I went through a whirlwind learning experience with regards to SharePoint 2010 AAM’s, DNS and Proxy configuration at a customer’s site today. Thought I would share my findings and some simple resolutions to problems I encountered.
In a nut-shell, we have a Web Front-end (WFE) server named sharepointvm. Up to today, we have been performing all installation and configurations using that server name; i.e. sharepointvm. This SharePoint 2010 enironment contains many Web Applications and Site Collections, so before going live, we wanted to simplify user interaction and have them not use port numbers to access the various Web Applications. This is where DNS comes in to play; and it is quite easy to setup and configure. In general, all you need to do is create a new DNS entry, such as intranet.domain.com, and point it to the IP of your SharePoint server. Then you extend that Web Application to port 80, using the intranet.domain.com as the host header. SharePoint Central Administration will automatically add the AAM configuration for you.
This all worked just great until I tried to access the intranet.domain.com site while remoted in to the actual WFE server itself. I was prompted to authenticate but never presented with anything more than a blank page. After some inestigation, I learned that I needed to disable the loopback check configuration. If you run in to this problem, there is a good KB article on how to do just that: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896861. Only read the part about disabling the loopback check configuration. Problem solved!
Now I was back to work and ran in to another problem. This was caused by the configuration and use of the DNS entries; i.e. intranet.domain.com. My primary Intranet Web Application/Site Collection is used as a Content Type Hub, and when I attempted to republish a Content Type, I received a proxy error. When I went back to accessing the Site Collection using the http://sharepointvm:8040 URL, republishing was no longer an issue. Again, after some investigation, the following article helped solve this problem: http://sharepointking.blogspot.com/2010/10/sharepoint-2010-meta-service-issue-no.html.
Ahh… living the life of SharePoint 2010… I love it!