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Configure Federation

Communications Server 2007 R2

Topic Last Modified: 2010-01-28

Federation provides your organization with the ability to communicate with other organization’s Edge Servers to share instant messaging (IM) and presence information. You can also federate with an audio conferencing provider (ACP) using either of the two following methods. The process of configuring federation with an organization or an ACP is identical. For details, see List of Supported ACPs at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=129643.

If you have enabled federation on the Edge Server, you control access by federated partners, including ACPs, by using one of the following methods:

  • Allow automatic discovery of federated partners. This is the default option during initial configuration of an Edge Server because it balances security with ease of configuration and management. For example, when you enable automatic discovery of federated partners on your Edge Server, Office Communications Server 2007 R2 allows any federated domain to send communications with you, automatically evaluates incoming traffic from federation partners, and limits or blocks that traffic based on trust level, amount of traffic, and administrator settings.
  • Allow discovery of federated partners, but grant a higher level of trust to specific domains or Edge Servers that you specify on the Allow list. For example, if you want to grant a higher level of trust to partners using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) domain contoso.com and fabrikam.com, you would add these two domains on the Allow tab. Restricting discovery in this way establishes a higher level of trust for connections with the domains or Edge Servers that you add to your Allow list, but still provides the ease of management that is possible by discovering other federation partners that are not listed on the Allow tab.
  • Do not allow discovery of federation partners and limit access of federated partners to only the domains or Edge Servers for which you want to enable connections. Connections with federated partners are then allowed only with the specific domains or Edge Servers you add to the Allow tab. This method offers the highest level of security, but does not offer ease of management. For example, if a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of an Edge Server changes, you must manually change the FQDN of the server in the Allow list.

If you choose to use automatic discovery of federated partners, the Edge Server automatically evaluates incoming federated traffic in the following way:

  • If a federated party has sent requests to more than 1000 Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) (either valid or invalid) in the local domain, the connection is placed on the Watch list.
    Any additional requests are blocked by the Edge Server.
  • If the Edge Server detects suspicious traffic on a connection, it will limit the federation partner to a low message rate of 1 message per second. The Edge Server detects suspicious traffic by calculating the ratio of successful to failed responses. The Edge Server also limits legitimate federated partner connections (that is, unless they are added to the allow list) to 20 messages per second.

If you know that you will have more than 1000 requests sent by a legitimate federated partner or a volume of over 20 messages per second sent to your organization, to allow these volumes, you must add the federated partner to the Allow tab.

After configuring federation, you can use Office Communications Server 2007 R2 administrative tools to monitor and manage federated partner access on an ongoing basis.

If you did not enable discovery of federated partners when you configured your Edge Server, you can use the Computer Management snap-in to do so. If you already selected this option during setup, you do not need to perform this step.

You must have Office Communications Server 2007 R2 administrative tools installed to perform this procedure. For details about how to install the tools, see the Installing Administrative Tools in the Administering Office Communications Server 2007 R2 documentation.

  1. Log on to the Edge Server as a member of the RTC Local Administrators group or a group with equivalent user rights.

  2. Open Computer Management by clicking Start, clicking All Programs, clicking Administrative Tools, and then clicking Computer Management.

  3. In the console tree, expand Services and Applications, right-click Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, and then click Properties.

  4. On the Access Methods tab, select the Allow discovery of federated partners check box.

Use the following procedure to add a trusted federated partner domain and the FQDN of its Edge Server (optional), use the following procedure.

  1. Log on to the Edge Server as a member of the RTC Local Administrators group or a group with equivalent user rights.

  2. Open Computer Management by clicking Start, clicking All Programs, clicking Administrative Tools, and then clicking Computer Management.

  3. In the console tree, expand Services and Applications, right-click Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2, and then click Properties.

  4. On the Allow tab, click Add.

  5. In the Add Federated Partner dialog box, do the following:

    • In the Federated partner domain name box, type the domain of each federated partner domain.
    • (Optional) In the Federated partner Access Edge Server box, type the FQDN of the Edge Server that you want to add to your Allow list. If you configure the FQDN of a partner's Edge Server and the FQDN changes, you must manually update your configuration for this partner.
    • Click OK.
  6. Repeat this procedure for each federated partner you want to add to your Allow list, and then click OK.

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