Exchange 2003 Front End RPC Proxy Only
Posted on 2009-02-16
My client has an Exchange 2003 Active/Passive cluster. No front end. The majority of users access email remotely via iPhones w/ ActivSync or OWA. One remote user has been accessing email via POP3. A new policy states we cannot have POP3 open to the outside world, and its agreed that it would be best to get his email back in the exchange store anyway (its currently set to remove messages from the server after downloading). He uses Outlook so RPC over HTTPS is the preferred solution.
So here is my issue: I found you cannot configure clustered Exchange servers as an RPC over HTTPS proxy so I created a VM (using Virtual Server 2005 R2) on a DC to act as a RPC over HTTPS proxy and exchange front end. This front end must ONLY act as an RPC PROXY and not be a critical piece of the mail chain for local users on Outlook or remote users with iPhones or OWA (uptime is paramount for them which is why we have a cluster configuration). We accept that this one user will have issues should the VM or host go down but it shouldnt affect the other users.
I have installed Windows Server 2003 R2, Exchange 2003 Enterprise, all service packs, and patches. Followed the RPC Proxy deployment guide to designate the VM as a front end server and the clustered virtual server as a backend. The guide kind of left me in the dark at this point as what to do next. I found the article at ww.petri.co.il/configure_rpc_over_https_on_a_single_server.htm and used the configuration tool to set the registry keys (I know its for a single server but am told the settings are the same for front end). I've verified IIS permissions according to these two resources and cant get a local Outlook client to connect via RPC over HTTPS. I put a valid SSL cert on it. I know Im missing something. At this point Im not even sure what I need to do in order to open port 443 to this virtual server and configure this one user.
I realize this configuration may not be a best practice but it should work right? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I cant find a step by step guide to accomplish this anywhere on the internets.