Configuring VisNetic MailServer as a Backup Server

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URL: https://support.deerfield.net/support/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=555
Article ID: 555
Created On: Oct 27, 2006 11:12 AM

Answer The most common solution for basic redundancy is to deploy VisNetic MailServer with a backup server.

VisNetic MailServer with backup mail server in a roll-over solution.

This solution is easy and cost effective. There is basic redundancy for this solution, meaning if the server should go down or be inaccessible the mail that is coming in/out of the server will be redirected to the backup server. The backup server will make an attempt to deliver the mail to the primary mail server. If the primary is inaccessible then the backup server will hold the mail in a retry queue until the primary server is available. Once the primary server is up then the backup server will deliver all mail to the primaryhost.

Your DNS will need to have two MX (mail exchange) records. MX records tell all mail servers on the Internet where to find your domain's mail solution. Your primary server should have the lowest MX number so that all mail is tried there first. If mail cannot be delivered then the sending mail server should attempt the 2nd MX in the set. Your backup server will receive the mail and then attempt deliver on it's own schedule. The retry time on the backup server should be set to a higher time limit to retain any mail should the primary stay down a long time. This can be achieved by opening the VisNetic MailServer Administration console and clicking the [system] icon then click the [service settings] button.

The default setting for VMS is 4 days. It is best to at least double this setting to ensure the backup server holds the mail long enough in case there are major problems with the primary server.

Next you need to configure the Backup Server to send all mail to the primary. You will need to tell the server where the primary server is and tell it what domains can be received here and where the mail needs to go. In the VMS Admin console go to the [accounts] icon and add a new domain.Input the domain info and select the domain type drop-down. Select Backup Domain and then put the IP address of the primary server in the To field. Save the domain.

The backup server will now send all mail that is receives for the allocated domains to the primary mail server. This allows freedom for administrators and companies. The mail server no longer needs to wait until 3:00 AM to reboot. The fear of network outages does not affect your company's proposal plan that is on the way back to you. This solution offers a basic solution for fail-safe operations. The cost effective solution for today's business. A key point is that the backup server does not need to have all the features of the primary server.

The primary server should have the Mail Server, web mail, antivirus, Antispam, IM, etc. The backup server is not responsible for these solutions. The backup server just needs to accept mail. The primary server can scan, clean, reject, and deliver the mail. For added cost you can implement antivirus on the backup server to assist with filtering bad mail from your network devices or leave this to the duties of the primary server.