4 Key Requirements For Deploying OCS Edge Services

There is plenty of information available about configuring the 3 OCS Edge Roles (Access, A/V, and Web Conference), however many common problems arise from not adhering to 4 key requirements.

1. At a minimum, 2 NIC’s are required (one internal and one external). Unless you are a TCP/IP expert, trying to configure TCP/IP for both internal and external traffic on one NIC will introduce problems.┬áSome network cards with multiple ports expose multiple separate interfaces – these are supported as long as they are seen as separate interfaces on the network).

a. If you are deploying just the Access Edge role (for PIC or Federation), one NIC with multiple IP addresses (for internal and external) in a different IP subnetwork apparently works (but I have never verified this).

b. Any internal and external network routes need to be on separate IP subnetworks.

2. The Edge A/V must have a Publicly Routable IP address (this means the NIC must be directly connected to the Internet, or your firewall must have the ability to directly route public IP addresses through it – i.e. dedicated ports to route IP addresses). The Edge Access and Web Conferencing can have IP addresses behind a NAT.

3. You require a separate IP address for each Edge Role (each IP can be homed on a separate NIC or multi-homed on one NIC if all external IP address are on a separate IP subnetwork – see next point).

4. It is typical to deploy a consolidated Edge (with all 3 Edge roles collocated) and 2 NIC cards. This is a supported configuration but a key requirement is that all external IP addresses must on a separate public IP subnetwork.

There are a various combinations of NIC’s bound to IP address and subnets that may or may not work, but if your deployment adheres to the above 4 configurations, your Edge deployment will be supported and will save yourself a lot of potential trouble.

Excellent Resources

Designing Your Perimeter Network for Office Communications Server 2007 White Paper

Office Communications Server 2007 Document: Edge Server Deployment Guide

Jeff Schertz has several excellent blog postings on this subject:

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