Exchange 2003 switch over from Merak Mail Server

Posted on 2006-04-26
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
Good Afternoon Experts,

I am in the process of upgrading the company e-mail system. Currently we use Merak Mail Server. We have grown to the point where exchange is now a viable solution. I have installed a beast of a system and added it to our Windows Server 2000 Network (two domain controllers) I installed Exchange 2003 on a Server 2003 OS and everything is working fine.

Now I am somewhat stuck. I have never set this up before and my company will not send me to training. We currently have our mail server set up as follows:

Everyone in the company, with the exception of a few people use Merak's webmail for everyday use. Currently they click on a link on there desktop or type into the browser:

This takes them to a login screen and off they go. The current mail server is not only a mail server so sadly I can not give my new exchange server the same IP. So my question is: What would be the easiest approach to one morning everyone in the company comes into work, clicks on the above link and it takes them to an OWA login page? Also what will be the best way to accomplish this without losing any incoming mail?

Thanks in advance for your help!
Question by:PE_IT_TEAM
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    Is the mail server called mail?

    If not, then the switch is quite easy - all you have to do is a few DNS changes and redirect the ports on the firewall to the IP address of the Exchange server.
    If the existing server is called mail, then things get a lot more complicated. You would probably have to disable the Merek mail interface then put in a redirect page to direct the users to the new site. Once the old server has been shutdown, the name can be used without the redirect.


    Author Comment

    The new server is named: exchange. What kind of changes do I need to make within DNS on the new server itself? Right now, internally if I type: http://exchange/exchange ; it will take me to my inbox. I would like to be able to have users click on an icon and it takes them to Also I would like to be ab le to use form based authentication. Please explain. Thanks to anybody in advance.
    LVL 104

    Expert Comment

    You will need to put an SSL Certificate on to the Default Web Site on the Exchange server.
    That is fairly easy to do and process is well documented.
    I would use a purchased certificate - I tend to use RapidSSL for my deployments. They have a free trial certificate that you can use for 30 days to get used to the process.
    The certificate will need to be issued in the common name of

    FBA is enabled within Exchange.

    ESM, Servers, <your server>, Protocols, HTTP. Right click on the Exchange Virtual Server and choose Properties. Click on the second tab and enable.

    If you want to loose the /exchange on the URL, then a tweak to IIS is required.

    Once you have moved the users across, adjust your DNS to point at the new server.

    As for deploying the link, that is up to you. A shortcut copied across by a login script is one method that would work.


    Author Comment

    I enabled FBA and now when I type in http://exchange/exchange/, I get a windows login box. Type in user name and password and it works fine. How do I get the actual OWA 2003 login page to appear? Also when i type in http://exchange/exchweb/bin/auth/USA/logon.asp it takes me to the OWA login page, the problem is: I will login with the proper credentials and then a windows username and password prompt comes up? How do I prevent this double login. Also if anybody could explain in further detail how exactly to make a web page the default OWA login page. Any advice is appreciated.
    LVL 104

    Accepted Solution

    You have to hit OWA with the HTTPS variant of the URL. FBA doesn't work with http.



    That should bring up the login page.

    My web page I outlined above is all that you need to do - it is a simple tweak. However you don't get the login page unless you use the https URL.


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