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Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Deployment – Part 1

Now that Office Communications Server (OCS) 2007 R2 is RTM, and that I have already created an article series on how to deploy OCS R2 Enterprise Edition Front End Servers and Edge Servers here, I thought it would be nice to create an article on how to deploy a Group Chat Server with Compliance which is connected to an x64 SQL Server 2008 RTM Back-End Server.

This article series is to guide you through the entire OCS Group Chat deployment process from scratch. Part1 will include the necessary pre-work that is required in order to begin the installation states of the Chat Server. This includes:

  1. Creating our SQL Database
  2. Creating our Group Chat Services and assigning the necessary permissions on SQL and our Group Chat Server

Part 1

Part 2

Lab Setup

Guest Virtual Machines

There will be two new virtual machines being introduced into the same lab I set up for my OCS R2 Article series which is located here.  The same exact lab set up you see in that article series still exist in this lab environment.  The only difference is one out of my two Domain Controllers is running Server 2008 R2 Beta.  The Certificate Services Domain Controller is still running Server 2008.

Two new virtual machines will be introduced.  Two Server 2008 Enterprise (Standard can be used) x64 (x64 required) Member Servers.  One server will contain Group Chat and the other server will contain the Compliance Service.  The Compliance Service requires a dedicated server; something I hope changes in the future.  Both servers will contain a single NIC.

Assumptions

  • You have a domain that contains at least one Server 2003 SP2 Domain Controller (DC)
  • You have configured the IP settings accordingly for all servers to be on the same subnet. I have provided the IP scheme of my lab below, but this will vary depending on your needs and Virtualization Software configuration.
  • You have at least SQL 2005 SP2 server installed. We will be using SQL 2008 installed on Server 2008 Enterprise.
  • You have a copy of Office Communicator (OC) 2007 R2 Group Chat. We will be installing our copy of Group Chat client on our Exchange CAS.

Computer Names

OCS R2 Group Chat Server – SHUD-OCSPG1

OCS R2 Compliance Server – SHUD-OCSPG2

Configuration of OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat Server

Processor: 4

Memory: 512MB

Network Type - External NIC

Configuration of OCS 2007 R2 Compliance Server

Processor: 4

Memory: 512MB

Network Type - External NIC

IP Addressing Scheme (Corporate Subnet)

IP Address – 192.168.1.x

Subnet Mask – 255.255.255.0

Default Gateway – 192.168.1.1

DNS Server – 192.168.1.150 (IP Address of the Domain Controller/DNS Server)

Group Chat SQL Database Creation

We will be using the same database for both Group Chat Server as well as the Compliance Server.  It is possible to use a different database for both, but the Compliance Server can also use the Group Chat database.  We will utilizing a single database for both servers.  So let’s go ahead and create our database.

Load up the SQL Management Studio and logon to your instance with someone who has the following permissions (I’m using the Administrator account since it’s a lab):

  • Create Database
  • Create any Database
  • Alter Any database

Right-Click Databases and create a new database.  I called it PG.

We must also ensure the database collation is set to SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS by Right-Clicking our database, choosing Properties, going to the Options page, and choosing SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS.

Group Chat Service Accounts

Group Chat requires several services which will then need to be manually added to the Local Administrators group.  These accounts then need to be added as SQL Server accounts and be assigned permissions to the SQL Database.

We will be creating 2 services.  You will want to ensure that the Lookup Service is named OCSChat.  The other services can be named anything you want.  Another thing to note, is that if you have multiple Group Chat Servers, OCSChat will be used on all Group Chat Servers as the same Lookup Service needs to be used on all Group Chat Servers.  The Channel Service is unique per server.

OCSChat requires a SIP enabled account.  Because we will need to have an OCS R2 Front End environment already up and running, go ahead and SIP enable the account.  As you can see, I have SIP Enabled this account.

We need to add these two service accounts to our local Administrators group.

SQL Server Accounts and Permissions

Let’s head back into SQL Server Management Studio.  Under Security, we will Right-Click and Create a new Login.  Add both of our OCS Group Chat Service Accounts.  As you can see, both OCSChat and OCSChannel have been added.

We will now need to Right-Click on each Service Account, choose Properties, and choose the User Mapping category.  Select our PG database and assign the service account the role of db_owner.  Do this for both service accounts; both OCSChannel and OCSChat.

Summary

Well folks, that is all for Part 1 of this article. For Part 2, I will go through the OCS R2 Group Chat Server installation as well as the Administrative Tools.

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18 Responses to “Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Group Chat Deployment – Part 1”

  1. on 09 Mar 2009 at 2:16 amJoachim Farla [MVP]

    Nice work man! Keep up the good work.

  2. on 20 May 2009 at 12:47 pmJason

    I assume there is no way to use SQL Express for group chat even if in a lab/pilot environment?

  3. on 21 May 2009 at 11:18 amElan Shudnow

    The Group Chat Planning documentation contains this information. You can locate this here:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd441213(office.13).aspx

    More specifically, the following is noted:
    On the database server, ensure that the following software is installed:

    * Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later.
    * SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2005 with Service Pack 2 (SP2). For details about installing SQL Server 2008, see Installing SQL Server 2008 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=139335. For details about installing SQL Server 2005, see Installing SQL Server 2005 at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=139333.

  4. on 03 Aug 2009 at 2:04 pmGill Bates

    Group chat is a steaming pile of horse shit… as usual MS documentation and reality don’t jive.

  5. on 10 Aug 2009 at 3:21 amDilip

    Can we have the DB for the GC Chat and Compliance on the same OCS Backend server or does it need to be on a differrent physicaql/virtual server?

  6. on 12 Aug 2009 at 12:41 pmElan Shudnow

    It can be on the same server. It should also be able to be hosted in the same instance. You can also use the same database for both.

  7. on 15 Aug 2009 at 3:31 pmEspryte

    @Bill Gates

    there are better products from MS for sure, but they bought MindAlign with the effect that the software is actually payable. IT was at least 100k USD before!

    I’m sure the next version will be nice and include proper documentation..

  8. on 31 Oct 2009 at 10:12 amMarcin

    This is all nice, but why Microsoft didn't check if OCSR2GCC (OCS R2 Group Chat Client) supports international characters. MOC does support it well, what is more you can copy&paster text with international characters into Group Chat Client window and it will be sent and displayed correctly. The only thing is you cannot enter them from keyboard, as in my case keyboard layout of Polish Programmers works the way that Polish characters are entered with right Alt and corresponding letter, i.e. to display ó you hold Alt and press o. This sucks big time and made Group Chat completely useless in my country. it would be even better if when Alt-o is pressed Group Chat would display simply 'o', but it just doesn't display anything.

    Marcin

  9. on 08 Mar 2010 at 11:44 amChaosnature

    Hi,

    1st let me say Great! guild,

    i followed this guild and i eventually am able to complete the intallation, however i am unable to start any of the 2 services, they start and stop , 1st i was using a certificate with my oce server pool, then i lately change it to another certifictae with the GC server name and sip.domain name and ocspool name as SAN.

    this is the error i get from the event log:

    The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, Group Chat Server MGCLOOKU could not stop due to an exception Object reference not set to an instance of an object..

    An error MGCLOOKU is stopping due to an unhandled exception.
    has occurred due to an unhandled exception Object reference not set to an instance of an object.. Stack trace:
    at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Chat.Server.ServerCommon.Performance.MessageProcessingPerformanceCounterManager.ClearPerformanceCounters()
    at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Chat.Server.Lookup.LookupServer.ClearPerformanceCounters()
    at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Chat.Server.ServerCommon.ServerBase.Start()
    at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Chat.Server.ServerCommon.MAServiceBase.startServer()
    at Microsoft.Rtc.Internal.Chat.Server.ServerCommon.MAServiceBase.createAndStartServer()
    at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(ExecutionContext executionContext, ContextCallback callback, Object state)
    at System.Threading.ThreadHelper.ThreadStart().

    Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance

    on 07 Mar 2010 at 4:02 pm34Chaosnature
    Update to my service none starting issues, 1st i changed the account service to administrator which had more rights than other account , and started the services and they started, but they only start one at a time, the two services would not stay on running at the same time, then i added all rights to the ocschat account and restarted the services again this time they started,

    so i am not sure what account member is missing yet that stoped the GC services from starting, i will use process of elimination later to find that out….

    but now i still cannot logon to the GC server as administrator
    i get:

    Cannot sign in. Your sign-in address, server settings, or password may be incorrect. If your sign in information is correct and the problem persists, please contact your system administrator.

    and nothing on the GC Event log server, any ideas?

    i also am now running the SQL on the same server as the GC, i previously was using the same as my OCS front end server,
    Question,…what is the pool name when u are using an SQL server on the same GC server which is a memeber server? is it the FQDN of the server it self?….my OCS pool name is ocspoo.ct.com…..my GC server name is Main.ct.com….my GC instance i created was name GCPool on the member server. what then is the Pool name of this GC SQL? or do i have to create a pool using the installation cd? cos right now i had to fill in the gap using my ocs pool i created for my FE server…

  10. on 29 Jun 2010 at 11:54 amVic Rozumny

    as a former Microsoft FTE I will tell you that international support was never a priority. The money is made on US versions. I would bre thankful that this appears to really be changing since I left in '08. Exchange 2010 has tremendous changes for language support, in ease of installation and availablity. GC was thrown together at the last minute and shoe-horedn into R2. Wave 14 will be better.

    vic

  11. on 29 Jun 2010 at 11:56 amVic Rozumny

    btw Elan. Your site rocks. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with others!

  12. on 26 Jul 2010 at 9:17 pmAaron Tiensivu's Blog

    Installing OCS 2007 R2 Group Chat Server on Server 2008 R2…

    To begin, follow the instructions here for the usual Server 2008 R2 workaround/fixes for Server 2008 R2 and OCS 2007 R2. 1. From an elevated PowerShell prompt: Import-Module ServerManager [Enter] 2. Install the prerequisites for Group Chat Server wit…

  13. [...] Server as you normally would on any other operating system. Elan’s guide is helpful for this (Part 1 / Part 2). 5. Install the OCS Core update from here and the UC API update from here. (If those [...]

  14. on 28 Feb 2012 at 12:49 pmChris

    Question: We currently have 80 employees here … We have an Office Communicator environment on a Windows 2008 R2 box, Intel Xeon x5550 @ 2.67 8-core box. The peak usage on the server is 12% daily…. We don’t have the “Group chat” enabled/installed in our environment. Can we install the Group Chat portion on the same server as the Office Communicator server? We don’t want to spend a money on a new server if we don’t have to…. Thanks in advanced!

  15. on 28 Feb 2012 at 2:06 pmElan Shudnow

    Group Chat Server requires its own box. It cannot be collocated on another role and it just won't flat out work so don't try it.

  16. on 28 Feb 2012 at 2:21 pmChris

    Thanks for the quick reply Elan! Great website!

  17. on 29 Feb 2012 at 1:08 pmElan Shudnow

    You're welcome. Thank you for the compliment. Much appreciated.

  18. [...] OCS 2007 R1 or R2 installation.  You can see my guide on deploying Group Chat with OCS 2007 R2 here.  The first thing we will see is that there is now a Persistent Chat section in Lync 2013 Topology [...]

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