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exchange 2013 autodiscover

Posted on 2014-07-17
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Last Modified: 2014-07-18
Hey guys

I have three exchange 2013 servers, two onsite and 1 offsite.  They are all connected via Database Groups and those are just fine.  It seems like everyone in the office connects just fine to the onsite servers and some of the clients that are offsite will connect to one of the two servers onsite, but I have one client that when he connects he only connects to the 1 offsite server.  Is there a way to direct this person to connect to one of the two onsite servers in the autodiscover settings or am I at the mercy of the auto connect?

Thanks
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Question by:jonmenefee
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3 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Philip Portnoy
ID: 40203454
You cannot change autodiscover based on users.
They way autodiscover works is very simple - it provides an .xml file with configuration to the client.
This XML file, along with all important connection information, contains Exchange external URL (which is specified in Outlook Anywhere configuration).
Usually balancing is performed via Network Load Balancing, where NLB accepts requests from Exchange external URL; or Round Robin DNS, where, for example, externalmail.domain.com resolves into 2 different IP addresses.
This is strange that one 1 client connects to the offsite server.

P.S. I suppose we're talking about CAS connections, not database.
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Adam Farage earned 500 total points
ID: 40203822
Philip is sorta right.. but left out a LOT of information..

AutoDiscover servers up records in two ways, depending on if it is external or internal:

External Client connecting into Exchange 2013

- Outlook attempts to pull the SCP from Exchange 2013, which is located within Active Directory. Since the client cannot access active directory, this lookup fails and moves onto HTTPS.
- Since the AD SCP Object lookup failed, it will then move onto HTTPS and try the following URLs in this order:

https://company.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml
https://autodiscover.company.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml

- Lets say, in the event that this does not work it will then try the SAME URLs (in the SAME order) but over HTTP to see if a connection is available.
- If either is not working, then it tries to find an SRV record or just fails.

Now when the client does connect in, the AutoDiscover.XML includes the EXCH Outlook Provider records. These records tell the client where to connect to for specific services, and then Outlook uses these URLs to make its connection into Exchange (most likely over Outlook Anywhere - RPC / HTTPS)

Internal Clients

- Outlook attempts to pull the SCP object from Active Directory. This service connection point should contain the autodiscover URL if you have multiple CAS or multiple sites. BY DEFAULT: the AutoDiscover SCP in Exchange will have the Exchange server as the address (e.g: https://server-hostname/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml). I would recommend to change this, and the next step kinda explains it better
- Once the SCP Object is pulled, the Outlook client will attempt to connect to the URL within the there.
- Outlook makes its connection, pulls down the XML file which contains the EXPR records and then makes its connections as needed for Outlook.

Now.. the proper way in my opinion (and most other consultants that do Exchange for a living) is to point the AutoDiscover URL externally to the Public IP that leads to the load balancer VIP (virtual IP), or the Public IP of the Exchange 2013 CAS. In your situation this would be the primary site.

Internally you should change the SCP Object for AutoDiscover to autodiscover.company.com, and then add an A record within your DNS Internal Lookup Zone that will then resolve to the internal VIP of the load balancer. This also should be to your primary site.

If you follow these two recommendations I pointed above, AutoDiscover should be connecting into the primary site to pull the proper information. Reference on changing the SCP is below:

http://theucguy.net/service-connection-point-scp-in/

NOTE: changing the SCP is the same exact method in both 2007 / 2010 and 2013.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jonmenefee
ID: 40204263
Both guys were right but Adam gave a Lot more information and that's what I needed to get this problem resolved. Thanks a lot!!
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