How do I get emails to my Blackberry if my Exchange 2003 can no longer forward them to me?

Posted on 2006-11-02
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
Hi - currently I have Exchange 2003 successfully forwarding a copy of all incoming emails to my Blackberry via sending them to our user account at the server. We used to collect email via my ISP and pop3, where the ISP forwarded a copy to t-mobile and thus to the Blackberry. This worked well if our internet connection went down, as emails would still come into (and one could send out from) the Blackberry. I've just realised, having implemented Exchange (and SBS2003 R2), that now that Exchange does the forwarding, this would no longer happen and emails could thus not be received on the Blackberry as a kind of backup.
We currenty have our Exchange Server sitting on a dynamic IP (, with this dynamic URL as the highest priority MX record on our domain hoster's configuration panel. To have some kind of backup I implemented (with some misgivings actually) www.dyndns's Mailhop Backup MX service, and thus now their backup mail server occupies the second position on our MX records list.

With this in mind, can someone see a way of getting emails to our domain flowing to our Blackberry even if Exchange and /or our ADSL connection is down?

Question by:MPSmith4258
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

jar3817 earned 150 total points
ID: 17858182
I'm not sure it's possible. A backup MX basically just accepts mail for your domain and then holds it until your primary server comes back online and then forwards it along. If the forwarding to the blackberries happens at your exchange server, and the connection goes down, no forwarding will happen. I'm not sure how the dyndns backup mx service works, but you could set up our own backup mx server at some colocation center and have it forward to the blackberries and to your exchange server. Something like that will probably run you about $90/month.

The real answer here is to ditch your unreliable dynamic internet connection and get something with a service level agreement like a (fractional) T1. If email is that important to your business, you should give it the support it needs.  
LVL 104

Assisted Solution

Sembee earned 350 total points
ID: 17858453
Being in the UK, you only have two options for Internet access.

ADSL - which costs around UK£30/month, maybe a little more.
Leased line - which costs at least £1000/month

We don't have things like Fractional T1s etc - the UK telecoms market doesn't provide those options.

While some companies claim to provide SLA on DSL connections, those SLAs are close to worthless as the incumbent telephone provide (BT) who most people use for the last mile link from the phone exchange to the client office will not provide any kind of SLA for DSL.

To answer the original question, it cannot be done. Exchange needs to manage the email including the forwarding. If your ADSL goes down then you will have to wait for it to come back up again.
You could ask your ISP if they will provide a backup service, for example over ISDN, but if the connection has failed due to a failure in the exchange then the backup service will probably have failed.

For true redundancy you would have to bring in two connections, with one of them coming in without using any part of BTs network. Outside of London that is almost impossible to do without a large expense. Cable and Wireless have quite an extensive network, but still have some of their kit in BT's exchange.

What I will say though is that I have found ADSL to be pretty reliable. Outages are infrequent - although some seem worse than others.


Author Comment

ID: 17860111
Ok thanks for those comments, can I suggest one other wacky idea? What if I kept the ISP email services that I had running for our domain BEFORE I installed SBS2003 and Exchange, and reset MX records back to their mail servers. Then, for all mail coming into my ISP's mail servers for our domain, forward a copy to my dynamic IP address for routing through to Exchange. ISP email account could also forward to Blackberry as well! Apart from the issue of a) emails gradually clogging up on ISP email account (solution, manually delete them once a month or so) and b) cost of maintaining ISP email account (peanuts), from an Exchange point of view all would seem exactly the same - my spam control and archiving software could continue to work normally, and all the great groupware functionality and direct sending of emails would continue. I would also get the benefit of if any time I have Exchange down (but ADSL still working), eg my Dell server crashes and my Dell technician can only fix it in two days time or so, I can quickly switch the Outlook clients back to polling the ISP email account on a pop3 basis!
Any flaws in this admittedly not very pure solution?

Author Comment

ID: 17860625
Oops sorry about the above suggestion, I've just realised the ISP will only let me forward to an email address, not relay it to a domain / mail server ...

Author Comment

ID: 17872917
Thanks for comments ...

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