Client config has a single UM server (ver 3.1.4), with Ex2k for message store off box (their E-mail server, of course) ... some users are complaining of delays in checking for VM after login (the login itself has no delays) ... the client has inquired about putting Ex2k on-box for some users who do not use the UM feature, i.e. they do not care to check e-mails via the phone ... the config would then be VM on-box, UM off box ... it is a running system, so changes will have to be after hours ... I cannot think of any reason why it would not conceptually work, although I am unaware of all of the ramifications ... of note is that this server will soon be upgraded to Unity 4.0, and there is some documentation that states that Unity 4.0 does not support on-box installs of UM ... since this new on-box Ex2k would not be used for UM, but VM only, is this still the case? they are aware also that they would eat up a UM licence for the VM only user, and that is OK ... I have checked CCO and NetPro for the last 3 hours but have yet to see any mention of this ...
Several things can cause delay at that point in the conversation. This doc is a good place to start for troubleshooting:
Before you make any changes in the design of the deployment you should determine the exact cause of the delay. If the cause is not determined prior there is a possibility that moving the store on box will not correct the situation.
As far as support I am not totally sure. I lean towards not supported but need to double check.
Hope that helps...
Chris, I agree with Keith. You really need to determine what is causing the delays first. By all means open a TAC case if necessary.
Secondly, you're right, even if you're doing voice mail only for specific users, the Exchange 2000 onbox is not supported in 4.0 because it is UM. How many subscribers are you talking about?
If you have subscribers who don't want to listen to their e-mail create a class of service that doesn't use text-to-speech and place them in it. Then they don't have to worry about listening to email at all. So, you can end up with one set of subscribers who have text-to-speech enabled and one set who don't.
I tried to post this morning, but IE crapped on me ... we have exhausted all of the troubleshooting issues that are documented on TAC and have discovered that the issue is the e-mail server itself ... whether it be virus scanning, indexing, etc, there are times that the e-mail server gets busy, and those are the times that delays occur ... for most users, that is routine, but the CEO and COO of this particular company do not use, nor care about, IP telephony, the IT staff and other users love it though ... what the big dogs want is their "damn voice mail to work, no problems" ... so the solution is to remove them from the e-mail server and put them on another exchange box ... the option to run on-box is more a licensing issue, since if installed on-box the company saves the cost of another server and licenses for Win2k and Ex2k (it is licensed already for that server) ... we are talking about 3-5 users only ... yes it is a pain, and they know that the upcoming conversion to Unity 4.0 may make the configuration invalid, but they want what they want when they want it (sound familiar, field folks?), and my task is to satisfy them ... the installation and working of the AVVID design is clean otherwise ... I did open a TAC case, could find nothing wrong, so we developed a scheme to install Ex2k on-box, rerun the Unity Configuration Utility, and see if that works ... conceptually it should, but we will break the RAID nonetheless ... I understand that UM under 4.0 insists on an off-box installation, for the main reason that Unity does not want users hitting the Unity server with Outlook clients (eats up CPU cycles) ... that will not happen, as these exec's only use VM, none of the advanced features, and all of the other users will be on the off-box Ex2k server as they are now ... and yes the client knows that it will still cost them a UM license, but oh well ... the VP of IT has signed off on it, so off I go again onto the bleeding edge! ... I would love any advice on this, other than "don't do it" unless proven that it will hose the whole thing ... thanks for all of the input!
Well, I suppose being on the bleeding edge means you're always entertained.
There's two issues here. First, if the Exchange server is slowing down that much due to being so busy, I'm expecting the server is undersized. That's not such a positive thing when trying to assess UM readiness and it certainly isn't a positive thing once unified messaging is already deployed. I highly recommend you push them on addressing this "busy" issue with this server. The TUI slow downs are only the start of the symptoms. Take into consideration that you may have other issues with this server that need to be addressed. While it is outside of the scope of Unity support, it is certainly operation bearing and therefore is of concern. Talk to their messaging folks about addressing the busy-ness of this server.
Second, it is technically possible to install a copy of E2K on this server and use it as you plan. We've had one big customer install E2K on Unity but not use it at all. We finally convinced them to remove it. Now, be warned that installing E2K on Unity like this and joining it to the existing admin group can affect the Unity server's performance, even after the installation is complete and you've been running for a while. Don't be surprised if you start seeing unexpected behaviors such as slowdowns in the TUI conversation. I strongly recommend that you monitor this and prepare to act on it. In addition, make sure you have the server backed up prior to and after you install E2K on it and make sure you have a fallback plan.
Finally, I know you don't want to hear "don't do it" but you have to expect this to become a support issue and of course, you'll need a different solution when you move to 4.0.
agreed ... this server, although Unity UM, only supports about 30 users (the corporate office staff), so I do not expect that the extra processing needed to support local Ex2k will hurt .. much ... backup plans include the typical nightly backup done, as well as breaking the RAID and running single-disk for a few days ... I also agree about the sizing and power of the e-mail server, as it shows a Pentium 450 w/ 2 GB of RAM ... I think more horsepower could help ... I will continue on with the installation and programming, leading the client gently but firmly to realize that the e-mail server needs a refresh, at least to a Ghz family Pentium ... heck, I just bought a 2.4 Ghz for my house for $240 !! ... anyway, I am more concerned about the Unity 4.0 upgrade, so some emphasis needs to be made on the ramifications of the process ... at least we are moving forward!
thanks again for the feedback and keep the opinions coming! I have pretty thick skin ;)
oops ... it is actually a quad-Xeon Pentium 550 (the OS never says that) ... we are looking at the RAID card to see if we can up the cache memory from the default 64 MB to 128 MB ... processing should not be the issue ... of course, the local admin found Indexing running on it two days ago and turned it off (lesson here, folks! on MS Advanced Server, indexing is turned on by default and will absolutely kill throughput ... turn it off and bury it in the back yard!) ... I am trying to see if this one change has fixed the issue ... the TUI can only provide what the server gives it, so pointing the problem at the Exchange server, after checking the Unity config, was a good thing ... never make assumptions !!! more to come ...
How about the idea of using another server for a second off-box Exchange installation? Will Unity support it? I would think so, since as mentioned Exchange is "merely" being used as a message store ... this could solve the problem of getting these few users off of the main server, keep the Unity server clean, support Unity 4.0 and support Unity Failover in the future ... I know the customer was against it initially, but it is an easier sell than an unsupported configuration
update ... the Exchange install went well, AFTER we had to rerun "setup /domainprep" on the main E-mail server (not the Unity server), then we pushed the policies out manually from the GC's ... once that was completed, the install went smoothly ... now Unity has a new, local message store, which is what the customer wanted ... I did not even have to rerun the Unity Configuration Utility, since Unity was already correctly configured ... when I add a new user now, I see all the local Exchange servers as valid message stores, but we know which one provides UM and which one uses a VM-only account ... we'll see how this plays out, but for the time being, the customer is pleased and all is stable