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Intermittent error message on sent mail "unable to read smtp greeting"

Messages sent to our domain are receiving an intermittent error message on sent mail "unable to read smtp greeting.....".  I have our hosting provider looking at our DNS but our mail records are OK.  The mail server is hosted locally (SBS 2003) and the website is hosted by our provider.  The MX records are OK.  Mail is send to a Smart Host the forward to our mail server.  Help!  I cannot seem to find any info on this error.  Nothing on the MS KB.  The exact error message is below.

Unable to deliver message to: <name@domain.com>
Delivery failed for the following reason:
In mail queue too long, giving up.  Cause of failure:
  Unable to read SMTP greeting from g[xxx.xx.xx.xxx]

This has been a permanent failure.  No further delivery attempts will be made.
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Paka

Go ahead and run checkdns several times during the day.

http://www.checkdns.net/quickcheckdomainf.aspx

Probably a packet loss issue or some other layer-3 problem.
"Mail is send to a Smart Host the forward to our mail server. "

So your MX records are pointing to your smarthost, then this forward it onto your mail server?

If the clients sending mail to your domain are recieving this error they will be getting it from the SMTP server your MX records are pointing to. So this would be your smarthosts SMTP server?

Try pointing your MX records directly at your mailserver and make sure you recive a proper greeting connecting through Telnet after issueing the command "Helo"

Once your smarthost sort thier problem out you can change the MX records back to them....

what does the FQDN say in the smtp virtual server ?   it must match your mx record
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