[Wolves] BackMX record services

Andy Smith andy at strugglers.net
Thu May 13 04:24:43 UTC 2010

Hi Simon,

On Wed, May 12, 2010 at 02:25:35PM +0100, Simon C. Burke wrote:
> After some unscheduled dowtime of my personal mail server today. I decided to try and source somewhere to act as a backup MX service.
> I know there are some services where they will essentially queue the mails and forward them on to your server when its made available and that would be ideal.
> Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for this sort of thing?

A post such as this on a fairly technical list is likely to turn up
a few offers for free, but it can be more problematic than you might
first assume.

Spammers are wise to the generalism that backup MXes are
destinations of last resort, often run by another organisation than
the main MX(es), with a corresponding lack of (or weaker) antispam
measures. As a result, lower priority MXes receive vastly more spam
than your primary one(s).

The antispam measures are probably the hardest part of running a
mail server these days. By having someone random provide your MX,
you're making yourself subject to their policies. They might not be
policies you like or even know about.

Given the above, it might be worth considering whether it's worth
the trouble to do it if you can't do it how you'd want. All senders
should operate a mail queue and retry failed deliveries. Yes, they
may do so on a schedule that is inconvenient to you, but they
shouldn't lose email unless you're down for days. That's actually a
better bet in my opinion than trusting it to a third party with no
vested interest in getting your mail delivered to you.

Other options may be to outsource the lot, e.g. to Google Apps for
your domain, or to an antispam MX vendor such as MessageLabs,
Postini (now part of Google), AntibodyMX, etc.. Have them provide
all the MXes then the antispam regimen is consistent, and there is a
relationship for them to maintain.

Those die hards who absolutely have to run their own mail servers
but want to do it on a budget might pick cheap virtual servers.
There's some very cheap ones in the US and mainland Europe.


http://bitfolk.com/ -- No-nonsense VPS hosting
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