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New Member

Leave/send VM on different domains?

I have a quick question regarding how Unity should be setup in a distributed system. I have received conflicting answers from various Cisco support techs regarding how best to set this up. Unity is very flexible with many options available, but what would you recommend?

Our current setup has Call Managers located in Chicago and Milan as two separate clusters. We then have a local Unity server in each office and we would like to be able to leave messages between all of our Unity servers. Which one of the following would you recommend?

One domain for all the Unity servers with a PDC in Evanston and stand alone servers in all the branch offices that are members of that domain?

One domain for all the Unity servers with a PDC in Chicago and BDC servers in all the branch offices?

One domain for USA Unity servers and one domain for the Europe Unity servers with a trusted relationship setup between the two domains? Again the stand alone vs BDC question for the branch offices applies.

If you have a completely different recommendation please elaborate.

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Re: Leave/send VM on different domains?

I should start by pointing out that the role of TAC isn't to assist with design. That is the role of the partner or the Sales Engineer.

Are you planning a Unified Messaging installation or a Voice Messaging Only installation? What does your existing domain/email (if exchange -- which version?) infrastructure look like? Do you have a DC in every location? Are you planning on building an isolated domain/email/DNS infrastructure for Unity or are you going to use some of your existing infrastructure?

Let’s say I was going to do Voice Messaging Only, would not use my existing infrastructure and wanted to deploy a single server at each site. If this were the case I would have each server running AD, Exchange 2000, DNS and Unity. I would implement AD sites and Exchange routing groups to minimize impact on the WAN.

If you can get me answers to the questions above I can help you out. Just remember that Unity relies on Exchange response times, Global Catalog (for E2K/E2K3) response times and DNS heavily. Those all need to be highly available and locally available. So what you don’t want to do it put those out over a WAN.

Hope this helps,


New Member

Re: Leave/send VM on different domains?

We are using Unity with Voice messaging, Exchange 2K and AD (no unified messaging). We currently have one DC (Chicago)in our headquarters and one in San Francisco (branch office). We have a Unity server in Boston and Toronto which are not domain controllers. The Unity server in Milan (which is on a different Unity domain) is a domain controller running Unity (voice message only), Exchange 2K, and AD . We currently only have one branch office in Europe but plan on deploying to 3 other sites. Email is on a Notes platform so Exchange will not be used for email. Every Unity and Call Manager server are DNS servers. How easy/difficult would it be to change the Milan server to the US domain? What would this require with Unity,EX2K,AD,and Call Manager (3.3)

The TAC assistance was just an on the side comment. The TAC is great!!


Re: Leave/send VM on different domains?

For this type of configuration every Unity server should be a DC/GC, Exchange 2000 Server and run DNS. Again, AD sites and Exchange RGs will help to limit impact on the WAN. One Domain is idea but not a requirement. To use Unity Digital Networking all servers will need to be installed in the same forest however. It sounds like your Europe locations aren't today so those will need to be reinstalled.

If you’re not AD savvy I highly recommend that you engage a partner that is to help design the forest. Designing something this size large incorrectly would be a major pain to correct. But once you get things setup and running smoothly you will have a pretty robust messaging infrastructure.

Thanks again,


New Member

Re: Leave/send VM on different domains?

Thanks again for your response!

For every Unity server to be in the same forest do they need to be in the same domain? Is there a difference between a "company" domain and a Unity domain? For example, when I ping the Unity Domain controller I get the following and when I ping the Milan server I get But in Unity under system - configuration - NT Domain the domains are different than Also do change a server from a stand alone to domain controller or vice versa will take a complete rebuild correct?. Again, thank you for your comments!!

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