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Why You Need A UCC For Microsoft Exchange

A Unified Communications Certificate is basically an SSL certificate that allows you to use and secure multiple domain names and host names under a single domain name. This certificate comprises the capability of securing a primary domain name and almost up to 99 additional SANs (Subject Alternative Names). UCCs are considered ideal for Microsoft Exchange and Live Communication Server.

There are multiple advantages of this UCC certificate that makes it a necessity to be integrated with Microsoft Exchange. Also, UCCs are quite compatible with the shared hosting. However, this site certificate ‘issued to’ information will only comprise the primary domain name. Also, if you don’t want your sites to be connected to one another, you might re-consider using UCC.

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So what is the need of this certificate? Let’s have a look at the advantages this certificate has to provide.

  1. Compatibility – Apart from Microsoft Exchange, there are various other applications that require more than just a domain name to be protected. This certificate eliminates the need of installing multiple certificates for such applications.
  2. Flexibility – The basic advantage of this certificate is that it provides you with protection for multiple domains and their sub-domains. Also, this will support virtual hosting over the SSL on an IP address. This will in turn allow the certificate to protect more than just one name.
  3. Security – The UCC will be able to protect only those domains that have been defined by the website owner. This means that it won’t secure any other unknown site name that might probably be set up by an attacker. You can find this feature as an amazing advantage of a wildcard certificate.
  4. Verification level – This certificate can be issued by implementing domain validation or even the most secure edition called Extended Validation. This will allow you to select the particular level of authentication that you might want to present the users with.
  5. Price Effectiveness – As you can see that this certificate allows you to secure multiple domains, it easily eliminates the high cost of installing multiple certificates for individual sites.

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How to install the UCC for Microsoft Exchange

You might find it a little tricky to pen-down a very long command in PowerShell which will eventually generate the CSR. However, this has been made quite simpler by Digicert. All you have to do is to login to the Exchange server and Exchange Management Console. Go to Server Configuration, which will lead you to Client Access. In OWA properties, you have to follow the below steps to generate the CSR.

  • Copy down mail.domain
  • Directly go to digicert.com
  • Over there you can paste mail.domain under common name: field
  • The last step will be to generate the CSR for the Microsoft Exchange

If you have opted a UC role or Lync, then you might require the server’s NETBIOS and FQDN as well for the certificate. However, it is possible for the application to self-assign SSL Certificate while configuring UCC for Microsoft Exchange.

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