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Problems with linked servers

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Problems with linked servers - 27.Apr.2008 10:41:34 PM   


Posts: 2
Joined: 25.Apr.2008
Status: offline

I have "inherited" a system from another IT guy that's having problems. I'm still a rookie, and have never before worked on a system with 2 Exchange servers. The 2 machines are in different cities, Cheyenne and Casper. Both are running Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2 Standard Edition (32-bit) and Exchange 2003 SP2. The 2 cities are linked by a full-time router to router VPN tunnel.

The Cheyenne machine is the "primary", and the mx records point to the Cheyenne static IP address. The Casper server is a member server on the same domain, and is connected in Exchange to the Cheyenne server using an Internet Mail SMTP connector.

Now for the problems. First, the Cheyenne folks can use OWA just fine. But if you try to log in using a Casper user name, the address bar in your browser changes to http://CasperServerName.DomainName.local/exchange and, of course, says it can't find the server.

The second problem is that many e-mails sent from Casper get bounced back. In looking at the errors, most are from failed reverse DNS lookup. On closer examination, the e-mails seem to be associated with Casper's static IP address, NOT Cheyenne's, so of course reverse DNS DOES fail, as it's the Cheyenne IP address that resolves back to the domain name.

Any thoughts, oh far more experienced gurus of the Exchange world?

Thank you in advance for your help.


Post #: 1
RE: Problems with linked servers - 28.Apr.2008 1:49:41 PM   


Posts: 4093
Joined: 17.Jan.2008
From: Somewhere near London, UK
Status: offline
The behaviour you are seeing with OWA is to be expected. If you login to OWA on one server and try to access a mailbox on the other server then OWA will redirect you to the correct server automatically. That behaviour cannot be stopped.

You have two options (well three if I am picky)
1. Expose the second server to the intenret, with its own URL, IP address and SSL certificate.
2. Introduce a third Exchange 2003 standard server which is configured as a frontend server. Frontend servers are discussed heavily elsewhere so I will not go in to much depth - but they are a form of Exchange server that does not have any mailboxes on it.
3. The third option of course is that people on the other site do not use OWA.

On the DNS question, your understanding of DNS isn't quite correct.
If the second server has a static IP address then you can correct the DNS for that server so that email can be delivered correctly. It needs to have a matching DNS, reverse DNS and SMTP banner. It isn't attached to the domain name exactly, although it may appear that way if the DNS hasn't been done to the best practises and is using domain.com instead of host.domain.com

Another option is to create an SMTP connector with the server that you want to send email listed as the bridgehead. That will force the second server to send email via the first server to the internet.



Simon Butler,
Exchange MVP
Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
Web: http://www.amset.info/
In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/
Exchange Resources: http://exbpa.com/

(in reply to drroywy)
Post #: 2
RE: Problems with linked servers - 28.Apr.2008 4:56:45 PM   


Posts: 2
Joined: 25.Apr.2008
Status: offline

Thank you for the prompt response. Once I did some additional internet research to know what to look for, I discovered that both servers were showing as bridgeheads on the group connector. I deleted the Casper server leaving only the Cheyenne server as a bridgehead and that appears to have solved the reverse DNS bounce problem. (which I believe is exactly what you're saying in your last paragraph) So... it's nice to know that the solution I arrived at was, in fact, the correct one.

Thank you for the info on the OWA issue. It's not good news, but at least now I know.


(in reply to Sembee)
Post #: 3

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