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Disabled domain still receives email
Idea shared by Joseph Robertson - March 24, 2015 at 12:33 PM
Under Consideration
I am in the process of switching a departments old email server to my Smartermail server.
Prior to performing the official switch (when I update their domains NS records) I went ahead and created their domain in Smartermail. However, I marked the domain as disabled.
My hope was that this would save me some time so, on the day of the switch, all I would have to do is change their DNS settings and it would start working.
 
Well, there was a problem.
Whenever a user from my domain sent an email to the department's domain, it got locally delivered, even though that domain was not active yet and was marked as disabled.
I checked my log files and it specifically says "Starting local delivery to...".
 
Obviously if Smartermail is hosting a domain it doesn't check DNS to verify and simply delivers locally, whether the domain is disabled or not.
 
I don't know if this is the intended behavior. If so, a disclaimer needs to be made on the 'Disable Domain' setting that locally delivered emails will still be delivered.
 
Joey Robertson
Director of IT
Archdiocese of Mobile

11 Replies

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0
CCWH Replied
March 24, 2015 at 3:46 PM
I think this is normal for an Email Server. I know that MS Exchange would bounce the email entirely when an internally hosted domain is disabled and another internally hosted domain sends email to it. You wouldn't expect internal domains to go through full DNS. It might be worth requesting a feature that allowed disabled domains to be archived in some way so that SM doesn't see it and therefore goes to external DNS.... Remembering that simply disabling a domain will not remove it from the local servers DNS. I might be wrong with the about, but it does make sense.
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Steve Reid Replied
March 25, 2015 at 5:30 AM
This has been talked about before...
 
I believe that disable domain should do what it says. If the domain is disabled then it should act like it doesn't exist on the server. Therefore external DNS lookup would happen and everything would be as expected.
6
Dan Dickson Replied
March 25, 2015 at 6:52 AM
It should have the same options as a user IMHO
 
Enabled
Disabled and allow mail
Disabled and disallow mail
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Joseph Robertson Replied
March 25, 2015 at 7:14 AM
Thanks for the replies.
I agree with Dan, the option to choose how you want to disable it would be wise.
Joey Robertson
Director of IT
Archdiocese of Mobile
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Robert Emmett Replied
March 25, 2015 at 8:22 AM
Employee Post
Joseph, it was by design that a disabled domain could still receive mail.  For example, if a domain wasn't renewed in time but later renewed, the users wouldn't have lost email during the interim.  I can see the validity of implementing, as Dan suggested, two different options: disabled and allow mail, or disabled and disallow mail.
 
I will change this thread from Problem (since it's behaving as designed) to an Idea thread and mark it as Under Consideration for further discussion by the dev. team for possible inclusion in a future release.
Robert Emmett
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
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Bruce Barnes Replied
March 25, 2015 at 8:57 AM
Robert Emmett;
 
I believe your suggested solution of providing: 
 
"two different options: disabled and allow mail, or disabled and disallow mail."
is a valid compromise which will meet the requirements of still allowing mail to be received by those domain owners whose domain registrations have lapsed.  

The solution will also allow an e-mail vendor to lock out a customer, but still allow the customer's domain to receive e-mail, as an incentive to induce payment; and will allow complete lockout for non-payment or termination.
 
Thanks for weighing in on this issue and coming up with a great solution.
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc

Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
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Paul Blank Replied
March 25, 2015 at 3:23 PM
Yeah, well. A BIG warning message should be in place. How is someone to know (unless they know it) that disabling a domain is not the same as refusing email sent to it?  Kudos to Dan and Bruce, for the (totally reasonable) solution.  Let's see if it's implemented.
 
At least I know it now.
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Paul Blank Replied
March 25, 2015 at 4:32 PM
I beg to differ. This doesn't really "temporarily shut off a domain" if the domain keeps receiving email.
 
Nonetheless, forewarned is forearmed.
 
 
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Bruce Barnes Replied
March 25, 2015 at 5:19 PM
If the capability is provided to completely shut off a domain in a future release, then it will so work, as was stated in the suggestion put forth by SmarterTool's Roger Emmett: 
 
two different options: disabled and allow mail, or disabled and disallow mail. 
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc

Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting
1
David Jamell Replied
August 5, 2015 at 6:45 AM
For anyone facing this situation, I upgraded to SM 14.1 and when creating or editing a domain there is now a dropdown labeled "Domain Location". The options for this new feature are:

Local
External (use MX record)
External (use host address)

I used "External (use host address)", added the IP Address of the current "live" email server, and now mail flows as needed until I can get the new domain completely setup.
 
Brilliant!
 
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Bruce Barnes Replied
February 8, 2016 at 8:32 AM
Yes, it was posted above your question, Anthony:
 
When creating or editing a domain there is now a dropdown labeled "Domain Location".
 
The options for this new feature are:

 - Local
 - External (use MX record)
 - External (use host address)

If you use "External (use host address)", and add the IP Address of the current "live" email server, and the  e-mail will  route properly until you have the new domain completely setup.
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc

Phone: (224) 444-0169

E-Mail and DNS Security Specialist
Network Security Specialist

Customer Service Portal: https://portal.chicagonettech.com
Website: https://www.ChicagoNetTech.com
Security Blog: http://networkbastion.blogspot.com/

Web and E-Mail Hosting, E-Mail Security and Consulting

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