FE/BE Problem

  • From: "Mike French" <mikef@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <exchangelist@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 21:05:47 -0500

Here is what we have:

Windows 2003 Server Standard
Exchange 2003 Standard

No SP1 installed.

This is a relatively small network with exchange installed on a DC/GC on the
backend in the LAN with one other DC.

Hypothetical names:

DOMAIN = mydomain.com
BE = MARCH (Routing group Master)
FE = MAY (Routing group member)

Internet -> PIX -> (DMZ) Front-end member server Exchange 2003 on Windows
2003 Server -> PIX -> Exchange 2003 Back-end

All ports needed are open for the FE/BE communication.

The first odd thing I see (I am new to FE/BE) is the FE Queue sending a
message every so often to MARCH-IS@xxxxxxxxxxxx and hanging in the queue,
I'm not sure what this account is, my guess it is the machine account of the

Second is OWA via SSL on the FE just quite working, not sure why nothing
crazy in the logs. Started getting a 440 Login timeout error after forms
based authentication screen. It seems like a permissions issue? And after
banging on this for a while I decided to remove exchange from the FE, remove
IIS 6.0, remove from the domain then re-install, recreate SSL Cert from
enterprise CA and re-join. Logs were clean but, OWA still has problems wit
SSL works with out it. I will check the PIX logs tomorrow to see if there is
still a communication error that is popping up. I added the Reg Key to stop
the FE from re-using the HTTP connections to the BE and open a new
connection. Maybe the PIX is breaking down the link that the FE is trying to
communicate on?

My main question is the MARCH-IS@xxxxxxxxxxxx does this look familiar? Any
light to be shed here?

I know ISA is what is recommended, it just isn't going to happen here (don't
ask why, long story).

In the mean time I am re-reviewing the MS FE/BE topology guide.....


Mike French
MIS OnlineServices
754 Port America Place
Suite 150
Grapevine, TX 76051
(888) 327-5647
(817) 488-1600
FAX (817) 488-1103

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