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  • Hosting email & DNS

    Running Windows Server 2003 Web Edition
    I am having an issue with hosting my own email - I will explain my setup and maybe someone can pitch in possibly what I am doing wrong - Heres what's been done so far.
    - Global Static IP (configuration of network (global>internal)) and update of DNS PTR records on ISP for mail.example.com & IP
    - Registration of DNS / NS servers
    - configuration in DNS for Website/FTP/Mail access (but only on SMTP)(POP3 does not function properly) (forward and reverse)
    - Mail server - mail.example.com (in SMTP virtual server in IIS) and as the domain in POP3 service.
    - Have added mailbox's into the POP3 Service

    Everything is working externally but I have a couple of small issues as follows:
    1. When I setup Outlook with my incoming mail.example.com server I am able to log into the SMTP server and send mail to another domain (eg @yahoo.com acct) practically instantly. A reply back to the [email protected] address from another domain (eg @yahoo.com) and it is never received in Outlook and no Mail failure occurs (I did have some relay issues that i resolved). At the current moment I am wondering if there is something in Group policy that is effecting it or pondering the possibility that the records on my ISP did yet update since they take 12 - 24 hours ( it has been 8 hours since the update) -
    besides that the only other thing I can think is that it is something in DNS that is not configured properly - I attempted to setup pop.example.com in DNS / pop3 service with no avail.
    Anyone with suggestions? I can provide a DNS snapshot if necessary -
    Thanks
    J

  • #2
    Re: Hosting email & DNS

    Did you create an external MX record that points to your mail server?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Hosting email & DNS

      Can you elaborate a little?
      I have created the MX record for mail.example.com internally on my sever - what external MX record do I need to create? I have contacted my ISP to have them create a MX record on their end but they told me all that they need to do is correct the PTR record on their end so that mail.example.com Points to the IP instead of theirs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hosting email & DNS

        You don't need an internal MX record you only need an external MX record. Your ISP needs to crate an MX record for mail.example.com (your mail server's FQDN) that's points to the public ip address of your mail server.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Hosting email & DNS

          Now I contacted my ISP and told them that (since that was in the pop3 service checklist) yesterday - they told me that the MX record was not required - but that the DNS PTR record needed to me changed - so they changed the PTR to point from them to my mail server - do you still think I need to contact them again or since I have a static IP possibly my Internal MX record is not right ? I definitely beleive that this is a DNS issue -
          Thanks for your time thus far!
          J

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hosting email & DNS

            I think they (and I) are getting confused, so let me sak this:

            1. What is the current MX record for your domain?
            2. Does the MX point to an ip on your network or your ISP?
            3. Where is mail for your domain delivered right now?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hosting email & DNS

              1. What is the current MX record for your domain?
              2. Does the MX point to an ip on your network or your ISP?
              3. Where is mail for your domain delivered right now?

              1. DNS>Forward Zones>example.org>mx= same as above (MX) mail.example.org
              also there is a Host(A) record for mail.example.org pointing to Static IP assigned by ISP (there is obviously other records in forward for ftp, site, ect)
              1a - DNS>Reverse Zone>x.x.x.in-addr.arpa>2 default files modded for my NS server (ns1.example.org) and SOA with my NS as the primary server and the 3rd file is a PTR - X (PTR) mail.example.org

              2. It points to the Static IP assigned by the ISP. The ISP has also updated THEIR PTR records for mail.example.org with the same static IP that is configured internally on my web server.

              3. My mail is not getting delivered anywhere right now - I want it to deliver to this server which is running POP3 Service and SMTP Virtual Server. Setting up Oulook with mail.example.org as pop/smtp allows Auth. with users that are in the pop3 service, I am able to use mail.example.org to send messages but not receive. I receive no Mailer Daemon errors (sending from my personal .com to a user @example.org) It appears to send to mail.example.org and then vanish somewhere in cyberspace.

              Other info - This server is Hosting web, ftp, and want it to fully host email. Running Server 2003 Web w/ SP2
              This is an edition to the Domain (yes there is another server that is the DC) but once I can esablish this pop access (to web server) I can tie it to the other server which runs exchange / OWA for network users / email storage.
              Hopefully that gives you (and everybody) a more clear understanding.
              Last edited by jpagel; 20th November 2007, 20:56.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hosting email & DNS

                Your ISP will need to setup an MX record that tells all the DNS servers out there on the Internet what your public IP address is. Then port 25 on your router needs to open (or port forward) to your server's local IP address.

                You do not need an MX record in your own server's DNS.

                Here's how it will work: If I (or anyone from outside) send you email, my mail server will ask the DNS servers out there on the web what is the MX record for your domain pointing to. If my email server is told that it points to your router's public IP address, my email server will send email to your router, and because of port forwarding, the email will end up in your server. That's basically how it works, so at no point does my email sevrer ask yours for an MX record. My email server only ever asks the DNS servers out on the Internet for an answer to that question. That is why your ISP needs to setup an MX record (and a corresponding A record but he will know how to do that).

                That's a rough explanation - does that help a bit?

                I guess your ISP said it was not necessary because he may have the MX record pointing to his servers which collect the mail in a POP box. You could have an email server that downloads from the POP box, maybe every 15 minutes or so, but that's the "Other" way to get email into your system and I expect that is not what you are trying to achieve.
                Best wishes,
                PaulH.
                MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hosting email & DNS

                  Paul H -
                  Thank you for responding - and trust me you are not the only person that has told me that -
                  I called the ISP today - they told me they do not control MX for the domain - the only thing they will / can change (according to 3 senior techs) is the PTR -
                  Now my server is running DNS (with the MX configured) so why when you send me an email would DNS not query MY dns server - retreive the MX record / HostA record and push the email through to the provided Global IP (which is the web / ftp / email)
                  and also - if I do a reverse lookup I can veiw my PTR and MX record that is on my DNS, if I make changes to it the changes show up in the query in around 10 - 15 seconds.
                  So with that said - can you possibly explain to me WHY my ISP wont add the MX records or are they right? Once again they have set their PTR for my mail.example.org to my global so that no resolution goes through them just data pass through.
                  Also by theroy or my thinking - the only reason the ISP would need to setup a MX record would be if THEY hosted my DNS / email and it needed to be pointed to my server.
                  Thank you for your reply - I will be troubleshooting this until it is fixed since i have no choice

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hosting email & DNS

                    For everyone a little more of my setup I decided to post in the Exchange forum (please dont close this post since this is more referenced to DNS and the other is more referenced to exchange) (since exchange is involved)
                    Please reference that for additional info - http://forums.petri.com/showthread.php?t=19775
                    As for an update - my ISP gave into my request and setup the MX / A record
                    Should I remove my internal MX / PTR records (keep A so that the world can see mail.example.org)? or will having both cause conflicts on queries . . .
                    Any advice is appreciated.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hosting email & DNS

                      OK it's getting clearer now. Your ISP will not have anything to do with your MX record because they are the company in charge of your Broadband telephone line.

                      It is the company that is in charge of your domain name hosting that you need to ask for an MX record.

                      Unless your DNS server is queried by my mail server, it will not issue a response. I have setup my email server (as has most other folk in the world) to use whatever DNS servers are available from their ISP, i.e. great big DNS servers "out there on the Internet" rather than your DNS server inside your building.

                      So, do not ask your ISp for an MX record - as you found out, this is wrong, so instead ask the domain name hosting company. I'm sorry I didn't make that distinction between the two companies earlier.

                      Does that clarify at all?
                      Best wishes,
                      PaulH.
                      MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hosting email & DNS

                        Paul
                        Thank you for responding -
                        Well I am starting to realize that having the ISP make a MX was a mistake - your post makes complete sense - Now I have the domain registered from godaddy - but inside the control panel I can't create/edit anything with DNS (it says not available) since I am hosting my own site. So since I am hosting my own domain - should my DNS have the MX records for it? If I put them in and then use Network tools to test the MX shows up -

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Hosting email & DNS

                          When you say that you are hosting your own domain, we may have hit on another problem here - what is the ending of the domain name on your internal Server 2003 box in your building? Is it .local or is it .com?

                          It should be .local and godaddy should be hosting the .com version of your domain.

                          Then, an MX record on godaddy's servers can point to your public IP address.

                          In actual fact, an MX record points to a name such as mail.thedomain.com and then there is also an A record which points from mail.thedomain.com to an IP address, but for shorthand we just say "point an MX record to your public IP..."

                          I am concerned that your internal server has a .com domain name....
                          Best wishes,
                          PaulH.
                          MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hosting email & DNS

                            My local domain is .local -
                            The web server is a part of the .local domain
                            DNS had the MX record for mail.example.org along with the A record for the Public Ip that name was associated with. I could pull that MX record of a testing from network-tools.com (I also had a PTR for the mail.example.org as well)
                            Unfortunately with my own MX even though the outside world can query was still not giving my server the emails (incoming)
                            Godaddy is using my NS - so they dont have any control of DNS - The only way for me to create a MX record on godaddy is to change my NS records for my domain to godaddy NS's and then I can add the MX in - but is it going to make a difference? If others can query my MX (on my dns server) why would having my MX on their DNS forwarding the same thing fix the issue? I am thinking about having my domain on godaddy's NS servers, but if I get stuck with the same issue now I've just wasted days waiting for changes for no reason -
                            Thanks for your time and input -
                            J

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Hosting email & DNS

                              OK it is good that your internal domain is .local

                              I understand that godaddy's set to your own NS in your building, which is a little unusual (but should work) so we need to check out the fact that the MX points to an A which points to your router's public IP address.

                              Then, we can check that your router is forwarding port 25 to your internal mail server.

                              Then, we can telnet into your public IP address port 25 and see if Exchange answers us.

                              We have to do all that from outside your building. You can send me some information by private message if you wish and I will do these lookups for you from my office. I'll need your public domain name, and your public IP address, so nothing too scary to reveal to a stranger, but you may not wish to publish them on a public forum.

                              By the way, normally changing things like NS only takes overnight, rather than days, to achieve (but I understand why you feel there would be nothing to gain from doing that).
                              Best wishes,
                              PaulH.
                              MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

                              Comment

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