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  • Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

    Hello everybody.

    Sorry for my poor english but i'm french and English is not my mother tongue.

    Environnement :

    Back End : Exchange 2k3 SP2 - Windows 2k3 Standard SP2 (everything OK)
    Front End : exchange 2k3 SP2 - Windows 2k3 Standard SP2

    My problem :

    In fact I want to install a new exchange server as a front end. In the future this server will be in my DMZ. I've installed Exchange on the Front End server i've disabled public folders, i've checked "Front End server" on my front end exchange server but I don't know what i need to do next !
    http://EXCHANGE/exchange works but http://FRONTEND/exchange doesn't work HTTP/1.1 503 Service unavailable). I haven't set any SSL or IPsec protection, both servers are on the same organisation and on the same network (for the moment). I haven't set any RPC over proxy because OWA doesn't work...

    I don't know what to do to make my OWA works on my front end server...

    I have read aproximatively 100 tutorials, topics or microsoft KB but it doesn't work...

    Help me !

  • #2
    Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

    I've done a screenshot : Is it ok ? (this screenshot has been taken on IIS on my front end server)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

      i dunno what that page even says, as french is not my mother tongue. even if it was english, it wouldnt help identify the problem imo.

      what have you tried to modify thus far? any forwarding for requests or such? is your DNS working properly? does the new exchange server appear in the sys man? have you checked the "front end" check box? did you check the "RPC" check box?

      have you tried the tutorials here? i know you have read a lot, but i know the ones here to be correct. you will find the articles here: http://www.petri.com/exchange.htm

      if you have connectivity between the two servers then the default install should yield a working OWA page. that would be the ideal setup at this point.

      if the backend is working, and the mail isnt being routed thru the front end, then you could remove the wannabe FE from the org and reinstall it, then before touching anything, refer back to the site here for the correct information on how to configure FBA, SSL, and all the other goodies listed.

      maybe someone here speaks french and they can help you a little more, but i cant read that and wont be of much assistance.
      its easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
      Give karma where karma is due...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

        ok i'll try to answer :

        what have you tried to modify thus far?
        I'm trying to make it work ! I don't have modified anything, it was an answer.

        is your DNS working properly?
        I think everythings ok how can I test it ?

        does the new exchange server appear in the sys man?
        Yes, I can see both servers on each server... the front and the back end.

        have you checked the "front end" check box?
        Yes, is it the only thing to do for a non-secured front end exchange server ? OWA on the front end (http://frontend_server/exchange) can works immediately with the front end chekbox and a reboot ? (http://exchange_server/exchange works)

        did you check the "RPC" check box?
        No, I think i will try to make it work without any security first.

        have you tried the tutorials here?
        I haven't found a tutorial like "How to install a front end server from A to Z"

        i know you have read a lot, but i know the ones here to be correct.
        Witch one are U talking about ?

        you will find the articles here: http://www.petri.com/exchange.htm
        Nothing about installing Front end server, just do "CTRL + F" on your browser and search for "Front" you will only see "Load Balancing Exchange Front-End Servers"

        if you have connectivity between the two servers then the default install should yield a working OWA page.
        How can I be sure of that ? I think they can communicate : look at this :


        that would be the ideal setup at this point.
        It doesn't work...

        if the backend is working, and the mail isnt being routed thru the front end, then you could remove the wannabe FE from the org and reinstall it, then before touching anything, refer back to the site here for the correct information on how to configure FBA, SSL, and all the other goodies listed.

        OK but imagine that my back end works perfectly. I take my Exchange Cd on my front-end server. I set up exchange. I check the "Front-End" CheckBox. I reboot the Front End server. and I try ...
        Is it normally working or do I need SSL or something else for my OWA on Front end server to work ?

        maybe someone here speaks french and they can help you a little more, but i cant read that and wont be of much assistance.

        I thank U, i hope my answer will help u to... help me !

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

          ok, another suggestion real quick...

          what is the status of updates and such on the new server?

          does the contents of the exchange web directory match?

          i will get back to ya in a few, but i gotta smoke, pee, and grab lunch... not in that order, and help you with finding the correct set up tutorials.

          as far as what was on the page, i was refering more to the setting up SSL, modifying the forwarders, the login page for OWA and such. youre correct, and there is very little to set up a front-end.
          its easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
          Give karma where karma is due...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

            Originally posted by James Haynes View Post
            what is the status of updates and such on the new server?
            Do U mean exchange Service Pack 2 ? and Windows 2003 server R2 SP2 ?

            Originally posted by James Haynes View Post
            does the contents of the exchange web directory match?
            Hum... are U talking 'bout my first screenshot on IIS ?
            I've some directory automaticaly created :

            /exchange
            /exadmin
            /ExchWeb

            ..?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

              like do the contents of the C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\exchweb match on both?

              they should both contain the same folder listing. i have 6.5.6944.0 on both the front and the back. if you dont, then things will not work (properly).

              what do yours look like?

              this happened to me one time, and i was forced to copy the contents of the missing directory entries and restart IIS to make it work.

              in addition, use the BPA to have it take a gander at your setup and see what it tells you.
              its easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.
              Give karma where karma is due...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                Let me just pick up on one point from your original post...

                "In the future this server will be in my DMZ."

                Why are you doing that? Do you think it will improve the security of your network? If you do then you are wrong. Whatever your reasons for putting the server in the DMZ I can guarantee that they will not improve the security of your network. Exchange servers - in fact any domain members - do not belong on the DMZ. No one has yet to give me a good reason why they should be putting a frontend server in the DMZ.

                Exchange servers should be inside the firewall. If you want to put something in the DMZ then deploy an ISA Server.

                As for the problem why the frontend server doesn't work, the most common reasons are
                - a version mismatch (the frontend server hasn't been patched - rule with frontends - it must be the same or higher than the backend server).
                - unable to communicate with the backend - so restrictions on the http traffic, firewalls in the way, something like that.
                - require SSL enabled on the backend server's OWA virtual directories. That must be disabled as inter-server traffic goes over http.

                Simon.
                --
                Simon Butler
                Exchange MVP

                Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                  Originally posted by James Haynes View Post
                  like do the contents of the C:\Program Files\Exchsrvr\exchweb match on both?

                  they should both contain the same folder listing. i have 6.5.6944.0 on both the front and the back. if you dont, then things will not work (properly).

                  what do yours look like?

                  this happened to me one time, and i was forced to copy the contents of the missing directory entries and restart IIS to make it work.

                  in addition, use the BPA to have it take a gander at your setup and see what it tells you.
                  \exchweb on both server were differents, i tried to copy the directory from Front-end to back-end and reboot IIS but it doesn't work...


                  Originally posted by James Haynes View Post
                  in addition, use the BPA to have it take a gander at your setup and see what it tells you.
                  I tryed BPA on both servers, there absolutely no errors on both...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                    Originally posted by Sembee View Post
                    Let me just pick up on one point from your original post...

                    "In the future this server will be in my DMZ."

                    Why are you doing that? Do you think it will improve the security of your network? If you do then you are wrong. Whatever your reasons for putting the server in the DMZ I can guarantee that they will not improve the security of your network. Exchange servers - in fact any domain members - do not belong on the DMZ. No one has yet to give me a good reason why they should be putting a frontend server in the DMZ.
                    Ok, so I just have to open a port to my backend server ?

                    Originally posted by Sembee View Post
                    As for the problem why the frontend server doesn't work, the most common reasons are
                    - a version mismatch (the frontend server hasn't been patched - rule with frontends - it must be the same or higher than the backend server).
                    - unable to communicate with the backend - so restrictions on the http traffic, firewalls in the way, something like that.
                    - require SSL enabled on the backend server's OWA virtual directories. That must be disabled as inter-server traffic goes over http.

                    Simon.
                    thanks for your answer,
                    - for the version mismatch I've put Exchange Server SP2 on both.
                    - I haven't got any firewall in my LAN (microsoft firewall disabled on front and back end)
                    -"require SSL enabled on the backend server's OWA virtual directories. That must be disabled as inter-server traffic goes over http."

                    What do u mean ? I MUST have SSL enabled on my back end for my OWA to work on my front end ???

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                      In my Back end server, if I do : "subst M: \\.\backofficestorage" I can see every directory from each user but If I do "subst M: \\.\backofficestorage" on my Front End I only see 2 mailboxes : "FRONTEND-SA" and SytemMailbox{XXXXX...} Is it normal ?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                        There is so much wrong here I don't know where to start.

                        First - copying the /exchweb directory structure across has broken the frontend server. You cannot do that and expect it to work. Therefore you will have to remove Exchange from that machine, ensure that all virtual directories connected to Exchange are gone from IIS Manager and that none of the file structure is there.

                        Then reinstall Exchange 2003. If the backend server has ever been on Exchange 2003 SP1, then you will have to install Exchange 2003 SP1 on the frontend server first, then Exchange 2003 SP2. This is due to a small bug where Microsoft left out a small part of the SP1 update in SP2. It does not affect servers that went straight to SP2.

                        After installing the service pack you need to go to Microsoft Update or use WSUS to install all the updates for Exchange 2003. If the version numbers in \exchweb are not identical then you have missed an update. The highest ends in .60 at present.

                        You do not need to have SSL on the backend server - you misunderstood me. If you do have an SSL certificate installed on the backend server with require SSL enabled then the frontend will not work correctly.

                        If you put the frontend server in the production network then you only need to open a port on the firewall from the internet to the frontend - 443 for HTTPS and 25 for SMTP if the frontend server is dealing with internet email as well. That is more secure than the large number of ports that you need to open to support a server in the DMZ.

                        I don't know why you are doing subst anything. That is not a supported access mechanism. The M drive functionality is dead - it was a bad idea from Microsoft and thankfully is no longer supported.

                        Simon.
                        --
                        Simon Butler
                        Exchange MVP

                        Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                        More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                        Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                        In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                        Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                          Originally posted by Sembee View Post
                          There is so much wrong here I don't know where to start.

                          First - copying the /exchweb directory structure across has broken the frontend server. You cannot do that and expect it to work. Therefore you will have to remove Exchange from that machine, ensure that all virtual directories connected to Exchange are gone from IIS Manager and that none of the file structure is there.

                          Then reinstall Exchange 2003. If the backend server has ever been on Exchange 2003 SP1, then you will have to install Exchange 2003 SP1 on the frontend server first, then Exchange 2003 SP2. This is due to a small bug where Microsoft left out a small part of the SP1 update in SP2. It does not affect servers that went straight to SP2.

                          After installing the service pack you need to go to Microsoft Update or use WSUS to install all the updates for Exchange 2003. If the version numbers in \exchweb are not identical then you have missed an update. The highest ends in .60 at present.

                          You do not need to have SSL on the backend server - you misunderstood me. If you do have an SSL certificate installed on the backend server with require SSL enabled then the frontend will not work correctly.

                          If you put the frontend server in the production network then you only need to open a port on the firewall from the internet to the frontend - 443 for HTTPS and 25 for SMTP if the frontend server is dealing with internet email as well. That is more secure than the large number of ports that you need to open to support a server in the DMZ.

                          I don't know why you are doing subst anything. That is not a supported access mechanism. The M drive functionality is dead - it was a bad idea from Microsoft and thankfully is no longer supported.

                          Simon.
                          Thanks for your answer, really. I can format and reinstall my FrontEnd server but I have a problem, my backend is in Exchange SP2 so I just have to put SP1 and SP2 in my front end server. OK...
                          I've formated/reinstalled 3 times my server and always the same error...
                          here is what i am doing each times :

                          I Install Windows 2003 Server SP1 on my server.
                          I join my domain with this machine
                          I reboot
                          I connect to my server as an administrator
                          I install Windows 2003 Server SP2
                          I install Exchange
                          I install Exchange SP1
                          I install Exchange SP2
                          I install every updates on windows update
                          I check the checkbox
                          I reboot
                          I start my browser (IE & Mozilla Firefox) and write : "http://FRONT_END/exchange"
                          I have the same f** problem : HTTP/1.1 503 Service indisponible (HTTP/1.1 503 Service unavailable in english)
                          I cry

                          Did i make a mistake ?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                            Windows Update or Microsoft Update?
                            There is a difference. Windows Update only updates Windows, Microsoft Update will update Exchange as well.

                            Simon.
                            --
                            Simon Butler
                            Exchange MVP

                            Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
                            More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
                            Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
                            In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

                            Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Exchange 2K3 Front End doesn't work

                              Originally posted by Sembee View Post
                              Windows Update or Microsoft Update?
                              There is a difference. Windows Update only updates Windows, Microsoft Update will update Exchange as well.

                              Simon.
                              Microsoft Windows Update, I trying with "Microsoft Update" it and I'll write there.
                              I've got a WSUS on my LAN, an update could has been installed on my back-end but not to my FRONT-End ...

                              Comment

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