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Hi all, new to this forum, and I'm afraid I am not an exchange expert. Not even close. I would appreciate some feedback on the following:
The situation I see myself in is the following. I have recently joined a company, now staff totals 2. We've just hired another person so there's three of us now. I am "the designated IT guy". I do have a long IT background, but in development, consultancy etc. Not in techy server stuff. I am confident setting up websites, FTP-ing, coding, manipulating MX records etc. But I am not the system admnistrator, I just happen to know more than the average user.
Anyway, before I joined my boss, it was him and just him. He knows absolutely nothing of IT (barely knows the difference between a mouse and a keyboard and I am not joking), so some clever IT folks from town managed to sell him a server running MS exchange 2003, sold him MS Office professional, the lot. For 3 years, all he did was sending and receiving a few e-mails a day.
I joined, and adjusted to the setup. Exchange Webmail is (sorry) a bit crappy (and completely crap on a non IE browser, which I found out after 2 months), I can't access my mail when I'm not physically connected to the server, but anyway.
Then I started getting complaints about e-mails that haven't arrived. Turns out quite a few e-mails from our domain end up in spam filters, and when I looked at it it had to do with "reverse DNS" and PTR. Whatever that may be. Reply from our system managers was that "that is normal". Incoming mail also never arrived on many occassions. That was also normal, all the could do was loosen up the Spam filter settings. Still, we have a lot of false positives and positive falses. At least I get to see them. The spam filter they describe as a black box, and in their words settings depend on some sort of majority. If all black box users decide some gmail account is sending spam, than the whole thing shuts out all gmail. "That is normal'.
Twice (in the past 6 months) spam is being sent using our server, we get a lot of angry e-mails telling us to stop selling watchs and Viagra. We never send that out, but was done via our mail servers. That is "inevitable and normal".
Another thing is that all our e-mail accounts have the same password, and that can't be changed. It's also an embarassing password, I hope I can stay anonymous otherwise the entire e-mail system is open to the world. Ok, don't tell anyone ... it's "password"
Since last week again some mail that we send out doesn't reach it's destination, again PTR issues. As we are growing, and as I try to get us up to some standard, we can't afford to send project proposals or offers to potential customers not knowing for sure it hasn't arrived. I can live with an error margin, but if after 5 days such issues aren't resolved, I worry.
Now my boss (never aware of any issues but taking them seriously) of course is telling me, if I am so clever and they are so stupid, go and set it up yourself. I have lots of other things to do, I am not the sytem admin, but I do know something stinks. Their advice was ïf there's no more trust in us, go and get yourself some hotmail accounts and sort it out yourself!" The insult of them to assume that we (I) don't know there's more than hotmail as an alternatic. Anyway, I am very close to setting up e-mail on google apps, easy and as a google and gmail user I know about their spam filters, they're good. I can set the mx records, I can configure IMAP and all should be fine.
The way my boss was told to acces his e-mails from home is to leave his PC at work switched on, and then use some tool to take over the work pc from home. Lovely isn't it?
All in all (and there's a lot more), I am not blaming MS Exchange for this, but I need some assurance that what they say "is normal" actually isn't and that they are incompetent. I feel they are. All we need is to be able to send e-mails. We don't use calendars, don't use anything else. Having some backup server somewhere is fine, yet for the few 100 MB of files. I think the whole setup is expensive overkill, and not serving it's purpose.
Oh well, at least I got it of my chest, I would appreciate any input on some of the issues, or (worst case) confirmation that "it is normal" yet I fully refuse to accept that.
Thx at least for listening!!
September 8, 2008 7:52 PM
September 13, 2008 10:10 AM