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Plusnet Usergroup » All Users - The Open Forum » The Business Users Forum » Moving our e-mail domain name to alternate provider
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Author Topic: Moving our e-mail domain name to alternate provider  (Read 11324 times)

Posts: 2

« on: September 05, 2008, 01:33:08 pm »

Hi everyone

We currently have a PlusNet business account (not quite sure what it's called this week) and have a domain name hosted with PlusNet which we use for our internal email.
We have MS SBS 2003 and our email is delivered through SMTP to our static IP... a pretty typical setup.
I have Exchange set to relay our outgoing email through relay.plus.net

However we have several other sites hosted with an alternate provider, and I would like to move our primary e-mail domain name away from PlusNet.
This alternate provider offers us a backup MX service as well.
The new provider gives us more flexibility with the PHP environment. PHP runs as an Apache module, with PHP 5, and far greater reliability than we were getting with PlusNet. PN's web hosting servers have done us well though, considering it's basically free.

I just want to make sure I've covered all the considerations.
Here's the process I was looking to follow:

1) I change the DNS of the domain name at the registrar, pointing it to our new provider's DNS servers.

2) I create the domain with the new provider, and create various DNS A records to point to our static IP.
This is because we currently have: mail.domain.com, ftp.domain.com, server.domain.com all as A records within our PlusNet domain account.
I also need to create a CNAME record for a subdomain to point to an Amazon S3 storage bucket.

3) Set the primary MX of the domain to be mail.domain.com... mail.domain.com now points to our static IP using our new providers DNS tool in #2 above.
Set the backup MX to the location of our new provider's backup MX service.

4) Change the hourly scheduled script on our Exchange server which currently fingers PlusNet for new mail. I need to change that to something slightly different, but that's fine.

My main question:
Even though my domain is no longer hosted with PlusNet, can I still have Exchange set to send mail through relay.plus.net?
Or once I move the domain do I need to configure Exchange to send directly?

I've always been under the impression that it's best to use the ISPs server to transfer outgoing mail whenever possible, rather than configuring your mail server to send directly.

Are there any other considerations I've overlooked here?
Any other comments/suggestions?

Thanks, B

Usergroup Member

Posts: 1237

« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2008, 02:02:31 pm »

I'm far from an expert on this, and I'm sure someone else will be along pretty soon who will have much more expertise on the exchange side of things, but I'm pretty certain you will be able to send mail using relay.plus.net as long as you are connected to the Plusnet network.  Saying that even if you aren't you can authenticate using your Plusnet username and password to send using them, though this is an unofficial service if I remember correctly, so there is nothing stopping Plusnet withdrawing it without notice if they needed to.

If you use SPF, you will need to create the relevant txt DNS entries with the Plusnet relay server IP's otherwise other mail hosts may reject your mail on SPF checks.

Barry Zubel
Usergroup Member

Posts: 356

« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2008, 02:23:35 pm »

You've got everything correct, and yes - you will still be able to use relay.plus.net.


Plusnet Community Site Forum Moderator
I'm a customer, not an employee

Posts: 2

« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2008, 03:12:07 pm »

Ok that's great news

Cheers, B

Phil Richardson

Posts: 992

Products Specialist

« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2008, 09:54:49 pm »

There is one minor exception I need to add here.

Whilst you can use relay.plus.net, you will unlikely receive any bounce reports for mail hosts that reject messages, or delay them. You will continue to receive reports for blatantly non-existent domains (read as incorrect spelling which is the most common cause).

This is due to the configuration of the relay servers and their handling of "backscatter".

We only handle the bounce when the domain is hosted on our platform.

Phil Richardson
Plusnet Products Specialist
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