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Setup DNS with mx record

Posted on 2004-07-30
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Here's my scenario

I have 2 internal DNS servers and an Exchange server and someone else forwards our mail to our network.  What steps would I take to have our email coming directly to our network and by pass the man in the middle?   We don’t have the mx record on our network.

Platforms

Windows 2000 Server
Exchange 2000 Server
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Question by:ranpage
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Expert Comment

by:adamdrayer
ID: 11680073

First of all, regardless of whether or not you have internal DNS servers, you have to know whether you or your ISP have authoritative control over your public DNS entries.

If you do not... then you need to inform your ISP that you want to change your MX record, and give them the name of your exchange server.  

It can get more complicated depending on your network setup, NATing, etc...
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Expert Comment

by:Vrrotate
ID: 11689026
Find out who you registered your domain name through, if you don't know this info call Network Solutions and they will be more than happy to find out or take the service to themselves. How is your internet connection setup? Are your servers using static public IP's or are they using private IP's behind a router that has a public IP (NAT)? If they are running public static IP's all you have to do is call and tell whoever handles your DNS that you want to change your MX record to your Exchange 2000 Server IP. If you are running NAT you have to direct your MX record to your router public IP and set your router up to forward all mail traffic (by port number) to your Exchange server using it's IP address. Make sure your exchange server has the proper DNS IP's of your ISP to send outbound mail to or you will not be able to send mail, your middle man's IP addresses might be programmed in there right now and if you close your account with him he might disable you as a trusted IP. Let me know if this helps.
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Author Comment

by:ranpage
ID: 11902835
The Networks external Ip is static as are the internal servers are Static IP's as well and we are using Nat to forward the mail to the Exchange server.    Is this what I need to do?

1. tell ISP to remove the MX for our company and that we will host the record
2. Create MX record on our server
3. use Nat to have mail go to exchange server

Here's where i get lost?

Should we have an external DNS server ?
Do I still need to depend on the ISP DNS servers?
How does the mail know where to go after make this change ?
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Accepted Solution

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adamdrayer earned 125 total points
ID: 11903165
Your ISP is probably the authoritative DNS server for your domain.  If they change the MX record to point to your IP address, then all internet email will be sent to that IP address.  That means that you NAT device will start getting smtp requests and you have to setup port forwarding to properly deliver these messages(and outgoing as well) to your exchange server.

you can check what IP address your mx record is setup in now by typing this:
nslookup -q=mx yourdomain.com

yes you will still have to depend of te ISP DNS servers.  You do not want to run an external authoritative DNS server if you don't know what you are doing.  Check with your registrar.  They are the ones that sold you your domain name. During that process you have to supply 2 DNS servers.  This may have been automatically done for you by your ISP.  These 2 servers direct traffic to your domain.  Though you will be hosting your own mail, it is still your ISP's DNS servers that are telling everyone where to go, it's just the destination that has changed.
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