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What fqdn to provide to isp to setup reverse dns

Posted on 2008-01-30
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I have been asked by our ISP to send in the IP and fqdn for the server I want the reverse dns set up for.  Now, our email domain is domainname.com but when I go through the owa I use the mail.domainname.com that I created during the a record creation.  So my question is do I give them the fqdn domainname.com or the A record name mail.domainname.com?
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Question by:gpicart
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20779852
It depends on the purpose of the PTR record.  If you are doing it to comply with anti-spam requirements, as I suspect you are, you want the PTR to resolve to your mail server's FQDN.  That would be mail.domainname.com.
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by:gpicart
ID: 20780167
Im doin it because messages sent out from out mail server get tagged as spam when going to certain domains, such as gmail
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by:gpicart
ID: 20780367
So I understand that for the reason I discribed above "Im doin it because messages sent out from out mail server get tagged as spam when going to certain domains, such as gmail"  I should use the mail.domainname.com not the domainname.com.  Is this correct?
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 20780497
Yes, that's it exactly. I guess I should add a caveat:  I'm also assuming that this is what your Exchange server uses in its email header.  That would be important, because if your Exchange server isn't using your correct (public) FQDN in the header, then the PTR record won't solve your problem.  If you're not sure about this, to check it open the ESM, expand the levels under your server name until you see your SMTP virtual server object; right-click, go to Properties, then go to the Delivery tab.  On that tab, click the Advanced button and make sure that what shows there in the FQDN box is the actual public FQDN of your server (not the internal server name).
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by:gpicart
ID: 20780717
in there I had domainname.com not the email.domainname.com.  i changed it to email.domainname.com but I want to make myself clear.  The domain name that was purchased was domainname.com.  When creating the mx record i created the email.domainname.com.  This being the case, you still say to use the email.domainname.com?  And if so do you think that may hav been causing the issue that certain domains would mark our email as spam?
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by:gpicart
ID: 20781075
Any answers
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Hypercat (Deb) earned 500 total points
ID: 20781507
Yes; once again, you want your PTR record to resolve your reverse IP address to your email server's public FQDN.  And you want your email server to be using it's public name (mail.domainname.com) in the header, so that servers that receive your email will be able to see that this matches your MX record.

You have to understand what the anti-spam software engines are doing to understand this issue.  A lot of spammers will use various ways to spoof a mail server name and/or relay their mail through servers that allow email relaying, to prevent anyone from finding them.  So, the anti-spam software checks basically to see if you are who you say you are.  If you look at the header of any external email in your mailbox, you will see that there is clearly a line identifying the name and IP address of the mail server that the email came from.  What the anti-spam software does is to check to see if there is a reverse DNS (PTR) record confirming that that IP address is really assigned to that email server name.  So, the important thing to do when creating your PTR record is to ensure that it points to your email server name, not just your domain name.
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by:gpicart
ID: 20781976
Great answer and it really helps me to understand this all better.
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by:andykemper
ID: 21055314
Thankyou!  I am a company tech, the above poster "gpicart" explained my situation exacly 2 months earlier.  I just feel lucky that I got to have someone clearly articulate my question and someone else give a clearly defined solution all within three minutes.  GO Experts Exchange !!!!!
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