Redundant Mail Server Setup

520 pts.
Tags:
Failover
Mail servers
If I want to setup 2 mail servers in 2 locations, for redundancy in case one dies, what is the proper way to do it? It's not important whether I am using Linux or Exchange at this time. My confusion is, if my users are pointing to pop.company.net, there will be a DNS record pointing to one server. But if that server goes down, how will Outlook know to switch to a different address? Also, how does the mail replicate between the 2 servers? I know about having multiple MX records, but that doesn't fix the Outlook issue. If you can simplify the answer to a basic outline of how it all works out, I can look up the more technical stuff. TY

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if you setup a failover server basically what happens is the DNS record points to a heartbeat that listens to both servers instead of the actual server itself. when the primary server goes down that hearbeat redirects everyone to the secondary server without the users noticing except for a few moments of lag during the switch over.
For the failover there would be software running such as DoubleTake on both servers that copies any changes from one server to the other in real time.

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  • DaveLockard
    That is a very good method. The cheap way would be to add a secondary MX record serverA : mx 0 serverB: mx 10 All traffic will be handled by server a, unless it is not responsive. Then the secondary server responds. However, this method does not provide any replication. Mail currently stored on one server or the other potentially can be lost.
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  • DaveLockard
    Just point outlook to the A record of the SOA. POP server: company.net MX: pop.company.net priority 0 MX: secondpop.company.net priority 10 A record: pop.company.net 1.1.1.1 A record: secondpop.company.net 2.2.2.2 When it send mail, the server will ask for the MX records, and use the highest priority, weight =0 When it checks mail, it will do the same.
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