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Need a secondary MX record on DNS

Posted on 2009-05-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Our ISP (AT&T) told me they no longer provide a backup mail server if the T1 line goes down.  So they just deleted the secondary MX record on our public DNS zone file that points to their mail server.  I had that MX record for years.  To those of you with AT&T Internet/T1 account have you heard about this? Any suggestions on how to spool inbound emails if our T1 line goes down?

By the way, this is unmanaged service account.  We are located West (California), if that helps any.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Question by:cc1991
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by:tdkim1
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Find an email service and create a secondary mx record to them.

Granted, if your T1 goes down then you still won't be able to check internet/email within the office.  Otherwise, most mail servers will queue messages at least 24 hours, default exchange is set to 72 hours, I believe, before failing altogether.
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by:xcomiii
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Many DNS / domain registrars also offers a second MX for it's customers. Find one that has a good level of services and move your domain to them, keep your T1.
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by:Mestha
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What I do, is use a dynamic DNS system.
Most of the time both MX records are pointing at the same IP address. If something was to happen, I jump on to another server ( a plain IIS server ) and configure it for email and change the dynamic DNS account. The change is live in a few minutes.
Secondary MX servers are a target for spammers, so by using this method everything comes in directly most of the time.

Simon.
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by:cc1991
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OK guys, thanks for the suggestions.  I don't really know how to move forward with this yet.  Here's the thing.  AT&T has control of our public DNS.  If I want to pull the plug from them and say I go to Network Solutions account manager (our current domain registrar and I'm the contact) and change the DNS setting to point to a different DNS provider (say zoneedit.com, I'm sure there are others) and re-create the domain zone file with A records, MX records, etc. would this work? Is there a problem using the same public IP addresses I'm using now (assigned by AT&T) and use it on the new DNS provider to re-create my DNS records?
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by:xcomiii
xcomiii earned 75 total points
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A public domain name, is your legal property and eventhough AT&T has technical control over it, you are free to move the domain to other registrars. I've worked at a registrar and it is common practise that the new registrar asks for the records from the old one, and good companies does so, in case the customer don't have a track of each own records.

It's much easier to import a txt file from BIND to BIND than it is for the customer or registrar to add records manually.
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tdkim1 earned 150 total points
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To answer simply, no.  There are no issues with moving DNS control to a different service and using the public addresses AT&T assigned to you.  

Just be aware that changing DNS providers will amount to some downtime in services, IE mail, web, etc.  The general rule of thumb is 24-72 hours, but depending on the service, it should be a lot quicker.

Just make sure that through all this, your PTR (rDNS) record doesn't get wiped by AT&T.  This is almost always handled by the ISP.
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by:Mestha
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If things are done correctly then changing DNS providers shouldn't result in any downtime. Any decent provider will allow you to create your zone records in advance, so when the name servers are changed things just switch over. I have changed name server providers numerous times with no downtime at all. I usually do it on a Friday evening just to be safe, but haven't needed that safety net.

Simon.
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by:cc1991
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I won't be moving the DNS services from AT&T (for now).  I finally spoke to someone at their support dept. who can add our domain to a new email spooler server and replaced the MX record.  Two people said they don't provide email spooler service but last person I spoke said the old spooler server has been replaced with a new server.  The responses here have been helpful and valuable for future reference so I will award the points.  Thank you.
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