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Re: [edlug] Backup mail server

On 26/07/10 11:59, Brett Sheffield wrote:
On Mon Jul 26 2010 10:12 +0100, James wrote:
My webhost used to offer a back-up secondary mail server, that would
simply store and forward email in the event that your primary email server
was offline. It did very basic spam checks to.

We are setting up a email server at my job and I wandered if any company
offered this service? Should be an easy and cheap service to offer,
I'd advise against that approach.  Your backup server should have the
same policies applied to it that your primary server does.  It needs to
know which are real email accounts, and take the same approach on spam
filtering, otherwise you'll end up with a load more spam.  Spammers
regularly target the highest priority (backup) mx server as they know
that often these are less strict on filtering and will often accept mail
to non-existent accounts on a domain.

I'd agree with this, and add that there's a lot less need for a backup MX in these days of near-universal continuous service -- if your mail server is down, the sender will retain the mail and retry when you come back up, just as your backup MX would.

And if your backup if going to have the same settings as your primary,
why make it a backup?  Why not give both servers the same priority and
spread the mail load?

In my case, at least, because all the mail has to go to the primary for delivery anyway -- just because it comes from the backup MX doesn't mean I won't scan it again. I do have backup MX for a couple of my oldest domains (as a historical artefact) but I've not bothered setting it up for the dozen-or-so mail-list-related sub-domains or any newer domains.

- Andrew
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