Microsoft sets OCS virtualisation plans

Microsoft is to support server virtualisation for Office Communications Server 2007 R2, its first statement on what portions of its real-time platform will run in a virtual environment.

In a post on Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) blog, Jerome Berniere, senior program manager in the Office Communications group, said the company would support both "fully distributed virtualised topology across several hypervisors and for a single server virtualised topology."

The topologies will be supported on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and any Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) certified partner product.

The virtualization will support presence, group chat and instant messaging. The IM support includes remote access, federation and connection to public IM.

The company made the announcement in conjunction with its annual TechEd conference going on this week.

Berniere also said a number of server roles would be supported, including: front-end, back-end SQL Server 2008 64-bit; group chat channel; group chat compliance; archiving; monitoring (CDR only); and edge access.

Microsoft said the virtual machines must be running on Windows Server 2008 64 bits. Berniere wrote on the blog, "archiving server and monitoring server can be connected to a virtualised enterprise pool, but they must run on a physical server."

Microsoft has tested the virtualised distributed topology to handle 40,000 users, including 10,000 group chat users.

Berniere said quality issues with real-time media made virtualisation of other real-time workloads a non-starter. He said the affected services include voice, video, live meeting and desktop sharing workloads. Those workloads cannot be part of a virtualised environment.

Berniere wrote, "Therefore audio/video/web conferencing servers, audio/video/web edge conferencing servers, dial-in conferencing, Communicator web Access, enterprise voice, or Remote Call Control may not be deployed as part of the virtualised pool."

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