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How to configure IIS/DNS to redirect to OWA virtual directory

Posted on 2009-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
My company is running Win2K3 with Exchange 2003 installed.  This machine is also hosting our certificate services for exchange/https mail download.  OWA is also running on this machine as well.

Basically when users go to access OWA from the web they have to type in https://servername1.companyname.com/exchange.  I want to shorten this down to just https://mail.companyname.com.  My ISP DNS is setup with a single A record for 'servername' pointing to my external IP.  

Can anyone tell me what the easiest way to accomplish this is without any disruptions or downtime?

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Question by:jmtoman
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by:page1985
page1985 earned 200 total points
ID: 24062153
Absolutely.  You'll want to do three things:
  1. In your ISP's DNS  for your domain name, you will want to create another A record pointing mail.companyname.com to the same address as servername1.companyname.com
  2. On your OWA server, you'll need to check the properties of the HTTP virutal server that OWA is running on to make sure either you don't have host names specified, or that you add mail.companyname.com to the listener list.
  3. You will want to enable the .NET Framework on your virtual server and create a file in the root of the site (usually C:\Inetpub\wwwroot) named Default.aspx with the following contents:
<%
     Response.Redirect("https://mail.companyname.com/exchange")
%>

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Author Comment

by:jmtoman
ID: 24062665
Ok that sounds simple enough, the other thing I just throught of is roughly half my users are getting exchange via http download.  When I'm setting up the Outlook profile I only specify mailserver.company.com and not mailserver.company.com/exchange, will this redirection have any effect on those users?
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by:jmtoman
ID: 24063451
Ok I added the default.aspx page and when I try https://mailserver.company.com it redirects to the /exchange directory, but ONLY internally.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Mestha earned 300 total points
ID: 24064477
This is how I do it:
http://www.amset.info/exchange/owa-defaultpage.asp

Doesn't matter how the server is referenced, so it could be http://server or http://192.168.1.1/ or https://something.example.com/ it will redirect to the /exchange virtual directory.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:jmtoman
ID: 24076942
Ok so I've used both methods to redirect my default website to my /exchange directory and it ONLY works internally.  I'm a little bit confused?  Anyone have any ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 24077340
Are you going through anything else between the internet and the server?
What happens when you hit the root of the site? It shouldn't matter if it is inside or outside because Exchange simply doesn't care. It is just inbound traffic.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:jmtoman
ID: 24078157
ISA server between internet and server.  When I hit the root of the site it goes to owa fine.  Would it make any difference if my /exchange directory is set to use integrated windows authenticated and my default site is not?
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 24083116
The /exchange virtual directory needs to use integrated, so that is fine.
However as you are using ISA, I would be looking at that as the cause of the problem. If it works internally then it isn't an Exchange configuration issue.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:jmtoman
ID: 24089700
You were right on the money, it looks like we had some errors in our web publishing rule on isa server.  So now when i go to https://mailserver.companyname.com it is redirecting me correctly.

I added a cname record with my isp for mail.companyname.com but here is the kicker now, when i go to the website it will give me the error message for being an untrusted certificate but when i click continue anyway it just gives me a 403.  
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Expert Comment

by:Mestha
ID: 24089933
A CNAME doesn't redirect you, so if you don't have mail.example.com in the certificate then you would get an error. I don't have much to do with ISA server, but I do know that ISA can store a copy of the certificate as well as the Exchange server. If your SSL certificate does contain the name then I would check if ISA is using the right certificate.

Simon.
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