How to Configure an Exchange 2007 SMTP Connector
How to Configure an Exchange 2007 SMTP Connector
The golden rule with Exchange 2007 SMTP connectors is don't do more than you have to. You probably need internet access, therefore by all means configure an SMTP connector to your ISP. However, if you have multiple Exchange 2007 servers in the same site then they can communicate effectively without SMTP connectors.
One surprise is that Exchange 2007 SMTP connectors are uni-directional, thus to link two servers, you need one connector to send and another to receive email.
Topics for Configuring Exchange 2007 SMTP Connectors
Routing Strategies For Local Email
Emails addressed to recipients in the local Active Directory site are handled by the Hub Transport server. It's the job of the categorizer to deliver the email to the correct mailbox server; whereupon the message is retrieved by a version of Outlook.
Routing Strategies For Remote Email
Receiving email uses the same routes as above, but in reverse. Thus it follows that you can categorize messages into four groups: inbound or outbound, and local or remote.
Because every delivery strategy involves the Hub Transport server, you can appreciate why every Exchange 2007 organization needs at least one server with this role. Indeed, Microsoft's recommendation is to have one server with the Hub Transport role in each Active Directory site.
Supporting Components for the Exchange 2007 SMTP Connectors
While the categorizer is at the heart of the message system, let us get to know the other important components, the Microsoft Exchange Mail Submission service, store driver and the submission queue.
It is the categorizer that is responsible for calculating the best routing path, for converting content format, and applying any organizational message policies. Incidentally, the categorizer on an Edge Transport server verifies the recipient's SMTP address of an inbound message before it places it in the delivery queue.
The incoming message is then routed to a Hub Transport server. In a new development in Exchange 2007, the categorizer makes copies of messages that have multiple recipients.
The categorizer processes each message in the submission queue in turn. If a message is intended for a Mailbox server in the same Active Directory site, the categorizer places the message in a local delivery queue. The store driver then takes over and delivers the message to the Mailbox server role by using MAPI.
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The logical place to create an SMTP connector is on the server(s) with the Hub Transport role. The other place to configure these Exchange 2007 send and receive connectors would be on the Edge Server.
Once you create a Receive Connector you can tweak its Properties. Suppose you have a partner company, you can specify the source IP addresses from where you receive messages. Also, in the Limits tab you can adjust the maximum size of messages and configure permissions. And for troubleshooting messages, you could enable protocol logging on the General tab of Exchange 2007 SMTP connector.
SolarWinds' Network Performance Monitor will help you discover what's happening on your network. This utility will also guide you through troubleshooting; the dashboard will indicate whether the root cause is a broken link, faulty equipment or resource overload.
What I like best is the way NPM suggests solutions to network problems. Its also has the ability to monitor the health of individual VMware virtual machines. If you are interested in troubleshooting, and creating network maps, then I recommend that you try NPM now.
PowerShell Connector Cmdlets (Exchange Management Shell)
As an alternative to using the Exchange Management Console, you could use PowerShell to configure the Exchange 2007 SMTP connectors. Here are some of the cmdlets that you could try:
Try get-command *ReceiveConnector
new-ReceiveConnector -Name 'Receive from ISP'-Type FromInternet -Bindings 0.0.0.0:25 -RemoteIPRanges 0.0.0.0- 255.255.255.255
new-ReceiveConnector -Name 'Receive from HQ'-Type FromEnterprise -Bindings 0.0.0.0:25 -RemoteIPRanges 10.10.0.0(255.255.0.0) -RelayControl Open
In Exchange 2003, all internet mail is directed through the SMTP virtual server. However in Exchange 2007 server, the SMTP virtual server no longer handles internet email, instead this task is performed by the new SMTP connector.
Internet emails are typically routed by the Hub Transport via an Edge server subscription. Alternatively, you could create a Send connector on the Hub Transport server itself, and configure it to deliver outgoing internet email.
Alternatively you can use the new-SendConnector cmdlet in the Exchange Management Shell. Note, as you create the new Send Connector, observe the PowerShell code on the last screen, just before the wizard completes.
Exchange 2003 Features not supported in Exchange 2007
Maximum message size
Other Restrictions not enforced
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Here is an utility where you can review firewall settings such as access control lists (ACL), or troubleshoot problems with network address translation (NAT).
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When designing outbound message flow in Exchange 2007, consider the following issues:
Will you use a single location for routing all messages to the Internet? Or will you enable message routing through multiple locations? If your organization has more than one location with an Internet connection, you can enable message routing through each. To do this, you can either:
On the one hand, the advantage of a single route is security. You need be concerned only with a single connection, from the internal network to the Internet. On the other hand, multiple routes provide redundancy and load balancing.
Internal Send Connectors
Partner This type of connector is used to forward messages to partner domains. Partner connectors allow connections only to SMTP servers that authenticate using TLS certificates.
Custom Send Connector
In addition to the security v redundancy factors, which apply email in both directions, inbound message flow has extra challenges. Firstly remember that receive connectors just affect the local server, whereas send connectors affect the entire Exchange organization.
The key point with a receive connector is that it must contain a unique combination of: IP address bindings, port-number assignments, and the remote IP address ranges. One reason of creating extra receive connectors is that particular sources require authentication.
How are you are going to plan for MX record with multiple inbound routing points? If you configure MX records with different priorities, then the SMTP servers with the lowest priority MX record references are contacted first for all inbound messages. MX records with higher priorities are only referenced when the first SMTP server is not available.
Import users from a spreadsheet, complete with their mailbox. Just provide a list of the users with the fields in the top row, and save as .csv file. Then launch this FREE utility, match your Exchange fields with AD's attributes, click and import the users. Optionally, you can provide the name of the OU where the new mailboxes will be born.
Telnet is a marvellous command for basic SMTP troubleshooting.
There are two tricks to using telnet in this situation:
Launch a cmd or PowerShell session
Hopefully you get a reply such as:
Type: Quit. This will exit Telnet.
More Info Testing SMTP with Telnet
Preliminary preparation to use telnet to test an SMTP connection
Destination SMTP server mail1.YourPlace.com
Source domain YourPlace.com
Sender's e-mail address guy@YourPlace.com
Recipient's e-mail address guy@YourPlace.com
Message subject Test from Guy
Message body This is Guy's message
At the command prompt:
Type: MAIL FROM:guy@YourPlace.com and then press ENTER.
Type: RCPT TO:guy@YourPlace.com NOTIFY=success,failure
Type: Subject: Test from Guy and then press ENTER
Press: Enter Again
Type: This is Guy's message and then press ENTER
Type . (dot or period) press ENTER again
Expect: 250 2.6.0 <GUID> Queued mail for delivery
Summary - How to Configure an Exchange 2007 SMTP Connector
Begin by studying the Exchange 2007 server with the Hub Transport role. Make life easy by researching the SMTP connections that are created automatically, for example, little configuration is required to get internal email working. When it comes to internet access, you will need to create a new Send Connector to receive messages from external contacts. As far as receiving internet email, you need to a plan on how to route external message to the appropriate Mailbox server.
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