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Exchange SMTP relay/gateway

Posted on 2011-09-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
---If I understand SMTP gateway or some call it SMTP relay, is where the anti virus and anti spam software is installed on the same box as exchange2003 (without mailboxes), so that emails coming in from internet are scanned before they are forwarded to the Front end server.
correct me if I am wrong

--emails going from inside to internet should not go through this SMTP gateway/relay, but have seen some configuration that make it go through it. what 's the reason ?

---if possible, can someone tell me how Exchange Front end is able to determine such email has its user mailbox in Exchange server 1 and such email has its user mailbox in exchange server 2  ???

thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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jebeckham earned 250 total points
ID: 36570850
Your description is correct about SMTP gateway or relay.  It need not necesarly scan for viruses/spam/malware but it can.

Some organizations choose to send their outbound email through an SMTP gateway or 3rd-party service as to reduce the risk of their internal users or applications from sending out viruses/spam/malware to clients, custoers, partners, etc.

If you have one front-end or hub transport server and two back-end or mailbox servers, the FE/HT servers have access to information within Active Directory to determine where the user's mailbox is stored and therefore can make an intelligent decision about where to deliver the inbound message.

I hope that helps!
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Assisted Solution

by:sunnyc7
sunnyc7 earned 250 total points
ID: 36571606
a) Not-necessary.
Messages can be scanned through a hosted anti-spam solution and then delivered to your exchange server.
Depends on how you setup your MX records.
Emails will hit the first-record on your MX first.
If it's hosted anti-spam like postini, then they will scan it first and exchange is hidden from the public.
If it's exchange server, then you have to take care of hygiene issues on Exchange.

b) Different AV solutions handle it differently.
Some quarantine.
Some do a "on arrival" and "before arrival" filtering.
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--emails going from inside to internet should not go through this SMTP gateway/relay, but have seen some configuration that make it go through it. what 's the reason ?
>> Emails will go out through SMTPSVC1 (default smtp virtual server)
Some AV solutions "bing" to that, and use outgoing emails to whitelist. (General assumption is, if you your org is sending someone emails, you probably do business with them - hence whitelist.)

----
---if possible, can someone tell me how Exchange Front end is able to determine such email has its user mailbox in Exchange server 1 and such email has its user mailbox in exchange server 2  ???
>> Depends on your exchange-org setup and how the topology is configured.
Gen speaking, you can look up the raw data in ADSIEdit.msc

start> run > adsiedit.msc
Configuration > services > Exchange > my org > first admin group etc
Check a list of servers.

Exchange will check all available non-front-end servers in Ex03 and try to deliver mails to those mailboxes.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 36572116
Excellent explanation----thank you guys!
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