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Exchange 2010 OWA with Multiple Sites

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-04-15
I have 2 AD Sites, EAST and WEST.  Each Site has their own CAS array and DAG, MailEast and MailWest for the casarrays, and DagEast and DagWest for the Dags.  

Each CAS Array in both sites are pointed to the same external URL mail.company.com/owa for OWA. The internal URL's  for each CAS server,  http://<cas server name>/owa.  We are utilizing a HLB that uses VIP to point users on the east site to the EAST CAS and users from the west site to point to the west CAS.

If a users mailbox is located in the MBX Eastdag, and I try navigating to the external url, https://mail.mycompany.com/owa from the west site, I get a message stating: "A server configuration change is temporarily preventing access to your account. Please close all Web browser windows and try again in a few minutes. If the problem continues, contact your helpdesk."

If I try navigating to https://maileast/owa from the west site, or I am located in the east site and use https://mail.mycompany.com/owa, I get to my mailbox just fine.  

What am I missing here, why can I not use the WEST CASARRAY and be pointed to my MBX located on the EAST DAG? I would like to successfully be able to use the external URL from both sites, and not use the CASArray names to access mailboxes.

This is a new setup. We are making it so that both Sites CAS Servers are pointed to the internet as well.
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Question by:digitalhitman00
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 37802579
If your HLB is configured to use a specific CAS array based on the IP address of the user accessing it, it will only send you to to the CAS array of that site. One of the trickier things about having multiple site CAS arrays is that CAS servers are only able to talk to Mailbox servers in the site they belong to, so in order to get it working properly, you need to get CAS redirect/proxy configured correction. I haven't worked with your situation before so I can't give good instructions on how to fix this, but it looks like this site has some information that might be able to help: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb310763.aspx
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 37802593
There we go. Look at the Cross Site Silent Redirect section of that link. That should help.
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Author Comment

by:digitalhitman00
ID: 37805950
Yeah I studied this yesterday.  This is what I found out after testing. There is DNS Entries in both sites to point to the local CAS Array for mail.mycompany.com. For example, if a user in site 1 wants to access OWA and goes mail.mycompany.com/owa they are located to their sites CAS Array. If the other site access OWA, they are pointed to their sites CAS array as well.  

Since CAS Arrays only know about mailboxes in their current site, the CAS Array needs to redirect to the other CAS Array. The problem is if both sites have mail.mycompany.com pointed to their local CAS, redirection cannot take place.  Instead testing, i made dns entries and assigned the maileast.mycompany.com to point to the east site cas array and another dns entry for mailwest.mycompany.com and pointed it to the west site cas array.  Now Redirection can happen because I broke the local loop of the dns entry mail.mycompany.com resolving to their local CAS ARray.

Cross site silent is sweet because the user does not have to click on the redirection link, rather it automatically takes you there.

The real question is, can I have one DNS name, mail.mycompany.com for OWA, and still be able to perform internal email redirection from internetfacing site a to internetfacing site b?
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Accepted Solution

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digitalhitman00 earned 0 total points
ID: 37828543
Well...to answer my question,  Exchange requires that internet facing sites have a separate external facing name... Site1Mail.company.com and Site2Mail.company.com. This enables exchange redirection from one CAS to another CAS.  You can create a GSLB or separate DNS entries for each site for a singlename space, such as mail.company.com, but Exchange will resolve it to Site1Mai.Company.Com or Site2Mail.Company.com.  Externally one namespace works with publishing site1 and site2 as well, but internally Site1 and Site2 will need to work.
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Author Closing Comment

by:digitalhitman00
ID: 37847996
I found the answer before anyone could help me.
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