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how to configure frontend/backend servers tofor mail delivery

I need to properly configure mail flow between frontend and backend servers in exchange 2003. The topology will be:

2 frontend servers behind the perimeter firewall
2 backend servers clustered behind the perimeter firewall.

There will be a smtp gateway/spam/virus filtering appliance to send outbound mail through.
Should the frontend and backend servers be configured as bridgehead servers on the opposite sides of a routing group?  The frontend and backend servers will all be on the same subnet. Should a smpt connectors on the backend servers be configured as smarthosts pointing to the smtp gateway?
What about inbound mail flow from the internet?

What would be a recommended configuration?

thanks
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bignewf
Asked:
bignewf
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1 Solution
 
Exchange_GeekCommented:
Should the frontend and backend servers be configured as bridgehead servers on the opposite sides of a routing group?  

Even if they are part of the same Routing group - it wouldn't matter much. Works fine.

The frontend and backend servers will all be on the same subnet. Should a smpt connectors on the backend servers be configured as smarthosts pointing to the smtp gateway?

Practically speaking SMTP Connector should be configured on F.E server as bridgehead servers with smart host configured as the next hop (in your case the firewall / smtp gateway)

What about inbound mail flow from the internet?

Well, have your ISP point a MX record to the external ip of your smtp gateway / firewall. Have rules configured to forward the traffic over port 25 to your F.E servers.

Ref Link:
Front-End and Back-End Server Topology Guide for Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996980.aspx

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bignewfAuthor Commented:
This is a good solution, but the BE servers will not require any connectors (i.e routing group connectors) to the FE servers?  Will the BE servers require any connectors between them  (there will be two) with smarthosts configured?

Once a request for a particular mailbox reaches the FE server, then it will then the user mailboxr mailbox using DSA proxy requests to a global catalogue server in active directory, authenticate the user and then the mail will traverse the smtp gateway, so a connector is not needed for this reason on a BE server?


thanks
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bignewfAuthor Commented:
This is a good solution, but the BE servers will not require any connectors (i.e routing group connectors) to the FE servers?  Will the BE servers require any connectors between them  (there will be two) with smarthosts configured?

Once a request for a particular mailbox reaches the FE server, then it will then the user mailboxr mailbox using DSA proxy requests to a global catalogue server in active directory, authenticate the user and then the mail will traverse the smtp gateway, so a connector is not needed for this reason on a BE server?

I am only trying to clarify that the topology of the BE servers in this scenario


thanks  for your great help
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Exchange_GeekCommented:
but the BE servers will not require any connectors (i.e routing group connectors) to the FE servers?

Mails do flow only from one connector - so as long as all the servers are part of the same routing group - no connector require to connect any server - they all are part of the family using one connector (which is owned by big daddy FE serveR)

Will the BE servers require any connectors between them  (there will be two) with smarthosts
configured?

This configuration has to be done on FE server - BE server can sit quietly.

Once a request for a particular mailbox reaches the FE server, then it will then the user mailboxr mailbox using DSA proxy requests to a global catalogue server in active directory, authenticate the user and then the mail will traverse the smtp gateway, so a connector is not needed for this reason on a BE server?

Why getting into the nitty-gritty of the environment - it is simple mail flows out from any box who has the SMTP connector configured. When a email is sent from the BE server - it has the configuration pre-loaded into its own Metadata (thanks to DS2MB). Using this information the mail is then forwarded to FE server (which has the SMTP Connector configured). FE server will simply work on the port 25 to forward the query across to the smart host.

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bignewfAuthor Commented:
thanks for your great help. tried it and it works fine with the smtp connector on the FE server using the ip address of the smtp gateway as a smarthost
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