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Setting up RPC over HTTPS with Exchange 2003 RPC front-end and Exchange 2007 back-end

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  • Setting up RPC over HTTPS with Exchange 2003 RPC front-end and Exchange 2007 back-end

    I have a situation where there is a client that is using an old Exchange 2003 server as a front-end to their Exchange 2007 server acting as a mailbox server. Their plan is to eventually migrate all the way over to the Exchange 2007 server before migrating again to a web based solution. My task in the meantime is to configure the Exchange 2003 server as an RPC front-end server and configure the Exchange 2007 as an RPC back-end server. My experience level is more along the side of day-to-day admin (create users, create mailboxes, delete mailboxes, enforce quotas, group and permissions maintenance). As they already use the 2003 server as a front end for normal Exchange mail traffic, is it that hard to enable RPC over HTTPS in this environment? If it can be done, anyone know of a site with good instructions (I've been looking for a week now)? The purpose of this deals with how traffic is routed through their network and this was deemed the best choice for rerouting (HTTP/S goes over a bigger pipeline, traditional Exchange does not).

    Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.
    Last edited by Eeik5150; 21st December 2012, 20:48.

  • #2
    Re: Setting up RPC over HTTPS with Exchange 2003 RPC front-end and Exchange 2007 back

    You can't, I'm afraid. You will need to set up an Exchange CAS role with Outlook Anywhere (RPC/HTTPS) set up and exposed to the web.

    btw, why are you planning to use Exchange 2007 -- surely 2010 or even 2013 would be preferred?
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Setting up RPC over HTTPS with Exchange 2003 RPC front-end and Exchange 2007 back

      I wish I had that level of control over the situation. They set this up to begin with. Somehow they have Exchange 2003 acting as a front-end for Exchange 2007 already including using OWA (though I'm not sure how they are doing it or if they are actually confused). Now they want to enable RPC/HTTPS in order to help re-rout their email traffic from a T1 to a 10Mbps pipe. As their network is already configured to rout all HTTP and HTTPS traffic over the internet instead of their dedicated line, and the users and servers are in different locations, this was the proposed solution. Back before we knew about the 2007 server I agreed that setting up RPC/HTTPS would be a great quick solution (at the time I was looking at them having only 2 Exchange 2003 servers in a front-end/back-end configuration already...little did I know that the back-end 2003 server was being decommissioned in a week in preference of the 2007 server).

      Personally, at this point I would rather they switch completely to the 2007 server and we set that up, but that's not something I have any power over.

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      • #4
        Re: Setting up RPC over HTTPS with Exchange 2003 RPC front-end and Exchange 2007 back

        Originally posted by Eeik5150 View Post
        I wish I had that level of control over the situation. They set this up to begin with. Somehow they have Exchange 2003 acting as a front-end for Exchange 2007 already including using OWA (though I'm not sure how they are doing it or if they are actually confused). Now they want to enable RPC/HTTPS in order to help re-rout their email traffic from a T1 to a 10Mbps pipe. As their network is already configured to rout all HTTP and HTTPS traffic over the internet instead of their dedicated line, and the users and servers are in different locations, this was the proposed solution. Back before we knew about the 2007 server I agreed that setting up RPC/HTTPS would be a great quick solution (at the time I was looking at them having only 2 Exchange 2003 servers in a front-end/back-end configuration already...little did I know that the back-end 2003 server was being decommissioned in a week in preference of the 2007 server).

        Personally, at this point I would rather they switch completely to the 2007 server and we set that up, but that's not something I have any power over.
        I would imagine they're probably confused as an Exchange 2003 front end cannot render mailboxes homed on Exchange 2007. Although an Exchange 2007 CAS (which effectively replaces the FE) can proxy connections to an Exchange 2003 back end.
        Likewise email traffic strictly speaking doesn't flow over OA/RPC/HTTP(s). OA is just the client connection method for Outlook to Exchange. Your only option is to introduce an Exchange 2007 CAS which can happily coexist with Exchange 2003.

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        • #5
          Re: Setting up RPC over HTTPS with Exchange 2003 RPC front-end and Exchange 2007 back

          Thank you everyone for you information and help. Time to go back to the client and try to needle out the real story.

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