The easiest way to configure the Exchange 2013 Virtual Directories is by using the ‘Configure External Access Domain’ wizard in the new Exchange Admin Center GUI. The Wizard will automatically configure all of the Exchange 2013 External URL’s to use the DNS hostname you specify. Note: In most cases the default internal URL’s are acceptable and can be left alone.
Why I wrote this article? Most of the available docs are for the command line based Exchange Management Shell (EMS) or have bad examples showing the internal URL’s and external URL’s set to the same thing, which I don’t agree with as a standard practice.
Follow these easy steps to configure the external Virtual Directories using the EAC GUI:
- open Exchange Admin Center, https://EX2013-SRVR-NAME/ecp
- click Servers > Virtual directories
- click Configure external access domain
- under Select the Client Access servers to use with the external URL, click Add
- select the server(s) you want to configure and then click Add. Click OK.
- enter the external dns hostname that you will use for external email access, this is what people will put in the servername field on their mobile device or in OWA (mail.domain.com is pretty standard).
Note: You will need to obtain a third party SSL Certificate for this dns hostname.
Congrats, the Exchange 2013 external URL’s have now been set.
The internal URL’s are set to the Computer Name of the Exchange 2013 server during installation. This is typically fine in most environments. That said, If you have an environment where you don’t own the internal AD DNS domain name and cannot include it in your SSL certificate then you may need to set your internal URL’s to the same hostname as your external URL’s. This is somewhat out of the scope of this article, however I wanted to point it out in case you run into it later.
At this point your Exchange Server 2013 Virtual Directories are configured.
Next: if you haven’t already done so you need to install an Exchange 2013 SSL certificate.
After your certificate is installed I’d recommend performing some testing and then you may want to setup redirection of http to https for OWA.