Backup SMTP Server for Exchange 2003

Posted on 2004-04-19
Last Modified: 2008-02-01

We have a two office company, with separate offices; one in Maryland and one in New York.  I would like to be able to use the office in Maryland as a backup location for SMTP mail delivery.  I have added a SMTP Virtual Server to a server in the Maryland office.  We had a network outage in NY today.  The NY office holds the exchange server.  DNS properly routed email to the second virtual server.  How do I configure the Exchange server to retrieve the emails from MD server.  All the servers are Server 2003 Enterprise and the exchange box runs 2003 standard.

Question by:ciooal
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Expert Comment

ID: 10865519
Are their duplicate mailboxes set-up on the Maryland server for the NY users?

Assuming it goes like this.

1.)Mail server is New York goes down.
2.) All E-Mail  for clients in NY are now routed to server in Maryland via DNS
3.) Maryland Server accepts mail , stores in mailboxes of users for NY.

Basically of this is how it goes.

I think you can use the POP3 connector from the NY server, when service is re-established, to POP into the Maryland Server
and retrieve and deliver mail to the appropitate mail boxes in NY.


Author Comment

ID: 10865757
No duplicate mailboxes or anything "exchange like."  I guess I really don't understand how to develop a redundant SMTP mail receiver.  Everyone gets their mail from the NY server.  What I would like to see, is when the internet connection in NY fails, that mail be delivered to MD, once NY is back up, NY will retrieve the email and deliver it to the appropriate mailbox.

LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 10866329
Basically you should have two MX records on your public DNS server and have to set the lower priority for your Maryland Exchange server.

If the link is down for your New York the mails will be delivered to the Server at Maryland server.
This should be the ideal scenario.

"DNS properly routed email to the second virtual server".  
Make sure that you have the recepient policy created at the maryland and check box "This exchange organisation is responsible for all mail delivery to this address" is selected.

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Expert Comment

ID: 10869175

Thanks to Kidego for this--

If they are serious about DR in regards to their E-mail, give this service a look, may save you alot of time and headaches.

Author Comment

ID: 11213415
Sorry for my absence... Long story.

i think we are making this two complicated.  I only have one exchange server.  The one in NY.  I have setup the MX records in a manner that email is properly delivered to NY as long as NY is up.  When NY is down I want the email sent somewhere else, ideally a separate server in MD.  Just to hold the email until NY comes back up, then deliver the email to NY and then on to the end users email box.

I thought i could do this by installing the SMTP server that comes as part of 2003 IIS. and then configure it to forward email to the exchange server.  I don't see the place to enable it to forward the email though... am I missing something?
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

ikm7176 earned 125 total points
ID: 11214629
My first response followed by the stepsdescribed in the Configuring SMTP in exchange guide as below should be your solution

Windows 2000 SMTP relay server
The SMTP relay server is configured with a default public domain. It is also configured to relay messages for only SMTP mail domains within the Exchange organization—it does not relay messages to other domains. The following procedure provides detailed steps about how to configure the SMTP relay server.

To configure a Windows 2000 server as a relay server or smart host
1. Verify that SMTP is installed on the Windows 2000 server. To verify that SMTP is installed:
a. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs, and then click Add/Remove Windows Components.
b. Under Components, highlight to select Internet Information Services (IIS), and then click Details.
c. Under Subcomponents of

2. In Internet Services Manager, add the SMTP mail domain for which you want the Windows server to relay.

To add the SMTP domain:
a. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Services Manager.
b. Expand the server you want, and then expand the default SMTP virtual server. By default, the default SMTP virtual server has a local domain with the fully qualified domain name for the server.
 c. To create the inbound SMTP mail domain, right-click Domains, point to New, and then click Domain.
d. In New SMTP Domain Wizard, click Remote as the domain type, and then click Next.
e. In Name, type the domain name of your SMTP mail domain for your Exchange organization.
f. Click Finish.

 3. Configure the SMTP mail domain you just created for relay:

a. In Internet Services Manager, right-click the SMTP mail domain, and then click Properties.
b. Click Allow the Incoming mail to be Relayed to this Domain.
c. Click Forward all e-mail to smart host, and then type the IP address in square brackets ([ ]) or the FQDN of the Exchange server responsible for receiving e-mail for the domain. For example, to enter an IP address, type [].
d. Click OK.

4. Specify the hosts that you want to openly relay to all domains:

a. In Internet Services Manager, right-click Default Virtual Server and click Properties.
b. On the Access tab, click Relay.
c. Click Only the list below, click Add, and then add the hosts that you want to use the SMTP server to send mail.
d. Under Single computer, specify the IP address of the Exchange bridgehead server that you want to relay using this SMTP server. Click DNS Lookup to find the IP address of the specific server. For more information about how to configure a Windows 2000 server as a relay server or smart host, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q293800, “XCON: How to Set Up Windows 2000 as a SMTP Relay Server or Smart Host” (

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