Friday, July 27, 2007

Setting up a Backup Email Server

Tomorrow I'm scheduled to install a mail server at my main client's second office. This will serve as a backup MX to their primary mail server, in case the Internet connection drops at their main office, or the primary MX fails in some way.

For extra redundancy, the second office has a different ISP than the main office, so if their ISP suffers a system-wide outage, the second office shouldn't be affected.

I pretty much duplicated the primary MX's configuration, with the exception of setting the box up as a secondary MX, per the instructions on postfix.org.

For hardware I recycled the HP tc2120 server that I installed at the main office several years ago. It originally ran SuSE (v8, IIRC) plus CommuniGate Pro. (I like CGP, but it's very expensive and doesn't do anything for this client that open source software won't do.) This box was replaced with a Dell SC440 running CentOS 4.4, Postfix, Dovecot, Squirrelmail, and MailScanner last Fall. The reborn HP is running the same software. The only hardware upgrade was to bump the RAM from 256 to 768 by adding a 512 MB DIMM from Crucial.

Once the backup MX is in place I need to take a look see at the office's network infrastructure, so that I can recommend a file server and backup option for the site.

Fun stuff!

1 comment:

Scott Kitterman said...

BTW, most of the times when asked about a secondary MX on postfix-users these days, the response it along the lines of don't bother. It adds more complexity to the system than benifit.