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In our current environment we have a single (ADSL) fixed IP address connecting our network to the internet. We use this for accessing our exchange webmail, hosted on Windows SBS 2003. Our sharepoint server exists on another machine.

I would like to open our sharepoint instance to staff who work offsite. This obviously uses the same port as Exchange and our other public facing web applications.

  • Can I configure things so the sharepoint site is available via the public interface and how!)?
  • Is this a sensible way to do things?
  • Is this a possible DNS fix?

I don't want to set the request on a non-standard port, but if this is the best way to do things, I will do it. It is also a temporary fix until we get our second connection up and running properly (with 6 fixed IP addresses).

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2 Answers 2

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If the SharePoint site is being hosted by the same box as Exchange/OWA, you could configure a host-header to host both sites on port 80, and create a second name in the public DNS that refers to that host-header name.

If they're not running on the same box you're going to need an HTTP reverse-proxy solution to split those incoming requests between Exchange and SharePoint, since you can't just port-forward port 80 to two (2) different boxes at your firewall. I believe you could do it with Apache running as a proxy, though I'd have to hunker down and work up a config to tell you for sure.

Exposing services to the public, if you want to do that, isn't an unheard-of thing. Doing gyrations to host multiple sites running on physically separate boxes with HTTP reverse-proxying is a bit of a stretch, but it's feasible. If this is only a temporary thing, I'd question investing a lot of time in it.

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Sorry, I missed the important part of what I meant to ask... (amatuers!) The sharepoint instance and exchange OWA instance are on separate physical machines. –  Brian Storrar Jun 5 '09 at 7:39
    
Having looked more deeply into this, I can now see that I need a better firewall. By the time I get a better firewall, I'll have my extra 6 IP addresses, so this will no longer be an issue. Thanks for your help guys. –  Brian Storrar Jun 5 '09 at 7:57

You can have multiple web applications sharing the same IP and port. Configure a new CNAME record to point to your public IP (e.g. sharepoint.yourcorp.example) and extend your Sharepoint web application to accept requests with that host header.

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I've added a few CNAME entries to the DNS record withour ISP, but the problem is that I need to route things between my basic firewall and the web servers. –  Brian Storrar Jun 5 '09 at 7:38
    
Yeah, in that case a reverse proxy (like Evan suggested) would be needed in addition to what I suggested. –  Hirvox Jun 5 '09 at 9:08

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