Decided to take the new SP1 for a spin tonight in the lab, and the first thing I wanted to play with was the new MAPI over HTTP functionality introduced in SP1 for Exchange Server 2013. There are a couple of things we are going to need to get this setup:
- Exchange 2013 Servers all running the new SP1 Upgrade – http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=41994
- An Outlook 2013 client running the new SP1 Upgrade
- A namespace that you will use for the MAPI/HTTP connection. This can be the same as your existing ones as well. In our case we will use https://mapi.accessabacus.com
- A certificate to support that namespace
- Update your Load Balancer’s and/or Reverse Proxy to allow access to the new MAPI virtual directory on your Exchange 2013 SP1 CAS Servers
There are a couple of things to note.
- Currently the ONLY Outlook clients that support this are Outlook 2013 SP1
- There CAN be issues connecting to Public Folders if they are NOT running on Exchange 2013 Modern Public Folders (more on that later)
- There can be issues connecting BACK to Exchange 2010 mailboxes through Exchange 2013 SP1 CAS servers if you JUST have MAPI/HTTP enabled. RPC over HTTPS or Outlook Anywhere is here to stay for a bit.
Alright, so let’s set this up. It’s actually really simple. First, on your Exchange 2013 SP1 CAS servers, note that we have a new virtual directory named MAPI:
Okay, so open up the Exchange Management Shell. We can inspect the setup of the MAPI virtual directory with the new Get-MapiVirtualDirectory command:
So, the first thing we need to do is configure the directory. We need to set the URL’s and the authentication method. In our case, we will set both the internal and external url’s to https://mapi.accessabacus.com/mapi and the IISAuthenticationMethods to NTLM and Negotiate. In my lab the name of my CAS server is PHDC-SOAE13CAS1. So my command looks like the following command:
Set-MapiVirtualDirectory –Identity “PHDC-SOAE13CAS1\mapi (Default Web Site)” -InternalUrl https://mapi.accessabacus.com/mapi –ExternalUrl https://mapi.accessabacus.com/mapi -IISAuthenticationMethods NTLM,Negotiate
Next thing we should do is reset IIS. Remember this will cause a disconnect so run it after hours:
After that is completed, we need to enable MAPI/HTTP for the organization. Ensure that this will not cause issues in your Exchange Organization before you do it.
From the Exchange Management Shell run the following command:
|Set-OrganizationConfig -MapiHttpEnabled $true|
If you have an existing Outlook 2013 SP1 session open, you will most likely see the message: “An Exchange Administrator has made a change that requires you to restart your outlook”.
After you restart it, and go to connection status (hold the Control Key and right click the Outlook icon) you should see a set of connections using “HTTP” instead of “RPC/HTTP”. RPC/HTTP is Outlook Anywhere, where HTTP is MAPI/HTTP.
Notice all my connections are going to Server name https://mapi.accessabacus.com and using the Protocol HTTP.
If you check the Autodiscover Log we will see there is a new provider from Autodiscovery:
Notice the Protocol is Exchange MAPI HTTP. You can see the Exchange HTTP below it. Exchange HTTP is Outlook Anywhere, where Exchange MAPI HTTP is the new MAPI/HTTP.
What else is interesting is if we go to the Outlook Anywhere Settings we see the screen is now removed from Outlook:
Outlook 2013 SP1 using MAPI/HTTP:
Outlook 2010 using Outlook Anywhere:
Note that the connection tab is missing.
Also, remember how I said you MAY have connection issues to legacy based Public Folders? Well in my lab, I still have Exchange 2010 running public folders. And since I have Outlook Anywhere, Outlook actually created one Outlook Anywhere connection for Public Folders:
Notice how the proxy server is “email-ph.lab.accessabacus.com”, the server name is PHDC-SOAEXC01, which is my Exchange 2010 Mailbox Server with a legacy public folder database. Lastly note the protocol is RPC/HTTP. Now, I in NO way think this is ideal, as we are straddling not only two protocols (MAPI/HTTP and Outlook Anywhere), two namespaces (email-ph.lab.accessabacus.com and mapi.accessabacus.com), but look at the screenshot. We are using two separate authentication methods where MAPI/HTTP is Negotiating, where Outlook Anywhere is using NTLM. Care should be taken again to ensure your organization can properly support connections so that they are using one or the other.
I also checked and of course the new MAPI virtual directory does respond to the Managed Availability URL check. This can help when using load balancers that do health checks like the Citrix Netscalers. I outline that in my article here (http://port25guy.com/2013/07/24/how-to-use-managed-availability-in-exchange-2013-with-your-load-balancer/) If you go to https://hostnameofyourcas/mapi/healthcheck.htm and everything is working, you should get a 200 OK response back:
Lastly, if you want to disable Outlook 2013 SP1 from using the new MAPI/HTTP for any reason, you can do so using the registry. Create the following key:
Create a new DWORD value named MapiHttpDisabled and set the value to 1
You can also use that to troubleshoot. If for some reason MAPI/HTTP is not working, check that key. If its set to value 1 and you want to ENABLE it, you can do so by setting the value to 0. If you need to mass deploy this you can so with a script, or Group Policy.
We will see how the performance of the new protocol works, as well as any other changes that need to happen as a result of this new architecture.