Retaining business email while repairing an existing Exchange Server

Is it possible to have an ISP email server accept email from your domain (outside their domain) and forward it out to a different live email account.

Example:

Company A has an Exchange email server, with a domain name of ABC.COM (example). The MX record points to this Exchange server. The server goes down for a undetermined amount of time. Now Company A has no business email coming in.

They are using Business Optimum as their ISP, that  gains them high speed access and allows them use of 15 user@optonline.net email accounts (part of the package).

Is it possible for OPtimum to receive email for company A (user@ABC.COM) and then forward it to one of the user@optonline.net?

In my mind, this seems backwards, and not possible. I have also asked support, at Optimum, and got varied replies.
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GeeMoonIT ConsultantAsked:
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Jan SpringerCommented:
Your problem is that your MX records point to the Exchange server that is down.

You need to coordinate with your provider to accept email for your domain and then do a user@domain.com rewrite.  Your MX records will need to point to your provider's email server.
GeeMoonIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the quick response Jan.

I realize the MX record issue. I guess my question is: Can an ISP, that is not the registrar of our domain, accept email (once I point the MX to their email server) for our company (domain) and then forward it to the emails they have allotted us?

To take the above a step further, would my company be able to send emails out as if it were the original domain - not the email accounts given us by the ISP?
Jan SpringerCommented:
They should be able to.

The order of operations is:

1) configure the forwarding
2) configure your domain as local to their server
3) change your MX record

And yes, inbound is completely different than outbound.

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Simon Butler (Sembee)ConsultantCommented:
This is where a hosted anti-spam solution comes in handy.
They accept your email and most of them provide an interface for allowing you to work with that email. No header rewriting involved.

I wouldn't trust ISPs email solutions as far as I can see them - and I have seen a few. Unreliable, untrustworthy and completely inflexible. I very much doubt if you could do anything with the ISP that would allow your email to run day to day correctly.

What you have to think about is making changes to cover an eventuality that is unlikely to happen which compromises how things work day to day. It shouldn't be a DR solution that drives how things work. Furthermore I would expect you to have more problems with the ISP than the Exchange server.

Simon.
Jan SpringerCommented:
Well, a larger or large ISP, I agree.  I configure and manage small to medium ISP mail servers so have to say "it depends".  I prefer to not rely on an ISP but if your MX record points to your Exchange server rather than an antispam appliance, you either work with that ISP for find one (any good one) that will help you.
GeeMoonIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your valuable, timely comments.
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