Exchange & Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition, September 13, 2002

Exchange and Outlook UPDATE, Exchange Edition—brought to you by Exchange & Outlook Administrator, a print newsletter from Windows & .NET Magazine that contains practical advice, how-to articles, tips, and techniques to help you do your job today.
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September 13, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Keep Your SMTP Mail Flowing

2. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott Are Bringing Their Security Expertise to You!
  • Real-World Tips and Solutions Here for You

3. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • Ontrack PowerControls 1.0

4. RESOURCES

  • Exchange HOW TO: Configure the SMTP Connector to Link to Internet Domains in Exchange 2000
  • Featured Thread: Generate a Second GAL
  • Results of Previous Instant Poll: Resolving Performance Problems
  • New Instant Poll: Exchange Server Management Challenges

5. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Control Your Email Messages
  • Submit Top Product Ideas

6. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY
(contributed by Paul Robichaux, News Editor, [email protected])

  • KEEP YOUR SMTP MAIL FLOWING

  • I'm slowly unpacking after my recent move, gradually discovering which boxes the various pieces of my office ended up in. One thing I haven't needed to worry about is the flow of SMTP email to and from my Exchange 2000 Server system. A few simple steps and a bit of planning ensured uninterrupted email flow.

    You're probably familiar with the basic process that an SMTP server uses to find the correct server for a particular recipient. When a server prepares to send an email message to a nonlocal recipient, the sending server needs a way to find out which server to connect to. The DNS MX record provides this information. You can register one or more MX records for a particular domain. Each MX record specifies the DNS Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or IP address of a mail server that should receive email for a particular domain. For example, contoso.com might have an MX record that reads

    contoso.com MX 10 mail.contoso.com

    This MX record says that any email for a recipient in the contoso.com domain should go to the host mail.contoso.com. The 10 is a preference value. You can specify multiple MX records; the sending SMTP server first tries the record with the lowest preference value. If that connection fails—for example, when the specified server is unavailable—the sending server automatically tries the server with the next-lowest preference value and so on. If more than one MX record has the same preference value, the DNS server chooses one MX record and sends the MX records to the sending server in round-robin order. This process provides a degree of load balancing for inbound email.

    You can exploit the ability to specify multiple MX records to keep email moving when a host is down. By specifying additional MX records, you can ensure that a host is always available to accept email. Most ISPs offer this service, commonly known as SMTP queuing; if your ISP doesn't, you can probably find a local business, government agency, or school that's willing to swap queuing services with you (i.e., create and maintain MX records for you if you do so for it). Just make sure that the queuing server's MX record has a higher preference than your primary SMTP server's MX records.

    "But wait," you might be thinking. "How do I get my email from the queuing server?" Good question. The simplest way is to let the queuing server contact your server as part of the normal SMTP retry process. For example, most UNIX mail servers have a default retry interval of 15 or 30 minutes, so a UNIX queuing server will typically try to send you queued mail at those intervals. However, this process might not work for you, particularly if you use an on-demand connection. Instead, you can create an SMTP connector, point it to the queuing server, and set the connector to use the SMTP ETRN or TURN command to dequeue your email.

    These two SMTP commands are similar, except that ETRN has better security and is more powerful (see Internet Engineering Task Force—IETF—Request for Comments—RFC—1985, available at the first URL below, for complete details of ETRN's features). Both commands tell the queuing server, "I am the mail server for the specified domain. Please send me my email now." For example, when the contoso.com Exchange 2000 server connects to the Internet, the server can establish an SMTP connection to mail.fabrikam.com and use the command ETRN contoso.com to initiate email retrieval. Exchange Server 5.5 and later support ETRN and TURN. (For more information about SMTP dequeuing, see the excellent FAQ that Simpler-Webb maintains at the second URL below.)

    Now that I know my SMTP email will continue to arrive at my Exchange 2000 server, I'm free to worry about more important things. Now, where did I put that wireless base station?

    IETF RFC 1985

    Simpler-Webb Exchange-Dequeue FAQ


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    2. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • MARK MINASI AND PAUL THURROTT ARE BRINGING THEIR SECURITY EXPERTISE TO YOU!

  • Windows & .NET Magazine Network Road Show 2002 is coming this October to New York, Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco! Industry experts Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott will show you how to shore up your system's security and what desktop security features are planned for Microsoft .NET and beyond. Sponsored by NetIQ, Microsoft, and Trend Micro. Registration is free, but space is limited so sign up now!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars/roadshow

  • REAL-WORLD TIPS AND SOLUTIONS HERE FOR YOU

  • Register online for Windows & .NET Magazine LIVE!. Network with the finest gathering of Windows gurus on the planet. This event is chock full of "been there, done that" knowledge from people who use Microsoft products in the real world. Early-bird discount expires soon. Register now and you'll also receive access to sessions of concurrently run XML and Web Services Connections.
    http://www.winnetmagLIVE.com

    3. HOT RELEASE (ADVERTISEMENT)

  • ONTRACK POWERCONTROLS 1.0

  • Email Admins, get your life back! Ontrack PowerControls 1.0 lets you access archived .edb files without an Exchange server, easily search by keyword, and eliminate brick-level backups. Save time and money today! Try it now!
    http://www.ontrack.com/special/exchangeoutlook.asp

    4. RESOURCES

  • EXCHANGE HOW TO: CONFIGURE THE SMTP CONNECTOR TO LINK TO INTERNET DOMAINS IN EXCHANGE 2000

  • Each week, Microsoft posts several Exchange Server how-to articles to its Knowledge Base. This week, learn how to use an SMTP connector to let Exchange 2000 Server deliver and receive messages over the Internet.
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;q319426

  • FEATURED THREAD: GENERATE A SECOND GAL

  • Pmertz is looking for a way to generate a second Global Address List (GAL) that will sort mailboxes differently than the existing GAL. To offer your advice or join the discussion, go to the following URL:
    http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=40&tid=45974

  • RESULTS OF PREVIOUS INSTANT POLL: RESOLVING PERFORMANCE PROBLEMS

  • The voting has closed in the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site's nonscientific Exchange Instant Poll for the question "How much time (on average) does it take you to identify and resolve an Exchange performance problem?" Here are the results (+/-2 percent) from the 371 votes:
    • 09% A few minutes
    • 30% Less than 1 hour
    • 30% 1 to 4 hours
    • 07% 5 to 8 hours
    • 23% More than 1 working day

  • NEW INSTANT POLL: EXCHANGE SERVER MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES

  • The next Exchange Instant Poll question is "What's your greatest Exchange Server management challenge?" Go to the Exchange & Outlook Administrator home page and submit your vote for a) Managing mailbox limits, b) Dealing with legal and privacy issues, c) Maintaining availability, d) Supporting users, or e) Managing clusters.
    http://www.exchangeadmin.com

    5. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

  • CONTROL YOUR EMAIL MESSAGES

  • Adhaero Utilities released Adhaero Mailipulate, a program that lets you control your email messages from any POP3 email client. You can determine which email messages to download, delete, or save for later. Adhaero Mailipulate's interface appears when you receive email and shows you all the messages that you can download from the mail server. The software supports Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, and Lotus Notes. Pricing is $29.95. Contact Adhaero Utilities at 561-362-6030 for details.
    http://www.adhaeroutilities.com

  • SUBMIT TOP PRODUCT IDEAS

  • Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future Windows & .NET Magazine What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to [email protected]

    6. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

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