Exchange 2003 messages bounce between servers before been delivered

hi
i have 6 diferent exchange servers in cluster, the exch version is 2003 ent edition, and the SO is windows2003 ent ed.

the servers are deployed in 3 administrative groups, and two different AD Sites
- 2 servers in adminsitrative group A, on site 1
- 3 servers in administrative group B, on site 1
- 1 server in administrative group C, on site 2

if I send a mail from an account  in any server on Admin. Group B, to any account in the server in Admin Group C; the messages queued in a SMTP Connector to that server, but the message do not deliver, if I force connection, nothing happens.

before a few minutes, the message is sent to another server in the Admin Group "A" or "B", and enqueued in the SMTP Server queue of this one, this happens until the messages is delivered by the first servers in the Admin Group A, this is the only server who aparently is capable to deliver messages to server in the Admin Group C.

I have a few minutes delay, and I still have no consecuences, but it is not a regular behavior. this configuration has been working with out changes since 2 year ago.

I already check the DNS and everything looks ok
from all the servers in Admin Groups "A" and "B" I can reach by ping the server in Admin Group C, also I can connect using telnet to port 25.
all pings and telnets  were tested using FQDNs and IPs

there something more that I can check?, you have any suggestion to solve this?

thank you
Lindsay MiethAsked:
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Lindsay MiethConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Hi

thank you all for your responses, unfotunately it wa not help to solve the situation.

I create a case with MS Support, the use a winroute.exe tool to validate the topology of routing group and smtp connectors.

for some reason the connectors to Adin Group C, was damaged and show a NOT_AVAIL status.

I create a new connectors and the comunication restablished as usual.

thank you
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Bruno PACIIT ConsultantCommented:
Hi,

When you TELNET on port 25 of site C Exchange servers you should see a SMTP banner.
Did you notice differences in the banner when you telnet from site A servers and from Site B servers ?

I already had some troubles with PIX firewall that by default have a security functionality that refuse Extended SMTP commands and that censures these extended SMTP commands. If that sort of PIX firewall exists between sites you usually can see a sort of censured SMTP banner (containing series of "*****" characters) when you connect on port 25 with telnet.

Routing group connectors in Exchange uses extended SMTP commands to permit servers to authenticate each other. If extended SMTP commands are censured by any way the dialog between servers fails.

have an nice day
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Malli BoppeCommented:
Download the exchange best pratice analyser tool adn run it on an exchange server on each site.It should give you any idea.
Also are you not using routing group connectors between different sites.
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Lindsay MiethAuthor Commented:
a
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