Topic Last Modified: 2010-07-18
The first part of the planning process is deciding which Microsoft Communications Server 2010 workloads and major features you want for your organization.
- IM and presence are always enabled. In any
Communications Server deployment, the IM and presence workload is
installed and enabled by default. IM enables your users to
communicate with real-time text messages, and presence enables them
to see the status of other users on the network. A user’s presence
status provides information to help others decide whether they
should try to contact the user, and by what means. For details, see
- Do you want to deploy any modes of conferencing?
Conferencing is another core feature of Communications Server.
Several modes of conferencing are supported. You can choose to
deploy all supported types of conferencing, or just some of them.
Web conferencing enables users to see a file, such as a
PowerPoint slide deck, that is being presented. Application
sharing enables users to share all or part of their desktop
with each other in real time. With A/V conferencing, users
can add audio (and possibly video) to their conferences and
peer-to-peer communications. Dial-in conferencing enables
users to use standard PSTN phones to join the audio portion of
conferences hosted at your organization. For details, see Conferencing.
- If you deploy A/V conferencing, you should also monitor the
audio quality of these conferences. Many factors affect the
audio and video quality of Communications Server A/V conferences.
By using the A/V quality monitoring features (provided by the
Monitoring Server role), you can detect issues that affect media
quality, and ensure that your users have the best possible media
- Do you want high availability for your IM, presence, and
conferencing servers? If you have only one server at a site
providing IM, presence and conferencing features, your users’
productivity will be greatly affected if that server goes down. By
deploying a pool of multiple servers for these functions,
you make it possible for Communications Server functions to
continue if one server goes down. Additionally, if you have more
than 12,500 users at a site, you must deploy a pool to serve this
number of users; this pool will also provide high availability.
- Do you want to deploy Enterprise Voice? Enterprise
Voice is the voice over IP (VoIP) solution provided by
Communications Server. It provides an attractive alternative to
traditional PBX-based telephony. Enterprise Voice enables users to
place calls from their computers by clicking a contact in Outlook
or Communicator. They can place calls over the IP network from
computer to computer, computer to telephone, or telephone to
computer. Users benefit from having all of their communications
options-voice, e-mail, IM, and conferencing-available and
integrated on their computers. For details, see Enterprise
- If you deploy Enterprise Voice, you should also monitor the
audio quality of these calls. We recommend you use Monitoring
Server to ensure the audio quality of your Enterprise Voice calls,
if you deploy Enterprise Voice.
- Do you want to deploy Exchange UM? If your organization
uses Microsoft Exchange for its email services, you can deploy the
Exchange UM features of both Exchange and Communications
Server to enhance communications capabilities for your users.
Exchange UM features include enabling users to receive voicemail
notices and listen to voicemail within their Exchange mailbox;
access their Exchange mailboxes using a telephone; and receive
faxes in their Exchange mailboxes.
- Do you need to archive IM content or meeting content for
compliance purposes? If your organization has to archive IM
content or meeting content for compliance purposes, you can deploy
an Archiving Server.
- Do you want to enable your users to communicate and
collaborate with external users? Enabling communication and
collaboration with external users can increase your return on
investment in Communications Server. This enables your
organization’s own users to benefit from Communications Server
features even when they are working outside your organization’s
firewalls. You can also federate with your partner or customer
organizations that run Communications Server. By doing so, your
users and federated partner users can easily exchange IM messages,
invite each other to meetings, and see each other’s presence.
Additionally, your users can use an email message to invite
specific outside users to online meetings they organize.
- Do you have branch offices in your organization? If your
organization has small branch offices, Communications Server 2010
supports a variety of ways to support them and ensure their
resiliency for voice and other features. In particular, at a branch
office that does not have a resilient WAN link to a datacenter, you
can install a Survivable Branch Appliance to maintain Enterprise
Voice support should the WAN link go down. For details, see
Resiliency in Central Sites and Branch Offices.