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Managing External Connectivity for Your Organization with Edge Servers

Office 2007

Office Communications Server 2007 supports communications and collaboration with external users, including the following:

  • Users in federated domains
  • Public IM connectivity
  • Remote users
  • Anonymous users

Edge servers provide a way for internal and external users to communicate across corporate firewalls. If you deploy the appropriate edge servers and reverse proxy in your perimeter network, internal users can communicate with external users, subject to the settings you configure. Edge servers include three server roles deployed on one or more computers in the perimeter network. Edge servers enable instant messaging and presence, as well as Web conferencing and audio/video (A/V) collaboration between internal users and users outside your internal network. To support this functionality, you need at least one server set up with one or more of the following server roles, as appropriate:

  • Access Edge Server, to enable external users to collaborate with any Office Communications Server users in your organization. The Access Edge Server handles SIP traffic between internal and external users.
  • Web Conferencing Edge Server, to enable external users to participate in your internal conference meetings. The Web Conferencing Edge Server handles the exchange of meeting content between internal and external users.
  • A/V Edge Server, to enable A/V conferencing between internal and external users, which makes it possible to share audio and video with external users.

These edge servers can be collocated on a single computer or deployed on multiple computers. The recommended configuration for most deployments is to collocate the Access Edge Server and Web Conferencing Server on one computer (or multiple load-balanced computers) and, for reasons of bandwidth, the A/V Edge Server by itself on a separate computer (or multiple load-balanced computers). Additionally, if your deployment includes remote sites, the remote site can include Web Conferencing Edge Servers, as well as A/V Edge Servers.

If your organization has decided to enable external users to download meeting content, enable remote users to expand distribution groups, or to enable remote users to download files from the Address Book Server, the internal Web server requires a reverse proxy to be deployed in the perimeter network, such as provided by Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2006.

Bb936637.note(en-us,office.12).gifNote:
The procedures in this guide assume that the appropriate Office Communications Server 2007 edge servers and a reverse proxy are already deployed in your perimeter network. For information about how to deploy these servers, including the reverse proxy, see the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Edge Server Deployment Guide.

Ongoing management of the servers and settings required to provide external connectivity includes the following:

  • Managing Connectivity between Internal Servers and Edge Servers
  • Configuring Internal and External Interfaces and Certificates for Edge Servers
  • Managing Federated Partner Access

Additionally, ongoing management requires configuration of user accounts, as required. For more information about configuring user accounts, see the Managing User Accounts section of this guide.

To configure the servers and settings required to manage external connectivity for your organization, use the procedures in this section and the following tools:

  • Office Communications Server 2007
  • Active Directory Users and Computers
  • Computer Management snap-in extension for Office Communications Server 2007

For more information about these tools, see the Administrative Tools Overview and Installing and Using Administrative Tools sections of this guide.

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