MX Records held in two places

Posted on 2003-03-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-24

I have a problem. My ISP has asked that my office hosts the MX records of some email addresses that are currently being held in Germany. I can't move them from Germany for legal reasons, but I heard a whisper that it was possible that the MX records could be hosted by both places at the same time.

Is this possible? If so how?


Question by:ubya308
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 8065616
You can have multiple MX records for a domain - this is how you provide backup email services - is this what you mean?


Author Comment

ID: 8065784
I think so. How do you do it?

LVL 15

Accepted Solution

periwinkle earned 300 total points
ID: 8065847
Through DNS - something like:

$TTL 86400
$ORIGIN com.
mydomain         IN      SOA     ns1.mydomain.com. hostmaster.mydomain.com. (
               2002120901 10800 3600 1728000 1800)
               IN      A       xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
               IN      NS      ns1.mydomain.com.
               IN      NS      ns2.mydomain.com.
               IN      MX      5 mail.mydomain.com.
               IN      MX      150 mail2.mydomain.com.
$ORIGIN mydomain.com.
mail2           IN      A       yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy
mail            IN      A       xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
www             IN      CNAME   mydomain.com.
ftp             IN      CNAME   mydomain.com.

... mail will normally go to mail.mydomain.com, but if mail.mydomain.com isn't available, it will go to mail2.mydomain.com.

FWIW, you can replace mail2.mydomain.com with a domain that isn't even related to the domain - like mail.someserver.com or the like.
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Assisted Solution

TSellers earned 300 total points
ID: 8078551
periwinkle :

This may not be what he wants to do. THe post is a bit hard to understand (because email address relate to a server not an MX record)so perhaps that's the ticket, but if he actually wants to get the same mail simultaneously in both places through the MX records then he has a problem I would think wouldn't he as it would go to one or the other. The only way I could see then in that event would be to have each server forward a copy to the other server.

Author Comment

ID: 8079085
The reason I need to do this is that I send out emails from my office, but the reply address MX records are held on a server in Germany. In order to prevent the emails I send out being perceived as spam one of the things I need to do is host a copy of the MX records on my smtp server (dual hosting between here and Germany).

I can't move the pop accounts at my office for legal reasons.

Believe it or not this is all on the up and up.

LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 8079466
Thanks, Tsellers - I understand a little better now...

I'm not aware of a way for MX records to point to two servers simultaneously - and if they did, wouldn't it be a toss-up as to which one was being used?

It seems to me that even if the files were forwarded to another server, the suspected 'spam' server would be in the return headers, and the email would still be flagged...

Is it possible to move the mail server (but not the web server) from Germany and still satisfy the legal requirements?

Expert Comment

ID: 8164297
You are:

1. Sending outbound emails from your office mail server
2. The reply address MX records are on a German mail server
3. Mail is being perceived as spam.

Answer:  Do not use the smtp server in your office.  Simply use the German server as your primary (authenticated) smtp server.  If you must use your local mail server (i.e. for client machine bandwidth and cpu utilization minimization) to send - set it up as a relay server to the German server,

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