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Thread: how to setup backup server?

  1. #1
    bbarrons is offline Special Member
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    Default how to setup backup server?

    I have been running a server in a grade school environment for almost a year now without a problem until yesterday. I had a power supply failure and a wake up call. Server was down for about 8 hours until I could get to it to repair it. SO, I could use some suggestions or directions as to a possible setup to help me out. Here is what i have to work with.
    I have a home zimbra setup ms2.family.net that receives email for my family and serves as a test box for all upgrades. I have a server at the school ms1.school.org that serves about 40 accounts. Both servers are connected to the net with a static ip address thru DSL.
    I would like to be able to setup my home server to be my backup for the school but still be able to collect emails for my home. How can I create a domain on my home server, copy all of the accounts from the school and have it collect when the school goes offline? My other question would then be, How do I get the 2 servers synced back up after he school comes back up online?
    My solution right now is to have all of the emails go to a catch-all which forwards to my home email. I then filter and forward from there. This might be an easy setup or it could be way over my head. Could anyone direct me to some reading that might help?
    thanks
    Bill
    ps. did an upgrade on both servers to the latest 5.06 without a glitch.
    Last edited by bbarrons; 05-13-2009 at 04:36 AM.

  2. #2
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    My advice would be to get a good UPS for the Zimbra server and use a domain hosting service that will collect your mail if your server is down. I use EasyDNS (there are others if you do a search on google/yahoo) and they hold mail for up-to five days and when the server is back on-line it delivers the mail. The basic service is not free but reasonably priced and you get professional mail server that you don't have to worry about, you don't really want a backup mail serveras they're a good target for spammers.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  3. #3
    bbarrons is offline Special Member
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    I have the good ups in place, it was just time for the power supply. A fan failed in it. I never cancelled the mail service at the web hosting we used so that is where all of the mail goes when my server goes offline but I could never get it to deliver when my server would come back up. I ended up deleting all accounts and then setting up a catch all on that site and then having all of that email sent to my home address. Any ideas how I should have set this up?
    thanks
    Bill

  4. #4
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    The usual answer to your question is that it's not a good idea to use a single mailbox to accumulate & download your mail, what you'd need is a multi-drop mailbox and they're not usually that type of mailbox. You could try using fetchmail to download it to your server but I'd strongly recommend using a domain hosting provider, it removes any burden from you to provide the backup hardware. Who hosts your DNS records at the moment and do they have this type of backup mx facility? In fact, I think there are several companies that provide an MX backup service, have a look through the forums for any recommendations.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  5. #5
    bbarrons is offline Special Member
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    ix web hosting is our domain provider and they have been less than helpful in the past. The school has been with them for awhile so changing to another provider is probably not in the future.
    I did try to use fetchmail to collect the mail and disburse it but it all came into the same mailbox. I am sure I didnt have it setup right. Most of the email gurus I know around here work with exchange and havent a clue what I am talking about when I deviate from their setup. When I used to work with exchange years ago I used to use a product called popmailserver and it would collect the mail from an outside service and then send it to my exchange server. That was a few years ago and I cant remember how I had that setup. I am sure it is very similair.
    Bill

  6. #6
    mlanner is offline Special Member
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    Default MX backups

    bbarrons,

    At the risk of blatantly promoting some external company, I've used DynDNS services for several years. (I'm not in any way attached to them ... other than paying them for services.) They offer a very complete set up "auxiliary" services around anything DNS/domain related. Their DNS hosting has been great, their MX backups have never failed me, and their staff is quick to respond and knowledgeable.

    I agree with phoenix, you need a proper MX backup. It won't cost you much, not compared to the hassle of trying to restore and download lost emails during an outage. Tell your employer to pony up $50/year, or whatever it costs.

  7. #7
    bbarrons is offline Special Member
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    thanks for the reply. I will have to look into mx backup services.....sounds like that is the only way to go for me...

  8. #8
    bbarrons is offline Special Member
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    okay, I setup mx backup thru dyn dns. seems simple enough. I went to my domain registration and created a custom dns to their backup server with a mx of 20 and my server beig 10. I thought that was all I had to do but after looking at the admin console I see where there is a setting to input an external smtp inbound server...do I need to make use of that? Or am I all set the way it is set up?
    thanks
    Bill

  9. #9
    mlanner is offline Special Member
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    I think you can safely leave that external SMTP server be. I'm not using it myself, and my DynDNS backup MX is properly catching mail when I take servers offline for maintenance.

  10. #10
    bbarrons is offline Special Member
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    thanks for the reply. That is how I will leave it unless someone can tell me a good reason to change it. thanks
    Bill

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