Running Unified Messaging on Windows Essential Business Server 2008

Hi, my name is Scott Thompson – I'm a Program Manager on the Windows Essential Business Server team working on the messaging features of EBS.

One of the most popular features of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (included in Essential Business Server 2008) is Unified Messaging. Unified Messaging allows voicemail and faxes to be received into Exchange Server 2007 inboxes, and provides access to those messages via Outlook, Outlook Web Access, and ActiveSync devices. Unified Messaging also includes Outlook Voice Access which allows users to retrieve e-mail messages from their mailbox by using a telephone.

Essential Business Server customers often ask: can Essential Business Server be run as a Unified Messaging server? Great news: Yes, Unified Messaging can be added to the messaging server in Windows Essential Business Server 2008.

This blog walks through things to consider before adding Unified Messaging to the Essential Business Server messaging server: Licensing and Hardware planning, along with how to add the UM role.


The Exchange Server 2007 standard license included on the Essential Business Server Messaging server allows the use of Unified Messaging on that server.

You'll need additional Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise CALs for each user that will use Unified Messaging. These CALs are "add-on" CALs that license the use of Unified Messaging when they are combined with the Exchange Server 2007 Standard CAL that is included in the EBS CALs.

See for more information on licensing.

Hardware planning

Adding Unified Messaging to Exchange Server 2007 in Essential Business Server 2008 will consume more memory and processor resources than a normal Essential Business Server installation. You'll need to ensure there are sufficient resources for the Essential Business Server Messaging server to run Unified Messaging:

Essential Business Server 2008 is an example of a Simple Exchange Organization with Multiple Servers (see The processor and memory requirements (below) for a simple organization with multiple servers may be applied to Essential Business Server with Unified Messaging.

Processor requirements

Unified Messaging Server Role

Multiple cores are used on a Unified Messaging server for several architectural functions such as .wav to Microsoft Windows Media Audio (WMA) conversions for voice mail messages. Servers with either 1x or 2x processor cores can be used for Unified Messaging servers in organizations where there are not enough mailboxes or insufficient Unified Messaging server activity to warrant using 4x processor core servers.

Exchange 2007 server role




Multiple server roles (combinations of Hub Transport, Client Access, Unified Messaging, and Mailbox server roles)

1 x processor core

4 x processor cores

6 x processor cores

Further information:

Memory requirements

Exchange 2007 server role




Multiple roles (combinations of Hub Transport, Client Access, Unified Messaging, and Mailbox server roles)

4 GB; also depends on number of storage groups (For information, see later in this topic.)

8 GB plus from 2 MB to 5 MB per mailbox. This is variable based on user profile. For more details, see "Mailbox Server Role" later in this topic.

32 GB

Further information:


Voice messages processed by Unified Messaging will be stored in the Exchange Server 2007 message box. The storage consumed by the voice messages depends on which codec you choose to use to create and store voice messages. Use the storage profile of the codec you choose when calculating your storage requirements.

· Windows Media Audio (WMA) – approx 11,000 bytes per 10 sec

· Group System Mobile (GSM) 06.10 – approx 160,000 bytes per 10 sec

· G.711 Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) Linear – approx 16,000 bytes per 10 sec

Further information:

Adding the UM role

After you have the met the licensing, hardware and storage requirements discussed above, you'll need to add the Exchange Server 2007 UM role to the EBS messaging server. The Exchange Server 2007 binaries for Unified Messaging are included on the Essential Business Server 2008 messaging server hard disk. The Unified Messaging role may be added to Exchange Server 2007 on the messaging server with the following command:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Bin\ExSetup /role:UM

Tip: The Windows Media Audio codec needs to be installed before the Unified Messaging role can be added to Exchange Server 2007. There are a number of ways to install the Windows Media Audio codec (depending on your own security requirements): e.g. add the Desktop Experience feature to Windows Server 2008, install Windows Media Player on Windows Server 2008.

After the Unified Messaging role is added to Exchange Server 2007 on the EBS messaging server, you'll be able to link Exchange Server 2007 to your telephony hardware by defining UM Dial Plans and UM IP Gateways, and enable UM Users from the Exchange Server 2007 Management Console.

Scott Thompson

EBS Program Manager

Comments (4)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi, We have some great MVPs and partners that know about EBS and Exchange 2007 SP1 UM – they are available via:

    1) EBS MVPs

    2) Exchange System Integrators directory

  2. bthompsontx says:


    I am interested in implementing UM within EBS, but I hve not been able to find anyone that knows anything about Exchange 2007 SP1 UM.  Is there any way I can talk with you about what I need to do and what equipment i need to buy for IP telephony?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Both types of EBS Standard or EBS Premium CALs include the Exchange Server 2007 Standard CAL.

    To use UM you need to add on an Exchange Server 2007 Enterprise CAL for each UM user to the EBS Standard or Premium CAL you have installed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Do you need additional CAL’s for UM if you have installed the Premium EBS CAL’s?

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