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Good MX backup solution

I set up several small businesses with SBS or Exchange and the one thing I lack is a good MX backup solution.  

What is a good MX backup solution for small businesses with SBS mail servers and Exchange servers in the building?

One thing I considered was using one exchange server across town as MX BU for another, and so on.  I was about to google how to use one exchange server as an MX BU for another, so what are your thoughts on that?

What other MX BU solutions are there?


4 Solutions
You can use the built-in Windows Backup, however, there are various 3rd party backup solutions such as Symantec Backup Exec or Acronis Recovery.

What version of SBS and Exchange are you deploying? Also, consider how much data you need to backup before backing up over a WAN link (it may take too long).
Cliff GaliherCommented:
In general, I actually don't like backup MX solutions. If there is a short interruption in service, the sending server will retry without any issue. If there is a longer delivery delay, the sending server will generate an NDR, and that is a *good* thing so a sender knows that their communication isn't simply being ignored, but that there is a real problem.

With that said, for the cost, I wouldn't bother running your own backup MX service. There are plenty of inexpensive hosted solutions, and done properly, you can configure them to be your primary and get spam filtering out of it as well.

For purely backup MX services, I like DynDNS. Inexpensive and easy. For spam filtering, look at Exchange Defender (one among many) as that will filter and forward, and when there is a service interruption, temporarily store as well.

My mistake... I misread the question. You're looking for a DNS MX backup (not an actual Exchange database backup solution). In that case, why not create another MX record (mail2.domain.com) and increase its cost (ie 20)?
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I suggest you to ask your ISP to do this job (accepting your emails and relaying them when the primary server come back). Our ISP  provides mail fall-back service for our mail server at no additional cost.
Giovanni HewardCommented:
...Or if you really want to shake things up sign up for google apps (free if < 10 users), which provides domain based email hosting, and get yourself five levels of redundancy.  Let them worry about spam filtering, malware scanning, etc.  Then configure your exchange with a pop connector... at this point you can modify your firewall to only permit communication between your exchange server and google servers.  No more open relay probing, etc. I use it for all my domains.
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Personally I feel MX backup is a necessary add-on.
Though I have used DynDns and been pleased I prefer no-ip.com 's MX backup service if looking for something inexpensive, due to their monitoring capabilities.
However for our clients we use exchangedefender.com which offers far more at a very affordable price:
-mx backup for 7 days
-archiving of all e-mail for 1 year (longer for additional fees)
-access to the archive using OWA 2010 which also allows access to current mail and the ability to reply if the server is down.
-excellent spam and virus filtering
-e-mail encryption services
-secure large attachment sending capabilities
Svet PaperovIT ManagerCommented:
Generally, you don't need backup MX. Most of e-mail servers will try to send an e-mail for 4 days if the recipient server is not available before returning NDR to the sender.

There could also be some negative effects of MX backup. Take an example: most of the MX backup solutions have some delay before start replaying the stored messages; if your server is offline for very short time only (seconds to minutes) they could introduce an unnecessary delay.

On the other side: if you have some kind of hosted anti-spam solution (we are using Google Postini), it could have an integrated MX backup.

Other consideration: some spam servers target the backup MX addresses expecting that they have less sofisticate protection than the primary site but are trusted by the primary one, so the spam could enter easiely.

So, I would not use backup MX site if I can guarantee that the server will be back online in less than 4 days.
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