Monday, April 27, 2009

OCS 2007 R2 Documentation

You also noticed that when you search for OCS 2007 R2 documentation, you get a lot of OCS 2007 documents? Drove me crazy, whenever I followed a link on a OCS 2007 R2 site, I got to OCS 2007 knowledge base.

So I decided to make a collection of true OCS 2007 R2 document libraries, to facilitate my OCS 2007 R2 - Cisco Call Manager integration project:
1. Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2
The mother load, from the Microsoft download center. I just don't understand why this doesn't show up when you Google it.
2. Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Documentation
A CHM file with technical documentation to help you understand, plan, deploy, and operate Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 servers.
Remember that you might have to "Unblock" the content.
If you need help on that, here is the Microsoft support page: You cannot open HTML Help (.chm) files from Internet Explorer
3. Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 online documentation
If you don't want to mess about with the .chm file, you can find the same documentation online, on the Technet pages.

Hope this can help you on your OCS search.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Exchange 2010 beta available: a list of the new features

So yesterday (14/04/09) we were able to download the first beta of the new email system that is used by 65 % of the companies. In Q3 of 2009 the distribution of the RTM version should be a fact.

First thing I noticed is that the admin interface has not been majorly changed, compared to the new interface we got from E2K7. That's good, cause I like this new interface much better than the old one.

Based on Microsoft documentation, I've set off testing and playing around in my test lab. The improvements they have made (27 to be exact) are divided by Microsoft in 3 big pilars:
1. Flexibility and reliability
2. Anywhere access
3. Protection and compliance

Of course, one of the most eye catching improvement is the support for OWA on Internet Explorer 7 & 8, Safari 3 and Firefox 3. But another cool feature that I think will be much used is the "MailTips". It will protect end users from sending personal mails to large mailing groups. The last thing that caught my eye yesterday already is the "Consolidated view" and "Conversation Mute". Finally we are able to view all e-mails concerning a single topic in a single node (in Outlook ànd OWA).

Below is a list of the other 27 improvements. The ones I think are really interesting and that I'll be looking into I've indicated in bold:
1. Added internet browser support for OWA
2. Answer/forward status is being kept by the server and can be shown on all clients
3. MailTips to prevent personal mails from being distributed to large communities
4. Conversation view for the threating of messages
5. Calendar sharing available in OWA and for federated users
6. Sharing of contacts outside the company and outside the desktop
7. Voice Mail Preview: automatic written preview of a received voice mail
8. Call Answering Rules to administer phone calls just like e-mails
9. Rights Management in OWA as well as Outlook
10. Federation Services to connect your Exchange servers to those of other organizations
11. Page patching: automatic fixing of corrupted DB pages
12. I/O Optimalization: less I/O bursts, support for SATA disks
13. JBOD (Just a Bunch Of Disks) support instead of only RAID
14. Database Availability groups: redundant DB's for mailboxes which provide automatic recovery
15. Failover on DB level, clustering not longer necessary to provide high-availability, so more uptime
16. Online Move-Mailbox: moving MBX'en while the user is logged in
17. Rules for transport protection: an administrator can change the IRM protection AFTER they have been sent
18. Moderation: a transport rule that allows you to send a message to a reviewer before the message is actually sent
19. Rules for protection Outlook which allows you to automatically assign RMS templates to e-mails
20. Role-based access control for Outlook
21. Exchange Control Panel to assign end users specific levels of control
22. Message tracking for end users (without having to contact the helpdesk)
23. Distribution Groups can be created, modified and deleted by end users
24. Block/Allow list for mobile devices
25. Protected voicemail: you are able to block the sending of voicemails outside the organization
26. Personal archive: moving of PST files to a secundary mailbox for better performance and compliance
27. Multi mailbox search: finally you are able to search multiple mailboxes with a single click

As you can see, there are quite a few cool improvements.
Can't wait to get started ... :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

OCS 2007 - Failed to send SIP request: outgoing TLS negotiation failed; HRESULT=-2146893022

So now that I have my OCS server installed, a few troubleshooting tasks have to be done (in my case anyway).

First error I saw when running the Validate Front End Server Configuration wizard, is this:

Looking around online I see everywhere that the certificate is probably wrong. I configured the certificate with the FQDN of the OCS server, which looks to be correct, especially when I see the entries above the check user logon section, where it shows it succeeds in connecting to the OCS pool.

So anyway, I tried recreating a new certificate, this time with the FQDN of the OCS pool instead of the OCS server. After signing the new certificate with my CA and assigning it to the OCS server, it still Completes with failures. Only this is very interesting: now my login is successful but I can't connect to the OCS pool anymore. Complete opposite of what I had before!

What the f***??!! Before you start trying: assigning the certificate with the server FDQN to the OCS server and the OCS FQDN to the IIS (or visa versa) does not work either.

Instead, create a new certificate with these settings:
1. Subject name: FQDN of the OCS pool
2. Alternate name: not that important
3. Remember to check the Automatically add local machine name to Subject Alt Name, that way you create a multi-homed certificate

After assigning this certificate to your OCS server and in the IIS manager, you should be good:

Hope it can help...

OCS 2007 & SQL2005 SP3 – Pool backend discovery failed

A few weeks ago I was installing an OCS server in a lab environment for the purposes of giving demo’s and testing some stuff out myself.

However, before I could actually even start I ran into a nice little problem.
First I prepared the AD, as documented by Microsoft, no problem there at all. Then I launched the Create Enterprise Pool from the setup.exe

In the next screen of the simple wizard you need to provide a pool name, after which the FQDN is filled in automatically and the SQL backend. (if your SQL farm is separated by a firewall, make sure port 1433 is open from the OCS to the SQL)

That should be that. Unfortunately for me, I received this error:

Since I have a SQL 2005 server, I checked the Service Pack level and made sure it was the latest version (SP3). The Backward Compatibility pack installed on the OCS is from the same SP level. No problem there you would say. But no matter how I tried configuring the OCS pool, it didn’t work.

I guess not many people have this issue, since I didn’t find much online about it. But then I stumbled across this article from Microsoft: You cannot create the enterprise pool for Office Communications Server 2007 on a back-end server that has SQL 2005 Service Pack 3 (SP3) installed
Basically it says the backward compatibility pack from SP3 does NOT work correctly and what you need to do is this:
1. Uninstall the SQL 2005 SP3 Backward compatibility pack
2. Download the correct backward compatibility pack (SQLserver2005_BC.msi) from this link: SQLServer2005_BC.msi
3. Install this new BC pack

Immediately after that I tried the OCS enterprise pool wizard again (no reboot) and what do you know: it flew straight through!