The answer is surprisingly so!!!
This document outlines our experiences in implementing Exchange 2007 UM in under a couple of hours, including a from-scratch build of Exchange 2007.
The Kit In Use:
IBM X336 Server
Ericsson Business Phone 128i PBX
What we did:
Exchange Server Install
The install was based on all roles being installed on one server for this development build.
The Exchange Server install process is very impressive. The setup shield not only walks you through step by step, as in previous versions, but during the pre-requisite checks, it not only flags up the need to add a hot-fix or service; it provides a link to the MS website so that you can link straight into the download and apply it.
This made the install an absolute doddle, with a fantastic step by step install process. Thus allowing Exchange 2007 to be up and running within an hour, with most of that time spent copying files!
Once Exchange was installed with the UM module, it was necessary to provide SIP access to the PBX. The PBX is an Ericsson Business Phone 128, which is not SIP compliant and doesn’t appear on the supported list of the current Microsoft SIP gateway accredited vendors. It was decided to work with Dialogic, and one of their engineers came on-site to help set this up. A principal concern at that point was how difficult it would be in getting everything to work with our PBX and how long it would take.
It was decided to connect our PBX to the Dialogic gateway via a couple of Analogue ports. There were options for both ISDN Basic and Primary rate connections, but analogue was chosen for convenience on this occasion. To make sure that the signalling the gateway required would be passed across the analogue ports on the BP, two settings on our PBX were changed which took a whole 30 seconds.
With this change effected, the Dialogic gateway was given an IP address on our LAN, connected to the analogue port on the PBX and turned on. That was about it for the gateway.
So we now had a SIP enabled PBX, sitting happily on our LAN.
Finally we configured the UM role on the Exchange 2007 server, with some trepidation, as it sounded as though it would be complicated. This was indeed the most time-consuming part of the install, taking a good 10 minutes to do. Then:-
- Via system manager we connected to the UM role, creating a new default dial plan, leaving most things at default
- Assigned a UM gateway to the server.
- Created a default mailbox policy, assigning this to the dial plan, then assigned the dial plan to the server.
- We then dialled the DDI we had setup to allow access to be then greeted by the default, “welcome you are connected to Microsoft Exchange”
- This whole process was done within 30 minutes from start, to arriving at a point where we could access the prompt and logon with the voice client to our mailboxes.
This may sound as though the whole process has been oversimplified. To go from nothing to default UM and OVA working, really was that straightforward. Obviously there are a whole bunch of tweaks and settings we can change and alter to optimise the experience; but in terms of making it work, it is amazingly straightforward. This includes the superb Exchange Server setup shell.
All this without powershell in site!
The process was helped by the support from :-
John Stewart-Murray from Dialogic, who provided the SIP gateway. Extremely easy to setup and provides all the functionality Exchange needs, working with a PBX that is not yet on the Dialogic supported list.
Tony Cowen from Nimans, who provided the support on the Ericsson BP, as easy a support day as he would have had.
Can’t underline how easy this was to do, next up OCS 2007!!!