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Two Domains, one Server, two different hosting companies

Posted on 2006-05-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Right, this is a bit complicated.
well either that or ill make it complicated by talking rubbish..

anyhow Our company has two email domains at present.

comp2.co.uk is based on our current Exchange 2003 server.
the ISP Demon.net look after the domain names , mx records etc.
They recieve the mail, then we pick it up from their servers via a 3rd party hardbox (Inty Exoserver) and drop it into our exchange server (pop3 multiheader drop ?)

This works fine for us, and we have a backup if our server goes down (i think :P)

Comp1.com is hosted by MCI, and is just a pop3 service.
We have local and remote laptop users connecting via pop3 to download their emails.
We do have some users who have theres picked up by the Inty Exoserver and forwarded to their comp2.co.uk address.

We really want to move away from MCI, and have all the mail based on the exchange server.. all backed up , got control of different email address make ups etc.

The A.D/Exchange server look after comp2.co.uk mailboxes, but it has contacts set up with smtp addresses of comp1.com, so that are comp2 users have a full address list.

Whats the best way of getting both comp1 and comp2 on the same server.
and eventually defaulting to a domain of comp1.com rather than comp2.co.uk./

ive confused my self more than enuff, any questions ill try and answer the best i can :( as theres bound to be a few before a result
Question by:acstua

Accepted Solution

zolpo earned 672 total points
ID: 16769126
Your problem looks to me more like an administrative one. You gave them full control over your domain configuration then you waste your time on phone calls and head breaking. I never let the ISP's/Hosting companies control my domains.

From my viewpoint you should concentrate on getting control over your domains after that everything will be a snap.

I have never worked with your ISP's and other companies you mentioned but I would suggest you to upgrade MCI to a dns and smtp services then forward emails (using an mx record) from mci to comp2.co.uk. If MCI cannot be upgraded, stop using them and host comp1.com in Demon.net

The bottom line is get control over your systems.

Author Comment

ID: 16769159
MCI was the original host setup by a previous IT manager, and the Demon.net was part of a company we took over.
So it was a bit of a mess to start with :)

Id rather get rid of MCI totally, as we get quite a few problems with them

Im worried about just having a MX record pointing straight to our email server , incase our server goes down.
what happens to the inbound emails, bounce backs i assume?

i do already have two other domains with straight MX records to our Mailservers IP tho ;/

Expert Comment

ID: 16769407
MCI is not an insurance policy to your servers' stability. You should take other measures to protect your servers and users.

What I am saying is another MX record will not be the thing that will break down your server unless it is a very busy server and/or your com domain is a very busy too.

KISS (keep it simple stupid). Exchange is already a complicated server don't make it further complicated by messing with an unreliable suppliers.

Last, use acceptable means to keep your servers happy. Use redundancy, best hardware, separate server rules, tested backup etc

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Author Comment

ID: 16769434
im happy with the hardware, new HP servers with plenty of redundancy built in, along with some heavy duty UPS and plenty of backups.

its the bit on how to get both domains running on the servers, and not losing email.
its the transition im worried about

Assisted Solution

december41991 earned 664 total points
ID: 16769964
Here is the KISS: (keep it simple stupid or short).




Author Comment

ID: 16770001
Many thanks, ill have a read on Monday :)

Expert Comment

ID: 16776617
december41991, in this article the author describes a rare and complicated senario which is not what acstua face.

Good articles for KISS with exchange can be:
1. Do not install Exchange on DC see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/875427 and http://www.petri.co.il/problems_with_exchange_2003_installed_on_domain_controllers.htm
2. Best practices see http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/generic/0,295582,sid43_gci1137425,00.html and http://www.samspublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=417717&seqNum=11&rl=1

And thousands more.
LVL 104

Assisted Solution

Sembee earned 664 total points
ID: 16777343
If you want to keep things simple, then you want to dump Demon Internet fast.
If you are using their servers for email, then expect email to be delayed. I have had clients on Demon servers who have had email delivered six weeks after it was sent because it was stuck inside their awful relay servers. Will they listen. What do you think?

Then there is their attitude to DNS changes - they rebuild their DNS records at 5pm (IIRC) and not before, so if you need something changed it can be well over 48 hours before it is replicated.

I am responsible for Demon loosing well over £25k a year in revenue because I have migrated all of my clients off their services, which has included two leased lines at well over £10k a year each.

Get your domains off their servers - I usually switch to 123-reg.co.uk. However be prepared for a fight and the usual fud about being unable to use their services if you move the domains away - that is just untrue. They know it as well, they just try to tell you that to hang on to your business. You need to get the domains out first - before you even start giving notice periods as they know that if they stall things long enough you will do anything to hang on to your domain name.

Thus, a quick plan...

1. Move your domains to someone else. This is a domain transfer so will cost a little bit of money.
2. Look at your internal domain configuration. Exchange can deal with multiple SMTP domains quite happily. However you can only have an Exchange server in one AD domain, so decide what you are keeping.
3. Setup Exchange in the way that you want and test it.
4. Then look at deploying Exchange by getting your MX records changed to point directly at the server.

You may want to throw in a new ISP in that mix somewhere. Depending on the type of connection you want, there is a pretty good choice for business ISPs in the UK. My preference at the moment is Pipex - I have a number of customers on their leased lines and it has been very impressive. The DSL market is very healthy, you shouldn't need to pay more than £50 for a good connection with a low contention ratio.

Also review your firewall and antivirus and antispam applications, as you will now be doing that yourself as well.

That is a real rough plan as I am on site at the moment. If you need some gaps filled in, then post back.


Author Comment

ID: 16779941
Sounds good so far, its a shame its such a mess in the 1st place..
if the company had used some foresight we'd have been on a domain comp1 and got rid of the comp2 domain straight away when merging companys.

no matter, no doubt ill be back on tuesday for more follow up on this :)

Cheers so far!

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