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Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

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  • Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

    Hello all,
    I'm currently running Exchange 2003 server RPC/Https. I decided to build a brand new MS Exchange 2003 for my network infrastructure in the same domain. I don't plan to import an old mailbox or public folder from the RPC/Https email server. I'm about to be ready to switch off the old server to the new one but want to make sure there won't be downed time or losing emails during the transition.

    The old email server set mx record to priority 10 and A record configured properly. Now I want to add my second new email server to host of the same organization. What would be best practice to test the second exchange server to make sure it works properly before decomission the old exchange server.

    What i have in mind is to set the mx record of the 2nd server to priority 15. will this mean whenever new email comes in both server will get the same email or please advise...

    What about opening ports of a firewall? Only port 25 smtp needed to forward to new exchange server, if i plan to use exchange + owa? Please advise...

    Thanks,

  • #2
    Re: Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

    Originally posted by dykirin View Post
    What i have in mind is to set the mx record of the 2nd server to priority 15. will this mean whenever new email comes in both server will get the same email or please advise...
    If you have 2 servers, mail will be delivered to the server with priority 10. If this fails, it will be delivered to the server with priority 15. If it gets delivered to both servers, then something is broken.

    Originally posted by dykirin View Post
    What about opening ports of a firewall? Only port 25 smtp needed to forward to new exchange server, if i plan to use exchange + owa?
    Whatever port you have configured for HTTPS access to OWA. Usually 443.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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    • #3
      Re: Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

      You cannot "test" changes to the MX records.
      If you have the second server in the MX records then it will receive email.

      It isn't clear from your question whether you have built a separate forest or not. If you have not and the servers can see each other (ie they are both in ESM etc) then it doesn't matter where you point email, as Exchange will ensure it is delivered to the correct location.

      If they are in separate forests then at some point you have to cut over, otherwise you will get email going to one or other of the servers in an almost random fashion.

      While the "priority" idea on MX records should work in theory, in practise it does not. All servers listed as MX record hosts will receive email, whether their priority is 5 or 50. The only way to stop a server from receiving email is to block port 25 or stop the SMTP server service.

      Simon.
      --
      Simon Butler
      Exchange MVP

      Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
      More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
      Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
      In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

      Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

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      • #4
        Re: Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

        Originally posted by Sembee View Post
        While the "priority" idea on MX records should work in theory, in practise it does not. All servers listed as MX record hosts will receive email, whether their priority is 5 or 50
        Is that not often down to one of two possibilities though - the request times out, or a spam bot deliberately targets the secondary MX server because chances are a backup server may not be configured as securely as the primary.

        We have an offsite server configured as the secondary MX through DNS, and all we ever receive on that server is spam.
        Gareth Howells

        BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

        Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

        Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

        "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

        "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

          Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
          Is that not often down to one of two possibilities though - the request times out, or a spam bot deliberately targets the secondary MX server because chances are a backup server may not be configured as securely as the primary.

          We have an offsite server configured as the secondary MX through DNS, and all we ever receive on that server is spam.
          Granted most spam comes in through the second MX records, but you have been fortuante if no valid email is coming in through the second gateway.

          I have two connections for my systems, with MX records set appropriately and I see roughly 60/40 split in favour of the primary connection for all email. I know my primary connection isn't timing out.

          Simon.
          --
          Simon Butler
          Exchange MVP

          Blog: http://blog.sembee.co.uk/
          More Exchange Content: http://exchange.sembee.info/
          Exchange Resources List: http://exbpa.com/
          In the UK? Hire me: http://www.sembee.co.uk/

          Sembee is a registered trademark, used here with permission.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

            Maybe our primary mail server isn't being thrashed all that hard... but then again if yours was then you'd expect the requests to time out.

            It's always amusing logging into the secondary server and having a browse through the mailbox. It's amazing what (the headers claim ) employees send to themselves
            Gareth Howells

            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Please help! Testing MX Record on new Exchange Server to Avoid Interruption.

              Hi guys,
              thank you for both of your knowledge. Actually RPC/Https exchange is in different forest. I set that one up 3 years ago apart from my current network infra. Now after consolidating a network infra., i'm building one brand new exchange box for one single domain for our org. This server will serve entire organization, sitting in a datacenter connecting to all corporate sites by vpn tunnelings. I think Sembee made a good point that I cannot test MX record, i have to cut off either way, or seeing as redendency hosting by both servers. but will see the other working only if the priimary one is downed. I am now trying to fix some config b/c i don't know why the OWA connection is extremely slow which the server is sitting at a avg. 60-80mbps connection without SSL (https), just a pure http://. do you guys have any suggestion where to check to speed this up?

              Thanks again,
              Dydkirin

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