Sunday, May 10, 2009

OCS Global Settings Migration Tool (GSMT) - Part 1 (how,when and why?)

…and especially and particular what do you need to do when having a failure?  As I see it a lot in the community there are lots of confusions about the OCS Global Settings Migration Tool aka OCS GSMT. I’m writing this article because we recently had a customer who use this tool completely wrong. To clarify it more in-depth see the answers below:

What is the OCS Global Settings Migration Tool?

The Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 Global Settings Migration Tool enables Administrators of existing deployments of OCS 2007 to migrate the OCS-specific global settings residing in Active Directory, from the root domain’s System container to the Configuration container. The migration of OCS global settings to the Configuration container provides a better solution for decentralized AD topologies.

Where can I get the OCS Global Settings Migration Tool (GSMT)?

The OCS GMST can be downloaded via the Microsoft Download site @ download

What are the advantages of setting your configuration partition to system container?

The global settings for Microsoft® Office Communications Server 2007 are normally stored in the root domain’s System container. This approach offers a lot of advantages in a centralized topology compared with storing it in the Configuration container, specifically faster replication and fewer replicated copies.

What is the most common reason to run the OCS GSMT?

During the Office Communications Server development cycle, it was noticed that some Office Communications Server deployments that start out as centralized move towards being distributed. Theoretically, this is what was recommended, because the closer Office Communications Server and its component services (conferencing server, web components, and so on) are to the SIP-enabled user, the better the collaboration experience will be. In practice, two issues were found:

  • Long service start time
  • Long replication delay when managing Global Settings in the snap-in

Both issues are expected from product design’s perspective. However, they are not acceptable to typical customers, especially to those who have been using the product since Live Communications Server 2003. There are many short-term workarounds. The best long term approach remains to migrate the Office Communication Server global settings from the root domain System container to the Configuration container. It’s not a prerequisite for installing OCS 2007 R2! 

In the next blog post I will explain a recent failure we had on the wrong use of OCS GSMT. They stuck in the migration steps and installers failed in OCS R2. PSS was contacted and the effort they (me ;-) put into this support call is exclusively made available through this UC weblog. Stay tuned!

Upcoming:

Part 2: customer case (CONTOSO infrastructure when OCS GSMT is used wrong)

Part 3: How to fix a broken configuration?

Sources: Microsoft Download, OCS_Migrate_Global_Setting.doc

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