SBS 2003 R2 Access for OWA over iPad's & Iphones

Posted on 2010-11-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
My current setup is as follows:

1 x SBS 2003 R2 server allowing OWA - this works flawlessly with outlook + IE
Several Ipad's & Iphones which will connect to the OWA mailbox when I use server.domainname in the config.

My problem happens when the user returns to where the server is placed, when ever they attempt to view their email on the same network as the server it fails to resolve.
The only solution I've found so far is to create a seperate entry on the iphone for server.domain.local (not the normal domain)  This is turn works a treat when local, BUT obiously not when roaming.

Is there an DNS / routing setup wrong somewhere which would allow server.domainname to work locally instead of manually changing setting to .local ?
I've set this up on Exchange 2007 and it all works fine (at a seperate location), SBS is just casuing me so much grief, please help.
Question by:thegiantsmurf
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 34144152
This will not be possible for DNS to resolve this.
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

Chris Dent earned 500 total points
ID: 34144192
I don't see why not.

From the sounds of it they're connecting to your LAN? Then they're expecting to use "server.domainnanme", which I assume resolves to the public IP Address of the server?

If that is the case you have two choices:

1. Fix up NAT Loopback on your router so the public IP can be used for your server. This depends on the firewall / router and may be as simple as a tickbox, or a lot more complex.


2. Create a new Forward Lookup Zone in DNS as follows:

a. Open the DNS Console
b. Select Forward Lookup Zones
c. Right click and select New Zone
d. Select Primary and "Store this zone in Active Directory"
e. Name the zone "server.domainname". Note that inclusion of "server" here is deliberate
f. Disable Dynamic Update for the zone
g. Finish
h. Select the newly created zone
i. Right click and select New Host (A) record
j. Leave the Name blank and enter the Internal IP Address of the server

All done. I have no idea how you would flush the DNS cache on those devices. Reboot? :) Once done, they should be able to connect to server.domainname; using the same name in either scenario.


LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 34144357
But why you are not using ActiveSync?
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Author Comment

ID: 34144679
I've done the forward lookup and reset the server later today.
I just need to kick the user's off
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 34144899

You shouldn't need to reset the server, it's the clients (the iPads and stuff) that'll remember the old address, they're the ones that need to forget. If all else fails they will eventually (anything from an hour to a day if they're switched on all the time).


Expert Comment

ID: 34149945
The way I read your problem is that when the iphone/ipad tries to sync their email while they are in the office, it does not work, but when they are out of the office it will work fine?

I'm assuming you have a WAP connected to the internal network and the iphone/ipad are connecting to this WAP while in the office?

If so, you need to create a new forward lookup zone in DNS on the SBS server.

Create the zone as (or whatever the domain is that the devices use).

Then add a new A record with the prefix that you use on the devices, so if you use the servername of on the iphones/ipad then create a new A record of mail.

Then have the new A record point to the INTERNAL ip address of the SBS server.

NOTE - this will now mean that everyone on the trusted network at the office, will resolve DNS to this new domain, so if you have existing WWW records, or anything else, like FTP or other A records, you will need to manually enter these in as well, otherwise it will break for internal office uses.

This should then mean that when the devices are in the office, DNS should resolve to the internal IP address of the server and when they are out of range of the WAP, they will resolve to your external IP address from your ISP.

Hope this helps.
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 34149976
> so if you have existing WWW records, or anything else, like FTP or other A records, you will need to manually enter these
> in as well, otherwise it will break for internal office uses

The method I outlined above avoids the need to do that.


Author Comment

ID: 34150021
Chris' solution seems to be working, but the update to the devices is very slow,
Is this normal - 20 mins to download an in box to an iPad for example ?

Does anyone have any data on this?

LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 34150069
Hmm it should be fast with it being on the local network. All this does is provide the device with the internal IP of the server instead of the external IP.

It's possible it's still caching something of the old connection, but I don't really have any experience with iPad / iPhone to say what the best step would be there.


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