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Fault Tolerance + additional MX record

Hello folks :-)

We have installed quite a few exchange servers to muliple clients, so far we have been blessed with luck because they are all currently up and running.

What we are looking for is some sort of fault tolerance for our clients if their server goes down.

Is there anyway that we could setup so that the clients emails are sendt to us if their server is down? MX record?

And they being able to use owa  to our server and go on with their business, while we work our ass of getting the server up and running again?


Thanks a lot

Have a good day.
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daxa78
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daxa78
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1 Solution
 
llefebureCommented:
Most people use a thing called mailbagging on some e-mail server other than theirs. Just create a second MX record with a higher cost than the original. If the primary is down, servers will try connecting to the secondary, which just holds the mail in a queue for a while until the primary comes back up. Unfortunately there is no easy way to read that e-mail. Even if you have two exchange servers with different public IPs, mail going to the other server can't be read because it sits in a queue waiting to get to the correct server that has the mailbox for that user.

Keep in mind that spammers commonly connect to the secondary servers first because they usually don't have the same levels of spam filtering that the primary server has.
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daxa78Author Commented:
OK, what do i do on our server  so that it holds the email till the server comes back up again ?
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llefebureCommented:
Well your server needs to know that it can accept mail for that domain, and where to forward it to when the primary comes back up. How to configure this (and if you server even supports it) depends on what software it is.
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daxa78Author Commented:
We run an exchange server 2003
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llefebureCommented:
I just did a little googling for mailbagging in Exchange 2003 and don't see anybody that can confirm it can be done or shows how to do it. Maybe somebody else here can confirm/deny that it is a feature Exchange is capable of.

I know we've set up mailbagging in the past on both iMail and SmarterMail servers. Actually, in SmarterMail the way they license domains, since mailbagging isn't a true hosted domain, you can mailbag for unlimited domains with just the free 10 user license.


Anybody know if Exchange 2003 can do mailbagging?
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SembeeCommented:
Never heard of mailbagging before.
Using second MX records isn't always a good idea. You will always get some email delivered through the second MX record and that is usually spam. The spammers theory is that the second MX record server is not as heavily protected as the first.
It is also stops you from being able to use recipient filtering to cut down on the amount of garbage that you use.

Don't forget that in the event of an email failure, most servers should continue to try and deliver email for 48 hours. If you are providing a service to clients and can't get them email service in that window then you shouldn't be in IT.

The trick that I use is to use a dynamic DNS record. That is configured as the second MX record, but points to the original server. In the event of a failure, you leave the original MX record alone, and change the IP address only on the name used in the same MX record. That will be live on the internet in around 20 minutes. The email can then be routed to whatever you like - another Exchange server, alternative mail service etc.

Simon.
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daxa78Author Commented:
Thanks a lot :-)
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