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Setting up a domian MX record for Exhange 2007 Install

Posted on 2009-07-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hello -

I'm installing Exchange 2007 and I'd like to know what the best way to install, prapair and configure and ensure that I do not interupt my current email domain, which is hosted on a pop3 server (outside). While installing the Exchange I figure I would use a domain name that I registered with godaddy for our Citrix server. I point the A records to Citrix and I figure I'll point MXRecord to my Exchange. Not sure what the best way to achieve this with out interupting current email domain until Exchange is ready.

What is the best solution for this situation?

I appreciate all your help.

nimdatx  
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Question by:nimdatx
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Expert Comment

by:Todd Gerbert
ID: 24797577
Configure your new Exchange server with whatever domain name it'll actually be running for...it won't receive any mail so long as you don't make any changes to DNS.  Create A and PTR records for your server's external IP address.  Change your DNS zone's (or have your provider change it for you) default TTL to something ridiculously short, like 4 hours.

When you're ready, change the MX record.

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by:nimdatx
ID: 24797818
Sorry I don't understand.
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by:nimdatx
ID: 24797886
I'll need to have my existing domain setup and left alone so my current email is not interupted. Can you explain a little more?
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Expert Comment

by:dphantom
ID: 24798051
Let's say your internal domain is abc.local and your external domain is xyz.com and you want people to send email to myname@xyz.com.

So, set up a forward lookup zone in your AD DNS called xyz.com.  Add an A record to this zone that has the external ip address of your email server.  This A record would be something like mail.xyz.com with an ip address routable on the Internet.  You would have this from your ISP.

Once that is set up, go to your ISP or whoever hosts your external DNS and either create or have them set up an MX record pointing to this external ip address and A record.

On your firewall, allow incoming SMTP to the external IP address assigned to the Exchange server.

I think that's the basics.  

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by:nimdatx
ID: 24798471
I have external domain as rapadocs.com which is our current active domain that is used when users email, example user@rapadocs.com. This is setup with a outside pop3 server and is how users email.

My internal domain is rapa.local

If I setup a forward lookup zone will that affect my current users from emailing?

rapadocs.com is registered with registar and this is where I would change my A/MX records, however I thought if I do this I would interupt all users from accessing my current pop3 server which would interupt email.

I'm confused as to how this will work without any interuption if I change A record on current active domain rapadocs.com.

You mentioned that I contact my ISP to change MX record, but wouldnt I do that with registar and contact my ISP to setup RDNS. I have all static IPs ready.
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Expert Comment

by:dphantom
ID: 24799736
Yes, you will interupt your current email if that is how it is set up today.  So this will have to be an after hours maintenance window.

Registrar and ISP could be the same or be different.  In your case you say they are different so your procedure in the last paragraph is correct.
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by:nimdatx
ID: 24823591
Sorry for the late response.

What I'm trying to achieve is go through the phases on installing/configuring Exchange 2007 (New Install) and I wanted to do this with another temporary domain until I can ensure my exchange is working properly. I don't want to make it more difficult then what it will be already and don't want to do something that I will regret. This is what I plan.

Phase 1
Extend AD Schema
Raise Domain Funtion
Update my Fileserver
Install Exchange
Configure Exchange

Phase 2
Configure Mailboxes
Configure AntiSpam
Configure Policies
Connectors
OWA
Active Sync
SSL Certificate
Autodiscover

Phase 3
Backup
Reporting
Disaster Recovery
Monitoring
Test Run

Phase 4
User Outlook configuration
Go Live

While installing and configuring I will need the domain name I'm going to use and this is phase 1. If I start on a Friday night, I don't want to have issues preventing my users from emailing on Monday. I rather if possible use a temporary Domain until I do a test run. Is this a good idea? Should jI ust go for the KO? I need advice as to how someone in my situation would accomplish this project.
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by:dphantom
ID: 24823685
I wouldn't.  You don't really have to change the MX record until the end.  That is how I have done POP to SMTP migrations in the past.  Get Exchange, OWA etc set up, test internal email and then cutover with the MX record change at the end.  You will know your Exchange is set up and working correctly if you can email internally.  So you can eliminate that problem without affecting users.  You can also test backup.  

Then cutover the MX record finish up spam config depending upon what you are using and you have much less to troubleshoot.
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Shouldn't all users have the same email signature?

You wouldn't let your users design their own business cards, would you? So, why do you let them design their own email signatures? Think of the damage they could be doing to your brand reputation! Choose the easy way to manage set up and add email signatures for all users.

 
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by:nimdatx
ID: 24823874
That's what I'm talking about. How do you setup internal email without changing MX records. Any good links on this or instructions? This is great. I really appreciate your help.
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Expert Comment

by:dphantom
ID: 24823981
Well, your MX only affects those outside who have to send inside.  Internal only should not be a problem as long as your internal DNS is properly configured.
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Expert Comment

by:Todd Gerbert
ID: 24824063
Definitely do NOT setup another, temporary domain.  Configure your Exchange server using the correct domain name.  Nothing will be affected until you change DNS and/or reconfigure all of your workstations.  Your existing users aren't going to automatically switch from their current POP server to the Exchange box - you would have to reconfigure them.  Likewise, incoming mail will still go to the current POP server because that's where the MX record says to go.

Setup 1 or 2 test computers to connect to the exchange server, make sure you can e-mail other Exchange users, and that you can send outbound email to an internet email address.  Your exchange server won't receive any incoming internet email (because the aforementioned MX record hasn't been changed).

So, the question is...are you going to attempt to make the change in server appear transparent to your users, or are you going to re-setup all the computers?

Also, have considered hiring a local consultant or using a hosted Exchange servcie?
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Author Comment

by:nimdatx
ID: 24826061
I will not setup a temporary domain and take the advice listed.

I'll configure DNS and all other requirements except the MX records on the domain until I'm ready to go live. When you asked if I make the changes in server transparent to users, not sure exactly what you mean.

My users use office 2003 and very few office 2007. I'd like to use Autodiscover or if you suggest any other option to push out the changes to all users outlook account. I would not want to go to each workstation to point their account settings to new exchange server. What do you think?

Don't really want to use a hosted exchange service as I'd like to learn Exchange. :-)
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Assisted Solution

by:Todd Gerbert
Todd Gerbert earned 200 total points
ID: 24826329
Even with AutoDiscover someone's going to need to re-configure Outlook on all the computers ... if your users are capable of adding an Outlook account then you'll be good (but if they're like my users that'll never happen, better to do it yourself).

Or, setup a default.prf, put it on a network share, then you can assign a logon script to run outlook.exe /importprf
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Accepted Solution

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dphantom earned 300 total points
ID: 24826368
Yep, someone has to touch each install of Outlook.  Or a login script, something has to push the change to the Outlook profile to each desktop.  You will also need some way to import their existing pst files from their pop accounts so they have access to their old email.  

I've done the above plus provided a detailed set of step by step instructions with really big pictures to help users configure the settings themselves.

Then, give the same to your help desk because no matter what, you will have lots of phone calls.
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Author Closing Comment

by:nimdatx
ID: 31600760
Perfect information. I wish I could assigned more points to both Experts. i really appreciate all your help and support.

dphantom can you send me a copy of your instructions? :-) jcampos@c-techsupport.com
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Expert Comment

by:dphantom
ID: 24841241
Here is the document.  it is for an old version of Outlook but maybe will bgive you an idea or two.
email-setup.doc
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