Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Deployment Planning Guide

How Communications Suite Satisfies Business Needs

Organizations want to deploy services that simultaneously reduce cost and complexity while providing a robust set of features. The architecture of services must add requirements for security and scalability that enable users to have more than just a single means of accessing information critical to their daily work. Communications Suite meets these needs through providing scalable messaging, calendaring, and instant messaging at a total cost of ownership businesses can afford.

Communications Suite enables you to develop an architecture that incorporates ease of deployment and maintenance with a complete set of features and functionality. Most important, a Communications Suite architecture builds security into each service element. These elements include the network infrastructure, operating environment, and the Communications Suite component products themselves.

How Messaging Server Satisfies Business Needs

Messaging Server promotes superior reliability and productivity as well as reduced administrative and operational costs. Messaging Server uses committed transactions, which means that messages are not acknowledged as received until they are committed to disk. This reliability feature protects mail messages from loss and corruption. Additionally, the Message Store is built around a custom-designed database that employs a write-once data store and a two-level index to achieve excellent performance and data integrity.

How Calendar Server Satisfies Business Needs

Calendar Server provides one of the industry’s most open, interoperable, and high-performance time and resource management solutions. Calendar Server provides the features you need at a lower total cost of ownership than alternative solutions. Through its flexible and extensible architecture, Calendar Server scales both vertically (by increasing the number of CPUs per system) and horizontally (by adding more servers to the network).

How Instant Messaging Satisfies Business Needs

Instant Messaging software is closely integrated with Java Enterprise System, helping you to shorten the project life cycle and deploy new services affordably. In addition, Instant Messaging works with Portal Server, Access Manager, Messaging Server, and Calendar Server. This integration provides users with a full-featured, secure, scalable communications and collaboration services platform from a single vendor. The well-documented Java APIs included in Instant Messaging provide open standards for ease of integration, as well as multiple platform support, platform extensibility, and customization of real-time communications and collaboration features. These features can thus be embedded in existing applications or become the basis of new applications. Also, XMPP interoperability provides a great advantage to those businesses seeking to extend their ability to practice real-time communication with their partners and customers, many of which might have separate instant messaging systems.

How Communications Express Satisfies Business Needs

Communications Express provides an integrated web-based communication and collaboration client that caters to the needs of Internet service providers, enterprises, and OEMs. Communications Express has an integrated user interface for calendar, mail, and address book and enables the access of one client module from another without re-authenticating user credentials. Communication between mail and calendar is automatically established since both applications are deployed within a single web container. Also, you can optionally use Access Manager to provide the single sign-on mechanism. Both calendar and mail applications share the same address book. All modules share the common user preferences specified in the Options tab of Communications Express.

Summary of Communications Suite Benefits

The Communications Suite components have been traditionally deployed in large-scale, carrier-class deployments. The same dependability required for the large-scale deployments can be used in the enterprise.

The following table summarizes the benefits provided by Communications Suite.

Table 1–1 How Communications Suite Benefits Your Organization

Key Feature  


High performance and scalability 

Enables efficient communications and improves quality of service for both enterprises and ISPs. 

Extensive security features 

Protects the integrity of communications and data and the privacy of employees, customers and partners, and enables compliance with industry regulations. 

Virtual domain hosting and delegated administration

Messaging Server, Calendar Server, and Instant Messaging enable you to host messaging for several companies on one server, or corporate IT to host multiple departments within the organization, reducing number of servers needed, and lowering TCO. 

Scalable, robust and extensible components 

Enables deployment of unified communication services, bringing together telephone services with email notification, faxing, paging, and other technologies. 

Extensible collaboration platform for scheduling events, and for managing tasks and resources 

Calendar Server improves time and resource management, and enhances user productivity. 

Group scheduling for meetings and events 

Calendar Server improves team collaboration and communication across the organization. 

Information sharing through hyperlinks in events or tasks 

Calendar Server facilitates collaboration through exchange of information relevant to tasks or events. 

Multiple client support 

Enables access from a wide variety of clients and devices such as web-based clients, multiple rich clients including Evolution and Microsoft Outlook, and web-enabled devices such as phones and PDAs. 

Open, modular, and standards-based architecture 

Enables customers to deploy customized and personalized solutions. 

Making the Communications Suite Deployment Highly Available

You can configure Messaging Server, Calendar Server, and Instant Messaging to be highly available by using clustering software. Messaging Server supports both Sun Cluster and Veritas Cluster Server software. Calendar Server and Instant Messaging support Sun Cluster software. When using clustering software, a secondary Messaging Server, Calendar Server, or Instant Messaging host provides services to users if the primary system is taken offline for maintenance or is down due to a problem.

Even without the use of Sun Cluster, Messaging Server has built-in monitoring capabilities that continuously check the status of server processes and service availability. Messaging Server can restart processes and services automatically, if necessary. Messaging Server logs failures and recovery operations, which you can use for reporting and analysis.

Instant Messaging may make use of server pools to provide redundancy. In a server pool, two or more Instant Messaging servers provide the instant messaging services for a single domain. If a server fails, another server in the pool handles the additional load.

Additionally, you can deploy the Communications Suite products in a highly available configuration through use of redundant components. This kind of deployment gives services a high level of uptime. A highly available deployment of this sort requires the redundancy of every component in the service architecture. These components include a duplicate data store server, duplicate network interface cards, and duplicate system storage.

Note –

This guide does not discuss the details of using Sun Cluster in highly available deployments for Communications Suite. See the Sun Cluster, Messaging Server, Calendar Server, and Instant Messaging documentation for more information on this topic.

Using Portal Server with Communications Suite

You can install Communications Suite products with Portal Server to provide access to messaging and calendar services (by creating portlets in a portal page). For example, you can create these portlets to provide a summary of messaging information, calendar schedules, and address book information. The integration of Portal Server includes single sign-on capabilities between Portal Server, Calendar Express, Messenger Express, and the Communications Express client.

Note –

You can run Communications Express in both Sun Java System Schema 1 and Schema 2 environments. If you are using Schema 2, then you can use Access Manager authentication and single sign-on for Communications Express.

Portal Server also supports message archiving for Instant Messaging. In addition, the Messenger Express, Calendar Express, and Instant Messenger clients are made available to users through the Portal Server Desktop.

The following two components of Portal Server provide additional functionality to a basic Communications Suite deployment:

Note –

This guide does not discuss deploying Communications Suite in a portal environment. See the Portal Server documentation for more information.