Dec 8, 2004

Exchange 2000/2003 FE/BE topology step by step
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Environment
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AD domain: strongline.local
DNS domain: strongline.net
Exchange sites: site1 and site2
Exchange smtp domain: site1.com and site2.com
Users has either @site1.com or @site2.com email address

Objectives
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Users can access their emails by http://mail.site1.com or http://mail.site2.com
or http://mail.strongline.net/site1 or http://mail.strongline.net/site2

Steps
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1. Supposed that you have install all Exchange back-end servers ready
S1-Ex.strongline.local
S2-Ex.strongline.local

users can access their email internaly by Outlook, OWA (http://S1-Ex/Exchange or http://s2-ex)

2. Now install a new Exchange server (2000 Enterprise Edition or 2003 server) into either site1 or site2, it doesn't matter, check the box "it is a front-end server". In our example, the server will be named FE-Ex.strongline.local, it's public name will be mail.strongline.net

At this point, if all your users have a common email address, say @strongline.net, and @strongline.net is your default recipient policy, then
* internally, you can just type in http://FE-Ex to get your email. Of course you can create a CNAME record "mail" pointing to "FE-Ex" so you can just type in http://mail
* externally, you can type in http://mail.strongline.net
But remember in our example, users have either @site1.com or @site2.com address. So we will have to do a little more tweaking job

3. Create virtual directories for URL http://mail.strongline.net/site1 and http://mail.strongline.net/site2
- In Exchange System Manager, expand your FE server, Protocols, HTTP, right click, new virtual directory. Set Exchange Path to "Mailbox for site1.com" and "site2.com" respectively.
- Do the same on all back-end servers that contain mailboxes for site1.com/site2.com

Now you should be able to access your email via http://mail.strongline.net/site1 and http://mail.strongline.net/site2

4. Create HTTP virtual servers for URL http://mail.site1.com and http://mail.site2.com
- In Exchange System Manager, expand your FE server, Protocols, HTTP, right click, new virtual servers. Give it a proper name, select the correct IP address. Click on Advanced button, Add, Select IP address, type in "mail.site1.com" in Host Name box, OK. Select "mailboxes for site1.com".
- Create another HTTP virtual server for site2.com.
- Do the same on all back-end servers that contain mailboxes for site1.com/site2.com

Now you should be able to access your email via http://mail.site1.com and http://mail.site2.com

5. There are couple more things such as authentication, disabling un-neccessary services on FE server, and so on have to be done, please refer to http://www.microsoft.com/technet/
prodtechnol/exchange/2003/library/febetop.mspx
for more information.