Installing 2nd Exchange server on my network and mail would not pass!

Situation: Just installed a new exchange 2003 server on the network. I didn’t really want to backup my original exchange server and then restore it on the new box. The plan was to keep both in Active Directory and the move the mailboxes over a period of time to provide a seemless migration to the exchange server.

Problem: Once I got a new exchange server installed, I moved over my mailbox. After a bit of time, I realized that no mail was being passed to my mailbox. I was also getting reports that email being sent to me was being bounced back. I was, however, able to send mail fro the new box and any new email accounts created on the new box wold replicat in the Global Addres List (GAL). I also could not login to OWA through the original URL.

First, what I found out was that if you want to use two exchange boxes on the same domain, you can’t use the the smart host feature within the SMTP virtual server. If you want to use OWA, I was told that you will need to have a separate OWA URL for each box. This was unacceptable because it is way too much to ask users to remember what URL they should use to checkt their mai. My goal is to keep it easy for the user.

Solution: To get the two exchange server talking to each other I had to remove the smart host from the SMTP virtual server and I then created two SMTP connectors. One for the two boxes to communicate and the other to route mail to the internet. After I did that, mail was routing properly. For the 2nd solution, I decided on configuring a front end server for both boxes. I configured it to be the front end server for OWA, pop and direct push for mobile phones. The only issue that I had with this is that I needed to still configure OWA and direct push on the back end servers correctly or it would not work properly. If you have more than one exchange box on your network, get a front end server configured. This will create less work for you in the long term.

Reference:

Configure SMTP connector to the internet:
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Configuring-SMTP-Connector.html
Configure SMTP connector internally:
ttp://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Using_SMTP_Connector_Internally.html

Configuring an Exchange front end server:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998713.aspx
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/OWA_Exchange_Server_2003.html

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