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We have a SharePoint farm, with a single Site Collection, where the users connect using the non-FQDN hostnames for the servers (let's call 'em "SERVER1" and "SERVER2") on port 80. No external access, SSL, load balancers or proxies... none of those situations were AAMs are complex and necessary.

However, what I'd like to do is have a DNS alias (CNAME, or even just another A record with the same IP) and points the name "SHAREPOINT" to "SERVER1". Users should be able to connect to http://sharepoint/ all the time. And if there's a problem with SERVER1 I would simply change the DNS to have SHAREPOINT point to SERVER2's IP.

Of course, without the correct AAMs, using it this way gives us errors (because SharePoint wants us to use the default URLs of http://server1/...). And reading the SharePoint Team's explanations of "What Every SharePoint Admin Needs to Know About AAMs" (parts 1, 2 & 3) just added to my confusion.

So from "Mistake #4" in the second article, it sounds like I need to do the following:

  1. Unextend the web app from port 80 (on each farm server).
  2. Configure my DNS to point the name SHAREPOINT to SERVER1.
  3. Re-extend the web app to port 80, but use the Host Header of "SHAREPOINT" (on each farm server).
  4. Configure the AAMs so that Default="SHAREPOINT" (so that SharePoint rewrites all its URLs to "http://sharepoint/...").

But that's not all! Now what?

  • Will that break SERVER2 so I can't go to http://server2/ when the alias points to SERVER1?
  • Do I need to tweak the IIS site bindings after that?
  • In which zones in the AAMs do I put the short names SERVER1 and SERVER2?
  • What about the FQDNs server1.internaldomain.local and server2.internaldomain.local, which need AAMS to work as well?
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Anyone? Bueller? Anyone? (Even though I no longer have an immediate need for an answer, it sure would be nice to get one...) –  ewall Dec 2 '11 at 16:53

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