If you are deploying Lync Server 2013 and want to present Powerpoint presentations in Web Conferencing, Office Web Apps Server is a requirement. Most references I found talks about deploying a single server, however, I wanted to deploy redundant setup. In today’s post, I’m going to show you how to setup the farm.
The assumption here is that you have already run Office Web Apps Server setup. The Office Web Apps Server setup is relatively straight forward next, next, finish type. All configuration must be done after setup is complete.
Based on Office Web Apps Server 2013 setup, I decided to setup load balanced farm using HTTPS as described in this post.
Your first decision is to determine SSL offload state. Since I decided not to offload SSL, my first step is to decide urls I am going to use and get a certificate for it. I also will be using same certificate on all Office Web Apps servers. Because of split DNS setup in my lab, I decided to use same url for internal and external use. I named it “owaps.contoso.com” and got the certificate issued by appropriate trusted authorities. I simply used IIS on one of the servers to create the request. I am not going to cover details of doing so as I assume you my dear readers are perfectly capable of doing that yourself. One thing I will mention as it will come in handy later is the friendly name. I kept it simple – “OWAPS”.
Now that I have the certificate I need on both of my Office Web Apps Servers, next step is to create new farm. Since I am doing this on Windows Server 2012, I can just open regular PowerShell and type away the required cmdlets. There is no need to load modules containing the cmdlet anymore in PowerShell 3. If you are doing this on Server 2008, you may need to load “OfficeWebApps” module. Anyhow, here’s what the cmdlet looks like:
New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalURL https://owaps.contoso.com -ExternalURL https://owaps.contoso.com -CertificateName OWAPS
And here’s what the sites in IIS look like before running the cmdlet:
After successful completion of cmdlet, the sites in IIS look like the following:
Notice that the “Default Web Site” is completely gone.
Before adding second node, I wanted to make sure the farm is up. All I did was verify that I get proper response when I go to https://localhost/hosting/discovery. You should get xml in response if farm is successfully created.
Now comes the tricky part. Adding the second node to the farm. The process is simple but not clear. If you do it incorrectly, you can end up with no farm! You need to run:
New-OfficeWebAppsMachine –MachineToJoin owaps1.contoso.com
However, you need to make sure you run this cmdlet from the server that you are trying to join to the farm and not from the server where you created the farm. In my case owaps1 is first server where I create the farm from. So I need to run New-OfficeWebAppsMachine on owaps2 which is the machine I want to join to the farm. If you run the following instead on owaps1, you will get a warning:
New-OfficeWebAppsMachine –MachineToJoin owaps2.contoso.com
This cmdlet will overwrite the settings of the existing Office Web Apps Server farm and may result in unintended
Continue with this operation?
[Y] Yes [N] No [S] Suspend [?] Help (default is “Y”):
This should be your red flag. Please don’t press the obligatory and automatic “Enter”. That would be a really bad. You will end up with a server without farm.
Anyhow, moving along. If you ran the cmdlet properly, you will have two servers with proper site and vDir structure in IIS like the screenshot showed earlier.
Now you have to setup your DNS to point the name to load balancer and configure load balancer appropriately. That is post for another day. Cheers.
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Thanks for sharing
Why do you PS command:
New-OfficeWebAppsMachine –MachineToJoin owaps1.contoso.com
You created a farm with owaps.contoso.com, so why not run
New-OfficeWebAppsMachine –MachineToJoin owaps.contoso.com
If you read the help for New-OfficeWebAppsMachine, it requires you to specify machine that you created the farm on. I know it is unintuitive but it is what Microsoft makes it to be so if you specify name of the farm, it’s not going to do what you would expect.
if i have mult sharepoints foundation farms , can i have one office apps server? our do i have to have one office apps server for every Sharepoint foundation farm
I’m not a SharePoint guy so I may be wrong, looking at this article on TechNet: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee855124.aspx, it seems you should be able to setup multiple SharePoint farms to use single Office Web Apps Server farm. Don’t take my word for it though! 😉
On Office Web App Servers do you have to import the cert in IIS , change HTTP80 website SSL setting to required SSL and edit the HTTP80 site binding for https 443 to use cert from the cert drowdown?
No. You must install certificate in cert store through MMC or using IIS but don’t need to bind it to site. When creating farm, you need to specify certificate’s friendly name as used in my examples and Office Web App server logic will create bindings for you.
Hi – how do you update the friendly name of the certificate for externalURL if it changes (ie, expired cert and friendly name was changed)?
Thanks 🙂 Felicity
You must get new certificate from issuing authority.
I have a couple of questions:
1. Is SharePoint Server the only service that allows using Office Web Apps Server? Meaning that I can’t use Office Web Apps Server for online editing any file (excel, word, powerpoint) without having SharePoint installed?
2. If SharePoint is the only way to use Office Web Apps Server, I’m stuck in installing one of the pre-requisites which is “Windows AppFabric” on Windows Server 2012R2, where it requires v1.1 as the minimum version, and when I install it, it fails because v1.0 is not installed! Again, version 1.0 fails because it’s incompatible with 2012R2.
Office Web Apps is used by SharePoint, Exchange and Lync to render documents. I don’t think it is designed to be a stand alone product.
For pre-requisites, I would just follow instructions from this TechNet article: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219455.aspx. That has worked for me every time!
we have OWA installed with the internalURL ending with .intern and the externalURL ending with .com. A .com certificate has been installed.
SharePoint has been set to use .com for the external-https. Even the internal-https says .com.
Lync checks the discovery URL and finds out that the internal URL is .intern.
Because of certificate issues, (i.e. PowerPoint presenting for internal users) I want to change the internalURL from x.x.intern into x.x.com.
What are the problems I will face?
My idea is to just do a: Set-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalURL x.x.com
But is that really all there is to it?
Hi, we have 2 office web apps server in the farm and we have to renew the SSL certificates. CAn you please let us know the measures and steps to do that ?
You need to get your certificate renewed using whichever certificate management tools you are comfortable with. You can use IIS interface on OOS servers. Work with your certificate authority for renewal procedure. Most of them have step-by-step procedure for IIS and other platforms.