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eMail Transition from one ISP to another

Posted on 2009-07-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
We have just transitioned from one ISP to a 2nd ISP. All went well for the web side of things but we are finding that incoming eMail from external addresses is being handled by the OLD eMail server!? Is there something the NEW ISP must do to update the MX Record? It was my understanding this would follow the nameservers. (remember this is external hosted eMail - nothing fancy). IP Addresses all resolve to the NEW ISP and I can connect to their eMail server without issue.

What's up?
How does it get corrected?

Thanks!
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Question by:DanielT
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MattShadbolt earned 400 total points
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how long ago did you change the DNS records? It can take "up to 48 hours" for records to propigate for some hosted DNS providers
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by:DanielT
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The nameservers were changed 2009-0714 at 1730. Website was redirected by approx 2009-0714 2000 (or before) but was not "up" yet due to ISP last minute prep. The website itself was up and running by 2009-0715 1100 when ISP completed their work so DNS records are fine that way. Domain resolves to correct, new, IP address.

Would MX records not simply move with the domain?
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by:jcimarron
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DanielT--I would think you would have to change the POP-3 and SMTP settings in the Account|Properties.
What is the email program?
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by:DanielT
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Update.
Ya - thanks. All that was done.

Seems like it was just a propogation delay for the MX Record to take effect I guess - unless there was something on our ISP end they did not do it until today (and did not advise us, despite asking). As above, I thought that when the new website location was finally registered that eMail routing would have been updated at the same time.

All is working now but...
Any other ideas on why there would have been a longer delay for eMail than for web?

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by:MattShadbolt
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IMO it sounds like the propagation delay - if most mail was being relayed correctly but some wasn't then it sounds like the mx records weren't refreshed on those hosts being relayed to the wrong server
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by:DanielT
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Thanks for the additional comments but I am not closer to understanding the difference between the domain name propogation delay and the MX Record propogation delay.

What exactly is the MX Record anyway? I mean I know what it is for but where is it setup, how does it tie itself to the domain. Where does it reside?

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by:MattShadbolt
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the MX record is what an external mail server looks for. So when some one sends you a piece of mail, their server will do a MX lookup on the domain they are trying to send to. Normally, their ISP's name server responds with an mx record - say mail1.domain.com. The mail server then attemps to deliver the message to the mail1.domain.com server. So, if their ISP's name server is holding an old version of your MX record the person trying to deliver the mail will attempt to send it to the old server not the new server. The MX record is just like an A or CNAME record - but it is just dedicated to mail servers.
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by:DanielT
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MattShadbolt

Thanks.
Makes sense to me.

Last kick at this (I think) and more a matter of interest...
(Thanks for your patience)

So if the NEW nameservers have taken effect such that the NEW nameserver IP address is returned for the given domain and the NEW website is up and running why would the MX lookup not return the NEW MX record pointer (in the case of combined web and eMail hosting service)?

Are you saying then that the OLD MX record is cached on other servers between the eMail source and eMail destination independent of the NEW nameservers? Otherwise how could a query to the domain which is now pointed to the NEW nameservers return an OLD MX record? This was the reason for asking earlier if there was perhaps something the ISP did not do?



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by:MattShadbolt
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no i think your ISP has done everything right - it may just be that some external mail servers who are trying to send you mail don't refresh their records as often as they should. Large ISPs or mail hosts especially will cache MX records for 2 or 3 days because MX records rarely change. It also saves the $ on bandwidith as they don't check for updates for every email that is sent through their servers.
This would explain why most of your email was being delivered to your new servers, and only a little delivered to the old server - a small minority of external mail servers just hadn't flushed their DNS cache and gone searching for updates.
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by:DanielT
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Thanks for the help!
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