Next release of OCS

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Microsoft has announced some news about the upcoming release of Office Communication Server (OCS), the next release will be 64-bit only, the same move with saw with Exchange 2007.

The new version “Office Communication Server 2007 R2” has gone into beta.

Some of the focus for the new version has been:

Consolidate deployments

Based on customer feedback, Microsoft’s goal with the next release of OCS is to simplify deployments by reducing the number of servers needed for deployment. Customers are also telling us they are pushing the limits of existing hardware with their “mission critical” communications solutions.

The x64 Advantage

By leveraging x64 hardware, we are able to use inexpensive memory to support more concurrent processing of real-time media streams (audio, video, conferences) on smaller number of servers. With the change to x64, we can simplify and consolidate OCS deployments while supporting additional capabilities in the 64-bit server hardware is broadly available in the market today and is offered by major hardware vendors. The benefits of adopting 64 bit hardware are not limited to high scale OCS customers.

Guidance for OCS 2007 customers

The majority of server hardware being sold today is x64-based and many businesses are already enjoying its advantages and will not need to purchase new hardware to deploy the next release of OCS. Customers who are using 32-bit hardware systems to run OCS 2007 will need to upgrade to x64 systems to install and run the next release of OCS.

More info from the Communication Server Team blog.