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Mailbagging, backup email service

Discussion in 'E-mail Discussions' started by Lyttek, May 3, 2004.

  1. Lyttek

    Lyttek Well-Known Member

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    Greetings!

    I'm curious if anyone has attempted to setup a mailbagging service using WHM/CPanel software on RH9.0

    Just to clarify what I'm after:
    A client has an Exchange server in-house. In their DNS, it is the primary MX. I've contracted another company to provide email backup services, where they are the secondary MX.

    When the primary MX is unavailable, mail is routed and held on the secondary.

    1) When mail is on the secondary, it should be available via webmail or POP3.

    2) When the primary is back online, mail on the secondary should be automatically dumped onto the primary.

    Thanks for any info you might have on doing this!

    Tony
     
  2. netwrkr

    netwrkr Well-Known Member

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    I don't know / never heard of a way to do this. Its either one or the other -- either your providing POP3 accounts or relaying for a domain. I suppose you could script it out but I'm not sure how well that would work. When an email comes in for a given user it gets stored in that users account. How would you go through every account for every domain, pull out the email and forward it to the primary now that its back online?
     
  3. Lyttek

    Lyttek Well-Known Member

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    That's it exactly. I know it can be done (somehow) because I've got it setup through another company now.

    Basically, I set their mail server as secondary MX. I logon to their machine and create accounts. These accounts start with some string of chars that I choose (such as 'spare') and then a username to discern them from each other.

    On another page, I enter the users real email address (the one being backed up). When the system senses that the primary is back online, it forwards all email. This function can also be manually triggered. Email can be retrieved via POP3 or webmail using the spare-blah@who.com type address.

    I'm beginning to think it is just some type of scripting that automagically forwards email, keeping all the orginal headers intact.

    Thanks for your thoughts :)

    Anyone?
     
  4. alex042

    alex042 Well-Known Member

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    Setting them as 2 different mx records doesn't work for this? This may not allow for email checking on the secondary mail server, but I thought mail from the secondary server would automatically update the primary once it goes back online.
     
  5. Lyttek

    Lyttek Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's the standard way things work, which is easy enough to accomplish. It's the "access the email while it's there" AND "forward when primary is back online" that's fun.

    It'd be easy enough to setup identical email accounts on the backup server... but then the message won't forward to the primary.

    Conversely, if I don't setup accounts, the messages can't be accessed, but they'll forward to the primary.
     
  6. GeekPatrolMille

    GeekPatrolMille Well-Known Member

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    There is really two ways to do this...

    First and easiest for an Exchange server being the "Primary" mail host is to set up Exchange to answer both as the highest priority MX for the domain. The Exchange server needs to have two connectors: One to simply receive email incoming from Internet which it sounds like you have working. Two, set up a second connector which will pull mail from the Secondary Host. This works fine but it takes a lot to set up.

    The second method is to have the secondary mail server configured as a store and forward. All mail is routed to the Primary server via MX priority and the Secondary server has a bit lower priority but will capture mail at any time and then forward it on. Mail will never get bounced this way, however, some mail will always get routed to the Secondary host from time to time and there could be significant delays because of it.

    I have done both of these in the past with an Exchange 5.0 server on the Primary side and sendmail on the Secondary side. I could probably come up with Exchange info but sendmail use is beyond rusty...

    Anyone else have input on how to...

    -greg
     
  7. Lyttek

    Lyttek Well-Known Member

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    Bump and More...

    Ok, still researching. It's looking like the following is what's going on and what I'd like to reproduce:

    domain.com MX 10 mail.domain.com
    domain.com MX 20 mail.backup.com

    mail.domain.com has user@domain.com
    mail.backup.com has spare-user@backup.com

    configuration of backup.com makes a logical connection between spare-user@backup.com and user@domain.com

    email sent to user@domain.com fails to reach mail.domain.com and is routed to mail.backup.com

    email is received by mail.backup.com and delivered to the spare-user@backup.com inbox

    User, trying to find his email, logs onto mail.backup.com and views his mail. Later, mail.domain.com becomes accessible again, and mail that's stored in spare-user@backup.com is forwarded to user@domain.com with no user intervention.

    Hints? Keep in mind that I would not have any control of domain.com mail server(s), just the backup.com server(s)
     
  8. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    As has already been explained, I doubt there's a way to do this with cPanel's setup. It's a very odd way of using a backup MX setup, something that it was not intended for at all. I would suspect that you would need to build your own SMTP service on a separate server with a modified SMTP server application to allow this sort of thing to happen. I'm not aware of one.
     
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