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ppatel

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Hello,
We are getting ready to install our first Kerio server and leave the hosted world and bring it into our facility. What is the best way to set this up so we can have a back up unit pick up emails if there is a problem with the main server?

What best practices do you guys use?

thanks in advance.
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winkelman

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If you want to do it 100% yourself this is some challenge. It would involve running another mailserver on a lower priority MX record. That would receive all mail incase the primary server is down. It would need all users, it would just accept all mail into a single domain mailbox. Then, once the primary server comes back online, it will request all mail from the secondary server and voila!

An easier route (and perhaps even cheaper) is to still use an external solution to pass mail through (just not run a full mail server for you any more). For example, we use MessageLabs to perform (extra) virus checking and spam filtering. As a 'bonus', they will hold on to our email if our mail server is offline for some time. This will avoid people sending us emails from getting errors.

Note: in general you can have your mail server offline for a little while (say an hour?) before people would start getting errors sending you email. All sending mail servers will hold on to an email and try delivering a couple of times before sending warnings to the sender.
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dkazoch

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Hi

I am using dyndns.com, they have a MXBackup Service for some $40 per year per domain. What it does, is catches all emails in case your KMS is down and delivers them back after the KMS is back again. All you need to to is to adjust the MX records.

Works fine for me and give the peace of mind to know I am not loosing any emails.

Daniel
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rinzwind

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Katharion is another antispam & antivirus service that can even provide mailbox access during long local mail store problems.

Even if you don't have a backup mx, the sending mailserver will try to deliver a message for a couple of days before sending a definitive non delivery message back to the sender.
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bioniccat

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Thanks for this subject and for the helpful hints about backup MX records. (I had no idea dyndns offered that service and for such a reasonable price!)

I'm relatively new to Kerio and (as a refugee from OS X Server's built-in offerings) am loving it! I too am curious for backup best-practices suggestions. I backup the mail database nightly, but what additional files should be backed up so that the server could be easily reconfigured on another box in the case of a catastrophic event? Are the mailserver.cfg and users.cfg in /usr/local/kerio/mailserver the magic files that could be plopped back on a fresh install? Anyone ever test this? I'm just thinking about worst case, server-in-flames kind of scenarios!

Thanks,
Stephen


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Bionic Cat
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator
http://bioniccat.com
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Kerio_Ken

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My advice for additional files to backup:

sslcert folder contains any SSL certificates you've purchased.
license folder contains your license, but you could re-issue it on the website. It is quicker to restore your server if you already have it onhand.
store/lists folder contains mailing list info. You will need this most likely to get everything back to normal.

If you want to create a "failover" system and you have an extra computer, my advice is to run nightly backups to a folder on a shared drive (or to local drive, then automatically copy it to a shared drive so the Kerio backup program can finish faster). Next, another automated script on the backup server simply runs the kmsrecover tool and restores the backup to the failover server. It could easily be automated by someone familiar with very simple scripting and cron. This way, you always have another mailserver onhand in case your main one gets some of your beverage spilled on it.

As far as having a secondary MX goes; don't worry about it. Section 4.5.4.1 of RFC 2821 specifically states:

"Retries continue until the message is transmitted or the sender gives up; the give-up time generally needs to be at least 4-5 days. The parameters to the retry algorithm MUST be configurable."

Most mailservers follow this spec and will queue your mail for 3-5 days most likely. Some of them are turned down as it MUST be configurable, but most of them are not. If your mailserver is only down for 24 hours, you are likely still going to get all of your mail. Admins often stress over this way more than is necessary.

- Ken
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dkazoch

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I just had to restore a mail server.

There are beside the store directory 3 important files in the backup. The liscense file and 2 config files. Togheter with the store directory where you have all your mails thats all you need.

just Downloaded the actual version of Kerio from the web, copied the 3 files in the right folders and the store directory into the right place. Start, and everyting was up and running. I just had to change the IP configuration in the services windows and I was good to go in less than an hour.

I make a full backup everyday, dont like incremental backups or to restore them.

Hope this help, Kerio is a cool product. And I like the Iphone wipe function....works!

Daniel
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ppatel

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Thank you all for you help in working this out for us.

We greatly appreciate it.

P Patel
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bioniccat

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Yes, I second that thanks! All the info has been very helpful. I think I'll run a practice disaster recovery "for fun" armed with everyone's advice.

Cheers,
Stephen


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Bionic Cat
Apple Certified Technical Coordinator
http://bioniccat.com
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