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554 5.4.4 SMTPSEND.DNS.NonExistentDomain

Posted on 2014-01-16
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Last Modified: 2014-01-16
We recently installed a new server running Server 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013.

Our e-mail flowed correctly for about a week and then we began to experience problems in that incoming e-mails started to bounce back?

The bounce backs contains the following error message: -

554 5.4.4 SMTPSEND.DNS.NonExistentDomain

Can anybody help us?
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Question by:ZX-10R
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39784800
This sounds like there could be an issue with the DNS records for your domain if it's the inbound mail.

Put your domain into http://mxtoolbox.com/ and see if it gives any errors or indications to faults.
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Author Comment

by:ZX-10R
ID: 39784819
This is the report we got back: -

our-company.co.uk      Unable to connect to the remote server (https://our-company.co.uk)
spf              our-company.co.uk      A Valid TXT Record was not found
spf              our-company.co.uk      A Valid SPF Record was not found
dns              our-company.co.uk      Local NS list does not match Parent NS list
dns              our-company.co.uk      Name Servers are on the Same Subnet
dns              our-company.co.uk      SOA Serial Number Format is Invalid
dns              our-company.co.uk      SOA Expire Value out of recommended range
smtp      mailserver.our-company.co.uk      Warning - Reverse DNS does not match SMTP Banner
smtp      mailserver.our-company.co.uk      8.637 seconds - Not good! on Transaction Time
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Chris Millard
ID: 39784823
A lot of DNS errors there then! I would suggest that whoever managed your domain name registration looks into this!
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Author Comment

by:ZX-10R
ID: 39784839
The domain has been registered for years and worked perfectly well with our old Server 2008 & Exchange 2008 setup.  It only became a problem when we installed the new server suggesting that it is a setup problem?
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39784970
Exchange 2013 is broken on 2012 R2. I'm surprised it even ran a week. Support for 2012 R2 is coming in a future exchange update. For now you'll have to move to a supported platform.
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Author Comment

by:ZX-10R
ID: 39785003
LOL, typical Microsoft then?

Were on the Microsoft's site does it tell us this?
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Accepted Solution

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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 39785079
Many places. Including the exchange 2013 system requirements page. Look at the "operating system" section and the big highlighted box that specifically calls out 2012 R2.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719(v=exchg.150).aspx
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Author Comment

by:ZX-10R
ID: 39786429
Many thanks for your help but: -

Exchange Server 2013 Cumulative Update 3

Sorted the problem.
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39786545
It is worth pointing out that CU3 is *not* the update that adds 2012 R2 support. The update that will add official support is still forthcoming. Just like it broke on you last time, I'd expect it to break again. There are known issues with 2012 R2 and Exchange 2013 and it just doesn't work right. If stability is important to you, you should really plan on moving to a supportable platform.

-Cliff
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Author Closing Comment

by:ZX-10R
ID: 39786670
Many thanks for your help Cliff, and your comments are taken on board.  The question must be is why do Microsoft continue to release products which are allegedly fully tested and compatible, yet they have not fully tested them and expect businesses to test them for them at our expense?
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39786699
I don't think that question applies in this situation. Microsoft never alleged that Exchange 2013 and Windows 2012 R2 were "fully tested and compatible."  The Exchange team knew, well before 2012 R2 shipped, that Exchange didn't work with 2012 R2. That was made clear in both the Technet docs *and* the Exchange team put up a blog post as well. There was never an expectation for businesses to deploy or test this particular configuration. If you incurred time and expense because you didn't read the system requirements, that isn't on Microsoft.
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39786712
For further reference, here is the blog post I mentioned. Written by the Exchange team back in September. 2012 R2 was not available for purchase until the end of October, so at no point could a business have been attempting to deploy this scenario in a live environment legally when the blog post was written. Technet licensing is very specific and is (or was, since Technet is discontinued) not allowed for live environments. So no, Microsoft *never* alleged that this combination worked, and announced before 2012 GA that in fact definitely did *NOT* work.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/rmilne/archive/2013/09/17/exchange-support-for-windows-server-2012-r2.aspx

-Cliff
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Author Comment

by:ZX-10R
ID: 39786735
So why when you go to install Exchange 2013 onto server 2012 R2 are we not presented with a warning that one will not work with the other?
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LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 39786765
Because there are only two ways to handle that.

An installer can version check and *only* install on versions that match.

Or it can version check and only throw an error on versions it knows are incompatible and install on anything that *doesn't* match.

The former is very aggressive. And somewhere around windows 3.1, most developers learned that doing this *sucks* and makes for a terrible user experience. If Microsoft releases a service pack for 2012 (not to be confused with 2012 R2), then that version would change, and Exchange would complain *EVEN THOUGH* it is fully compatible. Like I said, almost all companies went away from that approach about two decades ago.

Which leaves the second approach. Assume it is safe unless explicitly blocked. And Exchange 2013 shipped over a year ago. There was no way to explicitly block 2012 R2 back then because 2012 R2 was still a figment of the imagination...had no real version number...and therefore couldn't be coded to block. To expect that is just silly.

The rule to be learned here is that you should always read the system requirements before installing software. Not just Exchange. Not even just Microsoft. You can install a variety of linux distributions on minimal hardware. But if you want to run some higher end SQL packages, you need 64-bit hardware. Or you get odd things. So this isn't Microsoft specific *AT ALL.*   System requirements should be basic reading for any IT Pro.  As it happened, the Exchange system requirements make it *VERY CLEAR* that 2012 R2 isn't supported. So there really is no legitimate way to blame MS in this case.

-Cliff
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