Hi all, i will be offline for about 2 weeks for holiday. Going to northern Thailand for some rice harvesting and Loy Krathong. After that i will start at my new work, TrueSec. So the future looks bright and i hope it will be allot of fun work coming, so I’m sure glad to have a short holiday and some fun first.
Today was a great day – I learned something.
Curtis Johnstone have a blog i like to read and today’s topic was about file transfers in OCS, that always tend to be a bit problematic.
So check it out OCS File Transfers – Key Facts & Common Cures
As OCS currently does not support multiple phone numbers to a single user you have to do a workaround to get it to work. I have seen this questions in some forums and one solution is to create a new user account with a different number and then configure the settings on that account to forward calls to the first user. However, this may not be the most fun thing to do for a lot of users, just like it wouldn’t be to configure this from the PBX side, that is another way of doing it.
If anyone have solved this in some way different/better please post a comment.
Cisco have just released a Mobile Communicator client for the iPhone and Microsoft is Microsoft so i personally don’t expect them to make one, but the good guys over at Modality made a OCS client for them. So i guess we can start round one with a look at the user interface…
Exchange Remote Connectivity Analyzer. Is a tool i used a lot during its beta and it is now released to web in its full version 1, and to that its been updated with the following new features.
- Updated user interface
- New CAPTCHA implementation. (This is the hard to read words that make you prove you are a human)
- No more ‘Beta’ label
- Additional tests
- Exchange Web Services – This allows you to perform connectivity testing for Exchange Web Services client such as Entourage. Developers can also use the Service Account Verification test to ensure things are configured and working properly for access with an alternate account or ExchangeImpersonation.
- Outbound SMTP – Performs Reverse DNS testing, DNS RBL Checks, and SenderID validation against a provided "outbound" IP address
- Updated the Outlook Anywhere test logic to work with Exchange 2010
- Added a link in the footer to the Remote Connectivity Analyzer TechNet forum
- Added a password confirmation text box to ensure the proper password was entered before running a test. This will reduce the number of tests that fail simply due to a typo in the password.
- The Exchange ActiveSync tests allow you to "Ignore trusts for SSL". Checking this option only tells the tool to not fail if the certificate you are using is not in the list of Trusted Root Certificates… for example if you were using a certificate from your own Windows CA. This option does not allow the test to be completed over a non-SSL connection. That is, if you do not have a certificate and want to test whether Exchange ActiveSync works over port 80 – this tool cannot perform this validation. (Note: We will not be able to add this feature in the future). Note: Due to limitations in the RPC API, we are currently unable to ignore the trust requirement for SSL for the RPC over HTTP / Outlook Anywhere tests. We are looking into alternatives for future releases.
Thank you to everyone who sent feedback to us. The above list is a direct result of the comments you provided. Please keep the feedback coming. We also like to hear when the tool helps make you successful. The "Feedback" link is in the footer of each page on the site. This goes directly to Brad and me.
Link to tool: https://www.TestExchangeConnectivity.com
So to be 100% Unified in all your communication you will need some things, one of them might be SharePoint for the collaboration part.
Now when the LifeCam Cinema comes i guess that there will be allot of organization looking in to buying it for use along with their OCS installations. On top of the device there is a Call Button that when pushed open up Live Messenger if installed, but when using it together with Office Communicator it would be nice to have it open just MOC instead, here is how you do.
- Use the following .ADM file snippet to set the Group Policy:
CLASS MACHINE CATEGORY !!MSHW POLICY !!EnableMOCIntegration KEYNAME "Software\Policies\Microsoft\Hardware" EXPLAIN !!EnableMOCIntegrationExplain VALUENAME "EnableMOCIntegration" VALUEON NUMERIC 1 VALUEOFF NUMERIC 0 END POLICY END CATEGORY [strings] MSHW="Microsoft Hardware" EnableMOCIntegration="EnableMOCIntegration" EnableMOCIntegrationExplain="Enables MOC Integration" ; Online Help Strings ADM_TITLE="Group Policy settings for Microsoft Hardware" COMPUTER="Computer Configuration" COMPUTER_EXPLAIN="Contains settings that may only be used to configure Computers." SUPPORTEDON="Requirements:"
Instructions for setting Group Policies can be found here.
- Ensure you have set the Group Policy and waited an appropriate time to propagate to all the computers in your organization (the time required depends on your Group Policy settings).
- Ensure that all target user machines have LifeChat version 1.3 and/or LifeCam version 2.0 and higher software installed.
I we read a post about virtualization of OCS over at Unify Square
And this is my opinion of it, based on the experiences and tests I have done so far.
When we had our internal OCS 2007 R1 environment virtualized for like 80 users two years ago, it lagged and A/V was really terrible. We had everything on VMs and I figured we could test because I know that the customers would ask and we had a fairly small environment, just one standard server and an edge server for start. After like a month and when rolling out enterprise voice we changed everything to the real deal and all was fine.
The project I’m working on now is an installation for 6000 users mainly IM (I was NOT involved in the design here and they said “no no no we know it’s not supported and no one will run A/V but we have a ent cal suite so why not roll out LiveMeeting to, just for fun and see what happens”)
Well the setup is two OCS 2007 R2 FrontEnd enterprise servers, one Edge and all running on VMWare. So based on my previous encounters I was thinking they must be all mad doing that and I had some serious one to one sessions with the guy doing the design…
But it is actually working well so far, the A/V experience is ok for small Live Meetings (up to 10 people with basic cams and no RTs) MOC to MOC multiparty up to 4 users is ok to. But I do see some other things that I believe is related to being homed on VMs, like that it takes time to connect to meetings and I we seen some strange video behaviors in some test calls that I have never seen before to.
But the conclusion is that the hardware has been more powerful and the virtualization platforms to, but it’s just not really there yet. But in this organization I think it will take like 6-12 months for them to adapt and really start to use the technology and when putting more load to the servers they will start to have minor issues. But still do fine. It will for sure be interesting to see how it turns out.
But if you consider all of the above and still want to use a virtualization platform i can’t and won’t recommend it to a customer just yet, but if they say “oh come on, we want to try anyway and we don’t care about support”, i don’t have much more to say then ok. But be sure to have a backup plan, ESPECIALLY when the future is coming with more and more HD and higher bandwidth things. And make sure to read Unify Squares blog for some tips and tweaks for the topic.
Backup and restore of OCS front end explained.
Tom Pacyk have a great blog and have written a 3 part series of how to backup trash and restore a OCS front end server. So check out his blog or just read the posts.
So the next release of Exchange is complete and ready to be rolled out to early adapters and general availability at TechEd Europe in November.