Exchange Server / Email Proxy / Network Design / General Questions

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I'm not sure if I should try to tackle all my questions in one post, but I will attempt to be as clear and accurate as possible. Most likely my questions are simple for a person with experience. Overall Goal: Implement Exchange Server 2007 and Barracuda Spam Filter. Our current email and external DNS is provided by an outside company. Our future email needs to be in-house on our Exchange server keeping existing email addresses. Here is how I think everything should be configured: Internet=> ASA Firewall=> DMZ=> Barracuda=> Internal Network=> Exchange Server. To my knowledge, I should implement the Barracuda in the DMZ and use it as an SMTP proxy that forwards email to the Exchange Server on the inside network. Questions: 1) MX Record(s). After I install the Exchange Server, do I simply change the MX records on our external DNS server? (Our external DNS server is managed by our ISP) 1b) How do I test my server before going live? I need to migrate the addresses to my server instead of the current server. Can I still configure and test my server claiming to handle the mail? Or this irrelevant because the MX records? 2) Domain. I am unsure about which domain the Exchange server should belong. My internal domain is domain.local, should the Exchange server be apart of the domain: exchange.domain.local, or should be a part of the .com domain? I would think that it is part of the local domain, but I am getting confused. 3) Backing up the Exchange server. Currently, I backup my Domain Controller/File Server with a tape backup drive (the only one I have). My book, MS Exchange Unleashed, claims the fastest over-the-network backup solution is to copy the data from the Exchange server to my DC's hard drive and then back all the required data to the Tape Backup. Thoughts? Hopefully someone can shine some experienced light for me. My eyes are bleeding from reading and researching. Let me know if anyone can help. Thank you very much.

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Only a little help here. The MX records change over could take 12-48 hours to do. So make sure you do that over the weekend. Mary Ann

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  • Skepticals
    Thanks for the reply and information. Am I correct in thinking the MX record changes happens at the ISP's DNS?
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  • Icestormz
    First - I would set everything up in parallel with your current system. Create a test e-mail box on your new system. Make sure that you are able to send e-mail outside the building through your new solution. Second - Change your current MX record at your ISP to your new location. Create a secondary MX record with a high metric, say 20, believing your current one is at 10. This will take about 12-48 hours to populate to the WORLD. Third - Move your mailboxes to the new server and test sending mail out and back in. Questions about Exchange Server: 1. Your new server should be part of your current domain. Don't make a new one. 2. Backing up Exchange, depending on size, to disk is usually faster if you have a GB network and 15K Drives, otherwise I would just backup to tape. Usually you will have enough time between the time the users are gone and they return to make sure all backups are done. If not, I would suggest getting a second drive or a faster one. I currently backup about 1.6 TB in about 10 hours.
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