Outlook Anywhere two AD sites recirection or direct connect

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Exchange 2010 sp1

I have a single DAG that stretches across two AD sites, there are 4 members in the DAG, two in each AD site, and a CASarray in each AD site. I setup and configured each datacenter with its own namespace. Example primaryADsite= mail.mydomain.com. SecondaryADsite= DR.mydomain.com, clientaccessArray's in each AD site are also configured i.e outlook.mydomain.com = primaryADsite and DR.mydomain.com= secondaryADsite. Certs have also been configured with all neccessary names. The primary name on cert = mail.mydomain.com, the subject alternames are dr.mydomain.com and autodiscover.mydomain.com. Both AD sites have internet access, and both sites contain an F5 NLB device.

All external DNS names point to FW in the primary AD site. The FW passes this traffic to the F5 NLB device (using split DNS) the externalurl and internalurl url's for exchange web services in the primary AD site are the same i.e https://mail.mydomain.com, in DNS this name points to the F5 located in the primary AD site. In the secondaryADsite, they are https://dr.mydomain.com and this record points to the F5 located in the secondary AD site.

This is my question: External user running outlook 2010 (outlook anywhere)

If i have to activate a database in the secondary ADsite, and external DNS points mail.mydomain.com to the FW located in the primary ADsite, the FW will pass the traffic to the F5 in the primary AD site, and the F5 will pick one of the CAS servers. At this point does the cas server make a direct connection to the mailbox server in the secondary AD site, or does it send the traffic to the F5 NLB device, in the secondary ADsite?

Bulls on Parade

Allen Song


For the Outlook 2007, it will still use CAS in primary site make a direct connection to the mailbox server in the secondary site.

For the Outlook 2010, it will connect the CAS in the secondary site, then it send the request to the F5 in primary site, F5 forward it to the RPCClientAccessServer.

For more information, you can refer to the below article:

Designing a site resilient exchange 2010 solution



Allen Song
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