Mailing List SIMS@mail.stalker.com Message #15452
From: Christopher Bort <cbort@globalhomes.com>
Subject: Re: comments please
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 10:42:36 -0800
To: SIMS Discussions <SIMS@mail.stalker.com>
X-Mailer: Mailsmith 2.1.5 (Blindsider)
On 02/20/07 at 09:07, Stefan Jeglinski wrote:

> The zone file for vifprogram.com shows 3 MX records, as follows:
>
> vifprogram.com.   900 IN  MX  10 mail2.vifprogram.com.
> vifprogram.com.   900 IN  MX  20 mx1.mail.twtelecom.net.
> vifprogram.com.   900 IN  MX  30 mx2.mail.twtelecom.net.
>
> The latter two are obviously backup mail servers. However, your primary
> mail server (priority 10) is refusing connections from both of the
> backups (priority 20 and 30), as follows:
>
> 554 5.7.1 <user@vifprogram.com>: Recipient address rejected:
> Primary MX refuses our connection

I take it that this response is from one of the twtelecom.net servers and
that's how you've inferred that the primary refuses connections from them?
If that's the case, then it would seem to be the crux of the problem. The
vifprogram.com postmaster(s) needs to fix whatever is causing their server
to refuse connections from its back-ups, so that the back-ups will accept
messages for it. They might also need to make sure that Time Warner knows
that their servers are supposed to be secondaries for vifprogram.com. If an
MTA refuses connections from its own designated back-ups, then something is
clearly broken.

> where "user" is any valid e-mail acct holder at vifprogram. This
> means that only SMTP connections that happen to go to the primary
> will get sent.

'Happen to go to the primary' should be the usual case. Sending MTAs should
try the highest priority MX first, before falling back to the secondaries.
How often is the primary offline? Can you tell from your own logs how often
your server tries to send to the back-ups? Do those attempts correlate with
undelivered messages?

> During those times that the primary is not available, the secondaries
> will reject vifprogram e-mail, and do so without bounce messages.

Hmm. The sending server (e.g. your server) should generate a bounce when it
gets a 5xx response, no? What do _your_ server logs say when you try to
send a message that is not delivered?

> There's no telling how many e-mail messages have been rejected.

If the problem is the primary server refusing connections from its
secondaries, causing them to reject messages for the primary's domain(s),
then you would expect that undelivered messages would not be isolated to
one source and one recipient. If messages are not being delivered to
arbitrary recipients on any sort of scale, you'd think that would be plenty
of incentive for the vifprogram.com admins to fix whatever is broken. But
you said that your correspondent said that her server 'mostly seems to
work, except for you.' If that's the case (and adding a grain of salt for
her being 'mostly computer illiterate'), you should probably take some time
to make certain that there's not something in your set-up that is causing
or contributing to the problem. Turn up your SMTP logging detail and send a
few test messages to capture the details of your server's conversations
with mail2.vifprogram.com and its back-ups, noting which messages are
delivered and which are not. That might also give you an indication of why
your server is not generating bounce messages.

--
Christopher Bort
Homes Magazine
email: <cbort@homesmagazine.com>
website: <http://www.homesmagazine.com/>
FAX: 775-284-1298
Phone: 775-284-1294

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