[This is pre-release documentation and subject to change in future releases. This topic's current status is: Milestone-Ready]

Topic Last Modified: 2010-07-18

The Communications Server 2010 planning tool is a wizard that interactively asks you a series of questions about your organization, the Communications Server features you want to enable, and your capacity planning needs. It then creates a recommended deployment topology based on your answers, and produces several forms of output that helps your planning and installation.

We recommend that you use the planning tool to design your Enterprise Voice topology. You can run the planning tool to familiarize yourself with some of the Enterprise Voice capabilities offered by Communications Server 2010 before you begin reviewing the planning documentation. (The tool does not ask questions about all Enterprise Voice features. Rather, the planning tool focuses on the Enterprise Voice features that have an impact on your infrastructure.) The tool can help you review the documentation with more of an eye toward the specific requirements of the features and functionality you are interested in. In the documentation, detailed information about capabilities and components, including those not included in the planning tool, can help you to make informed decisions when you run the planning tool again immediately prior to deployment to design Enterprise Voice deployment at the sites in your organization.

Installation Requirements for the Planning Tool

The Communications Server 2010 planning tool is available as a download that is separate from the Communications Server 2010 Enterprise Edition or Communications Server 2010 Standard Edition installation media.

Ensure that you remove all earlier versions of the Communications Server 2010 planning tool before you install the version provided for this release.

To install the planning tool, you must install the following:

  • Operating system (one of the following): Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 7, Windows Vista with SP2, either 32-bit or 64-bit

  • .NET Framework 3.5 with SP1

Planning Tool Considerations

As recommended in Beginning the Planning Process in the Planning documentation, at the start of the planning process you may have run the planning tool to get a sense of the kind of questions you would need to think about while planning your Communications Server 2010 deployment.

For the Enterprise Voice workload, in addition to highlighting available Enterprise Voice features and capabilities, the planning tool will also alert you to the mitigating factors that you need to account for in your environment. For example, if you indicate that you plan to deploy SIP trunking to provide PSTN connectivity, but that the SIP trunk does not support media bypass, then the tool asks you to provide the hardware specifications for the Mediation Server that will be required to process media for calls that use the SIP trunk. If the SIP trunk supports media bypass, then media from a user at a branch site can flow directly to a gateway or other media termination point without requiring you to deploy a Mediation Server at the branch site or without having to flow over the WAN link to the central site that has the Mediation Server that controls the gateway.

The planning tool considerations include:

  • the number of sites in your deployment and the type of network connection between them

  • the number of users, including the number or percentage of users that will be enabled for Enterprise Voice, at each of the sites in your deployment

  • the number of calls that you expect Enterprise Voice users to generate at each site

  • Enterprise Voice features that you want to provide to your users, including:

    1. Exchange Unified Messaging voice mail

    2. Call Admission Control over WAN links between sites

    3. Media bypass

  • the PSTN connectivity options that you will incorporate, for example:

    • the type of PSTN gateway

    • the SIP Trunk to an Internet Telephony Service Provider (ITSP)

    • the type of PBX you will deploy

    • whether the PSTN connectivity option that you choose supports the new DNS load balancing and media bypass functionality that have been added to Communications Server for this release

    • the type of network line or primary rate interface (PRI) used by those devices

  • Mediation Server specifications

Using the deployment preferences you identified during the Enterprise Voice planning process (as a result of reviewing the documentation and running the planning tool), re-run the planning tool to design a topology that will now include a Mediation Server collocated with each Front End Server, settings for your preferred Enterprise Voice capabilities, and Enterprise Voice support for users at the appropriate sites in your Communications Server environment.

Next Steps for Planning Tool Output

Output the planning tool’s recommended topology to an XML file that is readable by Communications Server Topology Builder. Then, in Topology Builder, configure the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) or Internet protocol (IP) address, port, and transport protocol for the Mediation Server and media gateways that you have deployed for Enterprise Voice. Use Topology Builder to publish your configuration settings to theCentral Management database.

After the central management store is updated with your new Enterprise Voice settings, running the setup files for Communications Server on each server in your deployment will install Mediation Server and configure the PSTN gateway associations with the appropriate settings.