With R2 on the horizon (Feb. 3rd), I figured you should know about some of the things to prepare for deploying R2.
Run the OCS Best Practice Analyzer
If you have OCS 2007 today, you should run the OCS BPA to get a snapshot of your OCS environment. Fix any issues identified prior to rolling out R2 to help ensure a smoother transition to R2.
Do you have any 64-bit domain controllers?
If the answer is yes, you will have an easier time with OCS R2 prep work as well as with any Exchange 2007 installation.
If the answer is no, you may consider installing a 64-bit DC/GC since you can consolidate more DCs and the ratios of DC/GCs for things like Exchange improve (1 DC:8 cores of Exchange mailbox vs 1:4 with 32-bit DCs).
The OCS R2 Prep wizard only preps 64-bit Domain controllers so if you have 32-bit DCs you will need to run the command line LDIFDE tool to modify the schema from the command line.
Sample LDIFDE run on a 32-bit DC:
ldifde –i –v –k –s DC1 –f schema.ldf –c DC=X “DC=contoso,DC=com” –b Administrator password
What flavors of Active Directory work with OCS R2?
· All global catalog servers in the forest where you deploy Office Communications Server run Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 R2, or Windows Server 2008.
· All domains in which you deploy Office Communications Server are raised to a domain functional level of Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. You cannot deploy Office Communications Server 2007 R2 in a Microsoft Windows 2000 mixed, Windows 2000 native, or Windows 2003 interim domain.
· The forest in which you deploy Office Communications Server is raised to a forest functional level of Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008. You cannot deploy Office Communications Server 2007 R2 in a Windows 2000 mixed, Windows 2000 native, or Windows 2003 interim forest.
Prep the Schema
R2 requires an AD schema extension so you, or someone with rights, will need schema administrator rights to deploy R2. Obviously, this is something that needs to be planned, approved, etc.
Run the R2 schema prep off hours as any schema modification forces a full global catalog replication (e.g. a 1GB DIT file means 1GB of AD data replicated across all GCs in your environment).
Prep the Forest
You also need to Forest prep to create the global settings and universal groups specific to OCS R2. This requires Enterprise admin rights to perform.
Prep the Domain
Finally, for each domain where you will host OCS users you will need to prepare the AD domain to configure OCS rights, etc. This requires domain admin rights to perform.
You should certainly be thinking about consolidated Edge and Front End architectures for most roles in addition to other functionality you may have to plan for such as Group Chat server, audio conferencing, response groups, etc.
Note: Some of this information was taken from the upcoming OCS R2 Deployment whitepaper.
In my next blog, I will talk about how to get from OCS RTM to OCS R2.