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Configuring Communications Server 2007 R2 for Remote Access

Communications Server 2007 R2

By default, Communications Server 2007 R2 provides IM, presence, conferencing, and-if PSTN integration is configured-voice capability. To allow remote access to these features, you must install and configure one or more Edge Servers. This article highlights the information in "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access," available as "Edge Configuration Guide-Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 External Access.doc" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=179053.

Author: Chris Dragich

Publication date: January 2010

Product version: Communications Server 2007 R2

By default, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 provides instant messaging (IM), presence, conferencing, and-if public switched telephone network (PSTN) integration is configured-voice capability for employees within your organization. To allow remote access to these features, it is necessary to install and configure one or more Edge Servers. The "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access," available as "Edge Configuration Guide-Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 External Access.doc" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=179053, assists you with the remote access configuration process by using reference architectures (one per Edge topology) and proven best practices.

The "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access" consists of the following sections:

  • Overview - Communications Server remote access best practices
  • Scenarios - detailed certificate, port, and Domain Name System (DNS) values for each supported remote access scenario
  • Step by Step - detailed setup information for configuring Edge and reverse proxy servers

You can use the "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access" as follows:

  • Step 1 - Review the information in the Overview section and determine which remote access scenario matches your business requirements.
  • Step 2 - Review the section associated with the specific scenario you want to deploy.
  • Step 3 - Search each of the tables related to the chosen scenario and replace existing server fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) or IP addresses with your production values.
  • Step 4 - Print out the results and use it as a reference for ordering certificates, opening firewall ports, and creating DNS A or SRV records.
  • Step 5 - Optionally, you can use the step-by-step instructions to configure Office Communications Server for remote access.

The best practice and related configuration information provided in the various sections is based on over 50 production remote access deployments, but please keep in mind they are recommendations only. It is possible to configure Office Communications Server remote access many different ways, but "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access" focuses on the approach proven to produce consistent results with minimum errors.

Currently, there are two versions of Communications Server 2007 deployed in production environments: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Between the two releases, there are a total of four primary Edge topologies, and this document covers all of them, starting with the simplest and moving to the most complex. The "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access" focuses on Communications Server 2007 R2, but configuration and operational differences between versions will be clearly defined when necessary.

Section 2 of the "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access" contains a deployment scenario that corresponds to each of the four primary Edge topologies. There are three Edge Server services total, but the minimum requirement for remote access is the Access Edge service. The other two services depend on the Access Edge service, but not on each other. Below is a brief description of the servers involved in providing remote access to Communications Server 2007 R2 (and Communications Server 2007) and their functionality:

  • Access Edge   Provides core functionality for collaboration between your internal users and users outside your internal network who are using Office Communicator or the Live Meeting 2007 client. The Access Edge Server provides a single, trusted connection point for both outbound and inbound Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) traffic.
  • Web Conferencing Edge   Permits external users to join on-premise meetings by using the Live Meeting 2007 client. When your organization deploys a Web Conferencing Edge Server, internal users can invite remote users to meetings, including users from a federated domain (federated users) or other external users (anonymous users, who do not have an Active Directory® Domain Services (AD DS) identity in your organization or in a domain that is federated with your organization).
    Enterprise users and federated users are authenticated by their Active Directory credentials. Anonymous users are authenticated using a per-meeting conference key provided to them inside the invitation conference organizers send. All recipients of an e-mail containing a conference key are authenticated using the same conference key.
  • A/V Edge   Add an A/V Edge Server if you want to make it possible to share audio and video with external users, such as vendors or employees who are working from home. With an A/V Edge Server, users can:
    • Add audio and video data to meetings that include external participants.
    • Share audio and video directly with an external user (point-to-point).
    • Access the network through a single, trusted connection point through which media traffic enters and exits your network.
  • Reverse Proxy   The reverse proxy role provides additional functionality not provided by any of the three Edge roles. For example, you should deploy a reverse proxy server if you want to enable remote users to do one or more of the following:
    • Download the address book
    • Expand distribution groups
    • Download Live Meeting content
    • Start a Communicator Web Access session
    • Update Office Communicator Phone Edition devices

For complete details, see the "Configuration Guide: Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Remote Access," available as "Edge Configuration Guide-Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Communications Server 2007 R2 External Access.doc" at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=179053.

 
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