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ISA 2006 – OWA publishing rule stops working without reason

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Good evening readers,

This post is just some reminder for myself in case I run into the same strange behavior of my ISA 2006 box, and more in particular with the OWA publishing rule.

Later on this evening, I got contacted by a customer, informing me that the OWA was down, but VPN still worked fine. Hmmmm…


After logging on to the ISA box (jup, VPN still active), I started by checking the active firewall logging, to see if any strange thing was happening. Immediately, one error got my attention “An Action Denied on port 443 / https” without any further details, besides it was blocked by the default rule. This would mean all my HTTPS publishing rules were not recognized anymore by ISA…

Next thing to check was the Windows Application log… man, was this full of red icons !!!!!

The most appearing error was the following:


Event ID : 21216

Source : Microsoft ISA Server Web Proxy

Description : The Web publishing rule COMM Exchange ActiveSync Rule failed because the Web listener selected for the rule is not valid. Verify that the Web listener specifies a valid IP address on this computer.

Something’s wrong with the web listener, but what???

One of my online friends (thanks Freddie for this suggestion :)) came up with a simple solution : go into the OWA publishing rule, make a small modification on something irrelevant (rename rule) and re-apply the rule. And, most of all, THIS SEEMED TO BE THE SOLUTION. When going back to the event log, the red errors stopped appearing, as well as the denied messages in the ISA logs were gone. A small test for OWA confirmed that everything was working again.

After searching the historical reason behind this, the only “clue” I could find was related to the WAN-interface of the ISA box (connected to the ISP’s router), which lost network communication somewhere earlier during the day; as of that moment, the above mentioned error message was being logged continuously.


I assume a simple reboot would have stopped the symptom as well, but hey, this solution is faster than a reboot, and less tricky.




Posted mrt 03 2009, 11:04 by Peter De Tender


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