In following the approach started with the Edge Server Planning Tool Microsoft has recently released a complete Planning Tool for Microsoft OCS 2007 R2.

The tool walks the user through a set of Yes/No questions asking which features or roles of OCS are desired, followed by how many sites comprise the network environment,  how many users per site, etc.

Here’s a brief layout of the tool with some sample responses:

  • Audio and Video Conferencing
  • Web Conferencing
  • Communicator Web Access
  • Enterprise Voice
  • Monitoring
  • Archiving
  • Unified Communications Applications
    • Response Group Service
    • Conferencing Attendant
    • Conference Announcement Service
    • Outside Voice Control
  • Group Chat Server
  • Device Update Service
  • Federation
    • OCS Federation
    • Public IM Connectivity (PIC)
  • High Availability
  • Central Sites
    • Site Name: Northwind Traders
    • Domain Name:
    • Number of Users: 2000


  • Communicator Web Access Simultaneous Users
    • Concurrent usage: 25%
  • Phone Settings
    • Enterprise Voice Enabled: 50%
    • External Phone Traffic: 1 call per hour
    • Network Line: T1
    • IP-PBX: No compatible IP-PBX deployed
    • Type of Gateway: 12 ports
    • Mediation Server: 2 processors, quad core, 2.3GHz
  • External User Access
    • Deploy Edge Servers in Perimeter Network
    • Enable high availability for my external users

Based on the numbers used above for a sample company of 2000 users located in a single site with half of the users enabled for Voice, here’s what the planning tool kicks out:

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For the beginner deploying OCS for the first time this tool makes it pretty easy to see how and where the components should be placed.  But for anyone looking to not follow collocation recommendations to the letter, some of these roles can be put onto the same servers, within reason.  One of the neatest features is exporting the site or global topologies into Microsoft Visio, which makes creating quick design diagrams much quicker.

By Jeff Schertz

Site Administrator

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