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MX records A Records DNS Record

Posted on 2011-02-22
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I am super confused on how this all ties in.  Basically I'm confused what name needs to match where or if it does not

Lets say I have a Exchange email server with the domain @arrowhead.com

I name my Exchange server SantaClaus   (FQDN is SantaClaus.arrowhead.com) IP address 192.168.0.20

The Public IP of the router is 10.0.0.20 which forwards port 25 192.168.0.20

Now I go to godaddy.com and configure DNS
I need to create MX record for that.  

Can I use anything I want for the MX?

then when I create the A record does it need to match the mx record? Do I point the host to the Public IP


back at @arrowhead.com.  Would I need to create a MX record on the  DNS server
would that be Santaclaus.arrowhead.com  or should that match the mx record on godaddy.

I get messed up because everyone uses, smtp, or mail, or exchange in their examples.  
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Question by:13years
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18 Comments
 
LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34949816
The standard would be to create an MX record that points to mail.arrowhead.com and an A record called mail that points to the Public IP address of your server, which won't be 10.0.0.20 or 192.168.0.20 as they are not Internet IP addresses, they are local (internal IP addresses only).
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by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34949883
The name of your exchange server does not have to be configured in DNS - you can basically use any name you want to - mail / smtp / bananas - the name is not relevant - it is the fact that it resolves to the servers Internet facing ip address is important.
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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34949974
excuse me, I met to put a public Ip for the router.  

Ok, the name of the email server has zero effect on the email

and the MX record can be anything I want, but then the Host record has to match that and point to the IP?


So I can have a mx record of   scoobydoo

then I have create a host record called scoobydoo and it points to the IP?




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Alan Hardisty earned 2000 total points
ID: 34949999
Yes - scoobydoo.domain.com as an mx record will work as long as you have an A record called Scoobydoo for domain.com that points to your Public IP address.

All of this is done on your Domain Control Panel not internally on your server (at GoDaddy).
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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34950009
but i have seen where some create a MX record like

@       smtp.arrowhead.com

and others

@      smtpmail

are they both right?
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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34950020
Sorry..  

one example I saw

had the MX record   @   smtp.arrowhead.com

then the host record was created smtp  IP address

how was that right?

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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34950024
i'm go daddy messing with the settings now
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34950098
An MX record has to be a Fully Qualified Domain Name e.g., mail.domain.com or smtp.domain.com or scoobydoo.domain.com.

For the MX record to work on domain.com, there has to be a corresponding A record called mail or smtp or scoobydoo that points to the IP address of the server, so that the A record name when added to domain.com makes a Fully Qualified Domain Name which because of the A record will be resolved to the IP address specified in the A record.
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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34952699
sorry, I still don't understand.  I get confused when the smtp or mail part gets brought up.  I need a real world example to see how it works

If I have a domain scoobydoo.com     and I have two servers controller.scoobydoo.com and Exhchange.scoobydoo.com

how would that look?
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34952867
smtp / mail - they are just names.

If you have two servers - controller.scoobydoo.com and exchange.scoobydoo.com you would create the following DNS records (in the Control Panel for the scoobydoo.com Domain) to get mail to exchange.scoobydoo.com:

MX Record
Host Name    Priority     Result
                        10         exchange.scoobydoo.com or
                        10         mail.scoobydoo.com or
                        10         smtp.scoobydoo.com or
                        10         bananas.scoobydoo.com

A Record
Host Name     Type       Result
exchange        A          123.123.123.123 or
mail                 A          123.123.123.123 or
smtp                A          123.123.123.123 or
bananas          A          123.123.123.123

(123.123.123.123 represents your server external ISP assigned fixed IP Address).
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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34953699
Ok ok,    the A record and MX and the A record are connected, but thats as far as it goes.  One has to reference the other.         Its starting to sink in.  

I could have

MX widget.scoobydoo.com   points to A record widget which points to the Public IP

The actuall name of the email server is never used.    

Thank for being patient, I think I got it.    

Do I need to reference the MX record on the Internal DSN server at all?  LIke create A record on the internal DNS that says what widget.scoobydoo.com is really the   emailserver.scoobydoo.com
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34953808
>>I could have

MX widget.scoobydoo.com   points to A record widget which points to the Public IP <<

Yep - that's correct.

>> Thank for being patient, I think I got it.  <<

You are most welcome.  It can be very confusing and also not necessarily easily to explain : )

>> Do I need to reference the MX record on the Internal DSN server at all? <<

No - no need to tell internal DNS that you have an Exchange server internally.
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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34953932
Awesome!  Awesome!  I look forward to configuring this now.  

I just kept thinking it had to reference the actuall email server name, but it does not

I diffently owe you, and if I do more then these points let me know

Thank you

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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34953968
You don't owe me anything - it's a pleasure to help you.

What you use in DNS to point to your server externally and what the name of your server is called internally have no bearing on each other.

One is just a pointer to point mail or other traffic to your server and the name you use makes no difference, hence the random scoobydoo / banana suggestions!!
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Author Comment

by:13years
ID: 34954175
I though the email server name would have some meaning to the outside world.   I was getting confused with the A record that is created with the Exchange server name and the A record on the MX side.


makes sense now, feeling positive about moving to the next step   : )
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 34954194
: ) - Good news.

Good luck with the next step.

Alan
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Expert Comment

by:GreenNerd
ID: 39453113
I wanted to thank Alan for the perfect explanation.  DNS troubleshooting is a nightmare when you walk into someone else's failed attempt to deploy Exchange.  

I am currently ripping my hair out because of MX records, DNS, SMTP, Port 25, NAT policies, Charter blocking Port 25...

Anyways, thanks to both of you for leaving this conversation for me to find.  It helped a great deal.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:Alan Hardisty
ID: 39455507
Glad it helped GreenNerd.  If you have any issues you still need resolved, let me know here with a link to your question, or ping me a message directly.

Alan
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