Tom, do I need a director?


Here is a recent email exchange regarding the use of the director, I hope that you are able to see the need and value for the Director given Dave's particular customer deployment.

From: dave
Sent: Tuesday, February 27, 2007
To: Thomas Laciano
Subject: Federation / PIC

Hi Tom,

I am putting a design matrix (doc) together for LCS2005 SP1 deployments and the question relates to the role of the director when Federation or PIC is in operation on the Access Proxy.

I understand and will be putting in a Director if the customer wants outside user access or multiple SE Servers, but if the customer is purely doing customer to customer Federation (Direct specifying the FQDN of their Partners AP and Domain) or PIC does it add any value.  What is the downside of not having the Director when Direct Federation or PIC are deployed.

Btw can I use the same AP for both Direct Federation and PIC or is it recommended for any reason that they should be split between two APs?

Thanks & Regards,




The Microsoft recommendation for the Live Communications Server Director role is for 2 particular configurations.

The Director role is deployed in a domain of Active Directory and does not home users acting as a Proxy.

Customers who have multiple Standard Edition (SE) or Enterprise Edition (EE) pools will benefit with a Director role deployed. Clients can point to the Director role and a referral to the correct SE or EE pool will be provided. This provides and administrator the ability to move users as needed and not update the client configuration.

Customers providing remote user access via the Access Proxy will need to authenticate the incoming connection. The Access Proxy is recommended to be deployed in a workgroup and in the DMZ. The next hop would be a Director to perform the authentication. The Director role thus buffers the internal SE or EE pool from unauthenticated traffic.

For a customer in the following deployment of 1 SE or EE pool,  no remote user but Federation and Public Internet Connectivity, there is no benefit from installing a Director. Please be advised that customers should be educated and reminded that enabling remote user should include the addition of the Director role.

I can’t provide specifics but keep in mind that with the upcoming OCS 2007 product there will be needs for a Director role in the area of conferences.