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OWA to multiple forests

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OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 10:24:53 AM   
Maddas69

 

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Hi all
I have the following scenario:
Two separate forests, one W2k3 and E2k3 and one W2k8 and E2k7SP1.
Want to accomplish:
Access to both forests from the same OWA with users in both forests using the same MX.
The users will not exchange any free/busy information,GAL sync or anything else from the opposite forest.
These are two complete separated hosting forests but I want users to access their mailboxes through the same OWA/MX (let`s say https://mail.commonname.com) and then be redirected to the correct mailserver. I also would want to do the same with Outlook Anywhere/RPCoverHTTPS/Mobilesync.

Can this be done? Maybe I need a ISA server?
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RE: OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 10:29:07 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

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You can't go cross-forest with a FE/CAS. You need to deploy multiple boxes, virtualized if you want but they have to be installed into the home forest and cannot be used as gateways to remote forests.

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RE: OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 10:36:06 AM   
Maddas69

 

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Thank you for your reply.
So what you are saying is that users in the 2K3 forest for instance will have to access http://mail.commonname.com/exchange and users in the 2K7 forest will have to use https://mail.commonname1.com/exchange (which of course means using separate IIS`s and connect directly to the two mailservers).

So there is no product where you let`s say can make a "front-end" IIS that can redirect users from one common address to the two "back-end" completely separated forests?

(in reply to mark@mvps.org)
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RE: OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 10:42:22 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

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You have to have two URL's. There isn't a bit of software that magically determines that an inbound request from an as-yet unauthenticated client needs to go to the 2003 FE rather than the 2007 CAS in the other forest.

I would suspect that there's probably an Identity Management solution there. Call the Oxford Computer Group (Google is your friend) and engage them.

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RE: OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 10:47:22 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

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And I just asked my wife over IM. She says:

L says (10:45 AM):

You just described a bog-standard home realm discovery page.

Mark Arnold [MVP] says (10:45 AM):

Cool.

L says (10:46 AM):

Any .NET web developer worth his salt could write it in a day.
 


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RE: OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 10:51:51 AM   
Maddas69

 

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That`s pretty cool as I asked my wife what was for dinner today and didn`t get half as good an answer that you did :-)
Thank you for your replies Mark, I will try to look into it and post the solution here.

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Post #: 6
RE: OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 10:55:05 AM   
Maddas69

 

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BUT, I would also think that you could make a front-end web page, but that wouldn`t solve the Outlook Anywhere/RPC over HTTPS/MobileSync issue.......

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RE: OWA to multiple forests - 29.Sep.2009 11:10:27 AM   
mark@mvps.org

 

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You wouldn't need to though. The only problem you're trying to solve is the human interaction bit, i.e. OWA. If you deploy RPC over HTTPS and ActiveSync you can push policies out and the user never needs to know what URL he's hitting.
You're going to use three URLs, one each for the two forests for the stuff that you can do under the covers etc. via policy and the third one for users who don't know or need to know what forest they're in.
You have to have the three URLs anyway of course, unless you also deploy a reverse proxy but then it all starts getting very architectural-y

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Mark Arnold (Exchange MVP)
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