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Bypass Smarthost between Exchange 2003 servers

Posted on 2006-11-16
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
We are upgrading our leg of a massive 5.5 mail network, the use x400 between servers and require SMTP mail flow to go back into their system their system.
Here we have a cluster with 3 Exchange enterprise 2003 servers and 2 Domain Controllers etc. we have remote offices that we want to install exchange standard into a server for them to have local, and to still administer them all from our current office.
Right now it would seem the smart host are preventing the proper mail flow within the 2003 environment. is there anyway to raise the natural interaction between servers above the priority of the SMTP connectors with Smart host ( Smart host are in the 5.5 area )
These are all the same domain and i want to keep then in the same domain and not segregate the outside locations within the WAN.
The only solutions that consultants have presented are to upgrade the location to enterprise, and that is not acceptable at the cost just to use x400.
Other solution that has been given is to make each location it's own domain and segregate the WAN, this is not acceptable for all the other services involved between sites and home office.

My answer is to simply place them all on the main servers and let the use the MPLS network to access mail, Higherup fear bandwidth issues. I need to have a conclusion by monday and some sort of evidence short of testing a scenario in the live network to prove or disprove current thinking on this project.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Question by:dwpauleagle
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by:Stacy Spear
ID: 17958691
What are you using as Smart hosts?

If you create a new SMTP connection with the address space being that of your org, and then have those connections being smart host as well, except that this smart host is to one of your remote servers.

I think it will work.
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by:dwpauleagle
ID: 17958990
I have tried many different way to make an SMTP connector do this job it doesn’t seem to work. These users are all in the same AD and Same Domain and mail is the same domain name as well. If they were different I could better point them around, but i can not place a route for all mail to try delivery at each remote site until it finds it's home.  all offices are on MPLS WAN and vary in bandwidth based on size.
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by:Stacy Spear
ID: 17959539
Are you using Routing Groups(RG)? By having the remote sites in their own RG, you should be able to bypass the SMTP connector and their smarts then. You seemed to mention routes, so I assume this is already done. Once the servers are in different RGs, RG Connectors (RGC) determine how mail is transferred.
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Author Comment

by:dwpauleagle
ID: 17960936
They are each in their own RG The SMTP connectors that are required for our mail flow seem to overpower  them even if i include then RG in the SMTP connector.
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by:Stacy Spear
ID: 17964284
Your SMTP connectors are for the whole org then. You could change that to only selected RGs. Leaving the other RGs with only the RGC as their means to get mail out. That could seriously affected your bandwidth however.
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Author Comment

by:dwpauleagle
ID: 17966126
Well I was hoping there might just have been some magic trick i was missing, My opinion is that our MPLS with full T1 to each site should allow 50 users to connect back to our office exchnage server rather than have one at each site. but someone bought software and equipment without fully planning this out and now they would have to buy enterprise exchange to use x.400 and that is just not feesable at 3k more per site.

they really want to find a way to use these exchange servers, but short of segregating the WAN and giving them addresses like Beaumont.Test.com and their own DC I am not seeing any other choices.

Thanks darkstar for spending the time on this, i will keep this open over the weekend hoping someone has some special trick they can lend me.
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by:Stacy Spear
ID: 17969345
What are you using as a smart host. I asked earlier because I use IronPort C60s as my MX record/smarthost. I redirect (and rewrite addresses) and route messages using only it instead of exchange. Messages coming out of the sites are routed by address to the site that serves it. All external mail is rewrote at the smarts to be company.com. This should be achieveable purely with 2k3 SP2 however.
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Author Comment

by:dwpauleagle
ID: 17975210
an x.400 setup of 5.5 is the smarthost. but you can not tell it to goto a specific site within the exchange 2k3 system with x.400 without a .400 link within the site servers and that rolls back to the not going to pay 3000 more dollar or 3 or 4 users per site
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by:Stacy Spear
ID: 17975528
Yeah that smarts. Two ways as I see it.

#1. I am guessing that going pure SMTP is out of the question. I would still consider that. Primary site is it for the MX record and smart host. Based off of OU, rewrite incoming mail to be @site.company.dom. Each site.company.dom sends mail to each other easily. To send mail to hotmail.com or othercompany.com, it comes to the main site to be rewritten as @company.com and goes out. Complicated I know. But hard to mix x.400 and smtp routing.

#2. Build additional routing groups. All x.400 routers in the same group. All SMTP (non-Enterprise) routers in another group. Build RGCs to connect them.
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Author Comment

by:dwpauleagle
ID: 17976271
I guess i have never tried to rewrite mail before, where is this done in 5.5 ?
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Stacy Spear earned 500 total points
ID: 17976835
Never had the pleasure to do it with 5.5, but here is Microsoft's take on it.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/239427
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Author Comment

by:dwpauleagle
ID: 17978968
Well Monday morning has rolled around, and this is likley the only solution for the scenario i have presented, Thanks for all your time Darkstar.
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by:Stacy Spear
ID: 17979741
Let us know how it goes. Curious as to why you are using 5.5 as a smarthost as well. I have some legacy apps that we are almost finished converting so we can flatten our environment to 2k3 just as 2k7 arrives! :)
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Author Comment

by:dwpauleagle
ID: 17980162
Sounds like the same story -here
reason .. we are the South US legg of a global company that is refusing to move to 2k3 .. yet we are moving our entire system to SAN and it just in not in good sense to run 5.5 still, however the company requires mail to be sent thru their channels and not via the internet. before i arrived some consultants advised the current scenario. and now i am tasked to fix that. Fun Fun
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