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Can I prevent bounced e-mails from being sent out if my server is down?

Posted on 2010-09-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
Hi,

We're moving our mail server to a new office.  While it is offline (during the move), will senders be receiving temporary delivery failures?  If so, how can we prevent that?

Thanks!
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Question by:epitec
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Assisted Solution

by:bluepig
bluepig earned 166 total points
ID: 33744619
You can set up a backup mail server for the move:
http://www.dyndns.com/services/mailhop/backupmx.html
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Assisted Solution

by:sunnyc7
sunnyc7 earned 167 total points
ID: 33744644
Yes the sender's will receive bounced emails when your server is down.

how to prevent it.

a) One option is - you lose emails and senders do not get bounced messages.
b) Set up a backup MX server.
This will collect all your mails when your server is down and then forward it to your exchange when it is up.

You can use www.mxsave.com

check my answer given here.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_26317605.html

thanks
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Expert Comment

by:jar3817
ID: 33744884
How long will it be down? If it's only a few hours nobody would know, sending servers will keep trying until your system comes back up. More than a few hours the senders might get a message saying it was delayed, but will keep trying. More than a few days users will get bounces saying the sending servers have given up.
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by:JBond2010
ID: 33745489
Please follow these steps to disabled the NDR messages:

Open the Exchange Management Console
Expand the Organization Configuration folder
Click on Hub Transport
Select Remote Domains
Right-click the Default tab
Click on the Message Format
to turn off NDR's uncheck Allow non-delivery reports
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by:jar3817
ID: 33745889
These NDRs aren't generated on his system...he has no control over the sending MTAs...
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Author Comment

by:epitec
ID: 33746965
Thanks for the replies, everyone.  I will have to check out some of the further information.  Ideally, this will be quick (couple hours), but we'd like to be prepared, in case of a hiccup that would keep us down longer.

jar3817, you say 'a few hours'... do you know, by chance, if the amount of time before the first delay message is standard (and how long it is), or does it vary by the type of server the sender is using or an administrator's whim? ;)
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Accepted Solution

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jar3817 earned 167 total points
ID: 33747035
I think the default for most modern email servers is 4 hours. And they will usually keep trying for like 5 days. These settings are of course configurable, but a good baseline. If you really can't afford the delayed msgs, do like they said above and setup a bacukp MX. That way it'll accept all the mail, no one will get any errors and then when your server comes back up (assuming all the DNS stuff is setup right) the backup MX will send all that queued up mail to your real server.
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Author Comment

by:epitec
ID: 33747100
Sounds good - the problem is that the higher-ups do not want our customers to get the delays and think there's a problem (well, technically, there is, for that moment in time :).  I mentioned that the messages would still come through once we're back up and running, but they said there should be nothing going back to the customers, so I just need to find a way to make that happen - mx backup looks like the way to go.  Thanks for all the help, everyone!  I will pass this information along and split the points.
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Expert Comment

by:sunnyc7
ID: 33747108
i'd rather go for a solution where i know that mails are not lost for sure during the move.
mxSave costs $5/month

Even if something goes wrong with the move / IP's not enabled etc, you can rest assure that your emails will not get lost.
Give that a shot. Setup takes 30 mins.
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Author Closing Comment

by:epitec
ID: 33747179
I hope you guys consider this a fair split - I wish I had more points to give :)  I guess bluepig had the right answer first, but I really appreciated the extra information, sunnyc7 and jar3817.  Thanks for your efforts!
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