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How can I redirect email traffic

Posted on 2006-05-01
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a client that has a domain name hosted with a company other than mine.  I have a large bulk amount of space from a large company and I resell smaller packages.  My client needs to continue hosting on their current server and use my server for pop and webmail access.  I need some assistance in how I would make this happen and my current company says they don't support this type of request.  I know it has something to do with MX Records, at least I think so.  My control panel is Plesk based.

Any help is greatly appreeciated.  Thanks in advance.
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Question by:GTKINC
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by:nltech
ID: 16582744
whoever's got the dns servers for the domain would need to change the mx record(s) to point to your mail server (you can use the tools at www.dnsstuff.com to find out who that is). you'd also need to configure your mail server for the domain and email accounts. i.e. configure a 'mail only' account in your control panel (if you can)...

your other option is to take over dns for their domain (change the dns servers at their domain registrar to point to yours), configure the account like you usually do for a regular hosting client; and then redirect the necessary domain & subs (typically domain.com, www.domain.com & ftp.domain.com) back to the existing host (a few quick edits to the zone file is all it takes).

i have to do the second option on my cpanel/whm hosting accounts in order to set up a 'mail only' account, at least that's the plan my provider and i worked out. on my server, they can access their control panel & webmail off of my own domain, and they can also access them at http://mail.domain.com/cpanel & http://mail.domain.com/webmail (mail.domain.com is also their pop server name).
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by:sypder
ID: 16582747
Yes, you can do this exact thing in Plesk. It is indeed an MX record. Here is what I would do:

1. Go to http://www.dnsstuff.com/, and do a 'DNS lookup' for the domain and set it to 'All' and record this information
2. Login to plesk and create a domain with the relevant domain name
3. Click Plesks 'DNS' button for the domain
4. Delete all of the curent records, except the ones releated to MX and NS
5. Enter in all the records you recorded earlier, expect the ones related to MX and NS
6. Go to the registrar for the domain (NetSol, GoDaddy, or whoever) and change the DNS information to your server.

If you want, you can post the DNS information from Plesk after you have updated it and before step 6, and I can look over it for you.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16610013
Here is what dnsstuff comes up with http://tinyurl.com/ls7yh

When I log into PLESK and create the domain then delete the records you mentioned I get this error:  

"None of IP addresses specified in A DNS records match the IP address used for hosting
The result of DNS zone modification:
WWW prefix was changed. Be sure to modify the SSL certificate accordingly."

Does that mean anything?

I need to delete the one's with a star by them, right?  Also, if possible, even though its hosted on a different server I would like for this client to be able to type webmail.bethabarapark.org and have the option of accessing their mail via the web.

bethabarapark.org. NS ns.bethabarapark.org.  
*  ns.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141  
*  bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141  
*  mail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141  
*  webmail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141  
*  ftp.bethabarapark.org. CNAME bethabarapark.org.  
*  lists.bethabarapark.org. CNAME bethabarapark.org.  
*  www.bethabarapark.org. CNAME bethabarapark.org.  
bethabarapark.org. MX (10) mail.bethabarapark.org.  
*  216.69.174.141 / 24 PTR bethabarapark.org.

As for entering in what is in the dnsstuff back into my DNS, I'm not sure I follow you.

I know all of this could be easily circumvented by just moving their site to my server but unfortunately right now that's not an option.  Just food for thought.
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Expert Comment

by:sypder
ID: 16610230
That error is fine. It basically says that the server that Plesk is installed on is not hosting the site.

Remove: bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141
Add: bethabarapark.org. A IN 206.219.100.220

The A record is for the standard hosting, and you will not be hosting the site, so you need to direct it to the other server. I assume 216.69.174.141 is your server and 206.219.100.220 is the server currently doing the hosting.

Once this change has been made, and you switch the DNS information with the registrar, 216.69.174.141 will host the mail, and 206.219.100.220 with host the web.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16617279
If I make these changes, will the site email users be able to type in webmail.bethabarapark.org and get to my site?
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by:sypder
ID: 16618111
Yes,

You have webmail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141  
so there won't be a problem.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16695699
Once I have made all of the changes, the company that is currently hosting, what do I have them point to?  My name server?  FYI, all of my other domains are set to my domain server, its virtual but none the less they all point to it.
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Expert Comment

by:sypder
ID: 16696442
I am not sure I understand:

bethabarapark.org. A IN 206.219.100.220

points the domain to them.

You will need to change the NameServers with GoDaddy, NetSol, ot whoever you use...
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16698392
I don't have access to changing the DNS information because its not hosted with me.  The webmaster that does host it, what do I have them point the mx and mail.bethabarapark.org request to, my IP or Name Server?
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by:sypder
ID: 16700904
You should be able to login to the registrar regardless of who hosts the site. Lan Holtsclaw is the admin of record and should be able to point the nameservers to you rather than the current hosting provider.

Otherwise, you can try to contact the current hosting company and have them change the MX record to:

ethabarapark.org. MX (10) mail.bethabarapark.org.
mail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141

For this to work you will need to have some access to the domain at some level, this is for obvious security reasons.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16702533
Lets start over.  I want to host just the email.  The actual site is hosted and registered with another company.  After I've made all of the necessary changes on my server and to my DNS records, what do I have them point to?  I.E. as it stands right now, if someone goes to webmail.bethabarapark.org it goes no where.  What do they need to input to the registrar and or their DNS records to send all request for mail@bethabarapark.org and webmail.bethabarapark.org to my name server?
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Expert Comment

by:sypder
ID: 16703150
Okay, they need to login to the registrar and enter your company's DNS information. Do you host DNS information for any other sites? If not, you will have to go through the process to setup your own DNS server.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16703234
So you are saying that I will have to hold the primary DNS records?  I was under the impression that all request could come to their server first then fwd the necessary ones to my server.  

Yes, I host about 9 sites information on my Name Server.
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Expert Comment

by:sypder
ID: 16703269
Yes....

Otherwise, you can try to contact the current hosting company and have them change their DNS record to:

ethabarapark.org. MX (10) mail.bethabarapark.org.
mail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141
webmail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141  
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16703654
That makes things more clear.  Its state owned.  They will fwd request for mail but will not allow any changes to be made to the primary hosting records.  So in conclusion, they should be able to redirect all mail request to our server, i.e. the 216.69.174.141?
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by:sypder
ID: 16703681
Yes. That is correct. All you need to ask them is:

"Please set the MX record to 216.69.174.141 and create an A record for webmail.bethabarapark.org to 216.69.174.141"
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16703788
Great.  Thanks for the Barney style info.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16703820
Let me back up a second.  Initially we were talking about editing my DNS information so that all request for the domain were received by my DNS server.  Now that you know that all request will be received by their server and all mail request fwd to my server, what should my DNS records show?  Currently I have what is below.  Man that's a mouthful.

bethabarapark.org. NS ns.bethabarapark.org.  
bethabarapark.org. MX (10) mail.bethabarapark.org.
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Accepted Solution

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sypder earned 2000 total points
ID: 16703841
Actually it does not really matter...

If you want, I would just keep it simple and have your DNS only show:

ethabarapark.org. MX (10) mail.bethabarapark.org.
mail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141
webmail.bethabarapark.org. A 216.69.174.141
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16712827
Thanks for all of your time and Patience
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Expert Comment

by:sypder
ID: 16713368
Sure thing. I hope it worked out.
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Author Comment

by:GTKINC
ID: 16713380
We'll see.  :)
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