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Unity Functionality

This is the scenario:<br><br>We have 3 servers - Our Unity server, our Call manager server, and our Exchange Server which homes all our mailboxes (in the same site as our unity server)....<br><br>What happens to Unity when our Exchange Server homing our mailboxes goes down? <br>Will Unity still answer calls? Can Unity save voice mail messages? If so, where does it save them until our exchange server comes back up?<br><br>


Re: Unity Functionality

You’ll want to read over another post on this topic where I got into more (probably too much) detail on our behavior when external Exchange servers go off line. This is the thread titled “Reason for stopping Unity”.

The short story, however, is we handle this reasonably well in 2.4.5 and later builds. In your scenario where everyone is homed on one Exchange server it’s pretty easy to scope out. If that Exchange server goes down or our link to it is broken (i.e. a router hits the dirt) external callers will continue to be able to call in, navigate around your audio text applications, find users in the directory, leave them messages etc… these messages are queued up on our local Exchange server (the MTA handles this for us nicely) and they are delivered when the home server comes back up.

Subscribers who call in to check their messages while the server is down will get the “failsafe” conversation. Clearly we can’t play their messages since the store where we get them from is unavailable to us. As such we tell them “I’m sorry, I can’t talk to you right now… please try your call again later.”. They can, however, still leave messages for folks as outside callers (i.e. unidentified messages). These are just queued up locally until they can be delivered when the home server is back on line. Note that there’s some tricky timing issues with us knowing their home Exchange store is off line or not when they call in to check messages… see my post on the “Reason for stopping Unity” thread for more on that.

The primary goal is for Unity to continue functioning as normal for outside callers hitting your system. Since all the greetings and voice names and call handlers are stored local on our box, as long as the Unity server is healthy, this will continue to be the case regardless of what is happening to your other Exchange servers in the site. Subscribers will be inconvienced for the time of the outage, but with Unified messaging that’s what the deal is… you don’t have access to your emails/faxes/voice mails while the Exchange server they are homed on is off line.

If that’s not clear, let me know… I know this is a sticky subject for lots of folks…

Jeff Lindborg
Unity Product Architect/Answer Monkey
Cisco Systems (new page for Unity support tools and scripts)