If the exchange server is down

Posted on 2006-11-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-06
Hi all
I am running exchange server 2003 ent edition over server 2003 ent edition.  My ISP holds my ms records (I am not sure what that does), he claims that if in case my exchange server is down he can hold all emails and once my exchange is up an running he can send all the piled up messages to my exchanger server?.  How?
-I would want to develop a system like that at my end if in case my exchange is down I can hold messages and then send them to my exchange in case its up and running?.  Is it possible? what is the procedure?
-Do I have to install another exchange server for this?
Note:  Till now (its been 7 days now)  I have not received any messages from my ISP which were saved at his end.  How can I check for the services he says he is providing?
Help plz
Question by:amanzoor
  • 3
  • 2
LVL 104

Accepted Solution

Sembee earned 1600 total points
ID: 17949143
I don't trust anyone except myself to store the email messages. If it has been seven days and you still don't have the messages then their service isn't work. It should be dropped immediately.

Remember that most SMTP servers will keep trying to send the messages for 48 hours. If you cannot get something else running in that time window then you have more serious problems.

What I would do is configure the MX records to point directly to your external IP address. In the event of a failure of the Exchange server which is going to take a while to sort out you would then use a disaster recovery installation of Exchange. If you want to bring the messages in house before that time, then you can use a standard Windows 2003 machine with IIS installed. However I would only consider building one of those if it was required, not "just in case".

LVL 16

Assisted Solution

poweruser32 earned 400 total points
ID: 17949174
mx record you mean-that is the dns record that tells other domains where to send emails for your domain to or the computer to send it to
you would have to install another exchange server and get your isp to set up another mx record say of priority 20
for this computer
if you put your domain name into www.dnsreport.com and scroll down to mx entries you should see your server and the isp backup server listed there for proof

Author Comment

ID: 17949800
-*****What I would do is configure the MX records to point directly to your external IP address****This has to be done in DNS?
-****then you can use a standard Windows 2003 machine with IIS installed. ****I have them installed, and also SMTP service is running on one of the servers, what/how the steps to make it so that I can start getting emails on that server, just by simply changing its IP's to my dead exchange server?, if its done how to resend messages to proper receivers once the exchange is up?

-you mean I have to put an MX record entry in the dns for another exchange server?.  and have to ask my isp to start sending emails to that in case of failure of the original exchange server?.  What type of another exchange server would be?  Backend? front end? or simply the same as the origianal exchange which is dead?  If its a backup exchange server how to install it?

Help me guys I want to establish a good backup system for my orginization, Even if requires me to install a new exchange for backing up emails.

Thanks guys
NEW Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Backup and recover physical and cloud-based servers and workstations, as well as endpoint devices that belong to remote users. Avoid downtime and data loss quickly and easily for Windows-based physical or public cloud-based workloads!

LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 17950030
IIS correctly configured could run as a backup relay server.
If you have the cash for another Exchange license then I would be tempted to purchase an Exchange 2003 Standard license and stand up a frontend server. Route all your email through that. If the backend is down then the frontend queues the email.

However, what you have to consider is what scenario you are trying to plan for. At the moment it seems like you have heard about something that someone else does and are trying to copy it without considering

- what business benefits it brings
- how it fits in with your existing infrastructure
- will it affect your existing infrastructure, such as antivirus or antispam scanning
- whether it fits any of your business disruption scenarios.

For the vast majority of companies there is no need to have a second server anywhere. I don't run one for any of my clients. However in the event of a failure I know what I am going to do for them, it is all documented and I can have something in place in less than 90 minutes.


Author Comment

ID: 17962425
Thanks Sembee:

Its the practical situation I am talking about, not a fake or copied.  It took me 48 hrs to put my exchange server back to work.  To avoid next time disaster it will be good information to gather scenarios.  I usually keep ghost of the whole C drive and under disaster I restore it, but this procedure throws me back app one month (as the images are taken once a month to avoid users email delay).  Also this time it took me longer as my exchange server has started throwing some files like D:\program files\Exchsrvr\ExchangeServer_Exchange2\projects\priv44c2a6f\build and save folders and some files on my D hard drive.  If I remove my D my exchange stores disappear from the ESM.  I am sure my databases are pointing to C.  But I am not sure why my exchange is throwing files on D drive.  
As per your recommendation seems like troubleshooting is the best way to go ?  I also keep documents but for me it takes longer time as you are an expert in exchange and I am just learning.  

Question:  How to change the path for 'full text search', my one of the mailbox stores has 'full text search path set to my D drive, how can I change it to point to C:

LVL 104

Expert Comment

ID: 17964740
I don't use images as part of my disaster recovery plans, mainly because they are out of date so quickly.
An Exchange server having a hard crash is very unusual and if the hardware and server have been built to the best practises a hardware failure shouldn't cause too many problems. If you took 48 hours to get the server back up and running then you should probably have brought in external support. Even Microsoft Support would have helped speed things up and their fee is only $350 (or something like that).

Exchange will only put files where you tell it to.
The database location is set in ESM.
The full text index location is set when you enable the feature. I am not aware of a way to change it afterwards. However are you aware that its use is limited if your clients are Outlook 2003 in cached mode? Cached mode doesn't use the full index for searches.


Featured Post

Problems using Powershell and Active Directory?

Managing Active Directory does not always have to be complicated.  If you are spending more time trying instead of doing, then it's time to look at something else. For nearly 20 years, AD admins around the world have used one tool for day-to-day AD management: Hyena. Discover why

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Are you looking for the options available for exporting EDB files to PST? You may be confused as they are different in different Exchange versions. Here, I will discuss some options available.
If something goes wrong with Exchange, your IT resources are in trouble.All Exchange server migration processes are not designed to be identical and though migrating email from on-premises Exchange mailbox to Cloud’s Office 365 is relatively simple…
The video tutorial explains the basics of the Exchange server Database Availability groups. The components of this video include: 1. Automatic Failover 2. Failover Clustering 3. Active Manager
This video discusses moving either the default database or any database to a new volume.
Suggested Courses

840 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question