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Outlook Web Access Gateway

Posted on 2003-12-10
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I want to make a gateway page for Outlook web access.  Our company has multiple mail servers, and I want 1 commun URL for web access.  Currently, if you connect to our main server, but are hosted on a different server, it redirects you but forces you to log on again, unless you are logged into the PC as a domain user.  I would like to create 1 page that would ask for the users credentials from a non domain based computer, then be able to redirect to any of the mail servers without popping the authentication box again.  Every time I rediret to a different mail servers OWA, however, I am getting the login box.  Does anyone know a way around this?
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Question by:jallman1
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by:David Wilhoit
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If I understand you correctly, when you get redirected, it asks for a login again? Is this 5.5 or 2000? If it's 2000, is this a front end server only?

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by:JasonBigham
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Yuo need Enterprise version to get around the dual login need... via a front-end server. Otherwise you are in the same nboat as me, as I suffer from this as well.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Email_Groupware/Exchange_Server/Q_20762122.html
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by:jallman1
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I am running exchangee 2000 and 2003 in a mixed environment.  Both are the standard version.  
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JasonBigham earned 300 total points
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If you stay mixed(or are migtarting to 2003), 2003 supposedly allows front-end servers in the standard edition. Use a 2003 server in front-end mode.
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by:JasonBigham
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This will elimante the need for a gatway page by providing a single, consistent interface and redirecting in the background only...
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by:jallman1
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is that an option you specify during setup?  I assume the front end server can still host mailboxes?  how were set up is we have 1 server at corporate, and were putting other servers in some remote offices.  All internet mail will gateway thru the corporate server.  Idealy, the web access page can point to the corporate server, and deal with the redirection as needed.
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by:JasonBigham
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No, FE servers do not host mailboxes. They act as gateways. Not specified at setup, just chooese it in ESM.
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by:jallman1
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ok...well, were not in a financial position to dedicate an entire mail server to just gatewaying traffic, nor do we have enough users to justify it.  Our only reason for putting up additional servers is to minimize traffic across WAN Links.  We only have about 200 Mailboxes total.  I guess it appears that I may have to put up with the dual login issue.
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by:JasonBigham
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Ya, it's a bummer. I have yet to find a workaround.
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by:David Wilhoit
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How big are the WAN links to the remote offices, and what's the biggest remote office?

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by:jallman1
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Biggest remote office is about 20 Users, Its connected over a 256 Frame that gets around 170MS Response times (Its in Europe).  Were running Terminal Services and DFS Over the links also, and with all the email clients in a connected state, which they insist they need, were approaching our maximum throughput.
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by:David Wilhoit
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Exactly. my thought is that it might be time to rethink your design. you don't have money for a single front end server, but you have money to deploy mulitple servers, with multiple licensing costs, to remote locations to be managed by who, you, or another admin that they have to hire? then buy more hardware and software to back it all up?More antivirus software to update? Not to mention all the maintenance costs on the extra servers. You see where I'm going with this :)

Alternately, since you have Exchange 2003, you could have central location for all mailboxes, with a single front-end server handling OWA w/SSL, redirecting requests to the back-end mailbox server. The remote offices can either use OWA with SSL, which is 90-95% as functional as Outlook, or deploy Outlook 2003, and implement RPC over HTTPS for a straight Outlook/Exchange connection, without the heavy bandwidth usage or a VPN connection. For all the money you'd save, you could even bunp the bandwidth up on those links to 384 or 512, and increase productivity at the remote sites.

Voile', you're a genius :)

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by:jallman1
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Right, we have thought about that.  It makes good sense, except that the costs to upgrade our international frame realay to 384 or 512 pays for about 2 servers a month.  I appreciate everyones input, I think for rigt now were just going to put a menu page up and have them click on their home office site, then it will redirect them to the correct mail server and prompt them for a single login at that point.  I will also have to look at front end servers a bit to see what other benefits they offer.  
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