Managing the Size of OCS 2007 Contact Lists

I was surprised to recently learn that the Presence functionality typically ranks #3 in bandwidth usage in most OCS 2007 deployments (behind Audio/Video and Application Sharing).  The simple act of updating Presence for a contact consumes negligible bandwidth, but when you are dealing with large contact lists (e.g. 200+ contacts) with Enhanced Presence, the aggregate bandwidth consumed shows up on the overall bandwidth radar.

If the average size of your users’ contact lists (aka buddy list) is the important number, not necessarily the maximum size of the contact lists you allow your users to have.  How do you know the average contact list size in your deployment, and how can you control it?

Note: the default number of contacts at the pool/server level is 150, and 1000 on the Office Communicator 2007 client.  The lower number will take precedence.

What is your average contact list size?

You can report on the both the average number of contacts per user, and the maximum number of contacts per user directly in the OCS management console:

  1. Click on the Enterprise Pool (or Standard Edition Pool)
  2. Select the Database tab
  3. Under “User Summary Reports” click the “Go” button

How can you control the maximum number of contacts per user?

The maximum number of contacts any one user can have can be set at the pool level, and on the client side (as a Microsoft Office Communicator GPO setting).

To set it on all Front-End servers in a Pool:
•    Expand Enterprise pools in the managment console, right-click on a Pool and select Properties, select “Front End Properties”, and go to the General tab.
•    For a Standard Edition Server, expand Standard Edition servers, right-click the pool and select Properties, Front End Properties, and go to the General tab.

The maximum you can set at the pool level in OCS 2007 and OCS 2007 R2 is 1000.

The set this on the Office Communicator client, there is a GPO settings (MaximumNumberOfContacts), that can be specified. The default is 1000, which is also the maximum that this can be set to.  You can find this and other GPO settings here:

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