificate authority from
the drop down list.

Finally, when everything has been installed and configured, start OCS 2007
services by clicking on ‘Run’ under the ‘Start service’ section. You can also
validate the server functionality by clicking on ‘validate server functionality’
link in step 8. All you have to do is to enable UC for your ADS users from
‘Active Directory Users and Computers’ MMC and right click on the user and say
‘Enable UC.’

Next month we will go beyond this and talk about deploying some interesting
features in OCS 2007.

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