Configure SmarterMail as a Backup MX Server

SmarterMail is powerful enough to be used as a complete mail system that performs multiple roles from a single server, including the role of backup MX server.

In the event that the primary mail server goes down, system administrators can set up SmarterMail to function as a backup MX server to ensure users continue to receive incoming email messages. When the primary mail server cannot be contacted, email servers on the Web will attempt delivery to the backup MX server. When the primary server comes back online, the backup MX server will deliver all held email.

Applies to SmarterMail 8.x - 15.x

Before configuring SmarterMail as a backup MX server, you must ensure that the server is listening on the appropriate IP address(es):

  1. Log in to SmarterMail as the system administrator
  2. Click the Settings icon.
  3. Expand the Bindings folder in the navigation pane.
  4. Click Ports. A list of ports will load in the content pane. By default, ports 110, 143 and 25 are already set up. If necessary, add any alternative ports you may need SmarterMail to listen on.
  5. Click IP Addresses. A list of IP addresses will load in the content pane.
  6. Select each IP address you wish to listen on and click Edit. NOTE: You can only edit one IP address at a time.
  7. Select the port(s) you would like the IP address to listen on and click Save.
  8. Your server is now set up to listen on the selected ports for the IPs they have been added to.
  9. Click the Security icon.
  10. Click Antispam Administration
  11. Select the Bypass Gateway tab.
  12. Click Add
  13. Enter in the IP address of your backup MX server.
  14. Click OK to complete adding the IP.
  15. Click Save
  16. Now your primary SmarterMail server will perform IP based spam checks against the original sending server and not the backup MX

Follow these steps to configure SmarterMail as a backup MX server:

  1. Log in to SmarterMail as the system administrator.
  2. Click the Settings icon.
  3. Expand the Routing folder in the navigation pane.
  4. Click Incoming Gateways.
  5. Click New in the content pane toolbar.
  6. In the Gateway Mode field, select Backup MX from the list.
  7. Type the IP address or IP range in the appropriate field(s) for the mail server you're creating the backup MX for. (Typically, this is your primary mail server IP or IP range).
  8. Click the Spam tab and modify the spam action settings, if necessary.
  9. Click Save.
  10. Click General Settings in the navigation pane.
  11. Click the Spool tab.
  12. Change the Retry Intervals field to 10, 10, 10, 1440.
  13. Click Save.
  14. In DNS, add secondary MX records that point to the new servers IP address. Be sure to set the preference value higher than the main MX record.

All other configuration settings are optional. For more information about backup MX servers and how they work, refer to the SmarterMail Online Help. For information on using SmarterMail as a free gateway server, refer to the KB article Configure SmarterMail as a Free Gateway Server.


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