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Debian Email Backup Server

Posted on 2012-03-28
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Last Modified: 2012-04-15
We have an Exchange 2010 server as our primary mail server.  We want to put in a backup email server in case our Exchange server goes down.  I've set up IMAP servers before with Debian, so I was thinking about setting one up.  The idea would be to hold all the emails destined for the Exchange 2010 server on the Debian server while the Exchange 2010 server is down.  However, when the Exchange 2010 server comes back up, the Debian server would send all those emails it had been queuing up to the Exchange server for delivery.

Not quite sure how to set the Debian server up like that.  Any suggestions?
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Question by:sedberg1
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8 Comments
 
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Papertrip earned 500 total points
ID: 37779811
What you are trying to accomplish is pretty straight forward and very common.

Here are some instructions on how to do it using Postfix

http://www.howtoforge.com/postfix_backup_mx
http://www.postfix.org/STANDARD_CONFIGURATION_README.html#backup

The inherent problem with backup MX's is that they are regularly targeted by spammers since they assume the backup will not have as stringent anti-spam policies in place as the primary.  Make sure you implement ample anti-spam/spoofing techniques on your backup MX.

Keep in mind also that senders will queue and periodically retry sending of mails when the receiving MX is unreachable.  If you don't need to access all queued mails immediately once the primary is back online, then a backup MX just might be unnecessary -- all depends on your needs and environment.
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by:arnold
ID: 37779831
It is a fairly straight forward. 1, you need to have two public IPs.
Pointing each ip to each server.
Depending on the email server you pick the configuration is to accept emails for the domain, while not treating the domain as either local nor virtual. Within the transport section, the Debian mailserver will point to the exchange as the destination.  Some mail servers have tern capabilities such that when exchange comes backup it could issue an tern to the Debian server to transmit the emails now rather than waiting while the Debian server's queue is being processed.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 37779851
Papertrip, that first link is AWESOME!!!!

Quick question, if MX1 becomes available again, according to the article, MX2 will keep attempting to push the queued up emails to MX1 but doesn't say how often.  Is there a way to manually push the emails from the queue on MX2 so I don't have to wait?
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Expert Comment

by:Papertrip
ID: 37779882
Absolutely, just issue postqueue -f on the backup.

There is also the SMTP ETRN command which arnold mentioned, either will work just fine.

http://www.postfix.org/postqueue.1.html
http://www.postfix.org/flush.8.html
http://www.postfix.org/ETRN_README.html
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 37780053
Etrn, and the various options that were previously used by the primary to connect to the secondary and trigger the immediate transmission of the email queue are not available by Discussion
http://www.google.com/search?q=exchange+2010+etrn

Given that the email has already been delayed by the outage of the primary, what is the issue that once it has recovered why demand the immediate transmission which might pound the server and lead to once gain it becoming non responsive.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 37848276
My mistake about not awarding points to the correct post.  I should have awarded the points to this post:

"What you are trying to accomplish is pretty straight forward and very common.
Here are some instructions on how to do it using Postfix

http://www.howtoforge.com/postfix_backup_mx
http://www.postfix.org/STANDARD_CONFIGURATION_README.html#backup

The inherent problem with backup MX's is that they are regularly targeted by spammers since they assume the backup will not have as stringent anti-spam policies in place as the primary."
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 37848338
Post a question in community support to reopen this question so that you can make the corrections.
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