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Webmail and Exchange 2003

Posted on 2004-09-21
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Hi All,

I want to setup Webmail for all my users so that they can access there mail from the internet. I've installed exchange 2003 server, the installation is was successful. I have 3 servers 1 PDC, 2 BDC with exchnage 2003 installed and a web server. All OS are Windows 2003. PDC,BDC are both Windows 2003 Enterprise Servers, Webserver is Windows 2003 Web Server. I've created a website on the webserver that redirects the url requets to the mail server and it works fine. But I can't get it from the internet. I have a static external IP. The mail server can send/receive mail no problem. I just can't access webmail from the internet. Am I missing something.
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Question by:maykut
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by:Sembee
ID: 12118041
The Exchange server needs to be accessible directly from the Internet. All traffic will go from the client directly to the Exchange server - it cannot go via the other server.
This will usually mean a different URL - something like mail.domain.com or similar.

Simon.
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by:maykut
ID: 12118053
I've got the url as www.webmail.domain.com if I type this into a client machine locally it works.
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by:Sembee
ID: 12118112
You will need to set that up on your external servers as well. Either you need to do this or your ISP - depends who manages your domain name.
www.webmail.domain.com will need its own IP address on the firewall and the firewall adjusted as required.

Simon.
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by:maykut
ID: 12118139
do I need a domain name? I've got a domain name my site is www.buzzwig.com and my webmail site is www.webmail.buzzwig.com I've got one external IP can't I use host headers?
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by:Sembee
ID: 12118155
You cannot use host headers because the Exchange server needs its own IP address. The Exchange server must directly communicate with the client machine - it cannot go through another machine.

Simon.
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by:maykut
ID: 12118189
I don't have a domain name for www.webmail.buzzwig.com

I've got an external ip 165.228.115.155 and I'm using a Netgear ADSL Firewall/Router how can I use the second IP won't it corrupt my settings because everything is working fine I have mail and four websites running of the single IP and I also have an ftp as well. How ca I setup exchange for another IP thats just for webmail?
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by:GarySmith72
ID: 12123242
The other option, and its a more secure option, it to use ISA Server 2000 or 2004 to do reverse proxying to both you web server and your Exchange server.

Ideally ISA would be in your firewalls DMZ, but it is also valid to have it on the Internal network.  Redirect all web traffic to this box and then use web publishiing rules to proxy these requests to the relevant server.

For example

www.myserver.com/exchange/*

would be directed to your Exchange server, while:

www.myserver.com/*

as in everything else, would be directed to your web server.

There is more to it than this, but doing a search on google for "publish owa isa 2000" or "publish owa isa 2004" will give you plenty of results.

You should also use a web SSL certificate to publish OWA as otherwise the users credentials are passed over the Internet in plain text.  With a certificate in place, you can also enable OWA Forms Based Authentication which can make logging in easier for your users.

Cheers

Gary
-=-
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by:Sembee
ID: 12123953
I would have to debate on whether ISA is a "more secure" option... It also means an additional purchase.

The only way I can think of to work around a single IP address problem is to use a different port. OWA gets upset if you try to use any other port than 80 or 443 - so if non of the other web sites are using SSL/HTTPS then I would purchase a SSL certificate for OWA and then use port forwarding on your router to send traffic for HTTPS to the Exchange server.
If the users aren't bright enough to remember to https://webmail.domain.com/ (instead of http://webmail.domain.com/) then there is a trick you can do to redirect traffic for http:// to https:// - sending them to the correct address.

Simon.
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RABEH earned 20 total points
ID: 12127385
Hi maykut,

I saw every thing ready to access your web mail from internet and I think your web server is configured to use port 80.  So, all you need is to change the PORT in (default web site) in IIS of exchange server to any other port . for example 81

then add new policy in your ADSL Firewall/Router To forward port 81 reqests to your EXCHANGE SERVER IP.
See page that may help you in ADSL Firewall/Router configuration: http://kbserver.netgear.com/kb_web_files/N101145.asp

Then try to access you mail from internet by this link:
http://mail.buzzwig.com:81/exchange
or
http://<<YOUR REAL IP>>:81/exchange
good luck ...

Note: if you want to use ( www.webmail.buzzwig.com ) , you have to make a forwarding www.webmail.buzzwig.com from it to exchange link above in ISP´s DNS (Your domain name provider should do that).
 
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by:Sembee
ID: 12127921
Changing the port is all well and good.
Except I have seen OWA break when you try to use other ports. It doesn't like using anything other than 80 and 443. There are postings on this very forum from people who have tried to use other ports, got problems, put it back to 80 and it has been fine.
Then users have to remember to put the :81 on the end of the URL. That will not go down very well - especially if a manager doesn't like it.

Simon.
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by:RABEH
ID: 12128061
Hi Simon,

changing port will not break OWA at all. we are configured that alot. and user no need to remember :81  if you make a redirection from any easy address to that full address.
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by:Sembee
ID: 12128342
RABEH - you must be lucky then. I have seen nothing but problems with trying to get OWA to work on other ports and it isn't something I would recommend.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:maykut
ID: 12128805
Ok guys thanks for everyones assistance if I do change the default website to port 81 how can I tell it goto eg: if i use www.webmail.buzzwig.com:81/exchnage but I want users to only type in www.webmail.buzzwig.com, how can I redirect it with this because I will try it out today.
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by:RABEH
ID: 12130600
Hi all
could you till me , where is your hosting ( buzzwig.com ) and what are you using , IIS or apachi?
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by:maykut
ID: 12130640
www.buzzwig.com is hosted on my windows 2003 webserver, all my servers are running windows 2003 my Exchange server is on another windows 2003 Enterprise server and I'm running IIS6. My webserver is the only one physically connected to the outside world. What I want to do is create a website on my webserver ie www.webmail.buzzwig.com and point it to my mailserver http://mailsrv/exchange by using url redirections. Can I do this.
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by:RABEH
ID: 12131965
mmm.....
So,  at your case you cannot use the link like (  www.webmail.buzzwig.com )  , but You Can use this link as a short url link (http://buzzwig.com/webmail).
the steps to do is:
1- change the port as explained before.
2- create policy in ADSL router/firewall as explained.
<HERE, make sure every thing are working fine before you go to 3>
3- On IIS at your web server, create new virtual directory on your web site and give it the name ¨webmail¨.
4- on properties , at virtual directory Tap, select : ¨A  redirction to a URL¨ then in rediction box type:
http://<your_exchange_server_name>.buzzwig.com:81/exchange    OR   http://buzzwig.com:81/exchange

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Author Comment

by:maykut
ID: 12138753
I've got webmail working but why does it store the emails in drafts? It doesn't send any emails it just stores them in draft's
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Author Comment

by:maykut
ID: 12167046
problem fixed I've fixed up webmail. thanks guys for your help.
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