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New Member

Unity with Multiple Exchange Servers accross WAN links

If I have multiple locations, each with an Exchange 2000 server, is there a method to deploy Unity UM servers centrally or regionally? Do we need to deploy a Unity UM server at each location, even the 10 user office that has a local Exchange server?

6 REPLIES
Gold

Re: Unity with Multiple Exchange Servers accross WAN links

Yes you do need to have a Unity server at each physical location. Unfortunately, Unity wasn't designed to support WAN links and doesn't handle it well at all.

At some point in time you might want to look at consolidating your Exchange 2000 servers to one Exchange 2003 server and using Outlook 2003 as the mail client. Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003 were designed to work very well over WAN links and then you could place Unity next to the Exchange 2003 server.

Hope this helps,

Keith

New Member

Re: Unity with Multiple Exchange Servers accross WAN links

I just wanted to ask a question along the same line as this one.

I have a customer that has centralized Unity and CCM in Minneapolis. They have three more offices in diffrent cities. Each with there own Excahnge Server on site. From What I understand you should deploy a Unity server at each of the remote offices.

How about if you have a centralized CallManger that will be registering with Unity servers over the wan. The example is having a CCM cluster in Minneapolis with WAN links to Chicago, Denver, and Atlanta. Minneapolis is where the CCM Cluster will reside. The last time we deployed centralized CCM's with decentralized Unity servers we ran into a TON of issues. Of course this was with Unity 2.46 and CCM 3.1.

I just want to make sure so I don't run into issues again.

Gold

Re: Unity with Multiple Exchange Servers accross WAN links

Each Unity port is basically the same as an IP phone with a single line appearance. So long as you allocated bandwidth correctly as you would for an IP phone Unity can function just fine across a WAN link from CallManager.

Blue

Re: Unity with Multiple Exchange Servers accross WAN links

I am struggling with a certain design along these same lines. Customer is moving from Exchange 5.5/2000 Mixed Mode to Exchange 2003. Customer currently has 4 sites w/ Unity VMO servers at each site. I would love to be able to collapse their 4 Unity servers into on centralized Unity UM server w/ a centralized Exchange 2003. However, these sites have dual integration w/ a PBX and obviously need to have a Unity box at the remote site to connect to PBX.

Basically, customer wants to upgrade the Unity's at the four remote locations to 4.0(3), install Exchange 2003 on the Unity box to be it's partner server, but have the mailstore be at the centralized Exchange 2003 site.

So in the end, each site will have a Unity 4.0(x) server, with on box Exchange 2003 server (just so the partner server is local) and the mailstore for all subscribers will be across the WAN.

Understandably, this is not a supported configuration (with the remote mailstore). However, customer was one of the early adopters to IPT (CM and Unity) and currently have remote mailstores working without any issues and trying to convince them that it will not work is proving to be difficult.

Thoughts?

Gold

Re: Unity with Multiple Exchange Servers accross WAN links

It's really not a matter of convincing them. It is flat out not supported. We have found on several occasions that these types of deployments don't scale. It's kinda like IP phones over the public internet. Sure it will work but it is the quality always perfect? No cause we have packet loss, jitter, etc. The impact to Unity is massive if we lose timely response to any Exchange server, not just the partner Exchange server. Given the right conditions it’s possible to actually make Unity stop taking calls all together.

Also, I should point out that it is not supported to have Exchange installed on a Unity server in a UM configuration. Same goes for DC functionality and DNS.

As much as I can sympathize with the customer for wanting to simplify their messaging environment they must understand Unity is a significant part and that is not designed to work in the way they are proposing.

Thanks,

Keith

dan
New Member

Re: Unity with Multiple Exchange Servers accross WAN links

Are the exchange servers in one Exchange site or is each location in it's own different site?

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