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Is there an alternative way to receive email if Exchange Server is down?

Posted on 2011-10-17
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Dear EE experts,

We would like to ask if there are any alternative ways on how to receive emails even our exchange server is down. If the case is we can't do anything to open up the exchange server because of electricity failure.

KIndly advise for any methods on how to have our emails eventhough our exchange server isn't working...

Thank you & hope to hear soon...
Question by:Stiebel Eltron

Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36983916
You can have an IIS SMTP received the emails before going to Exchange, in this case if the Exchange is down, the email will still on the queue until the expiration time is reach.
LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 36983917
What you want is backup MX, which will accept mails for your domain(s) and queue them until your primary MX is back online.

If you cannot setup an in-house backup MX at a different physical location, then there are many external services that can do it for you.

I would post links to external services, but if you google for "backup MX", you will see a whole bunch of them.

Some services allow you to connect to them to receive the mails real-time, while others will just queue them and resend at preset intervals to your primary MX.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 36984164
Email archiving solutions like mimecast offer email archiving in the cloud and the facility to continue sending and receiving if your exchange is offline.
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Author Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 36984513
@taga_ipil: Could u please advise on how to setup that IIS SMTP in MS Outlook?

@Papertrip: I will try to google out this backup MX, but if you could help post some methods on how to set this up, please....

Thank you!

Accepted Solution

Em Man earned 1000 total points
ID: 36984771

Two Options:

Option One:
Setup CentOS 5.5 and have Postfix recieved the incoming mails. (Your MX)
Forward all incoming mail to Exchange.

Option 2:

Create a Windows server 2003 or 2008. (Your MX)
We have 2003, Install IIS and Enabled SMTP.
create smarthost for your Internal Domain and point to your Exchange Server.

Just make sure your these servers is not an Open Relay.

Hope it helps

Author Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 36984798
So for Option 2, what do you mean by "point to your Exchange Server"? Is it the public IP of our exchange server or what? Will it work even if the main exchange server is down or currently OFF?

Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36984826
Option Two:

Yes it will work.

Internet--->Public IP ---> IIS SMTP (Public IP assigned)

Under Default SMTP Virtual Server
- there is a Domain
put the domain name of your organization.
sample: taga_is_cute@mydomain.com

add mydomain.com
choose: Forward all mail to Smart host (Put the Private IP of your Exchange Server.)

Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36984832
Under default SMTP Virtual Server Properties:

Delivery Tab
Under Local:
Set it to 2days "Expiration Timeout" (Default)
LVL 42

Assisted Solution

kevinhsieh earned 1000 total points
ID: 36987206
You are talking about receiving and actually READING the email while the Exchange server is down, right? Just having all of the email sitting somewhere waiting to be delivered to your Exchange server usually won't work, because most of the solutions offered don't allow you to actually pickup the mail using Outlook or some other method. A second server in the same building as your Exchange server is possibly subject to the same power outage.

We use McAfee SaaS for malware and spam filtering. One of the features of the service is that they allow you to access your new email via web browser if your Exchange server is down. It sounds like you are looking for a solution like that. Just having another server queue mail prevents bounces, but it doesn't make the mail accessible until your Exchange server is back online.

Author Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 36990361
We borrowed Incoming / Outgoing from our ISP, everything's works fine now...

Author Closing Comment

by:Stiebel Eltron
ID: 36990367
We did it by ourselves, but we would like to give points still to those experts who tried to help resolve our problem...

Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36990403
Nice... Good to hear stiebel.

still recommend, from your ISP pass it to your Relay(Postfix/IIS) before the Exchange.

What happened if your ISP is down? (it happened to us)

Then you cans switch the MX to the incoming relay before the Exchange. :)

Expert Comment

by:Em Man
ID: 36990411
but in this scenario, I recommend Postfix to handle the incoming.

reason: Spam Filtering is lacking on IIS/SMTP

Thanks for the points. ;)

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