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Office Communications Server 2007 Enterprise Deployment – Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of this article series. In Part 1, we started off by discussing the goal of this lab. That goal is how to deploy a single Enterprise Edition OCS Server which is connected to an x64 SQL Server 2005 SP2 Back-End Server. We first discussed what the lab setup is going to be using VMware Workstation, and then proceeded to the configuration of our Enterprise Certificate Authority.  In Part 2, we went over the preparation and installation of a Front End OCS 2007 Server Pool which were the first few steps in deploying OCS in an Enterprise Deployment.  In Part 3, we went over the remaining steps required to deploying our Front End Server in an Enterprise Pool Deployment.

In this Part, I will go through the installation of our Office Communicator 2007 client and get it connected through OCS by configuring DNS. I will then begin preparation of our Edge Servers followed by configuring our ISA 2006 Server.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Front End OCS 2007 Server Installation

When installing OCS in a consolidated Enterprise Edition deployment, you would perform the following steps:

  1. Prepare Active Directory (Completed in Part 2)
  2. Create an Enterprise Pool (Completed in Part 2)
  3. Configure a Load Balancer (Completed in Part 2)
  4. Configure Pool / DNS (Partially Completed in Part 3)
  5. Add Server to Pool (Completed in Part 3)
  6. Configure Certificate (Completed in Part 3)
  7. Configure Web Components Server Certificate (Completed in Part 3)
  8. Verify Replication (Completed in Part 3)
  9. Start Services (Completed in Part 3)
  10. Validate Server and Pool Functionality (Partially Completed in Part 3)

Microsoft Office Communicator (MOC) 2007

Installing MOC

Installing MOC is a rather straightforward process.  I won’t go over the installation steps as it is like installing any other application.

Logging onto MOC

In Part 3, we talked about holding off on DNS additions so when we install MOC, we can see what DNS is required to allow our client to log on.  So let’s try logging on with one of the users we created in Part 3.  The user we will log on as is OCS User 1 that has a SIP Address of ocsuser1@exchange.shudnow.net.

When we try to log on, we will get the following error message:

So let’s start adding DNS by entering our DNS MMC by going to Start > Administrative Tools > DNS.  We will then create a host record for our Pool (ocspool.shudnow.net).

Note: If you have multiple Front End Servers and are deploying behind a hardware load balancer, the IP Address in this host file will be pointing to your hardware load balancer.

After that host record has been created, we will need to create an SRV record so MOC clients can find DNS and automatically locate the OCS Front End Server.  But because we are using a separate namespace of exchange.shudnow.net, we will need to create either a new Primary DNS Zone for exchange.shudnow.net or by creating a new domain called exchange within our shudnow.net zone.  I elected to create an entire new zone.

Once your exchange.shudnow.net zone is created, we will then need to create a host record inside our new exchange.shudnow.net zone for sip.exchange.shudnow.net.

Create an SRV record within the exchange.shudnow.net zone that contains the following information.

Note: Internal clients can connect using either TLS or TCP while external clients can only connect to TLS.  If you want to allow your clients to connect to TCP, change the above to _SipInternal and change the port to 5060.

So let me explain what is going on here.  We created our DNS Pool record in our shudnow.net zone.  OCSPool.shudnow.net points to 192.168.119.151 which is the IP Address of our Front End Server.  Because our users are SIP Enabled for exchange.shudnow.net, we needed to create a new zone.  Typically, if you would have SIP enabled them for shudnow.net, we would just create our OCSPool A Record, and then create the SRV record to point to OCSpool.shudnow.net.

If you recall, when we retreived our certificate, it had DNS names of OCSpool.shudnow.net and sip.exchange.shudnow.net.  Because SRV records have to point to a DNS name within its own domain, we created our sip.exchange.shudnow.net A record within the exchange.shudnow.net zone.  We then created the DNS SRV record for automatic client logon to point to the sip.exchange.shudnow.net name which is a name in our certificate request.

So essentially the following happens in order:

  1. Client logs on using automatic logon
  2. Client looks for an SRV record for _sipinternaltls._tcp.SIPDomain (in our case _sipinternaltls._tcp.exchange.shudnow.net)
  3. DNS Server successfully returns sip.exchange.shudnow.net as the service from the SRV record
  4. Client connects to sip.exchange.shudnow.net and resolves that to 192.168.119.151
  5. Client is successfully enable to start communications with the Front End Server

Adding Distribution Groups to MOC

I have created a universal distribution group named Sales.  Our Sales distribution group was created within Exchange. A user named Simo notified me that a distribution group doesn’t necessarily have to be created within Exchange.  As long as the distribution group has the e-mail attribute filled in, OCS expansion will function.

Searching for Sales, we will see that it will display our Sales group.  We can add this group to our contacts list and we can expand the group information.

Your Communicator client will refresh the membership information every so often to determine for distribution group modifications.  After some messing around with this, I see this is separate from the Address Book syncing as I attempted to manually syncronize the Address Book service and even went as far as deleting the GalContacts.db file on our client to force a re-download of the Address Book files.

I did some research and found this post here.  Unfortunately others are seeing the same and no answer has really been provided on how the distribution group information gets updated or how to force it; if even possible.

For those that do not know, the Address Book files is what allow our clients to search for SIP enabled users and Distribution Groups.  It also providers other functionality such as Phone Number Normalization when doing Remote Call Control.  This information gets stored on our client as GalContacts.db in “%userprofile%\ Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Communicator\.”  The Address Book gets updated in OCS every 24 hours which can be expedited by navigating to the following directory and running the following command:

Preparation of OCS 2007 Edge Node

Network Interface Card (NIC) Configuration

In Part 1, I put the Internal NIC on our VMNet8 which is our NAT Network.  I stated that I would put all other NICs on VMNet7.  When bringing up this server, I put all NICs on VMNet8 to ensure that there is IP Connectivity all around.  The reason for this is I don’t have VMNet7 and VMNet8 routed with each other. In a production network, I would following the OCS Planning Guide to ensure your networks are configured properly.  For example, your Internal NIC would be placed on your Internal Network while external adapters would be on a separate subnet such as a DMZ.

The first thing I always do is rename the NICs appropriately so you know what NIC you are working with.

On our Internal Edge NIC, we want to configure the IP Configuration as follows.  This NIC will contain the default gateway and DNS Settings.  Becuase of this, we will later ensure that this NIC is at the top of the binding order.

Our Audio/Video Edge NIC will be configured as follows.

Our Access Edge NIC will be configured as follows.

Our Web Conferencing Edge NIC will be configured as follows.

Binding Order

Set the Internal NIC to be at the top of the binding order.  This is because this is our internal corporations communications NIC.  It is the NIC that has DNS applied to it and will be talking to the rest of the internal servers.

ISA 2006 Configuration

Root Certificate

The first thing we will want to do is take the root certificate from our internal CA and place it into the Root Computer Certificate Store on ISA.  If your ISA box is part of the domain, if your CA is an Enterprise Root CA, your ISA box will automatically retrieve this certificate upon rebooting.  For any other type of CA configuration, you must manually obtain the Root Certificate.  The reason we we need this Root Certificate is because when we Bridge our external connection to our internal connection via SSL, we will need to trust the internal FQDN which has a certificate requested from our internal CA.

To do this, go onto your the Certificate Authority (CA) Server.  Our OCS-DC1 server is our CA.  Open the Certificates MMC by going to Start > Run > MMC.  Go to File > Add/Remove Snap-In > Add > Certificates > Computer Account.

Go to our Trusted Root Certification Authorities and find our Root Certificate.  Once you find it, Export the Certificate and transfer this exported certificate to ISA 2006.

Back on our ISA Box, open the Computer Certificates Snap-In just as we did on our CA.  In the same location (Trusted Root Certification Authorities > Certificates), we will import the certificate that we exported on our CA.  Once you choose Import, navigate to the location of the exported certificate and import it.

External Web Farm Certificate

Now let’s go ahead and get a certificate that matches the external Web Farm FQDN that we specified when deploying our Pool.  This name is ExtWebFarm.shudnow.net.  To do this, I installed IIS on ISA to request the certificate.

In IIS, go onto your Default Website > Properties > Directory Security Tab.

You will see a section entitled Secure Communications. Click Server Certificate to begin the process of requesting a certificate.

Choose Create New Certificate. Click Next to Continue.

In a production environment, you will choose to Prepare the request now, but send it later and submit the request to a 3rd party certificate authority such as Entrust.  This is because you’ll want internet clients to be able to automatically trust this certificate.  For purposes of this lab, I will just choose to Send the request imediately to an online certificate authority to expedite the process. Click Next to Continue.

Note: I left the Prepare the request now, but send it later selected by default.  If you are doing a lab scenario like I am, feel free to select the second option (like me) to expedite the process.  The rest of the screenshots will be using the second expedited method.

By default, the Certificate Name will be set to your web site name.  Change this to the FQDN of the External Web Farm FQDN. Click Next to Continue.

Note: The Certificate Name is not the Subject Name (SN) / Common Name (CN) of the certificate, but I always match the SN / CN of the certificate to the Certificate Name.

You will be asked for your Organization information.  Enter it appropriately. Click Next to Continue.

You will now be asked for your SN / CN.  Specify the name to be ExtWebFarm.shudnow.net Click Next to Continue.

You will be asked for your Geographical information.  Enter it appropriately. Click Next to Continue.

Since we specified the OCS Certificate Request to send the request immediately to an online certificate authority, OCS will search for an Issuing CA. The name of our CA (not server name but the name of the CA) is OCS-ROOTCA, OCS will display this server as the CA to use.  Choose OCS-DC1.shudnow.net\OCS-ROOTCA as our CA. Click Next to Continue.

Now in a production environment where you submitted your CSR to a vendor such as Entrust, they will provide you some text information back.  You will take this text, place it into a text file, and save the file as a .cer file.  You will then go back into IIS and Assign the .cer file to your request.  What essentially happens is when you create your CSR, you create a private key on your IIS Server.  The vendor will take some information appropriate to your private key and create a public key that associates itself with your private key.  When you assign your certificate, you essentially bind your public/private key to form a certificate.

Once the certificate is properly assigned, you will see the View Certificate button light up.

If you click on View Certificate, you will see the certificate has a CN of ExtWebFarm.shudnow.net

If you performed these procedures on an IIS instance located on a server that is not your IIS Server, you must ensure you export the certificate with its private key and import it into the Local Computer Certificate Store on ISA.  This will allow you to attach the certificate to the web listener we will be creating.  The procedures for importing a certificate are listed above.  The only difference is the store you import it into.

Once you are finished with your certificate request, if IIS is still enabled on ISA, make sure you turn it off (uninstall) otherwise ISA will fail to proxy due to a port conflict between IIS and the Web Listener.

ISA Configuration

We will need to configure ISA to proxy requests for the following three functions:

  • To enable external users to download meeting content for your meetings
  • To enable external users to expand distribution groups
  • To enable remote users to download files from the Address Book Service

The Web Components Server will use the following directories to allow external clients to connect through using the External Web Farm FQDN.

To start creating the configuration for ISA, we will want to create a Web Site Publishing Rule.  We will name it OCS External Web Farm.

Select Allow. Click Next to Continue.

Select Publish a single Web site or load balancer. The reason why we only publish a single website is because the server we connect to will be our pool name (Ocspool.shudnow.net).  This will essentially load balance our ISA request to both of our Front End Servers. Click Next to Continue.

Select Use SSL to connect to the published Web server or server farm. Click Next to Continue.

Enter our Internal Site name which is the Internal Farm FQDN we specified when we created our Enterprise Pool.  This internal site name should match our pool name. Enter the IP Address for our Enterprise Pool.  Since we only deployed one Front End Server, this IP Address is the address of our Front End.  If we are deploying multiple Front End Servers behind a Hardware Load Balancer, this IP Address would be the Virtual IP (VIP) of our Hardware Load Balancer. Click Next to Continue.

We will want to use /* for our Path so we can create one rule to allow us to proxy all data destined to our External Web Farm FQDN to our Front End Server. Click Next to Continue.

We will want to enter our External Web Farm FQDN as our Public Name. Click Next to Continue.

We are now prompted to select a Web Listener.  Because we haven’t created one, go ahead and select New. Name this Web Listener OCS External Web Farm. Click Next to Continue.

We will definitely want to require SSL secured connections with clients. Click Next to Continue.

Select External since we will allowing Internet Clients to use this listener in which the DNS will be pointing to the Selected IP Address for our External connection.  To select the IP Address for our External connection, Click the Select IP Addresses button.

Select the IP Address that we will be using for our External NIC.  The reason why it doesn’t show the IP Address for our 192.x.x.x address is because our 192.168.119.x network is selected as our Internal Network.  You select your internal subnets when installing ISA. Click OK and then Next to Continue.

We must now choose our ExtWebFarm.shudnow.net certificate for this listener.  Choose Select Certificate and choose our ExtWebFarm.shudnow.net Certificate. Click OK and then Next to Continue.

No Authentication will be used. Click Next to Continue.

When back in the rule configuration, you will want to ensure that you select No Delegation, but client may authenticate directly. Click Next to Continue.

All the remaining options should be left at default.  All you need to do now is configure a HOST (A) record on your external DNS solution so ExtWebFarm.shudnow.net points to the IP Address of your ISA Server whether that is with a public IP Address directly on ISA or through a NAT’d Address.

The last modification we need to make is to go into the properties of our rule (not listener) and go to the From Tab.  Remove Anywhere and add External.  Click OK to Finish.

Note:  Again, if IIS is still enabled on ISA, make sure you turn it off (uninstall) otherwise ISA will fail to proxy due to a port conflict between IIS and the Web Listener.

Summary

Well folks, that is all for Part 4 of this article. For Part 5, I will go through the installation and configuration of our Consolidated OCS 2007 Edge Server

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15 Responses to “Office Communications Server 2007 Enterprise Deployment – Part 4”

  1. on 31 Jul 2008 at 8:45 pmakatz0813

    Amazing posts so far!! Can’t wait for Part 5. Could you post a visio network topology diagram of how the interfaces should be setup? I am particularly interested to know whether the ISA should bridge the outside and internal or dmz and internal.

    Thanks!!

  2. on 31 Jul 2008 at 10:21 pmElan Shudnow

    Thanks! The way I would configure ISA in a production environment is:
    2 NICs
    1 NIC in NAT DMZ
    1 NIC in Corporate Subnet
    Corporate NIC on the top of the binding order and with DNS configured
    DMZ NIC second on the bidning order with no DNS configured with default gateway
    Static Routes so all internal subnetted trafic goes to an internal router that can route to all internal subnets
    Have a public internet routable IP address NAT’d to your DMZ NIC
    Have the ExtWebFarm.domain.com DNS point to the public IP which will get NAT’d to your DMZ NIC and will then get proxied to your internal servers through the rule you have configured.

  3. on 14 Aug 2008 at 3:41 pmDariusCyrus

    Another great article man!

    I have a question with the Web Listener part…

    I followed your steps and selected “External” and then clicked on “Select IP Address”..

    however, there are no IPs in the “Available IP Addresses” field…

    Could you please advise?

    Thanks.

  4. on 14 Aug 2008 at 5:17 pmElan Shudnow

    Probably because when you installed ISA and chose your internal IP range, you included your DMZ IP range. IPs that belong to your internal subnet range only show up as Internal and all others show up when you select External. If one NIC is in DMZ and 1 is in Internal Network, make your sure DMZ subnet isn’t included in your Internal Subnet information in ISA. If you have no DMZ, then you can just choose Internal instead of External and have the static NAT with the Internet IP go to the IP that’s specified as Internal on your Listener.

  5. on 15 Aug 2008 at 9:58 amDariusCyrus

    Thanks.

    I’m sure I included the 192.x.x.x range when installing ISA.

    I’ll do internal to see that. And dig in more to find out the problem. If I find out more information, I’ll let you know.

  6. on 25 Sep 2008 at 5:02 ambharat c

    It is a very nice post .. thanks for helping us out.
    I went to develop OCServer with my virtual server , i have completed most of the steps described above. but i got stuck at one step that is configure SRV for server.
    when i try to create a SRV record i could not find _sipinternaltls service in dropdown list. how it could it possible? i have installed DC & OCS on diffrent VPC. Is this the problem to figure out _sipinternaltls?

  7. on 25 Sep 2008 at 7:41 amElan Shudnow

    Thank you for your kind words. Please check out the following blog post which gives great instructions on creating the SRV record:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/byrons/archive/2007/10/04/test.aspx

  8. on 01 Apr 2009 at 11:25 amPablo

    Very great posts!,
    Thank for this material

    Regards,
    Pablo Bertrão

  9. on 23 Jun 2009 at 1:56 pmPablo

    Elan,
    (again)

    By trying to install in another server, I got a very strange sympthom that I couldn’t find any answer.

    I’ve installed succesfuly the OCS 2007 in a consolidate topology.
    I have an SQL server, and AD/DNS succesfuly configured, and every services ( the 5 services of OCS) in a front-end server working well.

    When I finished to install the OCS, I verifyed my active directory, right clicking in a user, and verifyed that the function “Enable user to Office Communications Server” does not exist, or not show up. And not this one, no one of the OCS functions have showed.

    I’m running a WIN2K3. my backend is a SQL Server 2005 service pack 2.

    I veryfied the services, restarted the AD and front end servers. Nothing make this function show up.

    I verifyed on some sites that this problem may occur due to 64bit OS. But that was not my case.

    Due you have some Idea why this is happening?

    Thank you again,

    Regards,
    Pablo Bertrão

  10. on 25 Jun 2009 at 10:01 amElan Shudnow

    Try installing the Administrative Tools provided on the CD. OCS 2007 R1 should install them as a part of the regular install process and OCS 2007 R2 needs to have the Administrative Tools manually installed.

  11. on 25 Jun 2009 at 12:01 pmPablo

    Thank you, this solution solved the problem.

    I’ve installed the administrative tools on my AD and worked.

    Thank you again,

    Regards,
    Pablo Bertrão

  12. [...] http://www.shudnow.net/2008/07/29/office-communications-server-2007-enterprise-deployment-part-4/ [...]

  13. on 11 Apr 2010 at 8:06 amanuj

    It's a very gud blog sir but help me out i wanna deploy OCS 2005 in my college as a final year project and please help me out bcoz i can't find any other blog like this ……

  14. on 01 Sep 2010 at 7:33 pmDan

    Hi Elan,

    I have Office Communicator 2007 Standard Server installed. Everything works fine but the Archiving Server is not function properly. I check on the Archive server status, it says running but nothing was being logged. The size and date on LCSlog is never changed.
    Also, how can I import contacts from Outlook to Communicator client?

    Thanks for your expert help!
    Dan

  15. on 12 Sep 2010 at 7:21 amElan Shudnow

    Anything in Event Logs? It's kind of hard to answer a question like, "Archiving Server is not function properly" when there's nothing else to go off of. The only answer I can give back to a statement like that is, re-install it and follow all the steps properly.

    As for importing Outlook Contacts. Communicator will show Outlook Contacts when doing a search. If those Outlook Contacts have an e-mail address, Communicator will attempt to do SIP communication with that address. If it's a valid SIP Address, Communicator can shiow presence information and you can add it to your Communicator contact list. You can actually add an Outlook contact this way without any SIP address to Communicator, but that's pretty useless as the process I just explained above won't work as it doesn't have an e-mail address/sip address associated with that so you obviously won't be able to IM this contact.

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