OCS 2007 R2 – External Audio/Video Conferencing Issues

The successful implementation of external audio/video conferencing in Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 appears to be an issue that many people face when deploying the product. I too have experienced this issue and this post will detail both the errors and resolutions put in place to enable external A/V conferencing on an OCS 2007 R2 Standard Edition deployment with a Consolidated Edge server. The implementation item’s listed in this post assume you have a firewall product in front of the Consolidated Edge server that is performing both resverse proxy and NAT features.

1. External A/V Conferencing – Errors

When testing multiparty A/V conferences I experienced the following errors. These errors were produced when adding a third participant to an existing two party (peer to peer) A/V conference.

Cannot perform the selected action. This action may not be permitted by the conferencing service. Please try again. If the problem persists, please contact your system administrator.

The call was disconnected because you stopped receiving audio from user@externaldomain.co.uk. Please try the call again.

An error occurred while trying to take the call off hold. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator. More details (ID:500)

An error occurred while trying to start the conference. More details (ID:52031)

As you can see, there is not a single persistent error that is produced which unfortunately makes troubleshooting slightly more difficult. After spending some time performing SIPStack traces and reviewing Communicator logs via the Snooper Tool, I narrowed the errors down to a firewall and consolidated edge server configuration issue.

2. External A/V Conferencing – Resolution Items

The item’s listed below resolved the external A/V conferencing issues I was experiencing. These steps are also included in the official Microsoft production documentation for Consolidated Edge server deployments.

A/V Edge Service Name Resolution- Configure the Edge Server to resolve the FQDN associated with public A/V Edge service to the publicly routable IP Address, not it’s internal NAT’d IP address. For example, if your A/V Edge service has a public IP address of 100.200.255.255 and a NAT’d IP address of 10.45.16.5, if you run a command prompt from the Edge Server and type ping av.externaldomain.co.uk it must return 100.200.255.255. A good way of achieving this is making a hosts file entry on your Edge Server to force the FQDN to resolve to the public IP address.

A/V Edge Service NAT- Assuming you have a firewall product (ISA/TMG) in front of your Consolidated Edge server that is performing NAT, configure the A/V Edge service to support NAT by checking the “External IP address is translated by NAT” checkbox. This setting can be found under the Edge Servers properties dialog box.

Firewall Access Rules- Configure your firewall product with the following protocol definitions to allow A/V traffic to be passed to your Consolidated Edge server. Once you have performed this, create a new server publishing rule that targets your Consolidate Edge server and utilises the protocols you have just created.  Please note the below protocol definitions target ISA/Forefront TMG deployments specifically. A very useful article on performing this can be found here.

Protocol nameAV TCP In
Protocol typeTCP
DirectionInbound
Port Range50000-59999
Protocol nameAV UDP in
Protocol typeUDP
DirectionReceive/Send
Port Range3478, 50000-59999

Testing Access - If you are using internal clients to perform multiparty A/V testing then ensure those clients have unrestricted access through your internal firewall. I experienced an issue where outbound traffic from my test clients was being blocked by my internal firewall, which in turn created additional issues. Ensure you have complete outbound access for your test clients and then scale back access from there.

I hope this assists your external A/V conferencing implementation.

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    One Comment

    1. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.

      Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyways, just wanted to say superb blog!

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