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Office Communications Server 2007 Enterprise Deployment – Part 5

Welcome to Part 5 of this article series. So far in this article series, we have deployed an Enterprise Pool, configured our Pool, set up DNS, tested connectivity with Communicator 2007, configured our ISA box, and prepared our Edge Servers.

In this Part, I will go through the part of the configuration of our Consolidated OCS Edge Server using a separate NIC for each Edge Role.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Consolidated Edge OCS 2007 Server Installation

When installing an OCS Consolidated Edge Server, you would perform the following steps:

Note: Edge Server should not be joined to your Corporate Active Directory.

  1. Install Files for Edge Server
  2. Activate Edge Server
  3. Configure Edge Server
  4. Configure Certificates for Edge Server
  5. Start Services
  6. Validate Edge Server

Install Files for Edge Server (Step 1)

To begin the Edge Server installation process, we can insert our OCS CD (Standard can be used for Edge).  There are some prerequisites for installing OCS such as .Net Framework 2.0, but this is all taken care of during the installation.

Insert the CD and let’s begin the installation process.  You will be asked to install the Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable. Click Yes to Continue.

You will then be asked to install the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. Click Yes to Continue.

Once Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 is installed, you will be presented with the Deployment Wizard.  We will want to deploy our Edge Server in a Consolidated fashion..  Click Deploy Other Server Roles > Deploy Edge Server to Continue.

We are now on Step 1 which is to Install Files for Edge Server. Click Install for Install Files for Edge Server to Continue after meeting the Prerequisites (being a local Administrator).

On the Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue. After fully reading the License Agreement, if you agree, Select “I accept the terms in the license agreement .”  Click Next to Continue.

You will be asked for Customer Information such as Product Key, Name, and your Organization Name.  Enter them appropriately. Click Next to Continue.

Enter the location you want your files to be installed.  I chose the default location. Click Next to Continue.

You are now ready to start the Installation.

Once you completed the File Installation, you should see the Installation Interface update the Step 1 Status showing as Completed.

Activate Edge Server (Step 2)

Click Run for Active Edge Server to Continue.

On the Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue.

The next screen asks us what Edge Roles we want to install.  Because we are installing a single Consolidated Edge Server, we will choose all three Edge Roles; Access, Web Conferencing, and Audio/Video. Select Activate Access Edge Server, Web Conferencing Edge Server, A/V Edge Server.  Click Next to Continue.

Note: If you are going to be load balancing, you can only have the Access Edge and Web Conferencing Edge roles together on a server.  You will need to have two separate Audio/Video Servers.  So you will need a minimum of four servers if you plan on load balancing all three Edge Roles.

You will now be prompted to specify passwords for your Service Accounts.  I recommend to use long secure passwords.  You can view this and this site which assist in choosing strong passwords.  You will have to do this for several Service Account: RTCProxyService

Once you have set a password, Click Next to Continue.

You are now ready to Activate your Edge Server.  Review your Current Settings.  After satisfied, Click Next to Continue.

When the Activation is finished, Click Finish.  You will be given the option to view the log which I advise you to do to ensure everything went OK.

Once you completed the Activation, you should see the Installation Interface update the Step 2 Status showing as Completed.

Configure Edge Server (Step 3)

Click Run for Confingure Edge Server to Continue.

On the Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue.

The next screen asks us if we have a Configuration File to use.  This file is great to use if we are deploying multiple Edge Servers that will be load balanced.  For example, it would be useful if I was going to be deploying two Access Edge/Web Conferenicng Edge Servers behind a Hardware Load Balancer.  I would configure my first Edge Server, and at the end of the configuration, it would ask me to export the configuration so I can import it on my second Edge Server.  Nifty!

Because this is our first and only Edge Server, Click Next to Continue.

We must choose the Internal IP of our Edge Server as well as its’ FQDN.  We are presented with the following options.

You may be wondering which IP to choose.  Remember back in Part 4 we configured four NICs.  One of these NICs was the Internal NIC which we configured as follows. We also configured a dedicated NIC and IP for each Edge Role.  Here is a list of NIC Names, their associated Edge Role, and IPs associated with them

Note: Please don’t forget that in a production environment, or even a real test environment where you will have internet/internal connectivity, the A/V Edge NIC requires a publicly routable IP Address.  This does not mean it is directly exposed to the internet.  You should need to have your firewall route a public IP directly to your A/V Edge Server.

So in our Edge Configuration, we will want to choose 192.168.119.160 for our Internal NIC.  We will also want to set the FQDN as  ocs-ocs2.shudnow.net (computername.domain.com).  Because our server is not a domain member, we will need to manually add the DNS record in our Active Directory DNS due to the nature of Active Directory Secure DNS Zones only allowing domain members to add records to our zone. Click Next to Continue.

We now must configure the IPs and FQDNs for all three Edge Roles.  You can refer to the Excel List above to determine what IPs are associated with which role.

When a client connects to the Access Edge Server, the Access Server will return the URLs needed for the client to successfully communicate with services in the OCS organization.  For example, we will configure our Web Conferencing Edge Server to use webconf.exchange.shudnow.net.  Exchange.shudnow.net is our Internet DNS Zone.  So when a Live Meeting Client tries to connect to a web conference, our Access Edge will communicate with the client telling it the FQDN for the web conferencing edge.  The same applies for the A/V Edge Server.

Enter in the IP Configuration and FQDN accordingly.  Click Next to Continue.

We will want to use this Edge Server to allow anonymous users to join meetings as well as enable federation.  If you plan on allowing your users to talk with public IM providers such as AOL, MSN, and Yahoo, select those features as you see fit.

Now let me explain why Allow remote users to communicate with federated contacts is greyed out.  It is possible to set up two Edge Servers and use one Access Edge for Remote User Access and another for Federation and Public IM connectivity.  If you decide to do this, one one Access Edge you’ll disable Federation which will light up the currently greyed out option.  On the second Access Edge, you’ll disable Remote User Access and enable Federation.  Now keep in mind this is optional.  Because we will be utilizing one Consolidated Edge Server, we can choose the options as follows which will enable Remote User Access, Federation, and Public IM Connectivity through our Consolidated Edge. Click Next to Continue.

We want our Edge Server to be able to talk to the internal OCS Servers.  We have a few options.  If we are using a Standard Server as our next hop, we would enter the Standard Pool FQDN which would be the server’s FQDN.  If we deployed a Director, we would enter the Director (or FQDN of hardware load balancer). Because we deployed an Enterprise Pool, we will use the FQDN of the Enterprise Pool. Enter the Enterprise Pool FQDN OCSPool.shudnow.net. Click Next to Continue.

Because our SIP Domain will be exchange.shudnow.net, that is what we will choose when specifying what our Authorized Internal SIP Domains are.  Click Next to Continue.

We will then want to enter our internal OCS Pool Name for Authorized Internal Servers.  If you have more than one Pool or Standard Edition Server, enter them here.  Click Next to Continue.

You are now ready to Apply your Edge Server Configuration.  Review your Current Settings.  After satisfied, Click Next to Continue.

You are now ready to apply your configuration.  Review your Current Settings.  After satisfied, Click Next to Continue.

When the Configuration is finished, Click Finish.  You will be given the option to view the log which I advise you to do to ensure everything went OK.  This is also where you’ll have the change to export your configuration if you’re deploying a second Edge Server for Hardware Load Balancing.

Once you completed the Configuration, you should see the Installation Interface update the Step 3 Status showing as Completed.

Configure Certificates for Edge Server (Step 4)

Click Run for Configure Certificates for the Edge Server to Continue.

On the Welcome Screen, Click Next to Continue.

I’m going to skip through a lot of this section as it consists of how to obtian a Certificate which I already went through in Part 4 when we discussed configuring our ISA Server.

I will be obtaining three certificates.  One is for our Internal NIC that consists of the FQDN of our Server (ocs-ocs2.shudnow.net).  The second certificate will consist of  the names of our Access/Web external edge roles. The third certificate will be our A/V Authentication certificate.

Now you may be thinking, well, can’t I just use two certificates?  One for internal and A/V edge.  Well in our case, probably.  If you have multiple servers, no.  This is because each certificate for the internal interface will be unique due to the name of every server being different.  The A/V Authentication name will be the same and exported/imported on multiple servers.  Also, Microsoft considers it to be insecure by using the same certificate for both the Internal and A/V Authentication services.

Certificate One (Internal Interface):

CN = ocs-ocs2.shudnow.net

Certificate Two (Access/Web Server Roles):

CN = sip.exchange.shudnow.net

SAN = sip.exchange.shudnow.net

SAN = webconf.exchange.shudnow.net

Certificate Three (A/V Authentication)

SAN = av.exchange.shudnow.net

Now keep in mind the reason the namespaces our different is because the internal NIC is connected to our internal infrastructure and will be utilized internally only.  Because of that, we will be using our internal namespace that is also used as our default SIP routing domain.  Our edge servers will be contacted using the external DNS namespace.  If you are using split-DNS where your internal namespace is hosted on external DNS, you can use either namespace.

For purposes of this lab, I will obtain all certificates from our internal CA.  Because our Edge Server is not a domain member, you have to ensure it contains the Root Certificate from our Internal CA.  You will also have to submit the request, approve it, and submit the .cer file manually and import it manually due to our Edge server not being a domain member.

Note: In a production environment, you will be requesting your Access/Web Conferencing Certificates from a Third Party Vendor.  Both your A/V Authentication and Internal Interface NICs will be provided by your Internal CA.  The A/V Edge role doesn’t need an Internet Facing Certificate.

We will first choose to Create a new Certificate.  One you have done this, you will want to make sure you select only your Edge Server Private Interface.  Click Next to Continue.

You will want to go through the rest of the configuration which includes entering your Organization Name, Company Name, Etc…  As I said, when you are at the screen which consists of what FQDN to use, you will use the CN of ocs-ocs2.shudnow.net.

Once you are finished preparing the request, you will see the Step being partially finished.  Click Run again to Continue.

You will now want to go through the motions of taking the .Cer file you obtained from your Certificate Authority and binding it to your request.

Follow this procedure with the remaining certificates.  Refer to the certificate CN/SAN names above as to what entries should be on your certificate.

Your Access/Web Conferencing Edge Certificate request will look like:

Your A/V Certificate request will look like:

Once you completed the Certificate Configuration, you should see the Installation Interface update the Step 4 Status showing as Completed.

Remaining Steps

I will not be going through the remaining steps.  It consists of Starting Services and Validating your Configuration.

The only remaining steps are to enable users, configure federation, and enable your Front End Servers to talk with your Edge Servers.  All this information is out of the scope of this article.  If you are interested in doing this (and you will have to connect your Front End Servers to your Edge Servers), visit this site here.

Summary

Well folks, that is all for not just Part 5, but the entire article series. Hopefully these articles have helped you understand more on how the deployment of OCS works.  There is a lot more to the configuration of OCS and especially the deployment when you get into load balancing.  Much more than what I went into.  But hopefully the article gave you enough knowledge to know where to look and how the overall deployment process works.

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8 Responses to “Office Communications Server 2007 Enterprise Deployment – Part 5”

  1. on 03 Sep 2008 at 7:54 amLCSKid

    Another blog to watch – Elan Shudnow…

    Elan contacted me via my blog regarding the director role and in conversing he shared his blog. He writes…

  2. on 08 Jan 2009 at 5:18 amJames

    Hi,
    It is very useful post..Thanks.

  3. on 01 Apr 2009 at 3:39 pmNir

    Hi,

    If I want to have IM only, what do I need?

    Thx

    Nir

  4. on 03 Apr 2009 at 2:41 pmElan Shudnow

    You can just disable Audio/Video once everything is installed.

  5. on 09 Dec 2009 at 6:44 pmPablo

    Hello Elan,

    I'm going to install the PIC license on my production environment.

    Soo, at the step Enable Features on Access Edge Server, I selected the checkbox to enable public IM, and selected the public providers that I want to send IM.

    The process of enable PIC License is sample as that? Do I need to do something else?

    Thank you again Elan,

    Regards,

    Pablo Bertrão

  6. on 09 Dec 2009 at 6:58 pmElan Shudnow

    It's as simple as that:
    1. Enable on Edge
    2. Configure User Account(s) and enable PIC
    3. Submit PIC Registration Information
    4. Wait for PIC Federation to be completed (each vendor will activate at different times)
    5. Enjoy!

  7. on 24 May 2011 at 10:55 amRay Louder

    Elan, This is a great article and I found it very useful. One question I have is concerning using a physical Load Balancer. You said you were going to cover this but I did not see that in the article (I might have missed it). I would like to understand how this works so I can play with it in my lab.

    Thank you for your assistance.
    Ray L.

  8. on 09 Jun 2011 at 10:08 pmElan Shudnow

    There are very good planning docs from Microsoft on how load balancing works. I would check that out. Also, consult your load balancer's website as most have an article on how to load balance OCS.

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