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Two Exchange Servers

Posted on 2011-09-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi all.

I have two MS exchange 2007 Servers (SP3) that are physically in different sites under a VPN.

Server A contains all the mailboxes. Server B receives mail but keeps it queued without moving it to the mailboxes. How can I fix this?

What I want is that server A stores the mailboxes and server B handles the in/out traffic, so that if server A fails, emails will be queued in server B.

At the same time I set the DNS MX registers so that the first one points to server B and the second one to server A. SO if server B fails, email comes in/out throug server A.
Thank you.
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Question by:ScreenFox
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by:IanMurphy
IanMurphy earned 500 total points
ID: 36508892
This has nothing to do with dns mx records.

first you need to have dns entries to allow each exchange server to find the other. You haven't said if they are in the same domain or not. If they are then you need to check that AD etc is working correctly. If they are not then each should be able to ping the full name of the other before starting. From what you are doing I assume that they are in the same domain.

You will need to create a send connector on the one which is recieving email which has its destination as the other server.

You need to check that port 25 on the mailbox server is accesible from the receiver server and you will need to create a recieve connector which permits recieving email without applying the anti-spam filters (as email will be coming from an IP which is not the ip associated with the domain). Your edge server does the filtering.

Exchange has a tool to check the conectivity between two servers. Once you have created connectors the best thing will be to run the tester and see what doesn't work.

Ian
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by:ScreenFox
ID: 36509043
Yes. Both servers belong to the same domain. I don't have an edge server. They are two servers in the same domain and Exchange Organization but in different sites within my network.

What I want is that the mails come in / go out throug server B and reach the mailbox in server A within the network.

I have send/receive connectors created in both servers but I don't know how to tell server B to place incoming mails into the server A mailboxes. Could they share the same File Storage Group, for example?
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by:IanMurphy
IanMurphy earned 500 total points
ID: 36509105
It sounds like there is something basic which has not been set up. Before we go any further - have you tried the tools which come with exchange? You can find them in the exchange management console on the left in the last element in the list.

There is a section of tools for diagnosing mail flow problems.

We could run though hundreds of tests but these tools do a good job of checking the basics and will tell you whats going on.

Ian
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by:ScreenFox
ID: 36509206
This tool only return information items. No errors.
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by:IanMurphy
IanMurphy earned 500 total points
ID: 36509278

Do the messages get accepted by the receiving server from the outside world? If they do are they sitting in a queue. If they are what is the transmission attempt result? - it shows it in a column on the queue.

Can you use a tool like vmailer to send an smtp message from the receiving server to the mailbox server without passing through exchange - i.e sent to port 25 on the mailbox server from the receiving server?

This will test your receive connector on the mailbox server. If this works then the problem is likely a routing problem on the receiving server.
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Author Comment

by:ScreenFox
ID: 36509316
Yes. Messages are accepted by the receiving server and they are sitting in a queue. I cannot see a column headed "transmission attempt result" I do see a column headed "Status" which says OK. and "Last Error" which is empty.

Mailbox server also receives/sends mail for other accepted domains, so I'm sure the receive connector works.

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Author Comment

by:ScreenFox
ID: 36509505
More information. If I select the queue and right-click and then click on "Retry" then the field "delivery type" changes to "SMTP relay to Active Directory Remote Site" and Status changes to "Retry".

however, the messages remain in the queue
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Author Comment

by:ScreenFox
ID: 36509797
Should I remove the Mailbox role from the receiving server?
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IanMurphy earned 500 total points
ID: 36509834
no, the mailbox role is not a problem...

Let me think about the problem. Its got to be something simple as this normally just works.

Ian
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Expert Comment

by:jesaja
ID: 36517085
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by:ScreenFox
ID: 36521057
I made sure that AD link exists. It is a default IP AD site link.

I also change a few logging levels under the Transport category from "minimum" to "medium"
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Author Comment

by:ScreenFox
ID: 36521242
Now I did the following test:

I setup send/receive connectors in both servers and created a mailbox user in server B. I tried to send a message from a user in server A to a user in server B and checked the message track tool.

Normally a message generates three items in this track (sending side): Storedriver-Receive, Routing-Transfer and SMTP-Send

When I sent the test message only the event Storedriver-Receive was registered.

Of course on the receiver side there is no record at all.

It seems obvious that there is a routing issue, but I don't know how to work it out.


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Author Comment

by:ScreenFox
ID: 36523348
GOT IT!

You were right, Ian: "this normally just works." Yes because when you install Exchange a default internal receive connector is created, so it works, UNLESS you delete that receive connector, which is what I did the first time I installed Exchange in both servers.

So it was indeed something simple.

Thank you all!
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