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Emails sent to Exchange get delayed

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Hi Experts,

I am facing a problem of email delay, and wonder if anyone has any ideas of suggestion for me...

My office has an email server (Icewarp Merak Mail Server) setup, and we have another office location that has an Exchange 2003 Server setup.  When we use our account under the Merak Mail Server to send emails, they get delivered very quickly to their destinations (gmail, yahoo, hotmail.... other domains..etc), but as we send email to our other office's Exchange 2003 server, the emails get stuck in the out-going queue. Sometimes it sends the mail out in few minutes, sometimes could take up to hours before they are delivered.

The emails don't get rejected, but just take long.  I am not familiar with Exchange's policies, but could that be some sort of "black list", "gray list" that is prolonging the process?  I personally think the Merak mail server is okay, since other mails send out without much problem... Does any experts have idea of what should I look into?  Any particular functions in Exchange that I can drill down the problem to?

Thank you very much in advancd!
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Question by:wingkchan
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by:RobinHuman
ID: 22730114
If the mails are sitting in the outgoing queue, it would suggest that it can't locate the server it is trying to send to, otherwise they would go immediately;this could be a configuration setting on the Merak server, or a firewall / anti-spam scanner issue;
How is the exchange server configured for incoming mail?
Are they both on the same domain?
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by:wingkchan
ID: 22738686
Hi RobinHuman and thanks for the quick response.  The strange thing is that the Merak Server emails get delivered to the Exchange Server eventually, sometimes within the normal duration, other times would take up to hours.  Even if I try to force send (Can see the mails in Merak's out-going queue), but it just doesn't get the emails out.  

I don't know the setting over at the Xxchange Server's side, as that is under the supervision of another team.  The 2 servers are different domains, different locations, but our offices are connected.  This problem had happened before, went away, and comes back every once in a while.  In the previous problem case, we suspected it was the ISP's DNS routing, that takes too long to lookup between the Merak and Exchange server.  but it's wired that we don't have problem with others email providers and domain.  I think Firewall is okay, because the emails weren't blocked totally.  Emails were not marked "Spam"... so that might not be the issue too...
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RobinHuman earned 500 total points
ID: 22738743
hmmm..  does sound like a routing issue, and the fact that it's intermittent suggests that it's not a configuration issue, as it would have constant behaviour..
Do the other office use an external anti-spam filter? they might need to prioritise your mail domain if that is the case
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by:wingkchan
ID: 22738994
No, the other office doesn't use external anti-spam filter... I just tried sending some email tests, and it gets delivery in reasonable time.  This morning was not though.  BTW, I am not familiar with Exchange configurations, do you by chance know where to set the priority level with domains?
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by:RobinHuman
ID: 22739008
That would be done by the ISP, or in the MX record in the DNS - 10 being the highest priority 20,30 getting lower..
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by:petr_hlucin
ID: 22753598
IceWarp Merak mail server has a feature called greylisting which causes the email not to be accepted on the first attempt to deliver the email. It seems that this feature is applied to the messages sent from your other office. You may identify this in SMTP log (Please try again later should be reported if greylisting is applied). If this is not the case please post here all relevant sessions from SMTP log of IceWarp Merak mail server (search according to IP address).
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by:wingkchan
ID: 22819135
Sorry for the late reply all.  Petr_hluciin, I checked the smtp log and did not find any items that seemed to be greylisted.  The server is working better these days... as I am still not quite sure what could be the problem... maybe it's really the ISP's routing lookup issue?  I'll do further investigation and post up anything that I find.  Thanks all.
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