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Accessing SharePoint server from the internet

Posted on 2009-05-06
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I recently added a SharePoint server to our network and everything works fine internally but it cannot be accessed via the internet.  It's running on a Windows Server 2008 (x86 Enterprise Edition) box.  Our domain has a record to point to our Comcast modem which it does so correctly.  The modem port forwards port 80 to the SharePoint server but it can't connect.  I'm thinking it's an IIS configuration that's wrong but I'm not too experienced in that area.  Recently I added an Exchange 2007 server to the network and forwarding port 443 to that server worked fine but that same logic isn't working in this case.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:ponchoindy
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by:Steve_NJ
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Do you have the proper internet URL setup for it? And have you configured the alternate access mappings for the internet URL?
http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/03/06/what-every-sharepoint-administrator-needs-to-know-about-alternate-access-mappings-part-1.aspx
 
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by:GreatGerm
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Also, don't forget you need to allow anonymous access in Central Admin if you want it to be initially viewable by all.
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by:ponchoindy
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The issue is that it's not connecting at all.  I'm nearly positive that the port forwarding is getting the request to the SharePoint server.  On that server I opened the IIS Manager and Anonymous Authentication is on for both 'Default Web Site', SharePoint '80' and 'SharePoint Central Adminstration v3'.  Again, I'm new to IIS so don't know what the next step is.

As for the proper internet URL, if it's wrong then shouldn't I be seeing a generic IIS page rather than an operation timing out error?
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by:kitesurf
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i would try to see the iis page on the internet before installing sharepoint.  if you think that is good, then you can try your sharepoint site by extending the 80 web app to something like company.domain.com.  register the name with dns, and apply ssl to it.  ssl i believe does not work with port numbers.  good luck.
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by:ponchoindy
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I already have the SharePoint Server installed as we are using it internally.  I verified that the URL is pointing to our Comcast modem which in turn is port forwarding to the SharePoint Server.  I disabled the firewall settings and that did not resolve the issue.  I restarted the services and then the server itself incase that was the issue and that didn't help.  I'm guessing it's a simple IIS setting or two but that's where I need the help.  From the outside, it times out when trying to connect to the server.
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by:GreatGerm
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Something is being missed in the setup process. Check the steps here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc719928(WS.10).aspx
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by:ponchoindy
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GreatGerm,

I think that's what I'm looking for... I'm double-checking everything so I'll post whether or not that fixed it and what the problem was once I know for certain.
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by:ponchoindy
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With the directions I have been following (on the previous post), it mentions tweaking the virtual server configuration in Sharepoint Central Admininstration.  I have nothing in the Sharepoint Central Administration that mentions anything along the lines of a virtual server so I can't even do the steps listed in step 5 (Convert Your Web Site to an Extranet, and Apply a Template).
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by:GreatGerm
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I'm going to setup a fresh environment and go through the steps tonight.  I am pretty sure I've used the same steps on a 2008 machine, but I'll see if I can identify any potential speedbumps.
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by:ponchoindy
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I don't know if this helps but I'm not using SSL (at this moment).  Is there a simple way that I can make the default web page point to another page rather than the SharePoint so I can verify that the server is getting the correct request?
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by:GreatGerm
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There's definitely more at play here since you should see something whether it's your site or the default "under construction" page.

I do feel somewhat sheepish though since I meant to post one link and actually posted another.  To make up for it I'll include another one which goes into more detail about alternate access mappings.

The real link to all the steps: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2006/08/08/planning-designing-amp-securing-an-extranet-and-internet-facing-wssv3-and-sharepoint-server-2007-environments.aspx

More detail on AAM: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/03/06/what-every-sharepoint-administrator-needs-to-know-about-alternate-access-mappings-part-1.aspx
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by:ponchoindy
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GreatGerm,

I work in a school environment and school just ended so I'm going to rebuild that SharePoint server and do all the IIS testing BEFORE installing SharePoint so I can determine which technology is having/causing the issue.
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by:GreatGerm
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That is a fantastic idea. You can setup IIS and install your ssl certificate before installing SharePoint.
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by:ponchoindy
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I have the server setup w/out SharePoint.  I installed IIS 7.0 and created a default web page (on port 80).  Our network only has one static IP and that points to our modem which port forwards to the appropriate server.  Anything secure goes to our Exchange 2007 server so we can't have a secure connection for this server.

That being said, we don't have an SSL certificate for this server, should we create a self-signed one or does that matter since it won't be a secure server (for now at least)?

The internet cannot find the default website I created and could this be because of the SSL certificate?  Sorry if I seem ignorant on this but this is the first web server I've triedto setup.
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by:GreatGerm
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You don't need SSL to connect to your site via the internet.  Can other machines on the network see your site?  If so then it's probably a configuration issue with your modem.
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by:ponchoindy
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The internal network can see it just fine.  When I set up our exchange server (Exchange 2007 onto Windows Server 2008), I changed port forwarding from our old mail server to our new one and that's all I had to do.  I did the same thing with this web server... port forward port 80 to it and it times out.
I attached a screenshot of our modem's port forwarding to better illustrate this.  When I ping the site, it's definitely going to the modem.  I hope it's just a simple modem setting.

modem.jpg
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by:GreatGerm
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I'm thinking it's definitely a router issue.  I'm seeing quite a bit of discussion online about this topic.  Here's an example:

http://www.broadbandreports.com/forum/r20499329-Business-Port-Forwarding-in-SMC-8014


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ponchoindy earned 0 total points
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I did resolve the issue and I feel very silly for not noticing it earlier.  I had the Gateway set to our DNS server rather than the Comcast modem.  
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