I want to switch from a POP3 Connector on SBS Server 2008 and receive Internet email straight to the server.

Posted on 2010-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I know I need to call my email provider and have them point their MX recorcd to my server's public IP address but before I want to make sure of what changes I need to make to my Exchange server either in DNS or the EMC to receive email.  I also realize I may have to make some firewall changes.  What steps should I take to make this go smoothly?
Question by:ereichelrcs
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Accepted Solution

probso earned 250 total points
ID: 33429333
1. Ensure that the SMTP Service/Internet Mail Connector is configured
2. This can be tested by using telnet to port 25 (smtp) from both inside and outside your organisation to show that the server is responding and that your routing is configured
3. Change your MX records

An option that many ISPs provide is store and forward of inbound mail where they will hold all e-mails if your server goes down.

Assisted Solution

comphil earned 250 total points
ID: 33429416
As part of probso's item 2 you need to ensure port 25 is open on your router/firewall and directed to your SBS box.  

Also check who's POP3 mail is going to which Exchange accounts - if you have multiple POP accounts with different addresses going to one Exchange mailbox, you need to ensure that the Exchange mailbox has aliases set to reflect each address - for example, if POP accounts and are configured to go to an Exchange mailbox with the address, you need to make sure that John has the aliases bob@ and fred@ configured in Exchange if you want him to continue to recieve emails on those addresses - any addresses that don't exist on your server after the MX changeover will bounce by default.  Your Exchange server will become the single point of reference for mail address lookups.

Not entirely to do with the MX change but it's also a good idea to make sure your reverse DNS record for your site's WAN IP is updated to reflect the change if outgoing mail is going direct from the server and not via your ISP's SMTP server.  This will help stop mail originating from your server from being bounced by strong spam filters.  For example, if your MX record will now be, your reverse DNS record for your site's WAN IP should be changed to as well if it isn't already.

Expert Comment

ID: 33429506
One thing to watch out for is that if you loose internet connection or your server and have nothing to catch the mail it will probably be bounced.  We have a SMTP backup setup which holds the mail should we loose the server which is meant to recieve for example.

We use this company but there are others.
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Expert Comment

ID: 33429538
In my experience, the sender's mail server should retry for 24hrs normally so if the site's internet or server is down for less than that, normally most mail will start trickling through once it comes back up.  After that yes it will bounce back to the sender if no secondary MX is available (such as a POP3 mailbox hosted by your ISP).

Author Comment

ID: 33429748
One question that I have is when my ISP changes their MX record to point to my server do I use the actual WAN IP address or do I use the Internet Domain Name that was configured on the SBS server in the SBS Console.

I have set this up on Server 2003 but SBS 2008 handles everything so differently.

Another question I have is do I need an internal MX record pointed to my FQDN?

Expert Comment

ID: 33429807
No, you don't need an internal MX record.  An MX record is part of your external domain name's DNS settings and tells other servers where to deliver mail addressed to your domain, your server should be fully configured to deal with this itself internally, SBS sets all that by itself anyway.

Ideally you should have an A record for something like (the first segment can be anything you like but make it relevant) pointing to your site's WAN IP and then the MX record should point to that A record.  

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