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SESSION CODE: UNC318. Microsoft Communications Server “14”: What's New in Conferencing Experience and Backend. Cameron Parker, Senior Program Manager Lead Tim Carr, Program Manager Microsoft Corporation. Agenda. What you’ll learn today.

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Microsoft Communications Server “14”: What's New in Conferencing Experience and Backend

Cameron Parker, Senior Program Manager Lead

Tim Carr, Program Manager

Microsoft Corporation

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What you’ll learn today

  • Deeper look at web and audio conferencing workloads of the unified Wave 14 (W14) client

  • Great new features that make conferencing easier, more reliable

  • Conferencing Architecture and Call Flows

  • Deployment and Migration considerations

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Conferencing & Collaboration Roadmap

  • Office Communications Server 2007 R2 / “13”

    • Communicator

      • Audio Conferencing

      • Desktop Sharing

    • Live Meeting

      • Audio conferencing

      • Desktop & Application Sharing

      • PowerPoint Presentations

      • Whiteboard

      • Polling, Q&A, etc.

  • Microsoft CommunicationsServer “14”

    • Communicator

      • Richer Audio Conferencing

      • Desktop & Application Sharing

      • PowerPoint Presentations

      • Whiteboard

      • Polling

    • Live Meeting

      • Available during migration to “14”

      • Use for very large meetings

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Design Tenets

  • SIMPLE “It just makes sense”

  • One click scheduling

  • One click join from meeting reminder or invite

  • Two click sharing

  • RELIABLE“It works all the time”

  • Strong investments in reliability for voice, video, data

  • Improved notifications – voice quality warnings, lobby

  • Greatly improved diagnostics for admins

  • ESSENTIAL “It increases my productivity.”

  • Collaboration is a natural extension of Voice and IM

  • Valuable tools that make online meetings critical

  • Browser based client allows cross platform collaboration

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Conferencing Scenarios

  • Rich conference calls

  • Work with people anywhere

  • Effective Team Meetings

  • Professional Presentations

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End to End Web Conferencing User Experience

Ad-hoc conferencing from IM and Phone

Scheduled meetings, Joining, Presentations


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Deploying Web Conferencing

  • Plan Server Roles & Capacity

  • Consider Voice and Web Conferencing scale as part of front end planning

  • 250 active desktop/application sharing users (5 per conference) per machine

  • Consider Network usage

  • Plan/improve network capacity based on Voice/Video/Desktop Sharing usage

  • Plan client features

  • Plan in-band settings to enable/disable features based on needs, network capacity

  • Edge server required for outside (authenticated and anonymous) users

  • Roll out Cumulative Updates

  • Apply CUs to W13 Front Ends, Communicator and Live Meeting to current desktops

Deploy Servers

  • Step-wise migration from previous server version to CS “14”

  • Migrate Users

  • Users continue with current clients until ready for next step

  • Can migrate previous content using resource kit tools

  • Deploy clients

  • Push clients, or use version check and allow users to download (on-prem or WU)

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  • Prescriptive guidance based on scale, workloads

  • 5K to 80K per pool

  • Configurable features based on needs & licensing

  • Enterpise Edition (EE) for large scale, Standard Edition for small scale

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Supported Topology - EE pool with separate AV Conf Server pool

  • Ideal for

    • Large enterprise

    • Data center deployment

  • Scalability

    • Up to 80,000 users

    • 250 user large conferences

  • Conferencing functionalities

    • Audio/Video Conference

    • Web Conference (slide sharing, application sharing, whiteboard, etc.)

    • PSTN dial-in (requires mediation server and PSTN gateway)

    • Group IM

    • CWA

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Supported Topology - EE pool with co-located AV Conf Server pool

  • Ideal for

    • Medium size business

    • Regional Deployment

  • Scalability

    • Up to 10,000 users

    • 250 user large conferences

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Supported Topology - SE pool

  • Ideal for

    • Proof of concept

    • Large branch office

  • Scalability

    • Up to 5,000 users

    • 250 user large conferences

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Web Conferencing Architecture

Audio Video Conferencing Server

Front End Server



Focus Factory

Backend SQL DB Server

Web Components (IIS)

IM Conferencing MCU



Join Launcher

Web Conferencing MCU

Reach Server

App Sharing Conferencing MCU

Machine Boundary


Web Application

Audio Conferencing

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Web Conferencing Flow

SQL Backend



Conferencing Server Factory

App Sharing Conf MCU







Focus Factory



Web Conf MCU















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Deployment Considerations

  • Pre-requisites for migration

  • Users migrated to W14 pool

  • Users get new Communicator

  • Apply necessary Cumulative Update (CUs)

    • Latest CU for Outlook Add-In and Live Meeting to all users

    • Latest CU for W12 and W13

    • Latest CU applied to all W13 frontend servers

  • Move users to W14 Pool

    • Users have either W12 or W13 clients

  • No CVC check

  • Communicator Attendee and Web App

    • Training/support when first pool rolls out

  • Web Access Server W13

    • Leave as-is for web based IM/P support

  • New clients:

    • Users start migrating to use W14 clients and admins support them


    • W12 and W13 clients still supported

  • CVC check to force upgrades

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Migration – Scheduling

  • Users migrated to CS W14 pool

  • Users get new Communicator client

  • Live Meeting

  • User has W13 addin only

  • Conferences and Meetings scheduled with W13 addin continue as normal

  • Existing meetings on calendar continue to work

  • User now has both W13 and W14 addins installed, but sees only W14 addin

  • New meetings use W14 HTTPS links

  • Can’t schedule new on-prem Live Meetings

  • Works as expected

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Migration - Join

  • Users migrated to W14 pool

  • Users get new Communicator client

  • Migrated meetings continue to behave like W13 meetings:

    • No Lobby

    • Federated users

  • Existing access numbers and conference IDs migrate and work as expected

  • New meetings:

    • Everyone joins with HTTPS link

  • The Launch page:

    • Launches Communicator “14”, or Communicator Attendee “14” if installed

    • Otherwise, auto-join using Communicator Web App

    • Admin setting to allow CONF: join with previous client versions

  • Access numbers:

    • Anyone can call any access number to join any meeting

    • Users get a new conference ID

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Archiving & Compliance

  • Can Archive:

    • Meeting attendance & roles

    • Content added/shared/deleted/slide flips

    • Annotation contributions

    • Original content files and attachments

    • Transcript of meeting

  • Can control:

    • Turn on/off annotations

    • Desktop/Application Sharing and Encryption

    • Enable/Disable web conferencing

    • Polling

    • File Transfer / Attachments

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Meeting types(from Gartner report)

  • Reservationless calling

  • 25 or fewer participants

  • One-off or Weekly staff, ½ - 2 hrs, usually with Web attached, intl. participation by company

  • Operator assisted

  • Roll call, polling

  • 25-100 participants Biweekly/monthly with Web attached

  • Managed event, external

  • Transcription, high touch, large audiences

  • 100+ participants, Quarterly, Web attached




Our target

Stay on ACPs

  • Features needed for small/med.meetings

  • Simple and reliable join

  • Best in class UX on both the PSTN and soft client side

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New Audio Conferencing Features in W14

  • Provide all the features needed to handle small/mid-size meetings

  • DTMF controls

  • Entry/exit announcements

  • Make join simpler and more reliable

  • Lobby support for restricted meetings

  • Name recording for unauthenticated users

  • PIN improvements: default no expiration, e-mail notification, increased visibility

  • Provide a best in class UX on both the PSTN and soft client side

  • Control entry/exit announcements at schedule time and during conference

  • Recording of reservationless meetings

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Conference JoiningAccess Control – Wave 14, with lobby

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Audio Conferencing User Experience

Focused on the phone

Scheduling, joining, in-conference experience


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Audio Conferencing Architecture

Audio Video Conferencing Server

Front End Server


Web Components (IIS)


Focus Factory

Join Launcher

Backend SQL DB Server

IM Conferencing Server

Reach Server



Web Conferencing Server

Dial-in Conferencing Page

App Sharing Conferencing Server

Conference Auto Attendant

Conference Announcement Service

Personal Virtual Assistant

Machine Boundary

Group Virtual Assistant

Process Boundary

Web Application

Audio Conferencing

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Audio Conferencing Flow




SQL Backend


Conferencing Server Factory








Focus Factory






AV Conf Server




PSTN phone



Mediation Server



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Phone Experience: Languages

+1 206 …

Your Conference

Conference Announcement Service

+1 425 ...

Pick English


Pick English

Group Virtual Assistant

Group Virtual Assistant

Personal Virtual Assistant

Conference Attendant

Personal Virtual Assistant

Pick French


+33 791 ...

Group Virtual Assistant

Personal Virtual Assistant

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Deploying PSTN Dial-in

  • Plan Numbers and Capacity

  • Add DID numbers and PSTN trunk capacity

  • Configure Dial Plans

  • Configure dial-in conferencing regions

  • Deploy Gateways

  • PSTN gateways or configure SIP trunking

  • Configure access numbers

  • Globally or per site*

  • Order of access numbers per conference region (PowerScript cmdlet only)*

  • Configure DTMF commands*

  • Globally or per site

  • Configure PIN security settings

  • Complexity, expiration, etc.

  • Enable users for PSTN dial-in

  • Populate correct phone numbers for users (msRTCSIP-Line property)

  • Generate PIN and send welcome email via script

* New in CS 14

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Coexistence with OCS 2007 R2: Inter-pool Transfer

  • Problem:

    • All Conference Attendant (CA) access numbers globally available

    • User can call 2007R2 CA trying to join a conference hosted on W14 pool.

    • OCS 2007R2 CA cannot handle lobby (disconnects call)

  • Solution:

    • “Inter-pool transfer” transfers the call to W14 CA after conference ID has been entered, preserving language selection

    • On OCS 2007 R2 front-ends, requires cumulative update #5 or higher

    • CA will only accept transfers from another CA, will only transfer if meeting homed in W14 pool

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Migration Steps

  • Coexisting phase: months or years

  • Decommissioning W13 pools

  • Getting to coexistence state

  • Deploy latest CU to all OCS 2007R2 FEs

  • Move data from OCS 2007R2 WMI to W14 SQUID using PowerShell cmdlets

  • Move users to W14 pool (their meetings are automatically migrated also)

  • W13 access numbers still around

  • W14 access numbers starting to be added

  • Any user can call any access number to join any meeting(interpool transfer)

  • Some meetings have old invites with W13 access numbers

  • New meetings have W14 access numbers

  • Migrate COs so that they point to a W14 pool instead of the W13 pool, using PowerShell cmdlets

  • Meeting invites that still have W13 access numbers will now be handled by CAA14

  • Decommission W13 pool

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Audio Conferencing: Scale SUBJECT TO CHANGE!

Per-pool Limits (10 FEs/pool):

  • 80 000 users/pool

  • Max meeting size 250

Limit of 6000 simultaneous users per pool:

  • 900 users in PSTN-only meetings

  • 2100 more users in VoIP-only meetings

  • 2400 more users in mixed meetings: 1800 using OC, 600 using PSTN









Front End

Front End

Back end

Pool (up to 10 FEs)

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CDR & Reporting improvements

  • MS diagnostics aka “msdiags” included with all SIP 4xx, 5xx, 6xx, BYEs

    • ms-diagnostic:<error code>;reason=“xxx”;description=“yyy”;source=“zzz” [;custom-param=“foo”]

  • Msdiags are:

    • Specific – one error code per distinguishable failure case

    • Admin Friendly – They describe failure from end user point of view; not in terms of internal implementation details, use official product nomenclature for server names (no hex codes)

    • Actionable – Many msdiags contain troubleshooting steps

    • Categorized – Success, UnExpectedFailure, ExpectedFailure

  • Greatly improved reliability reports on the monitoring server

  • For a whole lot more on this: session UNC316, today, this room, 1:30pm

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Top 5 takeaways

  • True unified client – one client handles both Web and Audio Conferencing

  • Everyone joins easily with the new lobby feature

  • Move 85% of your ACP conferences to Communications Server “14”

  • Start planning your deployment and migration early – lots of information and tools available to help

  • Flexible topologies supported to meet your organization’s needs

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Related Breakout SessionsAll of them in this room

You are here

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Unified Communications Track Call to Action!

Learn More!

  • View Related Unified Communications (UNC) Content at TechEd/after at TechEd Online

  • Visit for more Communications Server “14” product information

  • Find additional Communications Server “14” content in the Technical Library, weekly technical articles at NextHop, and follow DrRez on Twitter

  • Check out Microsoft TechNet resources for Communications Server and Exchange Server

  • Visit additional Exchange 2010 IT Professional-focused content

    • Partner LinkorCustomer Link (Name: ExProPword: EHLO!world)

      Try It Out!

    • Exchange 2010 SP1 Beta downloadis now available from the download center!

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    © 2010 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and other product names are or may be registered trademarks and/or trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries.

    The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation as of the date of this presentation. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION.