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How to Implement Microsoft Shared Faxing on a Hyper-V Virtual Windows Server 2008 R2 system

Posted on 2015-02-04
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Last Modified: 2015-03-23
I am working on migrating the roles handled by a Windows Server 2003 box to a Hyper-V based Virtual Windows Server 2008 R2 system so I can shutdown the old Windows Server 2003 hardware.  I am down to the fax server role.  I have the need to keep this solution as a Microsoft Shared Fax solution rather than using some 3rd party faxing software.  My old method involved a physical Fax Modem installed on the Windows Server 2003 physical unit.  Since I am on virtual machine now, my sense is that I need a solution that is a network based solution.  I only need to support a single fax line, perhaps a 2nd fax line down the road.

In searching around the Internet I am seeing that this should be possible, but finding detailed implementation procedures with suggested software and hardware has been difficult.  Vendors we have been contacting are very tied to their 3rd party fax software, rather than Microsoft Shared Faxing, so have been less than helpful.

My sense is that I need a gateway of some sort that I can plug the analog phone line into, which then converts it to a network protocol, so the device would be tied to the network.  Then some software on the virtual server that presents the media gateway device to the Microsoft Shared Faxing as a fax device.  Dialogic has come up a few times in my searching but we've had a hard time getting a Dialogic rep that can give us the details we need.  

One gateway that I've looked at that could be a consideration is a Multi-Tech MultiVOIP MVP210 or maybe MVP210-FX, but need some guidance here as well.

Please help me hammer a solution out.
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Question by:AnthonyMCSE
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by:choward16980
ID: 40588927
Just my two cents...  

I use a PCI-e mainpine 4-port card via PCI-e passthrough on an ESXi 5.5 system in the same configuration you're talking about.  The card costs ~$500 on ebay and mainpine support is fantastic.  Mainpine also wrote a driver package and fax provider that integrates with windows to offer things like error correction.

I even went another unsupported step further and am faxing over a VOIP Granstream GX-4004 ATA.
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by:choward16980
ID: 40588939
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by:AnthonyMCSE
ID: 40589040
choward,  I am needing a solution that works with using Hyper-V as my virtual platform.  Also, the faxxbochs item doesn't look like it provided that ability to tie into the Microsoft shared faxing on my Windows Server 2008 virtual machine.  Am I missing something?
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Philip Elder earned 500 total points
ID: 40589163
The TRENDNet TFM-561U USB modem can be attached to the host. Fabulatech USB over Ethernet installed on both host and guest to pass the modem through.

Once the modem is seen by the guest configure the Windows Fax service. GTG.

We have setups like this where hundreds to thousands of faxes go out each month (invoicing).
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by:AnthonyMCSE
ID: 40589201
Philip,

Wow, that would sure simplify the complexity and cost of a solution.  Do you have this working on a Hyper-V environment?
In my case the Hyper-V Server is Windows Server 2012 (not in domain) and the guest OS is a Windows Server 2008 R2 (in domain).
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 40589216
The above is part of any deployment we do whether clustered (USB would be on separate DC) or standalone where the modem would be connected to the host. We only do Hyper-V.
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by:AnthonyMCSE
ID: 40589419
Philip,

I think we'll do some testing with this solution.

Do you find the TRENDNet TFM-561U USB is connecting well with most fax machines, fax modems and fax boards?  For under $30, just seems too good to be true.

I'm not seeing fax modem drivers listed for any server operating systems or for Windows 8.  I believe Windows Server 2008 R2 uses the same kernel as Windows 7, so thinking drivers should be OK.  Not sure about Server 2012/2012 R2.  Do you have this working with 2008 and 2012 server flavors?

Looks like the Fabulatech USB over Network software is $149 for 1 USB Device.
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Author Comment

by:AnthonyMCSE
ID: 40589774
I'll be testing out Philip's method, but still interested in Fax Gateway ideas as well.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 40589873
As mentioned in a previous post, one of our clients pumps out hundreds into thousands of faxes a month. They are a construction equipment rentals business with customers that are not too e-mail savvy.

We've not had _one_ issue with the setup in the four years it has been in production. It is Windows Server Standard 2008 R2 Hyper-V with Small Business Server 2011 Standard as a VM and an RDS VM where the LoB runs that requires fax.
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Author Comment

by:AnthonyMCSE
ID: 40612339
I have received the  TRENDNet TFM-561U USB modem and will be testing this solution this week and will provide feedback.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 40612704
Excellent.
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Author Comment

by:AnthonyMCSE
ID: 40622055
Haven't test yet, but soon!!
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by:AnthonyMCSE
ID: 40674203
Philip,

The testing and implementation of this solution went well.

I noticed that the hosting server, a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard did not automatically recognize or install a modem driver for the TRENDNet TFM-561U USB.  I shared the USB Port anyway, and the guest operating system, a Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard did recognize and installed a generic microsoft modem driver.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 40674222
The host does not need to hook into the modem only the guest does.
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