SBS 2003 and beyond

May 9 2009   3:26PM GMT

Using Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 for Remote Management

Roger Crawford Roger Crawford Profile: Roger Crawford

I had a customer who keeps continually adding locations to the business and management of the workstations and laptops is becoming a pain for the IT guy. Especially when you are talking about 180 users. We have looked into the System center Stuff and that seems to be more than they want or need. He just needed a simple way to connect to the desktop and look at a problem the user is having either in the domain or outside the domain. I told him I would check into this and see what else I can do here for a solution.

When I was in the office last week and talking to my favorite Network Admin Randy I mentioned this problem to him. He suggested I checkout the new Microsoft Office Communicator R2 as it has a function in it for sharing the desktop. He had just rolled this out in our office and upgraded from the previous version. I have worked with this program very little installed it at a school and the location that was needing help was in the MS Phone system beta and had used the previous version their also but we had backed up the servers and removed them and used that hardware.

Well I had to restore the Communicator server and of course I had used my Favorite Backup and Restore tool Shadow Protect to do this. 15 minutes and I had the server restored and deactivated the previous version and then removed this from the server and AD. This is one of my hyperV environments so I installed 2008 64 bit in a VS Session and then installed the Communicator 2007 R2 on the server. It did find the users setup on the old version so I went through the steps to bring them into the new one. I got 2 users working and tested the Communicator Client and after some fixing of the DNS records we had this part working. We will be doing a prof of concept test on Monday for the Remote Desktop Sharing to see if this will work for him for management. If this looks like a go then we will get the outside access setup and then test that. If that is all a go then we will roll it out to the rest of the 180 machines or whatever they are up to now. More on this later and of course this was the short version of all that happened but setup did not take that long and the key is to have your DNS Setup correctly.

Til later just Roger

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