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Linux Mail server integrated to Exchange 2000

Posted on 2004-03-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hello Guys,

I just joined Experts-Exchange mail list. It is good to be here with you.

I will start off with my Problem:
I have an Exchange 2000 Server running on Windows 2000 AD. What has happend quite often is the server goes down for any reason (Virus/Partition full of logs etc) and users can't send/receive or access their mail, because all messages are inside the Exchange 2000 database.
I cannot dump exchange, because users want the features it has(Calendar/Meeting request etc) My Exchange server is having lots of hardware problems and I was told I cannot buy another server. I am in pretty crazy situation.
All clients are purelly using SMTP for delivery and receiving emails.

I need to build some redundancy; and I thought would be possible to do the following:
1 - Have an ordinary PC running Linux and integrated into the Windows 2000 AD using SAMBA 3.0/Winbind, kerberos and LDAP.
2 - Have a Linux mail server integrated into the AD, receive all mail deliver them to Exchange and keep a copy and in case the Exchange goees down all users would sendand receive emails through the Linux mail Server.

1 - Exchange database is a file and all mailboxes are withing this file (Information Store)
2 - Outlook clients are linked to this exchange mail server and all mailboxes are within exchange.

How possible would be to, place the Linux Mail server in front of the Exchange 2000, and then; deliver the messages to the Exchange box, and if the Exchange box goes down, allow clients to send and receive through the Linux server.

I have already setup the linux box and integrated into the 2000 AD. It is a Debean distribution, samba 3/winbind, and I am thinking of using Exim for the mail server.

Another problem I came across: Once the mails are in the QUEUE on the Linux mail server, I cannot deiler them to a local mail box, because the mailboxes are within Exchange 2000.

Please if someone have or had simillar problem or thought, I would really appreciate any help or ideas.

Thak you very much in advance

my personal email is recifequente@yahoo.com

Best Regards

Question by:renpippa
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LVL 40

Accepted Solution

jlevie earned 200 total points
ID: 10661790
The solution I'd use is one where "you can have your cake and eat it too". I'd use a Linux box set up as an SMTP, IMAP, & POP server as the mail server for the organization and not integrate the Linux box into the A/D domain. Essentially making it a standalone mail server that's simply on the same network. Then I'd configure each Exchange account to forward all mail for each user to their account on the Linux server and configure each client machine to use IMAP/SMTP to the Linux server. This way the clients still have all of the functionality of the exchange calendar, addressbook,  etc. without using exchange for mail.

You might also consider ditching echange entirely and using one of the exchange replacements (kolab-server, LinuXchangE, OpenGroupware, SuSE OpenExchange)

Author Comment

ID: 10693987
hello Jlevie,

Thak you for the ideia, it is a good idea. But, the idea behind integrating the Linux server onto AD is because, unfortunatelly all user names are separetaded by DOT, and I could not find a way to create users on linux with dots.
For example; Fred.Scooby. This is the login, and consequentelly ,the email address will be fred.scooby@cartoons.com.

Do you see the problem?

If I caouls workaround this, would be nice.

Thankyou very much


LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 10695945
Usernames with a "." in them are only a problem for things like useradd. It is possible to create accounts like that, just not with useradd or the Gui tools. Direct edit of passwd, shadow, & group work just fine. Another possibility, that has advantages from a security view, is to use Cyrus for the email portion. It allows for email accounts that don't correspond to Linux accounts and with the proper config allows for usernames of this form. The security advantage of this sort of email server is that the only Linux accounts required are those for root, a couple of admins, and the usual system accounts. Even if someone gets their hands on a user's email login that doesn't allow them access to the mail server itself, the worst that person could do is to read someone's email.

Expert Comment

ID: 11431952

The problem here is that I don't know how to get a mail client to send mail to more than one mail server. (to failover to a second if the first doesn't respond)

Given that this is the case, the only alternative for "real" high availability is to configure two linux machines to be mail relays, and to have those machines monitor each-other and "share" an IP address. If the primary linux machine goes down, the second should assume control of the shared IP, and take over.

Your mail clients could then be configured to send outgoing mail to the shared IP address.
Both linux machines could forward mail to the exchange machine.


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