Wireless cannot connect to OWA

When my users are away from the office, their active sync email (Exchange 2003) works fine on their smart phones/tablets.  In the office, they have to shut off their wireless lan connection on their cell before it will work.  Only works through cellular connection.

Here's what I THINK is going on:

It's a DNS issue.  Outside email address is going to mail.companyname.com.  Inside the domain is company.local.  Wireless doesn't know how to get to mail.companyname.com from the inside.

I think I need to create a new zone (is this possible on an SBS2003 box?) and point the outside address to the NATted inside server, like mail.companyname.com = or something similar.

Does this sound right?  What else could it be?
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Exactly right. Sounds like there are some bigger issues lurking, but you can open the DNS console and add this record.

My recommendation is to add a new zone for the domain mail.companyname.com. Then create a single a record with no host name and point it to the internal ip of the Exchange server.

Doing it this way versus creating a zone for companyname.com and then creating an a record against mail as a host name will keep you from having to create and maintain other DNS records that are in your public DNS.

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svillardiAuthor Commented:
OK, so I created a new zone, but when I tried to create an A record, it asks for a host.  Never saw a DNS record without the host name.  How is that possible?
Just leave the host blank.  Perfectly fine - ever go to google.com instead of www.google.com?  Same idea.
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svillardiAuthor Commented:
I also need to know what will happen when an application tries the short name, what will be resolved -- or does it matter, because they will both be going to the same IP address?


I guess the app won't care, right?
I assume by "shortname" you mean your local domain?  You're not touching DNS records there, so this should have no affect on them.
svillardiAuthor Commented:
Ok, your google analogy makes sense to me.  But what's the harm in creating the record that uses host name "mail"?

inside zone mail.company.local =
outside zone mail.companyname.com =


Thanks for answering these questions.  Want to make sure I fully understand the solution before implementing.
If you create a zone called companyname.com and place ONLY mail in it, your WWW record will suddenly no longer work from within the company walls.  So you'll have to now create a WWW record (And remember to change it if your WWW internet record changes) as well as any other records that are hosted under companyname.com on public DNS servers.
svillardiAuthor Commented:
Why would I have to update public addresses for a NATted IP?  My query for www.companyname.com should be resolved locally with the new companyname.com zone, no?  I would simply update internal DNS.

Before, their DNS lookup would go outside to the ISP for a lookup.  Now they'd come internally because the zone exists inside the network.

But then what about the A record -- if I'm doing the google.com vs www.google.com example, I am pointing the "no host" entry to a particular internal IP (the mail server).  Aren't ALL queries to that .companyname.com domain now going to resolve to the same internal address?
What I'm trying to say is if you create a zone called mail.companyname.com, you're saving yourself the work and headache of having to now maintain www.companyname.com and any other records that are on public DNS.

By creating a zone called mail.companyname.com, any queries for www.companyname.com (Or anything.companyname.com) will continue on to your public DNS servers.  Whereas if you create a zone called companyname.com, EVERYTHING internal destined for xyz.companyname.com will have to be setup in the internal DNS for companyname.com.

You certainly CAN create a zone called just companyname.com, but not you'll have to duplicate every record you have with your public DNS into that internal zone.
svillardiAuthor Commented:
OK, your last comment finally sealed it for me and now it makes sense.  

In rereading your first post, I didn't pick up creating a zone called mail.companyname.com.  I thought you meant to create a zone called companyname.com.  Which explains all of my questions...  Your last post reiterated what I wrote in the previous post (you agreed with my assumptions) and explained it better.  Thanks for keeping with it...

Testing it tomorrow (I'm offsite).  When finished, I will award all the points.

Much thanks!
Any luck?
svillardiAuthor Commented:
Well, no bad stuff at least, because I did not get a call. But nothing good either, bc I didn't get a call.
What happens when you ping the internal name?  Is it resolving to the internal ip of the Exchange box?
svillardiAuthor Commented:
From inside the office, pinging the shortname, the local domain or the "external" domain all resolves to the correct IP address.

I just want to see real world results before wrapping this one up.

Using the subdomain was a great idea.  Thanks again.
svillardiAuthor Commented:
Thanks for showing me a better way of using a subdomain to fix the wireless issue.  Pretty smart, I must say...  I am onsite today and tested it using my iPhone.  Worked like a champ.
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