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Exchange namespace design and planning

Exchange Server namespace design and planning are some of the most critical tasks. If you configure it right, you will spare yourself a lot of headaches. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the Exchange namespace design and plan it accordingly. In this article, you will learn Exchange namespace best practices configuration.

Information Exchange namespace design

When installing Exchange Server, 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:

  • .local
  • .priv
  • .internal
  • .lan

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 namespace planning

An architecture view of the Exchange namespace is shown below in the topology.

  • The public DNS/External DNS zone will have a mail.exoip.com record that resolves to the public IP address of the firewall or router. It will then NAT any external connections to the Exchange Server internal IP.
  • The internal DNS zone will have a mail.exoip.com record that resolves to the internal IP address of the Exchange Server.
Exchange namespace design and planning architecture

Configure internal DNS for Exchange

Configure the DNS zones internally with Pinpoint DNS. Both these records are A records.

Record TypeDNS NameInternal IP Address
Amail.exoip.com192.168.1.52
Aautodiscover.exoip.com192.168.1.52

Read the article Configure internal DNS for Exchange.

Configure internal and external URL in Exchange

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.

ServiceInternal and External URL
AutoDiscoverhttps://autodiscover.exoip.com/Autodiscover/Autodiscover.xml
Exchange Control Panelhttps://mail.exoip.com/ecp
Exchange Web Serviceshttps://mail.exoip.com/EWS/Exchange.asmx
Exchange ActiveSynchttps://mail.exoip.com/Microsoft-Server-ActiveSync
Offline Address Bookhttps://mail.exoip.com/OAB
Outlook Web Apphttps://mail.exoip.com/owa
MAPI over HTTPhttps://mail.exoip.com/mapi
Outlook Anywheremail.exoip.com

Read the article Configure Internal and External URL in Exchange.

Configure external DNS for Exchange

There are three records that we will add to the public DNS. These are the A record, CNAME record, and MX record.

Record TypeTTLDNS NamePriorityValue
A300mail.exoip.com73.122.35.127
CNAME300autodiscover.exoip.commail.exoip.com.
MX300@0mail.exoip.com.

Read the article Configure external DNS for Exchange.

Conclusion

You learned the Exchange namespace best practices. It’s essential to have an architecture view of the namespace design before you start to configure. Save yourself trouble in the future, and don’t use internal hostnames for the internal URLs.

Did you enjoy this article? You may also like Exchange high availability namespace design and planning. Don’t forget to follow us and share this article.

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN

ALI TAJRAN is a passionate IT Architect, IT Consultant, and Microsoft Certified Trainer. He started Information Technology at a very young age, and his goal is to teach and inspire others. Read more »

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