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How to set up a backup mail server

Document ID: 2147HQ


How do I set up a backup mail server with EIMS?


Important Licensing Information

If one install of EIMS is used for the primary mail server, the license allows an additional installation for a backup server as long as the backup server doesn't provide any other mail functions, i.e., there are no domains and/or users defined on the backup EIMS installation.

DNS Configuration

The backup mail server will need a DNS entry complete with its own domain name and IP address. The DNS record for the mail domain(s) will need to have a MX (mail exchange) record designating the backup server's domain as a secondary mail exchanger. This is accomplished by assigning it a numerical MX value that is greater than that of the primary mail exchanger.


There are two mail servers for your domain named [primary], and [secondary].

The DNS entry for would contain the following MX records: class IN TTL 3600 type MX 10 class IN TTL 3600 type MX 20

Your Internet Service Provider will be able to help you modify your existing MX record.

Queueing Mail for your Domains

On the machine acting as the backup server, EIMS will need to be set up to relay mail that is destined for the domain(s) for which it is acting as a backup server. The mail relay settings are entered using the EIMS Admin program through the menu selection Admin->Preferences...->Relay Restrictions.

In this settings dialog, you should choose the option: "Only relay if for local domains or the following domains AND if from a valid IP:", then enter the name of the domain(s) your primary server is hosting. EIMS automatically determines that it is acting as a backup server from the MX record configuration and holds the mail in queue waiting for the primary server to become active.

When the primary server is back online it will need to send an ETRN to the backup server to receive the queued mail immediately, otherwise the queue will be restarted as specified in the Sending Setup. To expedite mail being sent to the primary server when back on-line, add an entry in the Sending Setup on the back up server for the domain(s) being backed up, and set a short retry time (5 or 10 minutes), and a short timeout (60 to 120 seconds).

To provide the most security and effectiveness, we recommend the backup server be isolated both physically and in terms of the internet network topology.


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