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  • Best method for email delivery in Exchange server environment

    Just a question for anyone here dealing with small to medium IT services.

    I would like to know what is considered the best method for sending email within exchange.

    I am managing 40-50 servers for small to medium sized companies and I am having more and more problems recently with getting email delivered efficiently.

    I have tried using direct MX delivery, but often this causes a problem if/when we get listed on blacklists - this invariably happens from time to time, sometimes becoming greylisted by hotmail/aol, and sometimes if there is a virus issue or similar, we can get listed on blacklists.

    To combat this, I have begun using smarthosts - either the companies ISP, or a hosting provider to send mail through, this seems to give more reliable delivery, but sometimes the providers get blacklisted by certain recipient servers, and also, if there is a problem with the smarthost provider, it can also cause issues.

    I am just interested to here what others do in this scenario.
    David Silvester
    Systems Administrator

  • #2
    Re: Best method for email delivery in Exchange server environment

    become a resller of a service like Mimecast.
    Resell mimecast to your clients.
    Redirect all inbound and outbound mail through the mimecast servers
    lock down your inbound and outbound SMTP ports to only allow communication with mimecast servers.

    Not only are you doing the internet a favour, but you're doing the right thing by your clients, and, bonus, you can make reseller/affiliate income from mimecast.

    if mimecast will sell you mail filtering for $3.00 per mailbox, and their RRP is $8, then you can sell it for $6, be cheaper than the client could get it themselves, and make yourself $3.00 per mailbox, per month, for doing nothing.
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    • #3
      Re: Best method for email delivery in Exchange server environment

      that sounds like a good idea?
      I did look at Dyn recently, who offer just the email delivery component as a service.

      It is a good idea, but it will also be difficult to sell the additional service to existing clients.
      David Silvester
      Systems Administrator

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      • #4
        Re: Best method for email delivery in Exchange server environment

        What I am thinking of trialling (just for clients that will not pay the additional cost of a third party service, is creating a hosting account for each client (we use hostgator reseller hosting), and creating an email account to use as an authenticated smarthost.

        with hostgator, I can set up SPF record so mailflow should be quite reliable.

        Also, as each smarthost will be a separate account in its own right, any issues faced by any single client will not effect any other clients.

        Does that sound like a reasonable solution?
        David Silvester
        Systems Administrator

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        • #5
          Re: Best method for email delivery in Exchange server environment

          I used a dedicated server in a COLO to route email out for troublesome sites.
          The best thing you can do is get each Exchange server on a dedicated external IP address. That way if a client does something stupid it doesn't affect their email.

          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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          • #6
            Re: Best method for email delivery in Exchange server environment

            Yes, that makes sense. Normally what tends to happen is that someone decides to send out something to all the contacts in their address book totally unassisted

            If that happens I want only that client to be effected, and I want a backup system that I can move them too easily.


            That's why I like the idea of having a smart host I guess.


            I think the good thing about sending through an ISP or a hosting provider is that they can recover much more quickly from blacklist issues and so on.
            David Silvester
            Systems Administrator

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            • #7
              Re: Best method for email delivery in Exchange server environment

              Originally posted by davids355 View Post
              that sounds like a good idea?
              I did look at Dyn recently, who offer just the email delivery component as a service.

              It is a good idea, but it will also be difficult to sell the additional service to existing clients.
              you need to be able to show them the benefit:
              provide it as a trial to this client for 90 days (so you might wear the cost. Think of it as marketing.)

              Demonstrate to them, not only a reduction in blocked outgoing mail, but a clear, unarguable reduction in inbound spam.

              Now - you have a selling point to your clients.
              Our "XYX Mail service" reduced inbound spam for one of our clients by 65%. Gartner estimate the cost of lost revenue per employee is $30.00 per day. For only $5.00 per user, per month, not only can we reduce this revenue loss, but we can also protect your network from inbound email malware and virus attacks.


              pls note - I totally made all of these figures up. DYOR and get the correct figures - I'm sure there are factual reviews from gartner etc that would specify relevant figures
              Last edited by tehcamel; 20th June 2013, 07:03.
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