OCS Usage Reporting Options

Getting insight into how your OCS deployment is being used is important for planning, maintaining, troubleshooting, and justifying the ROI. There are a wide variety of reporting options – each with it’s own niche – everything from free standalone resource kit tools to 3rd party solutions.

Below is a quick summary of the most available options:

1) Administrative Console Reporting
Embedded directly in the OCS Administrative Console are some high level basic usage reports at the pool level. Select the Database tab on the pool and there are several reports that are available: User Summary, Per-User, and Conference Summary reports. These reports are limited in scope and depth, and only provide a current snapshot of usage – good for troubleshooting, but it does not provide deep insight into how your OCS deployment is being used.

2) OCS Resource Kit Tools
The Office Communications Server 2007 Resource Kit Tools provide three rudimentary utilities that provide basic usage reporting.

a) ArchivingCDR Reporter: is a standalone Win32 exe with a GUI that issues SQL queries to the OCS database to give you the following basic usage reports:

ArchivingandCDRTool2
b) DbAnalyze: is a command line tool with 5 different modes; 3 of them are applicable provide usage reports:

  1. User data mode. Reports contact, container, subscription, publication, permission, and contact-group data for a specified user.
  2. Conference mode. Reports on specific conference details: scheduled-time, the invitee list, the list of media types allowed for the conference, active MCUs, the active participant list, and each participant’s signaling state.
  3. MCUs mode. Reports the ID, media type, URL, heartbeat status, conference load, and participant load for each MCU (multipoint control unit) in the pool.

All data is output in text to the command line, but it can be redirected to a file.

c) Public Internet Connectivity Usage Query (PICStats.sql)
PICStats.sql are example SQL queries that can be used against the OCS 2007 ‘rtc’ backend database, and it provides statistics related to public IM connectivity usage. You will require a command line utility like osql.exe to run the sample SQL scripts.

The information returned by the SQL queries:

  1. The min, max, average, and standard deviation for the number of AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN Contacts for all users.
  2. The min, max, average, and standard deviation of the percentage of a user’s contacts that are PIC contacts (for users with at least one PIC contact).

3) OCS 2007 Quality of Experience Role (QoE) /  OCS 2007 R2 Monitoring Role
Note: starting in OCS 2007 R2, the QoE and Call Detail Record (CDR) data and functionality was moved into the OCS R2 Monitoring Role.

The QoE functionality collects VoIP call quality metrics from the participant endpoints including Communicator, Live Meeting, the OCS A/V Conferencing Server, and Mediation role. Quality reports can then viewed on these metrics, giving you insight into the media quality in specific network locations, view quality trends, and perform diagnostics. The other significant use for this data, is to alert on quality issues.

The available OCS 2007 QoE reports are focused on quality of VoIP calls, and not the overall OCS feature usage or trending, so these are best used to gain insight into the quality of VoIP calls (including their use in peer-to-peer, Conferences, Live Meetings, PSTN integration). With the OCS 2007 R2 Monitoring role and the Monitoring Report pack, there are 3 additional new Call Detail Record (CDR) reports which provide basic peer-to-peer and conferencing usage information. This is addition to the 9 media quality reports.

For more information on the types of reports available, and how to deploy the OCS 2007 QoE role, see Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Quality of Experience (QoE) Monitoring Server Guide.

Note: you need to install SQL 2005 Reporting Services on the backend QoE / Monitoring role SQL database to obtain these reports, and for OCS R2, you need to install the optional Report Pack for Monitoring server component.

4) Quest MessageStats
Quest MessageStats™ is a complete and comprehensive messaging reporting and analysis solution for Microsoft Exchange, Blackberry, and other platforms. A report pack was recently added for Office Communications Server 2007 that provides insightful and easy-to-use reports for all aspects of the OCS usage, including instant messaging, VoIP, audio and video conferencing. The big advantage of a solution like this is the ability to do trend analysis over time.

5) Microsoft MOM/SCOM Management Packs
The Office Communications Server 2007 QoE Monitoring Server Management Pack for MOM 2005 is focused on monitoring, but as with most management packs, reports are included for most of the QoE data, which includes some usage reporting. Likewise, a Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Management Pack is available for System Center Operations Manager 2007 SP1 if you are running OCS R2.

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11 comments to OCS Usage Reporting Options

  • Hi Kumar,

    Is each of the 2 locations (US and Singapore) in a separate OCS Pool? I assume so given the geographic distance and likelihood of high network latency.

    A monitoring server can support CDR records for 2 pools – I assume you have associated each pool with this one monitoring server in Singapore?

    Also, you say ‘user call details @ one location’ – do you mean from one of the pools or a user in a specific office (location)? If it is users in one of the Pools (e.g. in the US) make sure the pool is associated with that monitoring server and check the event log on the front-end server in the pool for MSMQ errors trying to reach the monitoring server. The front-end for those users (you are missing call details) will need network connectivity to the monitoring server in Singapore.

    Hope that helps,
    Curtis

  • we are using OCS 2007r2 in 2location Singapore and USA. only one Edge Server located in Singapore. Monitor Server installed in Singapore and Monitoring both the server. we are able to generate CDR report of both the location.QOE we are unable to generate user call details @ one location.

  • Hi,
    You can get at the raw data with several BPOS cmdlet’s such as Get-MSOnlineSubscription (see the BPOS migration cmdlet reference at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc742577.aspx).

    If you want a full reporting solution, Quest software has a recently added BPOS support to their flag ship Exchange and Lync reporting product which has usage and license reports: http://www.quest.com/messagestats/

    Curtis

  • Michele

    Is there a way to pull a usuage and license report with OC standard (NOT dedicated)?

  • Hi,

    To my knowledge (fairly confident) the OCS 2007 R2 call detail record (CDR) database tables do not store whether or not the presenter recorded the session. So it cannot be reported on.

    There are a couple of binary fields (columns) that might have that information, but I doubt it.

    Not sure about Lync – will check into that.

    Curtis

  • Jim McSorley

    Is it possible to run a report that lists all of the Live Meeting conferences (through OCS) where the presenter recorded the session? Is it possible to know which presenter recorded the session?

  • I am thinking you might not have any peer-to-peer data, or data that does not meet the filter (e.g. report parameters) used in the default peer-to-peer report. The peer-to-peer reports require the Call Detail Record (CDR) functionality to be enabled (at the Forest level and the Monitoring Server attached to the Enterprise Pool or Standard Front-End) – have you done that?

  • kunal

    i have installed ocs r2 monitoring server report pack
    when i try to browse https://fqdn/reports i am able to open the home page, but when i click on the ocsreports- peer to peer Im activity it says ” “NO results match the report parameters”

    Any Help !1

  • Hello folks,

    I make a custom querie to retrive all call logs, and put on OCS ResKit. Take a look:

    http://brunoestrozi.blogspot.com/2009/06/ocs-queries-para-cdr.html

  • Thanks for pointing that out – I have updated the post and included the OCS Monitoring Role as an option. My initial intent of the post was for feature usage (how many, how often, etc…), but the quality of usage is definitely as important in understanding how your deployment is being used, and for troubleshooting.

  • Jose

    Great Job,

    You are missing from your list the OCS Monitoring Server Role that uses SQL Reporting Services.

    Thanks

    Jose

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