Migrating SmarterMail to a new server
Question asked by Brian Henson - 10/1/2014 at 12:24 PM
I read the guide here: https://portal.smartertools.com/kb/a2724/migrate-smartermail-to-a-different-server.aspx
But what I want to know is what might be different if the new server is going to have the same name and IP address. Will this cause a problem? I see it mentions creating a new MX record but will this still apply if the server will have the same name and IP?
Thank you in advance for your assistance

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Bruce Barnes Replied
As long as you don't have both servers online at the same time, there should not be an issue.
Having both servers online, simultaneously, when they have the same FQDN and IP address can result in several issues:
 - if they are on the same local network, one of them will disable the connection;
 - if they are on desperate networks, there will be error messages generated and only one of them will be available to the public network.
The best way to accomplish this may be to copy the SmarterMail data to a separate, external drive, shut down the old server, bring up the new server, copy the data from the external drive and reboot.
Assuming you keep the original server shut down, have copied all of the files required, per the posting at https://portal.smartertools.com/kb/a2724/migrate-smartermail-to-a-different-server.aspx, and do not power up the old server while it's connected to a network - prior to changing its FQDN and IP address, you should see no issues.
You may also have to "refresh" your license once you bring SmarterMail up on the new server.  Sometimes this is required, sometimes it is not, so make certain you know your SmarterMail licensing username and password - just in case.  
Bruce Barnes
ChicagoNetTech Inc

Phonr: (773) 491-9019
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
CCWH Replied
We are planning on migrating an SM 13 email server from one dedicated server to another...migrating hostname/IP Addresses/Certs.
Instead of making sure one is turned off due to the same FQDN we were thinking of doing this:
1) Installing SM on new Dedi server
2) Configure temp MX record i.e. mail2.domain.com in DNS/Domains
3) Migrate all files as per the above mentioned KB
4) Migrate server name
5) Migrate IP Address to new server
6) Reconfigure SM to use migrated IP/FQDN
7) Install / Configure re-issued cert
8) Remove temp MX
Would the above work?
Randy Armbrecht Replied
what I do in a case like this is (and I know it may be a little archaic...but it works...):
1. stage new server completely - call it mail2.domain.com
2. on live server and new staged server bind a different LAN IP scheme to secondary NIC's
3. copy over all data from old to new
4. take main NIC of old server offline on pre-planned time/notice to customers. (We have our own front-door Spam/Virus filter server farm in front of the mail servers so all mail will still be received inbound into our systems, and queued up on these servers.)
5. perform a followup XCOPY to get any changes in data since the main data copy
6. rename server as mail.domain.com; IP the main NIC on server with IP of old server; double check all SmarterMail IP bindings
7. start all services; confirm everything once again
8. plug in main NIC of new server to network switch and all queued email on front end filter servers comes down
9. pour myself a drink and watch a movie
James Civitello Replied
I have just completed a Migration from a Windows Server 2003 Enterprise edition to a Windows Server 2008 R2 and I followed your KB article to the letter and had some problems along the way...you are missing a few steps in your article and I would like to post them here and hopefully this might help others out so they wont go thru the days of email being down like I did.

A system administrator may need to move SmarterMail to a different server because they are moving to a more powerful server or changing hosting companies and need to move to their servers. SmarterTools makes it easy by allowing you to have 2 instances of your SmarterMail license running on 2 different servers for up to 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, the "old" license then needs to be uninstalled and should no longer call back to the SmarterTools' licensing servers.

Before starting the move process, add new MX records to your domains in DNS for the new server and allow 24-48 hours for the records to propagate through the Internet. Doing so will help ensure that you do not lose any mail. SmarterTools also recommends ensuring your license key can be activated again before beginning the migration process. This information can be found in the Licenses section of My Account.

NOTE: If you have SSL or TLS configured on any ports, the certificate being used must be exported (containing the private key) from the original servers certificate store. It then needs to be imported into the new server’s Personal folder within the certificate store. 

Applies to All Versions of SmarterMail

Follow this steps to migrate a SmarterMail installation to a different server:

  1. Install SmarterMail on the new server and follow the instructions for setting up IIS if you plan on using it instead of the SmarterMail Web server.
  2. Stop the SmarterMail Service on both servers.
  3. Copy all .xml and .dat files from the Service directory of your install path from your old server to your new one. By default that path will be C:\Program Files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail\Service. Note that mailConfig.xml and domainList.xml are the only files absolutely required to be copied over.
  4. Copy all domains folders from their directory on the older server to the same directory on the new server. By default the path domains are stored in is C:\SmarterMail\Domains
  5. Start the SmarterMail service on the new server.
  6. Log in and re-activate the software on the new server.
  7. If you change the path to your domains, you would need to edit your domainList.xml file accordingly to reflect the new paths.
  8. If your IP address or other DNS info changes, update the corresponding setting in SmarterMail and restart the SmarterMail Service (or reboot the server) to make the change effective.

NOTE: These steps assume that the domain data is stored in the default C:\SmarterMail\Domains directory and that the product is installed in the default location.



OK first part missing from this article is that after installing Smarter Mail on the new server MAKE SURE you click on "Begin Setup" and actually complete this section...the way the article is written you would almost think you would not have to do this because you are moving existing files and domains but trust me this NEEDS to be done or it will not work....the article should clearly state this!


Next part missing from the KB article is that for some reason the install file does not set the "Windows Firewall Rules" so you have to manually set a rule for your email ports to pass thru Windows Firewall.

Other then those 2 steps I found this KB article to be very helpful and my migration went very smooth even though I was down with out my emails for a full day....once I figured out these missing steps I was up and running in literally mins....if these missing steps were in the article I do believe the entire migration might have taken me less then 30 mins!!


James A. Civitello

PCS Bristol, LLC

Personal Computer Services of Bristol


James Civitello Replied
I just completed a migration and though the server name was different the IP address was the same....the MX records should be just fine!!
J Lee Replied
Hi Guy/Gals
There is another step left out of this procedure.
9. If you changed your path you need to update all of your locations in General Settings, Protocol Settings, Log Settings, Storage Message Archive, Domain Defaults

J. Sebastian Lee Service2Client LLC 6333 E Mockingbird Ste 147 Dallas, TX 75214 - 877.251.3273

J Lee Replied
It seems to me that if the folder structure and SM Services folders was copied over and updated that during migration of Domain folders Smartermail service could be turned on the "New" server so mail is not lost. Is this recommended or not recommended and if not why? What would happen?

J. Sebastian Lee Service2Client LLC 6333 E Mockingbird Ste 147 Dallas, TX 75214 - 877.251.3273

J Lee Replied
10. Don't forget to create and/or change location of C:/ClamQuarantine

J. Sebastian Lee Service2Client LLC 6333 E Mockingbird Ste 147 Dallas, TX 75214 - 877.251.3273

J Lee Replied
I would like to get feed back from the Smartermail Brains out there on this idea. Has anyone try this?
For moving very large amount of data that can't be moved in a reasonable amount of downtime.
Idea: Do not turn off the SM Service, copy all data over to new machine, then the next night or after when scheduled, Turning off SM Service run a Windows Incremental backup of your data and when that is done restore the Incremental backup to the new server.

J. Sebastian Lee Service2Client LLC 6333 E Mockingbird Ste 147 Dallas, TX 75214 - 877.251.3273

User Replied
Sebastian, I have done this dozens of times and it works perfectly. We use either robocopy or another program to do it.

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