Export (0) Print
Expand All

Tools to Help You Get It Right the First Time

Communications Server 2007 R2

Author: Linda Wells

Publication date: November 2009

Product version: Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2

You’re just getting started with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 planning and deployment. You have lots of questions, need lots of answers, and you want to get it all right the first time. It takes a lot more time and money to do it any other way. How do you know what the right way is, though? With the help of a few key tools, you can reduce the time and money it takes to create and implement a workable plan and help ensure that the results are exactly what they should be. These tools are either available as free downloads from the Microsoft Download Center or can be run directly from the Web site. Table 1 identifies these key tools and where to find them.

Table 1. Finding the right tools

Tool What the Tool Can Do Location

Planning Tool for Office Communications Server 2007 R2

Automate much of the topology and component design.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=132927

Edge Planning Tool for Office Communications Server 2007 R2

Create reports to help with configuration of Edge Servers, reverse proxy servers, and next hop servers, including certificates, DNS, and firewalls.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=161872

Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Capacity Planning Tool

Facilitate client simulation, modeling, and stress testing for many components (only in a test environment).

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=166289

Office Communications Server 2007 Best Practices Analyzer

Collect information about your environment, identify potential issues, and provide help with troubleshooting problems.

http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=165623

This article provides an overview of each of these tools, their capabilities, and how to use them.

For a list of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 tools and other resources, see Office Communications Server 2007 R2 and Clients Downloads at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=167757.

The Planning Tool for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 is an application that provides you with prescriptive guidance to facilitate the planning and deployment of Office Communications Server 2007 R2 in your organization, including creation of topology diagrams, identification of required components, and identification of the appropriate planning and deployment steps for your organization’s solution. By answering a few questions and specifying the features and functionality that you want to deploy, you can use the Planning Tool to help you do the following:

  • Determine the recommended server roles and components for each site in your environment.

  • Export your topologies as Microsoft Office Visio files.

  • Export the component information, including hardware requirements, to a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet.

  • Save your designs, so you can display and change them in the future, including adding, editing, and deleting sites and components.

Running the Planning Tool early in your planning process will help you understand planning requirements and how to create the right plan for your organization. You can run the tool as often as you want to create and update your plans. The tool is intended to be used with the Planning and Architecture documentation from the TechNet library, which provides in-depth information about the planning requirements.

The Edge Planning Tool for Office Communications Server 2007 R2 provides settings for configuring your perimeter network based on information that you provide to the tool. The Edge Planning Tool asks questions about your proposed or current edge server deployment. It then uses your answers and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 best practices to generate the following reports:

  • Settings that you can use to configure your certificates, DNS services, and firewalls.

  • Custom documentation for configuring your edge servers, reverse proxy servers, and next hop servers.

  • A comparison of your answers to Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 best practices.

The results can help you validate your decisions and help ensure that you have all the information you need to correctly plan and deploy your edge servers.

The Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Capacity Planning Tool is actually a toolkit that you can use to simplify capacity planning for Office Communications Server 2007 R2. It contains tools and documentation to simplify your hardware planning, provide you with increased knowledge and best practices for performance tuning, and improve your ability to verify the performance of your intended Office Communications Server 2007 R2 deployments. The Capacity Planning Toolkit is intended for use by IT professionals in a test environment prior to production deployment. These tools should never be used against a live production environment. The toolkit includes the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Load Simulation Tool (OCSStress) and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Capacity Planning Tool Guide, which provides information about how to use the tool and the results. The Load Simulation Tool can simulate user load for Instant messaging (IM) and presence, audio conferencing, application sharing, Voice over IP, Communicator Mobile calls, Conferencing Attendant, Response Groups, distribution list expansion, address book download and address book query, and Office Communicator automatic update, including cross-pool load generation and federation through advanced configuration. Using components of this package, you can do the following:

  • Create users and contacts.

  • Configure the user profile for the users you need to run the simulation for specific scenarios.

  • Simulate clients.

  • Use the Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Logging Tool.

  • Set the MaxUserPort registry key so that the client can open more than 5000 TCP connections.

You can use these capabilities to conduct stress testing in your test environment.

The Office Communications Server 2007 Best Practices Analyzer is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall health of their Office Communications Server topology and servers. It is a diagnostic tool that gathers configuration information from an Office Communications Server environment and determines whether the configuration is set according to Microsoft best practices. The tool uses a set of configuration files to gather information from the Office Communications Server environment. It compares this data against a set of pre-defined rules for Office Communications Server and reports potential issues. For every issue reported, the tool provides the current configuration in the Office Communications Server 2007 environment and the recommended configuration. With the proper network access, the tool can examine Active Directory and servers in your Office Communications Server deployment to do the following:

  • Proactively perform health checks, verifying that the configuration is set according to recommended best practices.

  • Generate a list of issues, such as suboptimal configuration settings or unsupported or not recommended options.

  • Judge the general health of a system.

  • Help troubleshoot specific problems.

  • Prompt you to download updates if they are available.

  • Provide online and local documentation about reported issues, including troubleshooting tips.

  • Generate configuration information that can be captured for later review.

To help understand your working environment, you should periodically run the Best Practices Analyzer to obtain a snapshot of your Office Communications Server 2007 R2 environment. When you run the Best Practices Analyzer, you have the option to check for updates. You can use this option to automatically download and install the latest rules. In March, Microsoft released new Best Practice Analyzer rules. The new rules contain updates for Office Communications Server 2007 (current KB articles, support for running in 2008 AD) as well as new rules for Office Communications Server 2007 R2.

If you haven’t been overwhelmed by the urge to download one or more of these tools by now, jump in. You don’t have to scour all the documentation before you get started. Download the tools, run them, see what they can do. The documentation can help you learn and understand Office Communications Server as you get into the planning effort for your organization, but the tools can provide an excellent framework for starting the entire process. Get your first one now! Or, better yet, get them all!

 
Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft