Designing you DMZ network for OCS 2007

June 29, 2008 at 2:43 PM2102

What is the right/recommended design of our DMZ (perimeter) network for OCS 2007 Edge implementation? This is usually quite common question whenever I have conversation with someone that is in the phase of designing/implementing their OCS 2007 infrastructure.

Microsoft just released new whitepaper. Happy reading! ;-)

Designing Your Perimeter Network for Office Communications Server 2007 White Paper

Brief Description
This paper answers questions about Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 with specific regard to its integration into the perimeter network (also known as DMZ, demilitarized zone, or screened subnet).

The first section, “Commonly Asked Questions,” answers key design questions from customers about the initial stages of product deployment.

The second section, “Architecture and Networking Best Practices,” explores ways to prepare for the edge servers in the perimeter network, taking into consideration issues of physical deployment, ways to ensure a publicly routable IP address, firewall configuration, and load-balancing concerns.

Hyper-V is final!

June 28, 2008 at 6:26 PM2102

Hyper-V RTM version is available for download. It came a little bit ahead of original (180 days) schedule.

Step-by-Step Guide for Testing Hyper-V and Failover Clustering

May 26, 2008 at 1:10 PM2102

Shows you how to make a virtual machine highly available. You will do this by creating a simple two-node cluster and a virtual machine, and then failing over the virtual machine from one node to the other.

Source: Step-by-Step Guide for Testing Hyper-V and Failover Clustering

MSDN and TechNet Powered by Hyper-V

May 26, 2008 at 1:03 PM2102

Interesting post about Hyper-V and virtualizing MSDN and TechNet web sites at Microsoft.

Hi—I am Rob Emanuel from the Operations team.  For those of you who may not know what we do, our group designs, deploys, manages and sustains highly available, highly scalable Web and SQL systems for Microsoft for some of the largest corporate web sites in the world (, Microsoft Update, Download Center, MSDN and TechNet).  Along with our team’s TechCenter, we maintain a blog on how we adopt our own products and share some of our real world experiences. 

For the last several months we have had the opportunity to focus on virtualizing both the MSDN and TechNet websites with Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V as a start to our overall virtualization adoption strategy. This was a group effort across our entire Operations Team including individuals from the Technical Architecture group I am part of, the System Engineers who run the sites, the data center hosting team which handles our infrastructure changes and the very supportive product group which is responsible for MSDN and TechNet.  Today we are very pleased to be able to share how Hyper-V was deployed for those two sites and our lessons learned through that process.  We have written an article on the TechCenter which goes through how we approached virtualizing MSDN and TechNet and hopefully conveys how successful we found Hyper-V to be as a web platform.

The article covers the reasons and characteristics which made MSDN the first site we looked to move onto Hyper-V.   It provides an overview of how both Hyper-V Beta and Hyper-V RC0 were deployed as well as the general architecture used for the deployment.   Possibly the most surprising finding was that Hyper-V was far more stable than we had expected for a beta version deployment.  There was in fact no difference we found in stability or availability between Hyper-V and a physical deployment!  We were also not able to identify any bugs for the Hyper-V team during our deployment under either full production load or even stress load.


Source: MSDN and TechNet Powered by Hyper-V

Hyper-V RC1 Released

May 26, 2008 at 12:58 PM2102

Exchange 2007 SP1 Prerequisites on Windows Server 2008

May 6, 2008 at 10:40 AM2102

What are the prerequisites for specific Exchange 2007 SP1 role when you are installing it on Windows Server 2008? I received this question often in the last couple of months and decided to blog about it.

The easiest way to install all prerequisites on windows Server 2008 is with ServerManagerCmd command line utility.

Exchange Management Tools

ServerManagerCmd -i PowerShell

If you want to manage all internal server roles including CAS role you must also install following IIS components. Note that this also applies if you have stand alone HUB Transport server and you want to manage CAS server from it.

ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Metabase
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console

Hub Transport Server

ServerManagerCmd -i PowerShell

Client Access Server

ServerManagerCmd -i PowerShell
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Server
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-ISAPI-Ext
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Metabase
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Basic-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Digest-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Windows-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Dyn-Compression
ServerManagerCmd -i RPC-over-HTTP-proxy (optional; required only if you will be using Outlook Anywhere)

Edge Transport Server

ServerManagerCmd -i PowerShell
ServerManagerCmd -i ADLDS (AD LDS - Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services; previously known as ADAM - Active Directory Application Mode)

Mailbox Server

ServerManagerCmd -i PowerShell
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Server
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-ISAPI-Ext
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Metabase
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Lgcy-Mgmt-Console
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Basic-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Web-Windows-Auth
ServerManagerCmd -i Failover-Clustering (if Mailbox Server will be clustered)

Unified Messaging

ServerManagerCmd -i PowerShell
ServerManagerCmd -i Desktop-Experience (audio/video codecs required by UM)

Posted in: Exchange | Microsoft | Windows Server 2008


Microsoft Response Point

April 11, 2008 at 10:24 AM2102

Microsoft Response Point is IP PBX and VoIP PBX solution  for Small Business Phone Systems with up to 50 users.

Response Point was launched in March 2007, with phones being made available towards the end of 2007.

What is Response Point?
Easy to use and manage, Microsoft Response Point is innovative new phone system software that offers small business customers a radically simplified phone experience. You can access the phone and its features using just your voice. The intuitive Response Point administrator software allows you to complete phone moves, additions, or changes with a few mouse clicks. And there is no special phone training or networking expertise required. For a small business owner, Response Point offers a complete phone system—at an affordable price—that grows with your business.

What makes Response Point different from PBX systems?
Response Point is an advanced phone system that radically simplifies the total phone experience for small businesses. Response Point supports both Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and analog telephone lines, comes with built-in voicemail, and includes a breakthrough voice-activated user interface designed to give small businesses all the phone capabilities they need—in a single, easy-to-install box. Response Point also enables a small business to manage its phone system in-house, helping to eliminate the need for specialized IT support to implement such things as staffing-related moves, additions, or changes.

What size of small business benefits most from Response Point?
Response Point can benefit small businesses with as few as one employee to as many as 50 employees, and it can grow with your business. Response Point is optimized for small businesses and organizations that need powerful telephony features, but aren't large enough to justify a dedicated IT staff. Businesses with more than 50 employees and a full-time IT staff are likely to consider additional features.

What features does Response Point offer that go beyond a standard phone system?
Response Point transforms phone system management and user experience from end to end.

  • Response Point brings top-quality speech-recognition to the phone experience, allowing users to embrace phone features that were previously cumbersome or complicated to use. Just say, "Transfer my call to Joe," instead of memorizing the right call-transfer keystrokes and Joe's extension number. Call anyone in the company, or any of your Microsoft Office Outlook contacts, just by saying a name.
  • Response Point offers a helpful, Automated Receptionist that is fully customizable (you can record your own voice and company message), and includes the ability to add FAQs about your business (e.g., your hours, location, etc.). Callers need only speak their desired party's name and they will be transferred to that extension.
  • Administrators can easily complete moves, additions, and changes with a few simple mouse clicks. The whole system can be managed by an average PC user, rather than a phone networking specialist.

How does Response Point benefit mobile information workers?
Response Point benefits mobile workers in several ways. First, it allows users to easily forward their office extensions to external lines, so callers don't have to guess whether they are in the office or not. Second, Response Point lets users retrieve and archive voicemail messages in e-mail. Windows Mobile users have found this particularly useful, since they can get instant notification of new voicemails and easily retrieve any message—new or archived—from nearly any location. Third, Response Point gives users access to all their Office Outlook contacts from almost any phone, via voice commands. And these calls can be connected over a Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) line. To enable VoIP service, customers should obtain an integrated access device from their service provider and plug it into the Response Point base unit.

How much will Response Point systems cost?
Customers can purchase a starter pack, featuring one base unit, a four-port ATA, and four to five phones for around $2,500 at manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP). Additional phones will cost $139—$159 MSRP each. A typical complete 20-phone system will cost less than $5,500 MSRP.

Microsoft Response Point vs. Office Communications Server 2007 (OCS 2007)

Both systems are VoIP related and both come from Microsoft and this is almost the only thing they have in common and are built on two very different platforms. Microsoft Response Point runs on Windows XP Embedded using solid state memory (no hard disk). Microsoft Response Point is designed for SMB looking for simple solution with great productivity enhancement (speech recognition, voice to mail,...).

Office Communications Server 2007 requires  a lot prerequisites such as Active Directory, IP PBX, Exchange Server 2007 and requires multiple servers. Prerequisites and knowledge are not the only factors. License costs are also high for this kind of environment and usually not acceptable for company with 50 employees.



Posted in: VoIP | Microsoft | Unified Communications


SLOWUG - Exchange Server 2007 Security

March 6, 2008 at 1:57 PM2102

Yesterday, I was presenting at SloWUG event about Exchange Server 2007 Security.

Presentation with all recorded demos is now available for download.

SloWUG - Exchange Server 2007 Security Presentation

Voice Ignite II - Paris

March 6, 2008 at 1:49 PM2102

OCS2007Last week I was attending Voice Ignite II in Paris. The training has been extended from 2 days (Ignite I) to 5 days consisting of presentations, labs and make it real. Overall experience was great!


Cheers to everyone I met there (Rok, Jose, Vincent, Thomas Lee,...)!

Here are some pictures from Paris:






Posted in: Microsoft | Unified Communications


How to extend the Windows Server 2008 evaluation period

February 13, 2008 at 12:13 PM2102

You probably already know that you do not need to activate Windows Server 2008 for 60-days evaluation period. In most cases 60-days default evaluation period will be just fine. It is possible to reset 60-day evaluation period up to three times for total evaluation period by up to 240 days. Cool right? ;-)

Article ID: 948472 How to extend the Windows Server 2008 evaluation period

Posted in: Windows | Microsoft | Windows Server 2008