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An Exchange Server is already up and running in the organization. Before installing a second Exchange Server, it’s good to go to the drawing board. Exchange high availability namespace design and planning is by far the most crucial task. Take your time, and write the topology before deploying. In this article, you will learn about Exchange high availability namespace design and planning configuration.
Table of contents
Information Exchange high availability namespace design
Before you start, look at the Exchange Server course and install the first Exchange Server. You will have a clear understanding of how to install, configure, and manage Exchange Server.
When installing Exchange Server on-premises, it doesn’t matter which version, this can be Exchange 2010/2013/2016/2019, the internal URLs match the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the Exchange Server. This design is by default.
Let’s have examples of how internal hostnames look like:
You are asking for trouble if you proceed like this, for example:
- You can’t buy a third-party certificate based on the internal FQDN URLs
- Autodiscover certificate warnings and issues when connecting with clients
- You can’t load balance between multiple Exchange Servers with an internal FDQN
- Adding another Exchange Server in the environment will cause problems
- Configuring Exchange Hybrid deployment will cause problems
Note: We recommend making use of a generic namespace. For example, mail.yourdomain.com.
In our example, we have an internal domain with the name exoip.local and external domain exoip.com. Therefore, we will configure the namespace as mail.exoip.com.
Exchange high availability namespace planning
An architecture view of Exchange high availability namespace is shown below in the topology.
- The public DNS/External DNS zone will have a mail.exoip.com record that resolves to the firewall or router’s public IP address. It will then NAT any external connections to the load balancer internal IP.
- The internal DNS zone will have a mail.exoip.com record that resolves to the load balancer internal IP address.
Configure Kemp load balancer
Configure internal DNS for Exchange Server
Configure the DNS zones internally with Pinpoint DNS. Both these records are A records.
|Record Type||DNS Name||Internal IP Address|
Read the article Configure internal DNS for Exchange Server.
Configure internal and external URL in Exchange Server
Configure the internal and external URLs with the same name. Almost all the URLs will have mail.exoip.com in the configuration. That’s because the AutoDiscover URL will be different.
|Service||Internal and External URL|
|Exchange Control Panel||https://mail.exoip.com/ecp|
|Exchange Web Services||https://mail.exoip.com/EWS/Exchange.asmx|
|Offline Address Book||https://mail.exoip.com/OAB|
|Outlook Web App||https://mail.exoip.com/owa|
|MAPI over HTTP||https://mail.exoip.com/mapi|
Read the article Configure Internal and External URL in Exchange Server.
Configure external DNS for Exchange Server
There are six records that we are going to add to the public DNS. These are the A record, CNAME record, and MX record. The MX record will have four records for high availability.
|Record Type||TTL||DNS Name||Priority||Value|
Read the article Configure external DNS for Exchange Server.
You learned about Exchange high availability namespace design and planning best practices. This is a setup for multiple Exchange Servers in a single site. Please pay close attention to the namespace design and plan it accordingly to avoid problems later on.
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