The protocols in the Microsoft® Office Communications Server Protocols system support instant messaging (IM), presence notification, Web conferencing, Voice over IP (VoIP) telephony, and audio/video (A/V) conferencing functionality. The processing for the Communications Server components is handled by a set of specialized server roles that run as Windows® services. These roles form dependent and complimentary building blocks to create a communications infrastructure that is geared to meet specific types of user scenarios. The Windows services that represent these server roles run on Windows Server 2003 operating system or Windows Server 2008 operating system with Service Pack 2 (SP2). Many of these server roles are installed together by default to simplify the installation and configuration of Communications Server, while others can be collocated on the same physical server or installed on separate computers that are running Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008.
Communications Server is available in two editions: Standard Edition for organizations with 5000 or fewer users and Enterprise Edition for organizations with more than 5000 users. The two editions are functionally equivalent, but their configuration is different to be able to scale up. A Communications Server infrastructure can include protocol servers for both editions installed and working together.