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Value of creating an additional MX record

Bigchalk is in the process of setting up clustering for our mail server since it is a single point of failure. The object is to cluster our mail server with a Domino Server we use for our employees to get their mail via the Internet. In preparation for this, we upgraded those servers to enterprise licenses so they are set to go. We are running 5.0.5 on these servers too.

The confounding variable in this setup is that we use a relay system (Sendmail) for all mail coming in before it gets to our main Domino Server.

I know the following steps:

-Setup Cluster
-Configure Other Domino Server to run SMTP
-Create Configuration Document for Other Domino Server
-Create Connection Documents for All Domino Servers to Connect to other Domino Server for SMTP
-Set MailClusterFailover=1 within Notes.ini on clustered servers
-Replicas already present on other Domino Server
-Add Other Domino Server into setup cluster

The one aspect I am trying to determine is for inbound mail. Outbound is fine by using connections/creating configuration doc & setting up SMTP. Inbound is different because we are using a sendmail system before it is delivered to Domino. According to our network techs, creating an additional MX record would not be the easiest thing to do. Is there anyway around doing this, e.g. setting up 2 MTAs to run (1 inbound and 1 outbound) so 1 MTA would take over automatically if the other was not responding? Any other options?

In addition, we do not want this failover to occur unless the main server was not responding. So, the backup is there but not utilized by our users. In essence, we do not need to utilize the load balancing.

Your network guys are not telling you the truth. A secondary MX record is very easy to create. You just create it with a higher cost. The world will look to the main server unless it can't find it. It would then go to the backup. This is a common setup at companies all over the world. As for the no load balancing, that is a little more difficult. No matter what you try, some people will invariably failover, even when your main server is humming along nicely. Network hiccups usually cause these events. If you truly only want people to failover in emergencies, I would suggest setting the secondary server to unavailable. You can also deny access to all of your users via the server doc. If an emergency occurred, you could change the setting and restart the service in a matter of minutes.

Dig Deeper on Domino Resources - Part 7

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