Unified messaging confusion

Answered Question
Jun 4th, 2010

We are presently running Unity 4.x for voicemail which uses it's own Exchange 2000 installation for message stores.  We have a separate Exchange 2003 server for our email.  We're planning to upgrade both and I'd like to integrate Unity with our email server rather than having the separate voicemail stores.


While we'd like to move to Exchange 2010, the documentation on support for Unity/Exchange2010 is confusing.  We can apparently use Exchange 2010 for a Unity 7.x Unified Messaging configuration, but Voice mail required Exchange 2007?  Doesn't "Unified messaging" include voice mail?


The documentation goes on to say a mixed environment requires separate servers?


"An Exchange mailbox store that homes mailboxes for  Unified Messaging subscribers must not be on the same Exchange server  as a mailbox store that homes mailboxes for Voice Messaging subscribers."


In short, if I want our users to use Outlook/Exchange for email and voicemail - is this Unified Messaging, or a mixed Unified/Voice messaging configuration?  Can I use Exchange 2010 and Unity 7 or do I have to wait for Unity 8 to support Exchange 2010?

Correct Answer by David Hailey about 6 years 8 months ago

I believe that requirement is actually for the Unity VM hard disks...not Exchange.  You can refer to the design guide for specifics...it is here:


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/unity/virtualization_design/guide/cuvirtualdg010.html


As far as Unity is concerned, the design guide states:


You can virtualize the Cisco Unity system in a Unified Messaging or  Voice Messaging configuration:

In a Unified Messaging configuration,  you can also virtualize Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, or IBM  Lotus Domino servers. However, this guide provides information about  virtualizing the Cisco Unity application and voice-recognition servers  and not the others. In addition, Cisco does not provide technical  support for message-store servers or for domain controllers/global  catalog servers for Unified Messaging deployments.


The requirement you mentioned is noted in the design guide as well as follows:


The Cisco Unity virtual  machine hard disks must reside on shared Fibre Channel storage.  Traditional Fibre Channel host bus adapters and Fibre Channel over  Ethernet converged network adapters are supported.

NAS/NFS, iSCSI, and direct-attached storage are not supported.


I hope that info helps answer your question a bit better.


Hailey


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David Hailey Fri, 06/04/2010 - 11:58

UM indicates a single message repository where all user messages (email, voice, fax) are stored.  From the user's perspective, this means they have a unified or single Inbox from which they receive messages of all types.  In your case, this would be the backend corporate Exchange and the Outlook Inbox.


Answers to your questions:


Voicemail only implies that the message store is separate of the corporate email message store.  In other words, Unity integrates with a standalone message store.  Can you provide UM and/or voicemail only in a UM setup?  Yes, but operationally this is not usually ideal.  From a licensing perspective though, with Unity 4x - these are completely different things.  In older versions of Unity, you could go with voicemail only or UM and you paid for licensing accordingly.  In newer versions such as 7x, this distinction does not exist.  As long as you are current on software support, when you upgrade from Unity 4x to 7x then your licensing will reflect that you can do voicemail only or UM for any user as long as you don't violate the total number of users you have licensing for.


Mixed environment requires separate servers - the best practice is that UM users and voicemail only users aren't mixed.  Again, you can facilitate a mixed environment with a single Unity system and a UM setup (one message store) but operationally it's not recommended.


You want your users to use Outlook/Exchange for email and voicemail - on the surface, this is UM.  Voicemail only implies that you want the user's primary interface to be the phone/TUI.  There is another option that is more related to Unity Connection called Integrated Messaging which is essentially IMAP - you can read about that if you're curious here: /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} https://netcraftsmen.webex.com/netcraftsmen/e.php?AT=MI&EventID=123618122&UID=0&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D


Can I use Exchange 2010 and Unity 7 or do I have to wait for Unity 8 to  support Exchange 2010? Right now, only Unity 7x supports Exchange 2010.  Support for 5x and 8x is planned but has not been implemented/documented.  So right now, if you want UM and you want to use Exchange 2010 - you need Unity 7x.


Hailey


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rcoote5902_2 Fri, 06/04/2010 - 12:31

Thanks David that clarifies a bit.


We do want to combine the message store for both email and voicemail (with future plans for fax over IP) - allowing our users to access everything via Outlook, Outlook Web, and movile devices (BB and iPhone), but retain the ability to use a phone for retrieval as well.  I'd like it integrated with our existing active directory infrastructure.


Is what I've described considered a 'Unified Messaging' environment?

rcoote5902_2 Fri, 06/04/2010 - 12:36

Excellent, I'll throw in one other quick question.


We, like a lot of people, are moving some major services to VMware.  The Unity documentation says the backend storage in a VM deployment must be fibre channel (we use iSCSI).


Is it possible (ie: a supported deployment) to have a physical Unity server, with a virtual Exchange 2010 server?


Rob

Correct Answer
David Hailey Fri, 06/04/2010 - 12:44

I believe that requirement is actually for the Unity VM hard disks...not Exchange.  You can refer to the design guide for specifics...it is here:


http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/voice_ip_comm/unity/virtualization_design/guide/cuvirtualdg010.html


As far as Unity is concerned, the design guide states:


You can virtualize the Cisco Unity system in a Unified Messaging or  Voice Messaging configuration:

In a Unified Messaging configuration,  you can also virtualize Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, or IBM  Lotus Domino servers. However, this guide provides information about  virtualizing the Cisco Unity application and voice-recognition servers  and not the others. In addition, Cisco does not provide technical  support for message-store servers or for domain controllers/global  catalog servers for Unified Messaging deployments.


The requirement you mentioned is noted in the design guide as well as follows:


The Cisco Unity virtual  machine hard disks must reside on shared Fibre Channel storage.  Traditional Fibre Channel host bus adapters and Fibre Channel over  Ethernet converged network adapters are supported.

NAS/NFS, iSCSI, and direct-attached storage are not supported.


I hope that info helps answer your question a bit better.


Hailey


Please rate helpful posts!

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