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SECOND SMTP SERVER

Posted on 2003-11-05
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
I add a second server (windows 2000) and load exchange 5.5, what are the steps to add this server to the network and not have mail delivered to it, I am just adding a second SMTP server in case the first one fails. 2. and how can I set it up so the second SMTP server will only come into play if the first one fails. I am afraid to add this server and start the IMS and mess up the production end. I have configured a a record so when I start the IMS service, I don't want mail going to it. My senior guy is also afraid, and wants to see some type of docs. to verify this will not happen. This second server si just a SMTP delivery server to our mail server.
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Question by:millerdog
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:David Wilhoit
ID: 9689670
If you loaded exchange 5.5, with the IMC installed, the SMTP service had to be disabled. IMC won't work with it. What you're trying to do is setup a front end SMTP server to forward mail, right>? Exchange 5.5 doesn't need to be on that box.

D
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Author Comment

by:millerdog
ID: 9689842
I loaded exchange but did not install the IMS yet. This is what I was affraid to do. The IMS is not running nor has it been cofigured. I was not sure that if I started the internet mail service, that it would recieve mail. What we have now is a computer named jerry runnkng as an SMTP server, that just redirects mail to the mail server. I wanted to build a sercond SMTP server to replace or become a second server to do the same. I loade trhe OS, then Exchange 5.5, and was just getting ready to start the internet mail service. I was affraid I would have mail coming to that server instead of mail. I just want to use the jerry1 as a second smtp server.
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by:David Wilhoit
ID: 9689984
No mailboxes on jerry1? OK, tell me what you're doing, sound like you want a front-end server. If you have the IMC on 5.5 already, are you just looking for a second machine for IMC? If the first server goes down, does it matter if the front end is working, with no mailboxes? I'm not sure about your configuration or where you'd like to be when you're finished.

D
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Author Comment

by:millerdog
ID: 9690038
when you say IMC and I say IMS what is the difference? yes teh front end server that we have now is called jerry, all it does is keeps people from getting to our exchange mail server. I am just trying to build a second front end server to do the same if the original dies, or for load balancing. I do not want mail to come to it. I configured the new box with 2000 server, then I added exchange 5.5, my next move was to start the internet mail service, this is where I miss what you say when you say IMC instead of IMS. I am afraid to start the internet mail service to configure the routing tabs and all the other tabs. ex. addressing, conections,routing, restrictions, and so on.
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Bembi earned 500 total points
ID: 9690303
The second IMC has nothing to do, which serverwill get mails or not. You have a public MX record, which determines which server (=which IP address) is responsible for getting mail. If you want to hold a second server, you can add a second MX record with a higher priority value on the DNS server, which holds your first MX record. As the sender server can not connect to the first server, it will try to send the mails to the second server. Your second server can be configured, to forward all mails back to your first server. As long as the first server is not reachable, the second server will hold the mails in its queue, until the server is available again or the mail is timed out and rejected if . This time can be configured within the IMC.

As the second server must have a different IP it do not listen on the IP, which is actually configured as your public MX record. The only way, your second server can get any e-mail is, that there is a server or router, which forwards mails to this server (IP-address).  

This solution is nothing else, most of the providers are doing and a usual backup server configuration..
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Author Comment

by:millerdog
ID: 9693151
I did start the IMS service to see what happens and I got it going, why when I configured the second sever and had not yet configure a cost value did it (the second sever) not start get mail to pass to the exchange server? By the way, you did answer my question and I will so state that. If you could just answer the above question I can move on. You have been an extreme help.
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Author Comment

by:millerdog
ID: 9693167
also 1 and final question,where in exchange 5.5 can you configure the properties of the QUES., like how long the que will hold mail, and etc.
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Expert Comment

by:Bembi
ID: 9695740
1.) The source server searches for an MX record to find the mail server, which is responsible for your mail. As long as there is no second MX record, which points to the name and IP Address of your second server, this server will never get any mail. If you have two MX records, one for your main server and a second for your backup server, any server at the interen will first try to connect to the first server (the server with the lowest costs). Only if this server is not available, the second server is used.

2.) Have a look at IMC - Tab "Connections". There is a Button at the right botton "Failure times" or similar. If you click this button, you can sett the times you need. These times determines, how long the queue will hold the messages, until they are rejected.

On the "Connection" Tab itself, you can additionally set the times for the repetition tries. The values there in hours determined, how long the server will wait between the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and all following attemts to connect to the target server.
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Author Comment

by:millerdog
ID: 9700106
Thanks, you have been an extremly proficient help.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:riannuzzi
ID: 10110159
I know what you are doing and it is an unlikely scenario that your present IMS will die, if it dies and is not able to receive and send mail all other services are probably dead too preventing people from accessing their mailboxes period. What is more likely to fail is your internet connection, so a redundant internet connection would improve your likelyhood of that exchange server's IMS doing it's job.

However if you are concerned with redundancy, set up another IMS on another server with a higher cost  than your existing exchange server---this will give you outgoing mail redundancy///// then put in another mx record with higher cost for your auth dns servers pointing to the new exchange server(preferably on a different internet line, this will make receiving your e-mail redundant.

There are multiple scenarios to guard against.

Note, in order for your second smtp IMS service to take effect, your present IMS service must shut down or exchange server 5.5 will never know to use the backup. Microsoft is dumb that way... Good Luck.

Hope this helps...
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Expert Comment

by:David Wilhoit
ID: 10110202
"Note, in order for your second smtp IMS service to take effect, your present IMS service must shut down or exchange server 5.5 will never know to use the backup. Microsoft is dumb that way... "

no, you simply give equal cost to the IMCs in the GWART, they'll load balance themselves, whichever one is available. I do it at my site now...

D
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Expert Comment

by:riannuzzi
ID: 10113048
Kidego, I am glad you have it configured that way. Hope it works for you.

However, the point of this board is to answer the people's original questions.

Here it is in quotes:

"2. and how can I set it up so the second SMTP server will only come into play if the first one fails."

The only way to do this is to assign a higher cost and the one with the higher cost will only kick in if the IMS(port25) service on the lower cost IMS server shuts down.

Ciao

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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:David Wilhoit
ID: 10113512
thanks, I wouldn't have guessed what the point of the board was..

"I am just trying to build a second front end server to do the same if the original dies, or for load balancing."

you did answer it correctly, higher cost is how you make the second IMC a standby. I answered for this piece.

D
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:riannuzzi
ID: 10114070
His original question was what i was concerned with. I answered this.

But you are right, he did mention load-balancing thereafter and for load balancing your solution is A.

Miilerdog, a word of advise, be very careful with adding just an smtp server that sends mail but does not receive, with all the spam going on, many companies have software that do reverse lookups when receiving mail, so if your mail server is not registered with authoritative dns servers your secondary mail server will be rejected by some companies.

Personally what I would do for your solution is use a cost of 1 of ryour main e-mail server and have a cost of 10 for your backup, however I would get a second internet line like dialup or cheap dsl so that when your main internet connection and/or main smtp server goes down, it will be transparent to users who need to SEND mail.
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