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Simple Exchange 2003 SMTP Questions with Front-End/Back-end configuration

Posted on 2007-11-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
Hi All,

I had 3 simple questions to ask regarding smtp on Exchange 2003 with Front-end/back-end setup.

I have 1x Exchange 2003 Front-end server and 2x backend server.

External MX record points to Front-End Server and Internal MX record points to the same Front-End Server.  There is only 1 of each.

Question 1: when incoming email is received by the Front-end server, it automatically knows which server to route the email to based on Active Directory and Exchange Organization info, correct?  If not, what else is in play?

Question 2: Lets say user Tom which is located on Back-end Server BE1, when sending an outgoing email, does BE1 server automatically sends out the email via its own smtp service or does that outgoing email gets directed to the Front-end server to send out because the internal MX record is pointing to it?

Question 3:  Is there a need for me to add additional internal MX records for the back-end servers?

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Question by:jetli87
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by:ATIG
ID: 20340587
Question 1: when incoming email is received by the Front-end server, it automatically knows which server to route the email to based on Active Directory and Exchange Organization info, correct?  If not, what else is in play?

------Yes, the server queires AD to find the location of the users mailbox this could be in teh same routing group etc......

Question 2: Lets say user Tom which is located on Back-end Server BE1, when sending an outgoing email, does BE1 server automatically sends out the email via its own smtp service or does that outgoing email gets directed to the Front-end server to send out because the internal MX record is pointing to it?

This depends on your configuration, when you create send connectors you specify which servers can use the connector, you could have all servers or specific servers

Question 3:  Is there a need for me to add additional internal MX records for the back-end servers?
You do not need an MX record for you internal network at all, exchange will only use MX records for other organization, only your public dns needs an MX to point to which ever server you want to recieve your mail.
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by:jetli87
ID: 20340613
I only have one routing group connector which is for my 2 backend servers, the Front-end is not part of any routing groups, so in the situation, where how does outgoing email gets routed?

regarding internal MX, that's what i always figured that i didn't need internal MX records so thanks for clarifying that up for me.
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ATIG earned 2000 total points
ID: 20340628
If you running 2003 then you FE server must be a memeber of a routing group.... if you have 2 RG then you will need to create an RGC (bi directional) between the 2 RG's

Lets say FE you want all inbound/outbound mail to come from

1. mx = fe
2. create send connector FE associated with it
3. create RGC between FE RG and BE RG
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Author Comment

by:jetli87
ID: 20340676
Assuming that i don't have a personal preference on which server delivers the outgoing email, what is the considered the best smtp routing config in my situation then?

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Expert Comment

by:ATIG
ID: 20340706
Admins choice.....

I like to control all my inbound/outbound mail through a particular locaiton

I use NLB FE server and use those 2 for inbound/outbound that allows you to configure antispam or AV easier but thats me.

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by:jetli87
ID: 20340776
thanks!
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