Help me setup the MX and A records correctly?

Posted on 2004-11-26
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
Hi guys,
I could use some help. I have a customer that is hosting his own mail and web. However he wants to use our service as a backup mail provider.

Whats the best and accurate way to setup his domain records with the correct A and MX records

I currently have:

DOMAIN                        TYPE                  IP                     A              A            ip to            A            ip to             A            ip to                     NS                     NS                     MX   VALUE 5                     MX   VALUE 50 = my webserver ( the backup mail provider) = the customers webserver and mailserver

My concerns are on the NS records.
Should I have and  ?

Question by:Brad_nelson1
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    Are you providing primary DNS service for his domain (ie. your server is an authoratiative nameserver for his domain)?

    Author Comment

    I'm not sure I understand what you are asking.
    They are running Microsoft DNS on thier mail server so I would assume they are the primary DNS
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    For any domain, you must have one primary name server and at least one (and maybe more) secondary name servers.  These name servers must have different IP addresses.  So, what name servers are listed as the primary and secondary name servers for this domain and where is the primary name server located?

    If and are the primary and secondary name servers assigned to this domain, it looks like you have everything set up properly, provided that and point to different IP addresses.

    Also, the two MX records should point to host names, not . . .   MX   VALUE 5   MX   VALUE 50

    . . . but instead (for example) . . .   MX   VALUE 5   MX   VALUE 50

    There should be a corresponding host record as well . . .  A  ip to

    . . . in DNS for the domain, and . . .  A  ip to

    . . . in DNS for your domain.

    Is it possible to provide the actual domain name?  That would make things a bit easier.

    Author Comment

    well my whole point in this is to be able to offer him a backup mail service so that if his server goes down, my webserver will collect his mail.

    so my question on the name servers. is can i do this:                     NS                     NS

    that way if his server is down, the internet can get the records from my server

    LVL 33

    Accepted Solution

    If he has DNS set up that is working properly to begin with, all he needs to do is add an MX record that points to a host name on your domain (ie.  He doesn't need to modify the existing NS records in that case.  You have to make sure that the host name that he uses (ie. has an entry in DNS that resolves that host name to your mail server's IP address.  As you have done above, you give his mail server a higher priority than your mail server.  If his mail server goes down, your mail server will take over.

    This may be of interest to you: "DNS Oversimplified" -  It gives a pretty comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to set up DNS.

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