Exchange 2k test environment?

I have a SBS 2000 box that is running Exchange. Currently we are using POP mail that we are pulling from an offsite webhost. The plan is to migrate over to our internal Exchange box within the next couple of months.

Now I am new to Exchange 2k, so I know I'm gonna be playing with things constantly and I can't afford to screw anything up or lose any mail. So what I was wanting to do is use another domain name that I have registered that isn't doing anything right now, point it to my Exchange box and use that for testing.

I have a couple of questions on how this is going to work:
1) What do I need to initially do to get testdomain.com to point to my location? I am guessing I need to change the DNS with register.com which I know how to do, but don't I also need to do something with a MX record??
2) Can I setup the Exchange box to run this test domain without screwing anything up for the real domain name that I'm going to be hosting in the near future?
3) Are there any simple walk through guides on setting up Exchange servers anywhere? Just something I could use as a basic reference?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Gabe_RiveraAsked:
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NevaarCommented:
OK, it's relatively simple to add this extra domain (for testing) to your existing Exchange server.

In Exchange System Manager, go into Recipients and Recipient Policies.  Double click on the Default Policy. On the E-Mail Addresses (Policy) tab, click New.... Select SMTP Address and Click OK.  In the Address box, type @testdomain.com (or whatever your domain name is - remember to add the at-sign) and leave the "This Exchange Organization..." box checked and click OK.

You will see the new address added to the list but not checked.  Check it then click OK.

Richt click on the Default Policy and select "Apply this policy now..."

The above will add a new email address for each of your users (name@testdomain.com). This will not affect the users since it's not their primary address.  It will allow any incoming mail addreses to that email address to be accepted and land in their mailboxes.

You will need to have an MX record added to your test domain's DNS table.  It should point to the IP address of your Exchange server.

Once both of these things are set up, you can start sending test emails to the new email addresses (user@testdomain.com).  This should not affect your normal users (However, if you reply to these emails they will still have your old email address as the user's "from:" because that address is setup as your primary address.



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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
What about the creation of MX records and all that good stuff? What's the process there?
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NevaarCommented:
When you registered testdomain.com, you needed to specify a DNS server (hopefully more than one).  Who owns those DNS servers?  Who's responsible for updating the testdomain zone file on that DNS server?

It's that person who needs to update the MX record to point to your Exchange server.  They'll need to know the IP address of the server.
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
I registered the domain with register.com, so the DNS servers are managed by them. I think they have an option where you can go in and request an MX record to be created don't they?
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NevaarCommented:
I don't know about how register.com handles their stuff.  You should contact them and ask how to get an MX record setup or changed for testdomain.com.

I assume that you're not using testdomain.com for any emails yet. Correct?
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
You are correct.
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help, I appreciate it very much.
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
Hey Nevaar, you still there? I have another question relating to this topic... wanted to see if you could possibly help me out?
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NevaarCommented:
I'm still here.
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
Ok good deal. I can make a separate question with additional points if you like. Here's my situation...

I registered testdomain.com and when I did, I pointed the DNS servers for this domain to a couple of machines that a friend of mine runs. He's very DNS savvy. I asked him to make some MX records that pointed to my Exchange server, which I have NAT'd out with a public IP.

I am using Exchange 2k that came with Small Business Server, and I am learning by the seat of my pants. I managed an Exchange 5.5 box, but it had already been setup and what not, so it wasn't incredibly hard to do the day to day stuff.

I followed your instructions getting the "@testdomain.com" added to the list of recipients. I fired off a couple of e-mails to an account that I know exists on the mail server, mine.

Now to check to see if I was receiving them, I configured Outlook on the mail server, it recognized and resolved my account (uderlined name), but there's no mail there. Since the MX record was just created I'm assuming that it will take at least 24 hours for the mail to start being routed properly, correct?

I guess I'm just concerned that the mail server is even setup properly to begin with considering I haven't really made any changes since it was installed by SBS 2000. I was looking at the mailboxes on the server for my account, and there are two items in there... but I'm not seeing anything in Outlook at all. Any clue what that's all about?
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NevaarCommented:
There should be no delay after adding the MX record provided your friend's DNS servers are the primary and secondary servers.

How long ago did you send the test email?  Is your friend savvy in having a manual SMTP dialog with your server?

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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
Well I just registered the domain name a few days ago, he added the MX records last night, so I figured there would be at least a little time before these new addresses would propogate throughout the Internet.

I sent 2 test e-mails last night, and one today.

Would you have any interest in connecting through to this box through TS, provider I gave you a user name and password with adequate credentials so you could take a look at it?

Maybe I could make it worth a crap load of points for you or something?
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NevaarCommented:
Let's start off by supplying the domain name, mail server's public IP address and a good email address.  I'll talk SMTP to the box and type in a simple email message (and check the server's response).
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
Ok hold the phone... two e-mails that I sent yesterday, one at 11:30am and one at 1:45pm were just received today at about 12:45pm. So it took about a day for them to get there...

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NevaarCommented:
Now try another one and see how long it takes today.
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
mail.aberrancy.com / Mail server's public IP is: 204.181.203.3

I have an account there, grivera@aberrancy.com

Seems to be working ok now... I had my friend sent an e-mail from his work, it came through. I sent an e-mail from Hotmail and it worked fine. It appears my DNS servers haven't received the update quite yet.
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NevaarCommented:
OK then, so life's good and we're done, yes?
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Gabe_RiveraAuthor Commented:
Yeah I guess so. The problem I'm having is DNS related, so I started another question for it. Thanks for your help though, I appreciate it.
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