multiple MX records for a single 2010 exchange server

What is the best way to configure 2 MX records, DNS, on a single exchange 2010 server with two separate internet providers so that when one line out fails I am still able to receive mail on the other line.  Am I able to prioritize the MX records in DNS?
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FastFngrzConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Create two FQDN's representing the Exchange server's two public IP addresses.
Set two MX records, each pointing to one of the FQDN's.  Priority doesn't matter, unless YOU want most of the traffic coming over 1 ISP vs the other.

Let's call it and

mx  10
mx  10

The inbound mail is easy - it's the outbound that will give you grey hair.

In your Exchange config, tell it that the mail server name is "" - it will send a "HELO"  (it's worth checking your SMTP headers to make sure!).  when all is happy with the primary ISP, it works.  (Don't forget about a PTR record for - talk to your ISP about that, otherwise AOL and COMCAST will deny you)

The trickier part is getting the HELO, the forward and reverse DNS right on *both* primary outbound and secondary outbound.  

Make sure your ISP's will set a REVERSE DNS to match your HELO statement.  Even so, some mail servers will complain when they see your outbound packet is coming from the secondary ISP.  If the primary fails, the mail server 'should' sent out the secondary ISP.  

A receiving mail server MIGHT say:  Hmm, I see this source IP address (, and a helo of  If I do a reverse DNS lookup on, it's not pointing to - therefore, this must be spam.

The way I've gotten around that is another Send Connector in Exchange with a higher priority then the first Send Connector, routing to an on-premise SMTP relay (IIS will do fine) that says "HELO"

There might be a more elegant way around it... anyone care to comment?
ryan80Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You can create multiple MX records and set them to different priorities. However the routing part of the two ISPs is probably the trickier part. To do it at the network level you would need policy based routing. However, nite that I think about it, maybe you can create multiple send and receive connectors to use different ips?
Svet PaperovConnect With a Mentor IT ManagerCommented:
Yes, you can set two MX to two different IP addresses. The MX record has a priority field that you need to specifies. The sening server will normaly se the MX with the lower piority value first.
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birddogsdAuthor Commented:
So two MX records, one for each ISP and tied to one FQDN and I can set the main providers MX record priority value to the lower value and when that line goes down I can still receive mail from the other?
You will need two fqdns, one for each of the ips that you are using.
Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
If you are using two different ISPs but email can go out via either of them, then the only way to ensure that everything works is to use an independant smart host. That isn't an ISP smart host as that will not work if the email comes out from another host.
There are services around that can do that for you, or you can simply use a web server to bounce the email off. That way it doesn't matter how the email gets to the smart host, the smart host is doing the delivery.

birddogsdAuthor Commented:
All excellent and correct answers.  I now have two MX records with rev DNS for each.  Both pass smtp testing.
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