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Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server

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    Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Document Transcript

    • ViDe White Paper Evaluating Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server for use in Higher Education NOTICE: THIS DOCUMENT IS OUT OF DATE. MICROSOFT IS NO LONGER DEVELOPING ITS H.323 PRODUCTS AND IS INSTEAD FOCUSING ON SIP CONFERECING. THIS DOCUMENT MAY BE OF HISTORICAL INTEREST, BUT IS OTHERWISE UNRELATED TO CURRENT TRENDS IN VIDEOCONFERENCING OR IN MICROSOFT PRODUCTS. September 2003
    • White Paper Evaluating Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server for use in Higher Education ViDe Video Development Initiative (www.vide.net) Microsoft Conferencing Working Group Authors: o Bhupal De, GRA UAB Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering o Kelly Leighton, Netsimco, Middletown RI, leightonk@netsimco.com o Jill Gemmill, UAB jgemmill@uab.edu Editors and Reviewers: o Kenn McCracken, UAB o Aditya Srinivasan, UAB o Markus Buchhorn, Australian National University Support for this White Paper activity was provided by Southeastern Universities Research Association (www.sura.org) November 2002 ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 2 of 53
    • 1. INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................... 6 2. EXCHANGE CONFERENCING SERVER – A PRODUCT “IN TRANSITION” ....... 7 3. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS ...................................................................................... 8 3.1 Executive Summary...............................................................................................................................................8 3.2 Detailed Findings ...................................................................................................................................................8 3.3 Ease of integration with the existing architecture...............................................................................................9 3.4 Performance ...........................................................................................................................................................9 3.5 Adherence to standards (H.323 and multicast) ...................................................................................................9 3.6 Interoperability with existing ViDeNet infrastructure.....................................................................................10 4. KEY COMPONENTS AND ARCHITECTURE OF MICROSOFT EXCHANGE CONFERENCING SERVER ......................................................................................... 11 4.1 Detailed Description of Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server (ECS)............................................11 4.2 Components of the Conferencing Server:..........................................................................................................13 4.2.1 Critical Components: .....................................................................................................................................13 4.2.1.1 Conference Management Service (CMS):..............................................................................................13 4.2.1.2 Data Conferencing Provider (DCP): ......................................................................................................13 4.2.1.3 Video Conferencing Provider (VCP): ....................................................................................................14 4.2.2 Auxiliary components:...................................................................................................................................14 4.2.2.1 Outlook Calendar: ..................................................................................................................................14 4.2.2.2 Conference Calendar Mailbox: ..............................................................................................................14 4.3 Conferencing Server Architecture: Integrating Conferencing Server Components .....................................14 4.4 Network Architecture for deployment of Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server:...........................................16 4.4.1 Deployment Strategies of MCUs: ..................................................................................................................16 4.4.1.1 Backbone Topology: ..............................................................................................................................16 4.4.1.2 Hub-and-Spoke Topology ......................................................................................................................17 4.4.1.3 Decentralized Topology: ........................................................................................................................18 4.5 MADCAP Server:................................................................................................................................................18 4.6 Network Configuration:......................................................................................................................................18 4.7 Routers: ................................................................................................................................................................19 4.8 H323/ECS Bridge: ...............................................................................................................................................19 4.9 System and Server Requirements ......................................................................................................................19 4.9.1 Server Software Requirements: .....................................................................................................................19 4.9.2 Server Hardware Requirements: ....................................................................................................................21
    • 4.9.3 Client Software Requirements .......................................................................................................................21 4.9.4 Video Conferencing Client ............................................................................................................................21 4.9.4.1 Client Hardware Requirements: .............................................................................................................22 5. INSTALLATION AND CONFIGURATION OF EXCHANGE 2000 CONFERENCING SERVER ......................................................................................... 23 5.1 Requirements:......................................................................................................................................................23 5.1.1 System Requirements: ...................................................................................................................................23 5.1.2 User Account Requirements: .........................................................................................................................24 5.2 To install a complete version of Exchange Conferencing Server: ...................................................................24 5.3 Configuring the client side and Setting up an online meeting .........................................................................29 6. RESULTS .............................................................................................................. 32 6.1 Codecs and Video Quality: .................................................................................................................................32 6.2 Automatic Video Switching: ...............................................................................................................................32 6.3 Support of protocols:...........................................................................................................................................32 6.4 Interoperability....................................................................................................................................................32 6.5 H.323 Videoconferencing System Support:.......................................................................................................33 6.6 H.320 Videoconferencing System Support:.......................................................................................................33 6.7 Encryption: ..........................................................................................................................................................33 6.8 Security:................................................................................................................................................................33 6.9 Conference Persistence: ......................................................................................................................................34 6.10 Firewall Consideration:.....................................................................................................................................34 6.11 Administering Resources ..................................................................................................................................34 6.12 Service Pack Installation and Trials ................................................................................................................35 7. RESOURCES ........................................................................................................... 36 EXCHANGE REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................................36 H.323 REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................................................37 IP MULTICAST RESOURCES...............................................................................................................................38 OTHER RELATED SITES ......................................................................................................................................39 ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 4 of 53
    • APPENDIX A: TROUBLESHOOTING MICROSOFT EXCHANGE 2000 CONFERENCING SERVER ......................................................................................... 40 APPENDIX B: DIALING IN TO THE ECS CONFERENCE USING NETMEETING 3.01 ...................................................................................................................................... 47 APPENDIX C: TRYING AN ALTERNATE H.323 CLIENT .......................................... 52 ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 5 of 53
    • 1. Introduction This document examines the Microsoft 2000 Exchange Conferencing Server (ECS) product and evaluates its use for videoconferencing within the existing ViDeNet architecture. ViDeNet is the world's largest international H.323 network for voice and video conferencing between universities and research organizations; today there are more than 100 zones around the world connected via ViDeNet. Prior to the formation of ViDeNet, conferencing between universities was difficult and required extensive pre-arrangement because each zone had its own dialing plan, which was generally incompatible with other zones. To solve this issue, network administrators from these universities, together with private vendors, created a common dialing plan that would standardize the method used to call members in other zones. Under this arrangement each university became a zone under ViDeNet with a gatekeeper for each zone. Under this architecture members within a zone could now call each other and could call members in other zones using a single dialing plan. The present requirements for a large-scale project like ViDeNet are: º Universality: A large-scale network application like ViDeNet should be inexpensive, convenient and easily accessible from any part of the globe. º Scalability: A video network service like ViDeNet must be highly scalable º Integration: The success of a project like this depends on integration of parts, services and related software packages from different vendors to make an integrated whole within a multi- vendor environment. Standards that create certain necessary uniformities in parts and equipment must be (voluntarily) enforced to achieve the goal of universality so that anyone anywhere with any standards-compliant endpoint can connect to the services. For more information about ViDeNet, see http://www.vide.net The very large size of Microsoft's market; the considerable investment in Microsoft software that has already been made by some universities; and the zero cost of NetMeeting software created a natural interest in whether Microsoft’s videoconferencing solution could be used in a standards- based, multi-vendor environment that is so typical in higher education. We were interested in testing the Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server for: º Ease of integration with the existing architecture. º Performance. º Adherence to standards (H.323 and multicast). º Interoperability with existing ViDeNet infrastructure. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 6 of 53
    • 2. Exchange Conferencing Server – a Product “in Transition” During the evaluation period, rumors of a Microsoft transition away from ECS were heard. Those rumors became fact when, at its annual Exchange Conference in October 2002, Microsoft announced a significant change of strategy. “Company executives delivered a clear message that real-time collaboration, most notably instant messaging and conferencing, belongs in the base operating system and not in Exchange”1. In addition, several new Microsoft products were announced that signaled this new direction. These products include: o “Greenwich” – Instant messaging, presence and conferencing services extracted from Exchange and plugged into the based operating system utilizing Windows .Net Server 2003 o “Jupiter” – New versions of BizTalk, Commerce Server and Content Management Server, brought together to create a combined workflow, e-commerce and content publishing system o “Titanium” – New version of Exchange separated from collaboration platform. ViDe will be looking at these new products from the point of view of how well they meet the needs of higher education and research end users; while ECS at this point appears to be a “dead product” we felt our evaluation of it might nonetheless be of interest to some Exchange administrators. 1 “Microsoft shuffles deck on Exchange”, article in NetworkWorld, Volume 19, Number 41, October 14, 2002 ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 7 of 53
    • 3. Summary of Findings 3.1 Executive Summary The Exchange Conferencing Server is a feature-rich product providing: o Good value for its cost per user relative to products designed for PC conferencing. Competition in the conferencing market is quite active with names like Lotus, CUSeeMe and InfoWorkSpace as popular products. ECS performs admirably when stacked against any of these peers. Diligent research will also show that the costs of implementation, when compared to these peer products is also favorable. However the product does not begin to approach the capabilities of a dedicated H.320 video-conferencing infrastructure or hardware H.323 solutions. o A rich multimedia experience in the local intranet where IP Multicast, along with the Windows 2000 (ie Active Directory), Exchange 2000, (and, of course Internet Explorer web browser and Netmeeting on the client side) are all available. Somewhat less capability is offered for locations which lack the Netmeeting application on the clients, and still less without Internet Explorer as the browser of choice. Conferencing over the internet or other environments where bandwidth constraints exist or where IP multicast is not supported offers less than the full capability. A mixed environment of multicast enabled LAN and non- multicast enabled dial-in connection will yield various levels of satisfaction, depending where the user is located in this infrastructure. o The shortcomings of the ECS product lie in Microsoft's approach of making the product so tightly integrated with its own products that the result is non-operable with other existing popular products. Relative lack of detailed documentation and third party support for the product also slow down the implementation of this product. 3.2 Detailed Findings The functionality provided by the tightly integrated Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server (ECS) is impressive: the user can schedule a videoconference from their Outlook Calendar using the same steps as scheduling any other meeting; the Calendar sends reminders, can include room resources in the scheduling, and an agenda document can be associated with the meeting. Outlook Contacts can be linked to the appointment, which means a central directory is used to click on names of those to be invited to the conference, and the meeting can be marked “private”. The Conferencing Service checks available resources to make sure that what has been scheduled is feasible, or reports a problem. The result: an easy process for creating a conference and inviting participants. This design is characteristic of the high functionality that can be provided in a closed, proprietary environment. Closed, proprietary design is not necessary for achieving highly integrated services, but certainly is more often found in closed environments. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 8 of 53
    • 3.3 Ease of integration with the existing architecture • Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server (ECS), like most Microsoft software products, works under a highly integrated Windows 2000 environment and requires Active Directory, Exchange Server and Internet Information Services (the IIS web service) to be running in the domain. Multicast Address Dynamic Client Allocation Protocol (MADCAP) may be required in addition. This architecture is designed to support centralized directory lookup, integration with calendars and Outlook email clients, but these system prerequisites also place a fairly high hurdle to rapid or easy deployment. For organizations that have not yet migrated to Windows 2000 or who are in the midst of an Active Directory deployment, it will be difficult to have a Conferencing server up and running rapidly. • Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server is a product that lives within an island of Microsoft services. Though intentionally built that way and very useful in an all-Windows environment, the closed design of ECS is likely to hinder the popularity of the product as it is built to operate fully only within its own environment and lose interoperability with other videoconferencing products and services that exist in the market and are in use at universities. • The ECS architecture is fairly complex and dependent on too many services for its operation. This causes it to be fairly fragile and difficult to maintain. The suite of products also has many bug fixes and regularly requires application of security patches (e.g. E2K, W2K, IIS); application of some of these patches caused several rounds of breaking ECS services, requiring re-installation of ECS or additional patches. 3.4 Performance • ECS sends about 10 frames per second (fps)2 which is ½ to 1/3 the performance achievable using hardware codecs. While Microsoft argues that this is “excellent video conferencing for the cost,” the expense of Windows Server, Exchange, Active Directory etc., make the actual ECS cost greater than might first be imagined. • Ignoring the ECS service and using only the software H.323 MCU does not allow access to the richer suite of ECS features, and selection of codecs or image size is not allowed. • IP Multicast conferencing is CPU-intensive for the client because the client performs the audio mixing and receives all the video streams. 3.5 Adherence to standards (H.323 and multicast) • Use of Class D IP Multicast addresses does conform to an Internet standard. However, this multicast traffic is not easily viewable by non-Microsoft software. • A decision to make use of multicasting enables users to have a richer multimedia experience, such as a video window for each conference participant. Difficulties in deploying IP multicast throughout the LAN as well as rare availability of IP multicast in • 2 Rand Morimoto, Joe Pennetta, Chris Doyle. Microsoft Exchange 2000, Conferencing Server, and SharePoint Portal Server 2001, SAMS 2002 ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 9 of 53
    • the commercial WAN, however, suggest that the Internet needs to mature before a product’s use of IP Multicast is a plus in planning a deployment. • ECS Clients require two ActiveX components that the client browser downloads when joining a conference for the first time. A browser wanting to be a client of the conferencing server must have the capability to do so; our testing with Netscape and Konqueror browsers indicated that these and potentially other non-IE browsers fail to support these requirements • Windows File Protection (WFP) prevents overwriting key system files. If conf.exe (NetMeeting) is renamed, WFP fixes this for you. Since ECS’s default is to use NetMeeting on the workstation, this is significant. In order to test a different H.323 client (CUSeeMe 5.0), conf.exe was removed entirely from the workstation (had to defeat WFP, which tried to prevent this) and CuSeeMe 5.0 was installed. The ActiveX controls were downloaded successfully and ECS picked CuSeeMe as the ECS client automatically. However, all T.120 capability was lost, leaving only audio and video at slightly inferior quality. 3.6 Interoperability with existing ViDeNet infrastructure. • ECS is not an architecture that can interoperate with ViDeNet; it is a Windows-world island unto itself requiring Microsoft’s Telephony API (TAPI) service. • The H.323 software MCU is of such low resolution that to anyone wishing to make a small investment to demonstrate the value of videoconferencing we recommend investing in a decent hardware codec H.323 room system or desktop system and using the Internet2 Commons or ViDeNet Public Zone services for MCU service during the demonstration period. (For more information on Internet2 Commons, see http://commons.internet2.edu/. For more information on the VideNet Public Zone, see http://www.vide.net) • In spite of claims that any browser could be used, we found problems using non- Microsoft browsers. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 10 of 53
    • 4. Key Components and Architecture of Microsoft Exchange Conferencing Server 4.1 Detailed Description of Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server (ECS) A description of ECS Administrative features can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/overview/ECS_Datasheet.doc Detailed information about installing, configuring and using ECS can be found in “Microsoft ECS Help”, the on-line help documentation that is provided with the ECS product. In summary Microsoft’s documentation states (Italics are used to denote quotes from their product literature): 1) Controlled Bandwidth Consumption: Administrators can set a limit on the number of simultaneous connections available for conferencing. 2) Per-User Access to Conferencing Resources: to limit the resource consumption of individual users. 3) Multi-Client Support: Exchange 2000 data conferencing server data sharing should support any T.120 client (such as NetMeeting) on any). The Web client works on any browser that supports ActiveX controls (not many of those!) and runs on Windows 2000. 4) Administration through MMC: The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) module for ECS provides the same administrative model that is used to manage Exchange messaging and Windows networking resources. 5) Integration with Active Directory: Conferencing resources are stored in the Active Directory. From an administrative point of view, a conferencing resource is a special mailbox account that has specific properties for defining the format of meetings and the cost of resources. 6) Windows 2000 Security: Using the ACL and Public Certificate mechanisms in Windows 2000, administrators can control who schedules and/or joins conferences both within and outside the organization. 7) Topology Configuration: Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server analyzes who is joining a meeting and automatically creates the optimal server configuration for the conference. 8) Conference Server Failover Support: Support for failover, load balancing, and redundancy is provided 9) Conference Persistence: An Exchange 2000 Server-based conference will continue with or without participants for the entire scheduled period. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 11 of 53
    • 10) Integration with Outlook 2000: Outlook 2000 has integrated support for scheduling online meetings, providing a consistent user interface to real-time collaboration users. Using the standard meeting request form in Outlook, users can set up a data or videoconference and invite participants from the Exchange 2000 directory. 11) Support for Conferencing Standards: For data conferencing, Exchange 2000 fully supports the T.120 family of standards. For video conferencing, Exchange supports Microsoft TAPI 3.0 and offers a solution that includes bridging to an H.323 software MCU. H.323 Conferencing Application Media Stream Call Control Control Directory Control TAPI 3.0 COM API RPC TAPI Server ILS Dynamic H.323 Telephony Service H.323 Media Stream Provider LDAP Directory Provider (TSP) (MSP) Server Audio Renderer Speakers DirectShow Streaming Filter Graph Microphone Sound Card Audio Capture Codec RTP Filter Filter Video Renderer Monitor Video Winsock 2.0 Capture Video TCP/IP Network Interface Figure: H.323 TAPI Service Process Architecture (from Microsoft IP Telephony with TAPI White Paper) The figure above illustrates the ECS Architecture, layering Microsoft TAPI services over H.323 core services and rendering them proprietary. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 12 of 53
    • 4.2 Components of the Conferencing Server: The two major components of the conferencing server are • Critical components • Auxiliary components 4.2.1 Critical Components: (From Chap 2 ECS HELP- italics used where Microsoft product literature is quoted) 4.2.1.1 Conference Management Service (CMS): • CMS provides access to online conferences through a Web site hosted by Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). • CMS creates a URL for the conference when the conference is scheduled. Conference attendees then use this URL to access the conference. • CMS stores all scheduled conferences in a specific mailbox, called the conference calendar mailbox. • CMS controls the lifetime of an online conference. • CMS allows the Exchange Conferencing Server administrator to analyze schedule and conference data available in audit log files. There can be only one CMS active on a network, though a backup can be present. Consistent with enterprise-level centralization of Exchange and Active Directory Services, CMS must be run at an enterprise level. 4.2.1.2 Data Conferencing Provider (DCP): • DCP supports the T.120 network communications standard. • CDP creates a resource scheme based on its maximum permissible number of simultaneous conference participant connections. This maximum participation count is the physical resource against which the conferencing resource makes reservations when resources are invited to an online conference. If the available count is less than the size of the resource for any specific requested time, DCP prompts CMS to publish a busy indication, and no additional reservations are accepted. • DCP connects a conference participant to a load-balanced MCU that is closest to his or her network location, minimizing the number of data copies that are sent between these locations. • The T.120 MCU can be installed independently of other services. • Each MCU automatically attempts to retrieve a machine certificate from Windows 2000 Certificate Services. The MCU hosts private conferences by authenticating the connection between the MCU and clients when building the conference topology. Without a valid certificate, the MCU cannot host a private data conference. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 13 of 53
    • 4.2.1.3 Video Conferencing Provider (VCP): • VCP allows users to organize and participate in multiparty video and audio conferences using Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) IP multicast standards. • VCP conferences are available for clients with H.323 capabilities over an IP multicast/H.323 unicast bridge that is part of Exchange Conferencing Server and can be deployed on a separate MCU server. • When a conference with a VCP resource is scheduled, a special multicast IP address is requested from a Multicast Address Dynamic Client Allocation Protocol (MADCAP) server and reserved for the conference. MADCAP, which is part of the Windows 2000 Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service, assigns a multicast group IP address to each Exchange videoconference. • When a VCP conference is joined as a multicast client, the multicast client ActiveX control (not many clients with this feature!) receives the multicast IP address that the Video Conferencing Provider reserved for the conference. The control then subscribes to the multicast conference and retrieves and sends video and audio data to and from that multicast address. 4.2.2 Auxiliary components: 4.2.2.1 Outlook Calendar: Outlook 2000 reserves the conference resource before sending prospective attendees conference invitations. A link (URL) to the online conference is included in the invitations that conference participants receive. To join the conference, attendees can access this link with a browser. Outlook 2000 users receive a conference reminder for the online conference that includes a Join Conference option, which users can click to join the conference. Uninvited attendees can join the conference when previous versions of Outlook or Outlook Web Access are used. 4.2.2.2 Conference Calendar Mailbox: Each conferencing site requires a conference calendar mailbox assigned to Conference Management Service. One must assign the mailbox before a conference organizer can schedule an online conference using conference resources. For performance reasons, the conference calendar mailbox must be on the same server as Exchange and Exchange Conferencing, or as close as possible to the Conference Management Server. 4.3 Conferencing Server Architecture: Integrating Conferencing Server Components ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 14 of 53
    • This is the Conferencing Server architecture and it shows all the internal components of the Conferencing Server. Client Side: As is evident from the picture, the Client for Video Conferencing is not a thin client. To experience a multimedia rich conversation (i.e. a voice, video and data rich conversation), the client needs to have Internet Explorer, Netmeeting (comes built in Windows 2000), a video client and e-mail client like Outlook for sending and receiving URL’s and for scheduling online meetings. Server Side: There are a number of components that work together on the server side, like the IIS, Exchange 2000, Active Directory, Conference Management service, MCUs, MADCAP server and Certificate servers. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 15 of 53
    • 4.4 Network Architecture for deployment of Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server: (From CHAP 4 ECS HELP) 4.4.1 Deployment Strategies of MCUs: When a participant accesses a conference, Data Conferencing Provider directs him or her to a specific MCU, depending on the network address of the participant’s computer. Data Conferencing Provider gets the client’s network address from the Web browser. Using the participant’s IP address, Data Conferencing Provider looks for conferencing sites in the organization. If it finds a conferencing site that has preferred ownership of the participant’s location, then it connects the participant to the local conferencing site and supplies the conference name and network name of the local MCU on which the conferencing sites can be linked. On the remote conferencing site, Data Conferencing Provider selects the best MCU for the conference. This makes planning and deployment of MCUs very important for network performance. There are three types of topologies that can be used for deployment of MCUs on the network. 4.4.1.1 Backbone Topology: Backbone deployment should be considered when all clients have a high-bandwidth connection to a centralized network. Usually, this kind of deployment has network services, such as e-mail and database services, in a centralized data center. In this case the components of ECS are placed in the centralized location. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 16 of 53
    • 4.4.1.2 Hub-and-Spoke Topology If traffic between subnets is of concern then a hub-and-spoke topology should be considered. In this topology the Conference Management Service is placed in the hub, and one or more MCUs are placed on the subnets with conferencing users. This topology improves network load but compromises load balancing and fault tolerance. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 17 of 53
    • 4.4.1.3 Decentralized Topology: Multiple sites that could have conferences occurring at the same time should consider a decentralized deployment. On each site, there is a server running Conference Management Service and one or more MCUs. If there are firewalls between the sites, a proxy MCU must be defined on each site. If inter-site bandwidth usage is to be further limited, an MCU on each site for remote connections can be dedicated. This ensures that a single instance of data travels across the WAN link. If users participate in data conferences on remote sites, they are connected to local MCUs. Even though they are participating in a remote conference, because their connection is through a local MCU, they still have an impact on the capacity of the local MCU. 4.5 MADCAP Server: To support and configure Video Conferencing Provider, there must be a MADCAP server installed on one or more servers. MADCAP server provides multicast addresses in a network. 4.6 Network Configuration: To use Video Conferencing Provider for multicast videoconferences, the network needs to be multicast-enabled. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 18 of 53
    • 4.7 Routers: Routers on the network for multicast conferencing have to multicast enabled. The MCAST diagnostic tool included with the Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit can be used to determine which parts of the network are enabled for transmission of IP multicast packets. 4.8 H323/ECS Bridge: The H.323 bridge is used when: • The client computer has Microsoft Windows NT® or a Windows operating system earlier than Windows 2000 (not multicast enabled). • The client browser does not support ActiveX® controls. • There is no multicast connectivity to the client computer. When trying to join a conference, all clients check to see if they can establish a multicast connection to Conference Management Service by sending it a message. If a multicast connection can be established between Conference Management Service and the client, the client joins the multicast conference. If the client cannot connect to Conference Management Service, it connects to the MCU and the MCU requests an H.323 unicast bridge to the multicast videoconference.. To bridge video conferences, all MCUs that accept H.323 client connections must have multicast connectivity to the Conference Management Service on the server that is hosting the conference 4.9 System and Server Requirements 4.9.1 Server Software Requirements: To run a complete installation of Exchange Conferencing Server, the following applications are needed: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server, and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS). In addition, one must have the following components of Windows 2000 Server: Multicast Address Dynamic Client Allocation Protocol (MADCAP), Certificate Services, and the Active Directory™ directory service. Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Exchange Conferencing Server requires at least one server running Exchange 2000 Server on the same domain. Exchange Conferencing Server components can be installed on the same server as Exchange or on another computer in the organization. In addition, at least one server running Exchange on the domain must include or have a replica of the Schedule+ Free Busy Information public folder. Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Exchange Conferencing Server must be installed on a server running Windows 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Advanced Server, in the same domain as the server running Exchange. All conference calendar mailboxes and conference resources for the conference technology providers must have Windows accounts on this domain. MADCAP Services MADCAP should be used to configure Internet Protocol (IP) multicast address scopes for videoconferences. MADCAP is a part of the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) service configuration on Windows 2000. MADCAP must be on at least one server in the organization if videoconferences are to be hosted in a conferencing site. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 19 of 53
    • Certificate Services: Certificate Services issues machine certificates to the MCUs and user certificates to users. The MCU uses these certificates to authenticate users for online conferences and to authenticate itself to other MCUs and to other users. After initially requesting certificates, the MCU periodically receives certificates for new users or for users whose certificates have changed. Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) To host conference access Web pages, one must have IIS installed on the same site as a server running Conference Management Service. Active Directory To support conference resource objects and configuration objects, one must have Active Directory installed in the organization. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 20 of 53
    • 4.9.2 Server Hardware Requirements: The following table from Microsoft lists the minimum and the recommended hardware requirements for server computers on which Conference Management Service, Data Conferencing Provider, Video Conferencing Provider, or multipoint control units (MCUs) will be installed Minimum hardware Recommended hardware 133-MHz Intel Pentium processor or equivalent 400–MHz or faster Intel Pentium processor or equivalent 128 megabyte (MB) of RAM 256 megabyte (MB) of RAM An MCU installed on the recommended hardware configuration with no other applications active can process approximately 500 simultaneous conferencing client connections. In our Configuration a 933-MHz Intel Pentium Processor, 1 GB RAM system was used to run all services except Active Directory. In general, data and video conferencing servers require high CPU performance to handle the processing and maintenance of conferences. They do not have large disk space requirements. Typically, the network adapter will reach full capacity before the processor is saturated. 4.9.3 Client Software Requirements There are system and software client requirements for users who organize conferences and users who participate in conferences. The recommended requirements are listed below. Clients that meet these requirements can take full advantage of Exchange Conferencing Server’s features: • Microsoft Windows 2000 • Microsoft Outlook® 2000 • Microsoft NetMeeting® 3.01 • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or another Internet browser. Browsers must be frames- capable, have JavaScript enabled, and be able to download ActiveX® controls. 4.9.4 Video Conferencing Client The following are the minimum software requirements as claimed by MS for participating in a videoconference: • Frames-capable Internet browser that supports ActiveX controls with JavaScript enabled (such as Internet Explorer 4.01 or Netscape 4.5, although we find it does not work) • NetMeeting 2.1 or later • Operating system that supports the Internet browser and T.120-compliant application ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 21 of 53
    • 4.9.4.1 Client Hardware Requirements: The following table lists the minimum and recommended hardware requirements as claimed by MS for conferencing clients participating in a data conference. Minimum hardware Recommended hardware For Windows 95 or later, a 90-MHz Intel Pentium processor For Windows 95 or later, a 133-MHz or faster Intel Pentium or equivalent with 16 MB of RAM processor or equivalent with at least 16 MB of RAM For Microsoft Windows NT® or later, a 90-MHz Intel For Windows NT or later, a 133-MHz or faster Intel Pentium processor or equivalent with 24 MB of RAM Pentium processor or equivalent with at least 32 MB of RAM Pricing Information (Published List Pricing in Q2 2002) Exchange 2000 Server $699 US Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server $3,999 US Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server $3,999 US Windows 2000 Server $1,199 US Exchange 2000 CAL $67 US • For deployment in a large organization with CAL for 100 users an estimate of price would be: 158.97 US Dollars per user. • For deployment in small and medium-sized organizations with CAL for 100 users an estimate of price would be: 125.97 US Dollars per user. • The prices indicated above here are just for the software, in addition to these there will be costs for audio, video capture equipment (and obviously for the computer). ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 22 of 53
    • 5. Installation and Configuration of Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Exchange 2000 conferencing server requires a lot of planning before deployment. There are a few questions that should be considered before proceeding with the installation. • How many instances of Conference Management Service does one need to install? • How many multipoint control units (MCUs) need to be installed and where will they be installed? • Is support for secure conferences needed? • Is there a need to bridge Microsoft’s H.323 and multicast video clients? • Where will Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) be installed? • Are connections from remote sites to be accepted? • Is the server to be used internally, only, or will calls from off-site (“the Internet”) be permitted? In our case, since the goal was not a production environment but instead to make the conferencing server work in a lab environment, we had only one instance of the conferencing server running, we had one MCU, we bridged h.323 and multicast clients, and we had it set up to accept connections from the Internet. For our experiment we had Exchange 2000, IIS, and all components of the Conferencing Server running from the same Dell PowerEdge 2500, as an OU (Organizational Unit) of the Physics Active Directory (AD). This choice was consistent with the planned Active Directory deployment for our campus. Several other combinations were successfully used in production and in the lab environment. We would not recommend running a production environment on the workstation builds, but not for any particular reason that we observed. The processor, NIC and memory usage levels would probably have handled it quite well. But, as pointed out elsewhere in the document, the server is truly taxed only when there are unicast clients in the conference which need the server to mix the information streams. In its designed environment, the Windows 2000 / XP clients mix their own voice / video / data and the load on the server is quite low." 5.1 Requirements: 5.1.1 System Requirements: Exchange Conferencing Server must be installed on a server running Microsoft Windows® 2000 Server or Windows 2000 Advanced Server. In addition, the following applications and services must be available in the locations noted: • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server (in the same domain) ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 23 of 53
    • • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) (in the same site) • Active Directory in Windows 2000 (in the organization) • The following application and services are optional, depending on the features of Exchange Conferencing Server that need to be implemented: • MADCAP Services in Windows 2000 (in the organization) • Certificate Services in Windows 2000 (in the organization) • Exchange System Manager must be installed on the same server as Conferencing Manager. Exchange System Manager is required to create any mailboxes, including the conference calendar mailbox, and conference resources. 5.1.2 User Account Requirements: To install Exchange Conferencing Server, the user account must meet the following requirement for the local computer: • Member of the local computer Administrators group • In addition, the account must meet one of the following requirements: • Member of the Enterprise Administrators security group for all domains • Member of the Domain Administrators security group for the local domain • Member of Conferencing Administrators group 5.2 To install a complete version of Exchange Conferencing Server: • Log on to the server running Windows 2000 Server on which you want to install Exchange Conferencing Server. Insert the Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server compact disc into your CD-ROM drive. • On the “Welcome to the Installation Wizard for Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server” screen, click “Next”. • On the “License Agreement” screen, read the license agreement. If you agree to the terms, click “I accept the terms of the license agreement”, and then click “Next”. • On the “Product Identification” screen, enter the 25-digit CD key that is located on a sticker on the back of the product CD, and then click “Next”. • The Installation of Conference Server gives you few options, as shown in the screen captures. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 24 of 53
    • There can be only one Conference Management Service (CMS) running on one Windows site -- in our case, Physics. To manage and configure the ECS go to Start menu->Programs->Microsoft Exchange- >Conference Manager ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 25 of 53
    • Right Click on Data Conferencing Provider ->properties and you can set the maximum number of users on one T.120 MCU and at what point you can transfer load to another MCU. Right Click on the Video Conference Provider and you can restrict the maximum number of users and the time duration of a conference. Right Click on the name of the conferencing site (In our case Physics conferencing site) and go to properties. There are four tabs visible: General, Conference Settings, Resources and Logging. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 26 of 53
    • Under the General Tab you can modify the site conference calendar mailbox and the Active Host Server. Under the Conference Setting Tab, you can set the URL of the conferencing site. Under the Resources Tab go to Add and you can add the name of the Conferencing Technology Provider (CTP) and configure data, audio and video parameters (confdatavideo in our case). Or select the existing CTP (confdatavideo in our case) and change the properties. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 27 of 53
    • Select the CTP and click on EDIT. You can select Data Conference Provider or Video Conference Provider and go to its properties. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 28 of 53
    • The second option in the first section, when checked, enables the H.323 Bridge for users who can’t access multicast audio and video. Selecting this option has some drawbacks such as the compression cannot be set and the video size will also have to be smaller as compared to when the option is unchecked. 5.3 Configuring the client side and Setting up an online meeting Requirements: • Windows 2000 professional • Outlook 2000 • Video Camera (plus capture card or interface) • Sound card with microphone and speaker The hardware requirements have already been mentioned in an earlier part of this paper. The computer’s graphic card should be configured to display 16-bit RGB or greater and have a minimum resolution of 800 x 600 (higher resolution does help when sharing applications). Online conferencing gives the best performance when all the participants have their screen resolution set to the same parameters. Users with Windows 2000 Professional, Outlook 2000, and Internet Explorer 5.0+ can have full multipoint videoconferencing capabilities (*if* the network is multicast-enabled) and easy-to-use scheduling through Outlook calendar. Users with operating systems prior to Windows 2000 can still participate in multiperson videoconferences, but they will only be able to see one person at one time and are limited to using conferencing resources that are configured to have H.323 fallback enabled. This means, however, that other users who have multicast capabilities lose the capability to receive larger video size since any conference resource which has H.323 bridge enabled does not give a choice of audio codec, video codec or image size. Exchange Conferencing Server uses two ActiveX controls in the web browser to enable audio, video and data conferencing. The controls are generally downloaded the first time the user joins a meeting from a particular machine. A pre-Windows 2000 user needs to have NetMeeting 3.01 or greater installed .For Windows 2000 users NetMeeting is already installed and can be accessed from Start menu->Programs->Accessories->Communication->NetMeeting. Even Windows 2000 clients can be forced to attend a conference in a H.323 fallback mode by changing the registry entry. The process to do it is: • Go to command Prompt: Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe) • Locate the value under the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftExchange Video Conferencing ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 29 of 53
    • • Click the Exchange Video Conferencing value, and then add the following entry and parameter if it does not already exists: • On the Edit menu, click Add Value. Type the following information in the respective fields: Value Name = MULTICASTDisable Value Type = REG_DWORD Data = 1 • Quit Registry Editor If IP Multicast capabilities become available, change the preceding data value to 0 (zero) to re-enable IP Multicast capabilities. Enabling conferencing capabilities in Outlook 2000: A registry entry must be added to enable conferencing capabilities in Outlook 2000. Adding this registry entry adds a Join Conference button and menu item into Outlook 2000. 1. The following information should be put into a file called CONFSVC.REG: REGEDIT4 [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice9.0OutlookExchange Conferencing] Users can double click on this file to add it to their registries. This file must be run on all client computers with Outlook 2000 that need access to Exchange Conferencing Server. Scheduling a conference through Outlook 2000: Click New-> Meeting Request, Click on the “To” button to see a list of users who are mail enabled in Exchange Server. The next step after choosing the participants is to select a conference resource. The resource is the virtual room that reserves the resources and sends invite request to all participants in the mail. Once a resource is chosen, the next step is to select a subject for the meeting. The box with Location written next to it should contain the name of the conferencing resource selected in the earlier section. Check the checkbox which says “This is an online meeting using:”, and select “Microsoft Exchange conferencing”. Select the checkbox which says “Allow External Attendees” for clients wanting to join the conference and are not listed in the “To” list. Select the Start Time and End Time of the conference and select the time before the conference start time when the reminder is to be sent to the clients. Once this is done you can write a message in the text area provided and click on the send button. A pop-up window comes up and gives the message “The resources for the meeting were successfully booked”. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 30 of 53
    • Securing online conferences: Online conferences can be secured by providing a password for the conference and attendees are prompted for a password when they try to join the conference. The conference streams can even be encrypted but this requires the Certificate Service to be running on at least one Windows 2000 machine on the network. Joining the conference: Online conferences can be joined through Outlook 2000 or through the conference access URL. For joining through Outlook 2000, select the calendar item and click “Join Conference”. The other way to join is to click on the URL and this launches the default browser and the conference can be accessed. A conference that has already been scheduled can also be joined through the Conference Server web pages. The way to do it through the default web pages is to type the URL of the server hosting the web pages -- for example, http://brahms.phy.uab.edu/conferencing. This allows the browser to reach the server’s Conference Access web pages. On the default conferencing server page, there is a link that says “Join Conference Now”. All online conferences hosted by the server are listed in a page, which is linked here. Any public conference listed on this page can be accessed by just clicking on it. The following table provided by Microsoft to UAB shows the impact of increasing numbers of conference participants on client performance. As the number of participants in a multicast videoconference increases, the CPU utilization and memory also increase. The number of network packets is proportional to the number of participants in the videoconference. Pentium 166 MHz with 64 Mb Pentium 300 MHz with 128 Mb # Users CPU usage Memory # Users CPU usage Memory (Percent) usage (percent) usage 1 56% 64,508 KB 1 19 % 67,330 KB 2 71% 84,060 KB 2 23 % 69,900 KB 3 79% 84,220 KB 3 30 % 69,968 KB 4 95% 84,327 KB 4 36 % 70,092 KB 5 100% 85,132 KB 5 41 % 70,076 KB 6 100% 85,131 KB 6 47 % 70,102 KB 7 100% 86,114 KB 7 52 % 70,110 KB ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 31 of 53
    • 6. Results Tests were performed to verify the features of the conferencing server, the protocols supported and interoperability with other endpoints that use the same protocol. 6.1 Codecs and Video Quality: • ECS 2000 supports GSM 6.10 and G.711 audio codecs. • The G.711 CODEC performed better most of the times. • If video is enabled there are two choices for video codecs in ECS 2000: H.263 and H.261. In the test environment it was found that H.263 performed better than H.261 (as you would expect, since it is a lower-bandwidth codec). 6.2 Automatic Video Switching: • The Active Talker algorithm takes up to 7 seconds to switch the video after a speaker starts talking; this is a sluggish behavior compared to hardware H.323 MCU’s that switch within 2-3 seconds. 6.3 Support of protocols: • The Multicast implementation is very nice in providing video windows for all participants, and is integrated with other conferencing services. However, since Internet and LAN routers may not be multicast enabled, the fallback to H.323 provides a useful but much less satisfactory experience. • ECS requires a MADCAP server for allocation of multicast addresses. Multicast scopes can be selected for video. A multicast scope determines which range of addresses is used from the MADCAP service. Multicast scope has to be configured but the base configuration does not need it and random session addresses are used when a MADCAP is not present which creates a possibility of multicast address overlap though the probability of overlap is extremely low if using the whole 224/8 address space. This issue could arise in very large deployments of the conferencing server. 6.4 Interoperability • In spite of claims that Netscape browsers 4.5 and above could be used, we tried Netscape 4.77 with unsuccessful results. Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q273634 states Netscape doesn’t support “CallTo protocol”. KB article number Q254057 states “Netscape Navigator does not support the Xcliacc.dll file, which provides the ActiveX functionality that embeds NetMeeting into the Web page.” • A Suse 7.1 linux box with Konqueror web browser version 1.9.8 was unsuccessful in joining and ECS conference. “Error-Konqueror”, “unsupported action”, and “unknown authorization method:negotiate” were some of the various errors encountered. • Sunforum on a Sun Solaris 8.0 Unix machine is quite compatible with Netmeeting 3.01. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 32 of 53
    • • "Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q318422 mentions that you right click on the data (T120) portion (lower part of the page) and select view the source code. In the source code there is referenced a 22 digit number, found no where else. From NetMeeting, dial the IP address of the ECS machine. It will ask you for a conference ID (as shown in the screen dumps included). This 22 digit number is a number unseen and unreferenced anywhere else except in the web page coding. If you enter the 22 digit number, it will let you into the conference. Quality of conferencing for that participant seems poorer than usual, but it might work where the company browser is Netscape or where ActiveX downloads are prohibited." 6.5 H.323 Videoconferencing System Support: • The ECS does not interoperate with non-Microsoft H.323 compliant endpoints. The end user for the ECS 2000 experiences the conference through a web browser; and other dedicated H.323 compliant endpoints like Polycom’s ViaVideo have no way to connect to the conferencing server. The incompatibilities are mostly due to use of ActiveX controls or requiring that a certain application name be used (such as conf.exe) to access certain protocols. 6.6 H.320 Videoconferencing System Support: • There is no support for external ISDN/IP/ATM gateways in ECS for providing connectivity to room based videoconferencing systems. (If MS did standard H.323 properly, one could use an external gateway). 6.7 Encryption: • ECS has been designed to provide encryption and needs at least one Windows 2000 machine on the network running Certificate Service. There is also a method for using SSL to secure the conference authentication (via https) and media streams – the administrator must disable Windows authentication and instead require an X.509 certificate but only Microsoft Windows 2000 Certificates can be used; 3rd party certificates are not allowed. 6.8 Security: • ECS has two ways to restrict access to an online conference, it can either require a password to access a conference or it can declare a conference as private by clearing the Allow external attendees’ checkbox. • Each MCU can be configured to restrict user access to its conferences in several ways. By default, an MCU is configured not to allow connections from the wider Internet. An MCU is capable of distinguishing user connections from a local site, remote site, and the Internet. In addition, a set of network addresses can be configured for any combination of these categories that require the MCU to reject connections from clients that do not ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 33 of 53
    • belong to any of the defined subnets. It is unclear how users from two separate Active Directory domains could join a single, restricted conference. • Entering a conference from a trusted domain is “fairly interesting” in that ECS prompts you for a username and password (if anonymous is off), but multiple people can enter with that username and password. • ECS uses the NetMeeting profile (H.323 configuration) as your username, not your Active Directory username and password. This can be good or bad. • A security risk exists if default IIS security of Anonymous is left (along with myriad other IIS security problems). Anyone who plugs a computer into your network and who knows the name of your server can get into the conference – i.e., the conference is wide open in the LAN. If you disallow Anonymous, then users must be Domain-authenticated to participate; this was important and undocumented. • The IIS permissions partially determine how much of the ECS page will display on Linux and Unix browsers. If you grant anonymous access, the user will see more of the pages actually load, but will then be stopped by the absence of ActiveX controls. • Auditing capabilities such as who shared what, who modified what and when, and text transcription are lacking. 6.9 Conference Persistence: ECS 2000 provides “conference persistence”, meaning a never-ending conference that exists for unlimited period of time. 6.10 Firewall Consideration: • In ECS 2000 Server there are certain primary ports that need to be open: o Data conferencing: port 1503; o Audio and video conferencing: ports 1720 and 1731. • Other than these there are two dynamic ports that are also required to be open, which the client negotiates with the server for the audio and video streams.. Generally firewalls are set to deny TCP and UDP ports between 1024 through 65535,and sometimes allow the well-known TCP ports. So there may be conflict with the firewall configuration in some organizations. 6.11 Administering Resources • The ECS administrator is asked to set the maximum number of Data and Videoconferencing participants under Default-First-Site-Name Conferencing Site, without providing much information about how to select good settings. These “resource numbers” appear, from our experience, to apply non-linearly, which adds to the difficulty of configuration. In the lab, a handful of users were scheduled using several resources, then numbers had to be increased under “global counters” to get the conference to run. Defaults max out to a mysterious 99999 for max scheduled connections under data and 999 under video; arbitrary slashing of those numbers to 55555 and 555 respectively helped, but there was no information to explain why. Microsoft documentation verifies ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 34 of 53
    • that once a resource is reserved, it is considered used and connected whether there is anyone using the reserved resource or not. • Microsoft recommended, in a document supplied to UAB: “Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server should be used to create resource mailboxes that users invite to meetings. When configuring a resource mailbox, the administrator gives it a name, chooses the conference providers that will be offered, and fills in parameters for size limits. Examples would be: o Data conference, corporate HQ (20 users) o Data and video conference (5 users) o Video conference (10 users) o Data conference, Internet access (10 users) • Only one resource of each given size and mix of providers needs to be created in each conferencing site. As resources are reserved, the CMS communicates with the various conference providers that each keep track of their total scheduled use. Each provider has parameters of its own which specify when they should be marked as busy” 6.12 Service Pack Installation and Trials • One test lab had to modify the ASP page leftpane.asp to remove the capability to schedule conferences from the web due to the web scheduler not plugging in to the Global Address List of Exchange 2000 (ie no Active Directory), in which case you have to know the email addresses of the participants. • On several occasions, installation of a required security pack broke something else in the conferencing setup • Installing ECS SP1 or 2 without domain access gave wrong/unhelpful permissions errors. Not “I can’t reach Active Directory” but “You have insufficient privileges”. 6.13 Robustness The conferences are stored within the information store; when the information store is backed up (on the Box where the ECS resources are hosted) the conferences are backed up as well—but without whiteboard and chat contents. SP1 and SP2 were supposed to provide fail over capability—one test lab installed a second server, pulled the network connection to the first server, and watched the conference die. Variations including shutting services off on the primary server, powering down the primary server (graceful exit) etc failed to roll conferences onto the second server. This is altogether separate from the Exchange 2000 issues of the first server having special roles from subsequent Exchange servers and redundancy of the underlying Exchange 2000 infrastructure itself would have to be taken into consideration. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 35 of 53
    • 7. Resources EXCHANGE REFERENCES Microsoft Sources: • Using Microsoft® Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server over the Internet (White paper) http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/administration/2000/ConfInternet.doc • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Datasheet (White paper) http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/overview/ECS_Datasheet.doc • IP Telephony with TAPI (White Paper) http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/howitworks/communications/telep hony/iptelephony.asp • “How to Buy” http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/howtobuy/default.asp • Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Downloadable Documentation http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/productdoc/2000/conferencedoc.asp • About Microsoft Netmeeting http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ • Using Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server over the Internet http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/administration/2000/E2KCSInternet.as p • Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server and H.323 http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/administration/2000/ECS_H323.asp • Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Documentation http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/techinfo/productdoc/2000/conferencedoc.asp • Microsoft Knowledge Base: http://support.microsoft.com/ Other Sources: • No Walls – No Limits: A guide to deploying Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Fawcette Technical Publication http://www.nanocom.com/news/3_06_01.asp • Rand Morimoto, Joe Pennetta, Chris Doyle. Microsoft Exchange 2000, Conferencing Server, and SharePoint Portal Server 2001, SAMS 2002 • Mastering Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 by Barry Gerber Publisher: Sybex; ISBN: 0782127967; 1st edition (November 2, 2000) ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 36 of 53
    • http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0782127967/qid%3D1032933932/sr%3D 11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/103-1261226-6507000 • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Infosheet http://www.novi.it/satellite/PDF/ECS_Datasheet.pdf MICROSOFT WEBCASTS ON THE TOPIC OF MESSAGING: o Overview of SP1 for ECS June 2001 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=/servicedesks/webcasts/wc06220 1/wcblurb062201.asp o Conferencing Over the Internet Using Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server December 7, 2000 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=/servicedesks/webcasts/wc120700/wc blurb120700.asp o Troubleshooting Common Issues Regarding Exchange 2000 Real-Time Collaboration October 27 2000 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=/servicedesks/webcasts/wc102700/wc blurb102700.asp o Exchange 2000 Real-time Collaboration August 31, 2000 http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=/servicedesks/webcasts/wc083100/wc blurb083100.asp NEWSGROUPS: o msnews.Microsoft.com o Microsoft.public.exchange2000.realtime.collaboration H.323 REFERENCES Overview of H.323: • http://www.ils.unc.edu/~davil/inls191/Guru/index.htm University Of North Carolina site giving a overview of H.323 About H.323 Standards: • http://www.packetizer.com/iptel/h323/ • http://www.hssworld.com/products/protocolstacks/voip/voiph323_specifications. htm (Site of Hughes Software containing info on H.323 specifications.) ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 37 of 53
    • • http://www.openh323.org/standards.html • http://www.packetizer.com/h323impl.html Site about H.323 implementation, from Packetizer H.323 Deployment: • http://www.cisco.com/warp/public/cc/pd/iosw/ioft/mmcm/tech/h323_wp.htm White paper on H.323 deployment from Cisco H.323 Applications: • http://www.hssworld.com/products/protocolstacks/voip/voiph323_applications.h tm (focusing on Voice over IP) • http://www.hssworld.com/products/protocolstacks/voip/voiph323_features.htm About H.323 features, specifically for VoiIP? • http://www.microsoft.com/windows/netmeeting/ H.323 info from Microsoft • http://www.radvision.com About the H.323 gatekeeper, history, and interoperability. • http://www.iec.org/online/tutorials/h323/topic01.html Tutorial on H.323 from IEC • http://www.openh323.org/h323_clients.html Comparison chart for different H.323 clients • http://www.openh323.org/code.html Free H.323 source code for Windows and Linux • http://www.nwc.com/1001/1001ws2.html Audio samples at various levels of packet loss in H.323 tests • http://www.cavner.org/model/gk/index.html H.323 Gatekeeper Management for Video Dialtone IP MULTICAST RESOURCES ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 38 of 53
    • • http://www.ipmulticast.com/community/whitepapers/backgrounder.html A Backgrounder on IP multicasting • http://www.ipmulticast.com/community/whitepapers/howipmcworks.html How IP Multicast works • http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~hgs/internet/mbone-faq.html FAQ on IP Multicasting OTHER RELATED SITES • http://www.cavner.org/model/Network_Architectures.html (Network Architecture for Video)http://www.cavner.org/model (Cavner Model for Networked Video Service • http://www.packetizer.com/iptel/bandcalc.html (VoIP Bandwidth calculator) • http://iptel.org/info/players/ (A list of standard organisations in IP telephony) ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 39 of 53
    • Appendix A: Troubleshooting Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Assuming That: Windows 2000 server is up and running, active directory is in place and there is at least one Exchange server in the Network. The problems and the causes as I understand them are: PROBLEM 1 The event logs state that: Error: Event ID: 10004 Source: DCOM DCOM got error "Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password. " and was unable to logon .IWAM_MYSERVER in order to run the server: {3D14228D-FBE1-11D0-995D-00C04FD919C1} Warning: Event ID: 36 Source: W3SVC The server failed to load application '/LM/W3SVC/1/Root/Conferencing'. The error was 'The server process could not be started because the configured identity is incorrect. Check the username and password'. For additional information specific to this message please visit the Microsoft Online Support site located at: http://www.microsoft.com/contentredirect.asp. Cause: The IWAM_machine account may be out-of-synchronization with the metabase, Active Directory, and COM+. Account information stored in the IIS metabase should be synchronized with Active Directory, but COM+ applications are not automatically updated. Solution: Open the CLI, change directory to c:InetpubAdminScripts and run the script: cscript synciwam.vbs -v The output should be something like this: C:InetpubAdminScripts>cscript synciwam.vbs -v Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 40 of 53
    • Version 5.6 Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2001. All rights reserved. IIS Applications Defined: Name, AppIsolated, Package ID w3svc, 0, {3D14228C-FBE1-11d0-995D-00C04FD919C1} Root, 2, IISHelp, 2, IISAdmin, 2, IISSamples, 2, MSADC, 2, Conferencing, 2, ConferencingPrivate, 2, ROOT, 2, IISAdmin, 2, IISHelp, 2, Out of process applications defined: Count: 1 {3D14228D-FBE1-11d0-995D-00C04FD919C1} Updating Applications: Name: IIS Out-Of-Process Pooled Applications Key: {3D14228D-FBE1-11D0-995D- 00C04 FD919C1} ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 41 of 53
    • PROBLEM 2 The script mentioned in problem 1 does not run and gives an error: Updating Applications: Name: IIS Out-Of-Process Pooled Applications Key: {3D14228D-FBE1-11D0-995D-00C04FD919C1} Error: 80110414 Cause: This behavior occurs because the password for the IWAM_computer account is mismatched between the Windows Active Directory, and the IIS metabase, so Synchiwam.vbs cannot synchronize the processes to the IWAM_computer account as needed. Solution: Match the password that is used by the IWAM_computer account in the IIS metabase with the password that is used by the IWAM_computer account in Active Directory. You can do this manually, as outlined in the following steps: Use a get command to find out which account is being used for the Web Application Manager (WAM) in the IIS metabase. For example, for http:computername you would use the following syntax: c:InetpubAdminScripts> adsutil GET w3svc/WAMUserName WAMUserName: (String) "IWAM_name" Expand the Component Services folder, expand Computers, and then expand My Computer to locate the COM+ Applications folder. Right-click IIS Out-Of-Process Pooled Applications. Make sure the Disable changes box on the Advanced tab is cleared to ensure that any changes made to the IWAM_computer account in Active Directory take effect. Open the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in. Reset the password for the account that was returned in step 1. For this example, the password is "Password." (pick another example, it’s too unclear and doesn’t highlight the correct use of quote marks. For example, use SamplePassword and that way you don’t need to qualify the quotes (are they needed in this command, or not?) Set the new password in the IIS metabase. From a command prompt, type the following command: c:InetpubAdminScripts> adsutil SET w3svc/WAMUserPass Password WAMUserPass: (String) "SamplePassword" Stop, and then start the IIS Admin service. You can do this from the Services snap-in. You can also use the net stop iisadmin /y, and the net start w3svc commands. Alternative Solution: ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 42 of 53
    • If this does not work, as it did not in my case, reinstall IIS, take a backup of existing sites and reinstall IIS, this removes the mismatch and the errors are gone. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 43 of 53
    • PROBLEM 3: The system logs say: Type: Error Source: DCOM Category: None Event ID: 10002 Access denied attempting to launch a DCOM Server. The server is: {9DA0E10X-86CE-11D1-8699-00C04FB98036}. The user is SYSTEM/NT AUTHORITY, SID=S...... Solution/Cause: This issue occurs because the Microsoft Search (MSSearch) service starts before the Web Storage System starts, and the Microsoft Search service tries to automatically start the Web Storage System by using distributed COM (DCOM). The Web Storage System is secured to prevent programs from starting the Web Storage System with DCOM; therefore, an error is recorded when the Microsoft Search service tries to do so. Microsoft Says: These DCOM error messages are benign, and you can ignore them, do not change your DCOM settings to prevent these error messages from being logged. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 44 of 53
    • PROBLEM 4: Big Time Trouble with Registries: When IIS is removed from a server running Exchange server and if Exchange is not reinstalled, this might cause registry entries to vanish and then services like POP3, IMAP 4 and LDAP may fail to restart. Event ID:7000 The Microsoft Exchange POP3 service failed to start due to the following error: The executable program that this service is configured to run in does not implement the service. Solution: To resolve this issue: 1. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe). 2. Locate and click the following key in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentCon trolSetServicesInetInfoParameters DispatchEntries 3. In the Multi-String Editor dialog box, type any of the following values that are not already present: o Ldapsvc o Smtpsvc o Nntpsvc o Imap4svc o Pop3svc o Resvc 4. Quit Registry Editor. 5. Shut down the computer, and then restart it. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 45 of 53
    • PROBLEM 5: T.120 MCU Failing The error messages said the T.120 MCU for data conferencing failed. I did not find any solution for this particular error, and I reinstalled the conferencing server. This removed the error. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 46 of 53
    • Appendix B: Dialing in to the ECS conference using NetMeeting 3.01 Attempting to dial in to the ECS conference "A" using NetMeeting 3.01 without browser interface on a Windows 2000 professional (Multicast capable, just in case) client: When you attempt to enter the pasted ID= from browser window: ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 47 of 53
    • You receive: This is the same message that one receives when "a" is entered as the meeting name, or if the entire URL (as reported in the browser) is entered. If the choice in the following box is changed to Network, one receives the same results. If one chooses directory, NetMeeting will look for the directory server (ILS server or other directory server specified during NetMeeting initialization). ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 48 of 53
    • And one receives this message: Attempting to dial into the multicast address leased to the ECS server for the meeting produces On the ECS server on the IP address lease page is this reference to a “Client ID”: ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 49 of 53
    • So, what would happen if we dialed into the client id? Several permutations of the server IP address and the conference internal pointer address were ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 50 of 53
    • tried with results equal to the above message, no meeting by that name. Of course any attempt to dial another conference attendee wouldn’t have the desired results, as they would already be in a meeting. An attempt to dial in to a port that the conference was using (presuming netstat command was run in order to determine which dynamic port was selected for the conference) yielded no success: and, although the message doesn’t make sense when one views the single colon entered above, this message results: We wondered about the following point, but did not try it during our testing: We were trying to connect a terminal into the conference, so the call should have been made from the client to the signaling port on the conference server (which is probably port 1720) – one should confirm that the call went to the standard H.323 call-establishment port rather than a randomly allocated client port This is definitely an area where Microsoft could improve either the API, the capabilities of ECS, or the documentation to explain just what the procedures are to call into an ECS meeting from an H.323 client. Perhaps an incorporation of the ILS technologies to make ECS a full H.323 bridge, and expansion of the MCU capabilities would improve the product in a useful manner. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 51 of 53
    • Appendix C: Trying an alternate H.323 client CUSeeMe 5.0 (NM 3.01's conf.exe deleted), open ECS meeting: All T120 features are gone on CU See Me 5.0 equipped computer: ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 52 of 53
    • Multicast is working for all, T120 working for other (NetMeeting) participants. ViDe White Paper: Microsoft Exchange 2000 Conferencing Server Page 53 of 53