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SMTP connector in Exchange 2003 is working intermittently

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Last Modified: 2013-12-18
I have an Exchange 2003 running on Windows 2003 Enterprise server, in a Windows 2003 Enterprise domain (mixed mode).  I set up the Recipient Policy for receiving msgs and SMTP connector for sending out msgs.  I also have an auto-forward rule set up in my Inbox to forward all msgs (that I receive) to the Inboxes/Public Folders in other domains (different forests).  All the messages can get to most domains OK.  Except 2 domains:

1. One of these 2 domains cannot receive anything from my domain.  Even a manually-sent e-mail.

2. The other domain can receive manually-sent messages no problems.  But it only receive au-forwarded messages from my domain intermittently.  For excample, everyday the auto-forward rule in my Inbox sends out 20 e-mails. But the Public folder/Inbox on this domain can only receive 1 or 2 e-mails.

May be I didn't set up my SMTP connector correctly?  Does anyone know how to fix this?

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Stacy SpearPresident/Principal Consultant

Commented:
Is your reverse DNS set correctly? I know that most places are getting you, but most places don't do reverse lookups either, which is in my opinion, just plain dumb.

Go to www.dnsstuff.com to check out your domain, it will alert you if the rDNS isn't right.

Author

Commented:
I don't have reverse DNS set up in my Domain controller. I'm using DNS at the ISP.  I set up the IP address of the DNS server (of my ISP) in the "Forwarder" tab in the DNS section of my domain controller.

So what should I do to fix this? Should I contact my ISP and have them set up DNS reverse for my domain/mail server?  Thanks.
Stacy SpearPresident/Principal Consultant

Commented:
Forward your mail to the ISP then.

Author

Commented:
I already have my mail forwarded to the ISP (by set up the IP address of the DNS server (of my ISP) in the "Forwarder" tab in the DNS section of my domain controller.)  

Do I still need to request my ISP to set up a PTR record for my Exchange 2003 server?  (There is an MX record for my Exch server at my DSP).  Thanks.
Stacy SpearPresident/Principal Consultant

Commented:
You are forwarding DNS, not mail. If you want your mail server to be the authoratative, then you need to:

Have the ISP change their NS so that your server shows in your MX record, and add a pointer record as well (you will need a statice IP)

or,

Set the smarthost of your server (connector if you have one, or virtual server if you don't) to the ISP's mail server. It should already be set to relay for anything local.

Author

Commented:
darkstar3d:
1.  I have a static IP for my Exchange server. And my ISP insisted that they already created an MX record that points to the IP address of my server.  Is it good enough to send mail on my own, or I still need to forward my mail to the ISP's mail server?

2.  If I need to forward my mail to the ISP's mail server, where do I set it up?  Do I set up "forward all mail to the following smart host", and input the IP address of the ISP's mail server?

3. After I did item #2, does my ISP need to set up anything in their Exchange mail server, in order to accept and forward my mail for me?

Thanks,
Stacy SpearPresident/Principal Consultant

Commented:
Did the www.dnsstuff.com results show that the ISP had done it?

Author

Commented:
I ran the DNSstuff and this is what I get:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DNSreport for abcd.com
 Email link to results
Generated by www.DNSreport.com at 16:08:24 GMT on 27 Aug 2007.


Category      Status      Test Name      Information
Parent      PASS      Missing Direct Parent check      OK. Your direct parent zone exists, which is good. Some domains (usually third or fourth level domains, such as example.co.us) do not have a direct parent zone ('co.us' in this example), which is legal but can cause confusion.

      INFO      NS records at parent servers      Your NS records at the parent servers are:

RNS1.info.com [xxx.xxx.xxx.x] [TTL=86400] [US]
RNS2.info.com [xxx.xxx.xxx.x] [TTL=86400] [US]
[These were obtained from ns-dirreg.com]

      PASS      Parent nameservers have your nameservers listed      OK. When someone uses DNS to look up your domain, the first step (if it doesn't already know about your domain) is to go to the parent servers. If you aren't listed there, you can't be found. But you are listed there.

      PASS      Glue at parent nameservers      OK. The parent servers have glue for your nameservers. That means they send out the IP address of your nameservers, as well as their host names.

      PASS      DNS servers have A records      OK. All your DNS servers either have A records at the zone parent servers, or do not need them (if the DNS servers are on other TLDs). A records are required for your hostnames to ensure that other DNS servers can reach your DNS servers. Note that there will be problems if your DNS servers do not have these same A records.

NS      FAIL      NS      A timeout occurred getting the NS records from your nameservers! None of your nameservers responded fast enough. They are probably down or unreachable. I can't continue since your nameservers aren't responding. If you have a Watchguard Firebox, it's due to a bug in their DNS Proxy, which must be disabled (31 Jul 2006 UPDATE: several years after being informed of this, there is a rumor that there is a fix that allows the Watchguard DNS proxy to work).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looks like it fails at the NS section. So does it mean I don't have an NS record for my Exchange server?  If that the case then I'll have to forward all my mail to my ISP's mail server.
So let's go back to item# 2 and #3  above. How do I set up this forwarding?  And what does my ISP need to set up in their Exchange mail server, in order to accept and forward my mail for me?

Thanks,
Stacy SpearPresident/Principal Consultant

Commented:
Try the test again after a bit. It could be a fluke with the NS, but if it always happens, that could be the problem.

Author

Commented:
I ran it 4 times since Sat Aug 25, and the result is always the same.
So please help me with item# 2 and #3  above. How do I set up this forwarding?  And what does my ISP need to set up in their Exchange mail server, in order to accept and forward my mail for me?
Thanks,
President/Principal Consultant
Commented:
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Author

Commented:
darkstar3d,
I took your advise and requested my ISP to set up PTR record and reverse lookup for my Exchange server. It'll take them a while to set this up.  The points are yours. Thanks.
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