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Changing our firms ISP\SMTP handler - What steps do we need to take ?

Posted on 2008-10-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I work for Wiseman Lee in East London

Our external IP address shows up as 212.115.52.53 - assigned to London Link (Our current ISP)

Our MX records are mail.wisemanle.co.uk 212.115.52.54 again assigned to london Link

As part of a network reshuffle we are switching to another ISP who will also handle the SMTP feed etc...

How would I proceed with this and what exactly is invloved

Will we be issued another IP address from our new ISP (This wll need to go into my firewal)
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Question by:ise438
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tismetoo earned 500 total points
ID: 22667635
A few things to consider:
Can you have both the old link and the new link active at the same time, or do hardware or line restrictions make this difficult.
Assuming you can't have them both active, you need to do a point in time switch over. the following steps should see you through:
Have the new line installed and test the connection for the IP addressing you will be using. Stick a laptop on it and do some simple stuff.
Choose a Friday night when you have a spare hour - DNS changes can take up to 72 hours to propogate, although these days most will update within a couple of hours.
Your firewall will need to be reconfigured for the new addressing, with the mapping for the mail server and the default gateway, and swicthed to the new line.
You need to update your A and MX records for your mail server - submit a change request for the time you will be reconfiguring the firewall, or make the changes online if your ISP has that capability.
The one thing you will need to handle is the DNS hosting. If as you imply it is hosted by your current ISP, you need to switch it to your new ISP, or better still to avoid the same situation in future, switch it to something like the 123reg service. If you can do this before the switch over it will probably be less stressful, as there will be no chance of the domain DNS hosting being dropped by your current ISP. For the transfer you will need details of all your current DNS records, which might be tricky if you don't have portal access to the DNS records.

If you can have both comms lines connected for a week, there will be less chance of customers getting a bounce whilst the DNS records propogate - but not always possible.

Done this many times, and if you can do this on a Friday night, when your company is closed for the weekend and test you should not have any problems. If your company does not have quiet weekends, make sure you have that week with both lines active, to ensure the DNS propogation does not affect mail delivery.
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by:ise438
ID: 22667725
Excellent reply...

What is exactly DNS hosting - is that the company that hosts our domain names wiseman and wisemanlee.co.uk ?

Because they are not host by our current ISP they are hosts by the firm that host our website a company called VLI ?

How do I update A and MX records for our mail server - Old ISP - New ISP - Online ?

So what is DNS hosting ?
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by:tismetoo
ID: 22669127
DNS hosting is the term I have used to describe the company who's DNS server hold the Start of Authority ( and consequently the authoritative records ) for you domains. Using DNS tools ( I used www.demon.net/external but www.dnsstuff.com is popular) you can see that londonlink.net holds the SOA - are these your web hosting company?

These are the people you will need to submit the change request with - or whose online portal you will have to use to make the changes. I they are your old ISP you need to find a new provider and ask that they transfer your domain to them - your old ISP will release it after checking with you that it is OK to do so.
The change request will be something like:
Can you change the following records for our domain wisemanlee.co.uk
Old A record: mail.wisemanlee.co.uk. 1.2.3.4
New A record: mail.wisemanlee.co.uk. 4.3.2.1
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