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Email Redundancy

Posted on 2010-01-08
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Hello.  We are running a Windows Network and have one MS Exchange Mail Server.  We need to have a backup and need inexpensive solutions.  We looked into purchaing a 64 bit server and loading MS Exchange 2007 Enterprise Edition, however my CFO says it is cost prohibitive.  How can I have a realtime concurrent email backup server running at the same time on my network?
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Question by:yurcalpal
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Glen Knight earned 1000 total points
ID: 26212867
Do you want a redundant system or just somewhere to queue the mail in case of system failure?

If you don't want to pay for additional equipment/software licenses then your not going to be able to have a redundant system.

You could however sign up to a mail queuing system that will queue your e-mail for you and you can collect it from there.

You could get all your e-mail delivered to a POP3 service and download it from their to your exchange server, this would mean your mail wouldn't be delivered to your exchange server but to a 3rd party, meaning if your exchange server crashed you could connect to their system to view/send mail using their webmail system?

There are lots of things you could do it really depends on what you want to do.
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by:tigermatt
tigermatt earned 1000 total points
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As already stated, additional hardware and software solely for the occasional outage is probably an unnecessary spend. If your current server is not due for replacement, it doesn't surprise me the funding will not be released.

A properly configured stand-alone Exchange Server on SERVER grade hardware with properly configured RAID arrays can achieve 99.9% uptime quite easily - that is without the use of (relatively expensive) clustering technology. I manage a number of Exchange Servers for some 2000+ user organisations, some are much larger, and find the most unreliable component to the deployment is the inbound Internet connection. All of the single-server deployments I manage can stay up without reboots for months at a time - with reboots only made to finalise installation of Windows updates - the amount of uptime you can achieve really is amazing.

For many companies who rely on email being delivered, or those who rely on an online presence, the recommendation is to have two inbound internet connections. Have you considered this (relatively) in-expensive option?

As demazter stated, you could add an ISP POP3 catch-all box and point a lower priority MX record to your ISP's mail server. However, my preferred solution is a service like that offered by No-IP: http://www.no-ip.com/services/managed_mail/backup_mail.html. You add their server as a backup MX; if your server is unreachable, mail is held at No-IP, who then forward it on to your server again when it can be contacted. The benefit is you NEVER have to manually download and manually route mail backed up in the POP3 mailbox during any down-time to individual mailboxes; it is delivered, as usual, when connectivity is restored. This also means any momentary downtime will not cause mail to be lost into the POP3 system; if you aren't aware of downtime, you wouldn't have a reason to go check and download that queued mail to the server.

-Matt
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