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Sending email to test environment

Posted on 2011-03-01
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hi All,

I have a live network which is running a 2k3 and 2k7 exchange with external internet access. I am wanting to demote and uninstall 2k3 exchange. So i have created a test environement which is exact replica to the real one including ip address. With the exception of the external ip address which has change. how can i send an email to my test environment from external with the mx record still pointing to my live system. I have telnet to port 25 on my test setup but i need final verification that the changes i have done have worked. Can anyone suggest anything.

Many thanks in advanced
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Question by:ncomper
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by:PraveenBalan
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You will have to use a dummy domain.

register A to point your test exchange gateway and corresponding MX record for your dummy domain(Demoteyourdomain.com) and do the testing. And register required records in case if you want send out emails from test setup(for e.g. PTR).

Because If you point the original MX record to the test setup, you will lose email.

-Praveen
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by:8ubterfug3
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Depending on the level of testing you wish to carry out you may be able to get away with using telnet remotely to send test emails to your server without the need for a dummy domain or MX record.

From outside of your network open a command prompt on a PC and type...
telnet <ip address of test front end exchange server> 25
HELO sender_domain_name
MAIL FROM:you@hostname.com (ie, your email address)
RCPT TO:them@yourdomain.com (an email address on your test environment)
DATA
You type your message then hit enter, type a period on a line by itself, then hit enter
QUIT

This will only work if you do not check for valid SPF records since the remote server probably won't be an email server for another organization.
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by:ncomper
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8ubterfug3 - Thanks for reply, we have managed to test email from the system out but not back in because it will resolve back to live network.

PraveenBalan - I think this is what we need to do but can you explain in more detail please
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PraveenBalan earned 500 total points
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lets assume that your dummy domain is demoteexchange.com

1. Configure the environment to accept and send emails from demoteexchange.com
2. Verify the email flow internally by sending test messages, and configuring the clients if needed.

Once you have confirmed that everything is working fine in your LAN, go for the public DNS registration.

1. Register your dummydomain in Public DNS(you may have to talk to your domain registration team).

2. If you manage your public DNS, have the following entries created.
Host A record for your sending/receiving gateway for the dummy exchange setup(i assume you use same server for sending and recieving, if not modify the steps accordingly).

mail.demoteexchange.com            A      XXXXX (where XXXXX is your public NAT ip of gateway)

Create MX record pointing the newly created Host A record.

demoteexchange.com      MX      preference:10  exchange:mail.demoteexchange.com
Note - the DNS team will understand it correctly.

3. If you plan to send out email, contact the ISP to have the spf and reverse DNS record created for the public IP corresponding to your dummy domain name.

Ideally the above should allow you to do the testing..

-Praveen
      



       
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