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Exchange 2003 and ActiveSync

Posted on 2013-01-18
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Here's the scenario -

We have Exchange 2003 with Activesync and mobile device management solution. We would like to remove the ability of the users to directly login to the activesync mail.company.com and use our mdm solution instead. Is there  way to block users to enroll directly to activesync?
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Question by:syseng007
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by:Alan Hardisty
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How does your MDM system work?

The almost probable answer is you can't unless you upgrade to Exchange 2007/2010/2013 as 2003 doesn't allow control over which devices can / can't connect which newer versions do.
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by:Md. Mojahid
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You cant do this without upgrading later version of exchange............
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by:syseng007
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@alanhardisty. Our MDM is SaaS and it's connected to our activesync...

Our OWA and ActiveSync are both connecting to mail.mycompany.com. Would it be possible to re-create ActiveSync and use a different hostname so users wouldn't be able to connect to it? Would that work?
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by:Alan Hardisty
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I don't know how SaaS works unfortunately, but if it relies on Activesync working, then you don't have any control over devices like you do in Exchange 2007/2010/2013 as Exchange 2003 Activesync is the early version which hasn't got the enhancements that the later version have.

You can either enable Activesync for a user or Disable it, but if it is enabled, you can't control which devices connect for that user so there is nothing to stop them adding their own devices unless SaaS can restrict devices by users.

If you configure Activesync to work on a different FQDN, then it will still have to work and can still be accessed by people as long as they know the FQDN.
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by:syseng007
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@alanhardisty - Would it be possible to create an additional front end server with a new activesync and perhaps the incoming IPs to that particular server? If yes, would that not break our OWA?
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by:Alan Hardisty
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If you have a Front-End / Back-End environment, all that happens with Activesync is that the Mobile Devices hit the FE server and then get passed to the BE server (internally).

The FQDN will still need to point to the external IP Address whether that points to the FE server or BE server.

If you have a different FQDN for OWA and Activesync, you will need a multi-name SSL certificate and if you are going to the expense of adding a new 2003 server, you would be much better off upgrading to 2007/2010 or 2013 and then save yourself the hassle / expense of running two servers when you only really need one.

How many users do you have?
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by:syseng007
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We have the same FQDN for OWA and ActiveSync. We are talking about 1000 users..

I think I might know the solution - I will need to restrict IPs at the ActiveSync virtual directory level to our MDM, Exchange servers and DCs.

Thank you.
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by:Alan Hardisty
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Do your devices access the SaaS server directly, not the Exchange server?
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by:syseng007
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Yes, our devices contact SaaS server directly.
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by:syseng007
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Would it be possible to run a script to clear all activesync partnerships? I'm thinking of just running a scheduled task on our front end servers to clear all activesync partnerships so users wouldnt have any choice but to get email via our MDM.
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Alan Hardisty earned 500 total points
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If you had Exchange 2007 or 2010, then you could run a script, but with Exchange 2003, it is a manual process unfortunately :)

You can disable Activesync using ADMODIFY for all users if that is any help.
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