Sun Java Communications Suite 5 Deployment Planning Guide

Chapter 1 Introduction to Deploying Communications Suite

This chapter provides an overview of Sun Java Communications Suite 5, the business reasoning behind deploying Communications Suite, and the deployment process itself.

This chapter contains the following sections:

Communications Suite Overview

Sun Java Communications Suite 5 is a secure, cost-effective communications and collaborations offering. Communications Suite addresses customer concerns about costs, capabilities, and the security of the traditional communications infrastructure by offering a secure, scalable, lower total cost of ownership alternative to other communications and collaboration solutions.

Communications Suite provides the email, calendar, and instant messaging solutions necessary to meet both enterprise and ISP communications and collaboration needs. The products and services that form Communications Suite provide a compelling response to common business requirements. All organizations need communications, and many are required to provide these services across large, diverse, and geographically distributed communities of users. Traditional communications solutions are costly, and not sufficient to meet today’s requirements for scalability and security. Communications Suite enables organizations to deploy solutions at a total cost of ownership they can afford.

In addition, Communications Suite provides differentiated services and full-featured collaboration functionality that are required by a diverse audience. Finally, a Communications Suite deployment meets your increased security needs when extending communications outside of a corporate firewall and to mobile users through multiple devices.

The Communications Suite core solution consists of the following component products:

Additional features that enhance the Communications Suite solution include:

Taken as a whole, Communications Suite provides a standards-based, integrated communications and collaboration suite of products for enterprise deployments of many thousands of users, and ISP deployments of hundreds of thousands of users. Communications Suite delivers a robust and flexible platform meeting the diverse communications needs of all types of organizations. Communications Suite is an optimal solution to connect remote offices, distributed workgroups, and global corporate locations.

About Messaging Server

Sun Java System Messaging Server 6.3 is a high-performance, highly secure messaging platform. Scaling from thousands to millions of users, Messaging Server is suitable for businesses interested in consolidating email servers and reducing the total cost of ownership of the communications infrastructure. Messaging Server provides extensive security features that help ensure the integrity of communications through user authentication, session encryption, and the appropriate content filtering to help prevent spam and viruses. Messaging Server also can provide an archive for instant messaging communications. Furthermore, Messaging Server supports archiving through the AXS-One message archiving system to provide an industrial strength message archiving solution for both compliance and operational archiving.

With Messaging Server, organizations can provide secure, reliable messaging services for entire communities of employees, partners, and customers.

Messaging Server currently ships with two native client user interfaces (UI):

Going forward, no new features will be added to the Messenger Express user interface. It has been deprecated in favor of the Communications Express user interface. Sun Microsystems, Inc. will announce an end-of-life timeline for Messenger Express at a future date.

See Part II, Deploying Messaging Server for more information on Messaging Server concepts and other deployment aspects.

About Calendar Server

Sun Java System Calendar Server 6.3 facilitates team collaboration by enabling users to manage and coordinate appointments, events, tasks, and resources. Through an integrated Web interface or connectors to other calendar clients (including Microsoft Outlook), Calendar Server enables end users to access their personal, public, or group calendars anytime from anywhere, from a Web browser. Deployments use Calendar Server, along with the Messaging Server and Instant Messaging, to offer users a comprehensive communications and collaborative environment.

Calendar Server currently ships with two native client user interfaces (UI):

Calendar Express has been deprecated in favor of the new Communications Express user interface. Going forward, no new features will be added to the Calendar Express user interface. Sun Microsystems, Inc. will announce an end-of-life time line for Calendar Express at a future date.

See Part III, Deploying Calendar Server for more information on Calendar Server concepts and other deployment aspects.

About Instant Messaging

Sun Java System Instant Messaging 7.2 enables secure, real-time communication and collaboration. Instant Messaging combines presence awareness with instant messaging capabilities such as chat, conferences, alerts, news, polls, and file transfers to create a rich collaborative environment. These features enable one-to-one as well as group collaboration through either short-lived communications or persistent venues such as conference rooms or news channels. Instant Messaging, along with Calendar Server and Messaging Server, offers users a comprehensive communications and collaboration environment.

Instant Messaging ensures the integrity of communications through its multiple authentication mechanisms and secure SSL connections. Integration with Sun Java System Portal Server and Sun Java System Access Manager brings additional security features, services-based provisioning access policy, user management, and secure remote access. Furthermore, Instant Messaging supports the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). XMPP enables you to use a number of third-party clients, gateways, and components. Some of these clients aggregate contacts from the public networks. In one client, you can have contacts from AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Sun and other XMPP-based servers.

See Part IV, Deploying Instant Messaging for more information on Instant Messaging concepts and deployment aspects.

About Communications Express

Sun Java System Communications Express 6.3 provides an integrated web-based communications and collaboration client. Communications Express is a common component between Messaging Server and Calendar Server, providing end users with a web interface to their calendar information and mail, as well as an address book.

See Part V, Deploying Communications Express for more information on Communications Express concepts and deployment aspects.

About Communications Sync

Sun Java System Communications Sync 3.0 (formerly Sun ONE Synchronization) is a software product that runs on a Windows personal computer and enables users to synchronize Communications Suite events, tasks, and contacts with mobile devices and personal information managers (PIMs) such as Microsoft Outlook.

See the Communications Sync documentation at the following location for more information:

About Connector for Microsoft Outlook

Sun Java System Connector for Microsoft Outlook 7.2 enables Outlook to be used as a desktop client with Messaging Server and Calendar Server.

Connector for Microsoft Outlook is an Outlook plug-in that you install on end-users' desktops. Connector for Microsoft Outlook queries Messaging Server for folder hierarchies and email messages. Connector for Microsoft Outlook then converts the information into Messaging API (MAPI) properties that Outlook can display. Similarly, Connector for Microsoft Outlook queries Calendar Server for events and tasks, which are then converted into MAPI properties. Finally, Connector for Microsoft Outlook uses Web Address Book Protocol (WABP) to query Address Book Server for contacts, which are then converted into MAPI properties. With this model, Connector for Microsoft Outlook builds an end-user Outlook view from three separate information sources: mail from Messaging Server, calendar information from Calendar Server, and contacts from Address Book Server.

See the Connector for Microsoft Outlook documentation at the following location for more information:

Communications Suite Component Product Dependencies

Communications Suite products depend on other Sun Java System component products that provide infrastructure services. These component products include Sun Java System Directory Server and, optionally, Sun Java System Access Manager. Additionally, Communications Suite products depend on a web container to serve HTML content and provide HTML connections. You can use Sun Java System Web Server (formerly Sun ONE Web Server) or Sun Java Application Server to fulfill this need.

Communications Suite products also depend on the existence of DNS. You need to have a functioning DNS server before you can install the Communications Suite products.

See Chapter 3, Understanding Product Requirements and Considerations for more information on product dependencies.

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.

Understanding the Deployment Process

The Communications Suite deployment process consists of the following general phases, referred to as the Solution Life Cycle:

The deployment phases are not rigid; the deployment process is iterative in nature. Nevertheless, the following subsections discuss each of the deployment phases independently.

For detailed information on the deployment process for Communications Suite, and Java Enterprise System components, see the Sun Java Enterprise System Deployment Planning Guide.

Analyzing Business Requirements

In the business analysis phase, you define the business goal of a deployment project and state the business requirements that must be met to achieve that goal. When stating the business requirements, consider any business constraints that might impact the ability to achieve the business goal. The business analysis phase results in business requirements documents that you later use in the Technical Requirements phase. Throughout the life cycle, you measure the success of your deployment planning, and ultimately your deployed system, according to the analysis performed in the business analysis phase.

Analyzing Technical Requirements

In the technical requirements phase, you start with the business requirements and business constraints defined during the business analysis phase and translate them into technical specifications that can be used to design the deployment architecture. The technical specifications measure quality of service features, such as performance, availability, security, and others.

During the technical requirements phase you prepare the following information:

The resulting set of usage analysis, use cases, and system requirements documents are inputs to the logical design phase of the Solution Life Cycle. During technical requirements analysis, you might also specify service level requirements, which are the terms under which customer support must be provided to remedy a deployed system failure to meet system requirements. Service level requirements are the basis for service level agreements signed during project approval.

Designing the Logical Architecture

In the logical design phase, you identify the services required to implement the deployment. Once the services are identified, you map logically distinct components providing those services within a logical architecture that shows the dependencies among the components. The logical architecture, together with the technical requirement specifications from the business analysis phase, characterize a deployment scenario.

The logical architecture does not specify the actual hardware required to implement the deployment scenario. However, it helps you visualize the interrelationship among components, provides a basis for further analysis of use cases and identified usage patterns, and becomes the starting point for the deployment design phase.

Additional work might be necessary, either in extending services through the use of APIs, or in customizing look and feel, for example, introducing a corporate branding.

For some solutions, development and customization might be quite extensive, requiring you to develop new business and presentation services. In other cases, it might be sufficient to customize existing graphical user interfaces, such as the Portal Server desktop, to achieve the functionality required.

For more information on using product APIs and customizing product functionality, see the appropriate component product documentation, including:

Designing the Deployment Architecture

During the design phase, you map the logical components specified in the logical architecture to physical components in a deployment architecture. You also produce design documents that aid in the implementation of the deployment. Successful deployment design results in the following:

Implementing the Deployment

During implementation phase, you work from design documents created during deployment design to build out the deployment architecture and implement the deployment. Depending on the nature of your deployment project, this phase includes some or all of the following steps:

Once a deployment is in production, you need to continue to monitor, test, and tune the deployment to ensure that it fulfills the business goals.