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Configuring exchange \ Server for backup smtp server

Posted on 2008-10-03
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi Guys

We have an sbs 2003 server here with exchange running our email for our domain,

We have 2 internet connections as the service is unreliable,both have seperate static ip's and are from different providers.

I have an mx record created for connection 1 (mail.company.com) and this is used to receive all our email,
This connection is connected to a firewall which is used then as the gateway on the server so we can receive our emails.

Our hosting company has created an MX record for Connection 2 as mail1.company.com
They have also setup a backup smtp service so that when mail.company.com is unavailable,the backup smtp server will collect all mail and forward it to mail1.company.com (Connection 2)

Is it possible to configure the server to collect mail from both gateways ??

This way,if Connection1 (mail.company.com) goes down,then mail will be forwarded through to Connection2 (mail1.company.com) and will be delivered to exchange automatically without having to change gateways or anything on the server every time it happens

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Question by:robbie_62
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12 Comments
 
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:RobinHuman
ID: 22632673
You could try setting up a second SMTP virtual server for the second incoming
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Expert Comment

by:RobinHuman
ID: 22632679
..oops - sorry
second incoming line on the exchange system
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by:Bertling
ID: 22632778
if i am reading this correct you can just do this

create 2 mxrecords for you domain.com email domain
domain.com    MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mail.domain.com
domain.com    MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mail1.domain.com

you can change the weight if you like but an equal will randomly select.

point mail1.domain.com to 1 external ip address of the smtp gateway
point mail.domain.com to the other ip address of the smtp gateway

set the gateway as the internal ip address or dns name of the exchange server.

now mail from any one of those IP/dns names will be queued on the SMTP gateway.
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sstone55423 earned 1500 total points
ID: 22632826
Your exchange server will go out the default gateway for outbound connections.  Also, you hosting company will spool mail for you when you art disconnected if you put in a third MX record pointing to them, and they will (if they set it up) periodically try to send to you.   Since you will go out the default gateway, and you probably have only one set up, you will need to set up a secondary default gateway at least on your exchange server, with a shorter hop count on the preferred gateway.
This could cause an issue with your reverse lookups.  Some mail servers (notable AOL and the larger ISP's) enforce reverse lookup.  If they lookup the IP address of the contacting SMTP server, then they should get the name of your mail server (the one specifiied in the properties of your Virtual SMTP server).  (mail.company.com).  YOu will need to make sure that BOTH IP addresses used for outbound access have a PTR record (allow reverse lookup) to that name.  Ask your hosting company to set that up for you (or your ISP if they are different -- whomever owns the address space for each of the two IP's).
An elegant solution for resolving reliability issues like this is to use a SonicWall firewall.  For instance, the TZ180 series (good for under ~50 users) with the enhanced OS installed offers redundant WAN connections, and can either failover or load balance between your two external IP's.  From inside (Exchange server) the default gateway is the firewall for everything.  There are higher end firewalls if you have more users.  They also have an 25-user and an 10-user version of the TZ180 if you are smaller, and want to spend less money.)
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Author Comment

by:robbie_62
ID: 22632865
Hi Bertling

Do u mean go into tcp\ip properties on the server and change the gateway to its own internal ip address ?
Just tried that now but I could no longer access the internet on the server,

Cheers

Rob
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by:Bertling
ID: 22632878
no dont change any thing on the actaul exchange server.

in a nut shell do you just want this to happen:

if isp1 or isp2 fail, mail will still be delivered to the excahnge server using the the IP address of the ISP which is still live?
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Author Comment

by:robbie_62
ID: 22632891
Hi sstone55423:

Just reading through your message and I think I can see where your going with this,
Then you mentioned the Sonicwall,I happen to have abrand new sonicwall TZ180 Sitting on my desk waiting to be configured !!!

Ill have a look over the weekend and see if this will do what I need it to,Im assuming this will allow me to configure 2 different static Ip address' ?

Thanks for the Info

Rob
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Author Comment

by:robbie_62
ID: 22632901
Hi Bertling,

Yes thats exactly it,as our connections are unreliable,I need exchange to send \ receive mail either using the primary connection or else the secondary one,if the main one fails,

sstone55423 suggested the sonicwall which I am going to investigate

Thanks Guys

Rob
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Expert Comment

by:Bertling
ID: 22632928
great look at my post where it says how to setup your mx records.

and sstone is correct in the sonicwall theory using the 2 connections. we use sonicwalls here and i have set this up with 2 connectins and it works very well!

get both conections load balanced first then let us know and we can try to get mail to work with both IP addresses.
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by:sstone55423
ID: 22634056
Robbie -- Wow!  Well, make sure that you have the Enhaced OS, it is necessary for the fault tolerance.  You can buy it for extra at the mysonicwall.com site when you register your TZ180.  I can help you set that up to if you run into issues.
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by:sstone55423
ID: 22634100
Following Bertlings track:
domain.com    MX preference = 10, mail exchanger = mail.domain.com
domain.com    MX preference = 20, mail exchanger = mail1.domain.com
domain.com MX pre = 30, mail exchanger = myispsmtp.myisp.com
 
So that it fails to the ISP, and can be collected later if BOTH connections are down, (or server is down for awhile).  You will have to work that service out with your hoster/ISP first, and put in the proper server domain name.
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