MX settings -- IP or server name?


#1

Folks…

I’ll soon need to point MX at a non-DH server (while keeping the website here).

In the Control Panel, there’s no mention of whether to enter a server name or IP number in the “Set your own below” field. I’d say it’s most likely the IP, but since other fields in the CP ask for server names (and refuse to take IP’s), I thought I’d ask…

…and point out that the MX page should probably be explicit in what it wants.

TIA!

…Bob


#2

That’s a good question (and yeah - we should make this more specific). On a standard account, you should simply enter the hostname (not the IP address) of the machine you want to direct mail to. Don’t point it to an IP address because it won’t work. If you only have an IP address, contact support, and they’ll set it up correctly for you.

While the MX record should have a period at the end, and a metric weight (from 0-100) our system will add that for you. If you have a Strictly Business account and add the record from the ‘DNS management’ section, then you’ll need to add both of those things. So if I wanted to direct mail to mouse.cat.edu from the MX record tab, I’d just put:
mouse.cat.edu
But if I were doing it from the Strictly Business DNS control panel, I’d do:
0 mouse.cat.edu.

(note both the metric (0) and the trailing dot)
Complex enough for you yet?


#3

Hi, will…

You wrote:

[quote]That’s a good question (and yeah - we should make this more specific).

[/quote]

Yeah! Now you’re getting into the Clarity™ spirit!

[quote]On
a standard account, you should simply enter the hostname (not the IP
address) of the machine you want to direct mail to. Don’t point it to an
IP address because it won’t work. If you only have an IP address, contact
support, and they’ll set it up correctly for you.

[/quote]

Interesting… The server will be a box in somebody’s closet at their office; I’ll have to find out the name. Since you guys set up a virtual “mail." server for each custom domain here, I guess we’ll have to make sure it’s not named "mail.” to keep from having to make you guys do something on the DH end.

[quote]While the MX record should have a period at the end, and a metric weight
(from 0-100) our system will add that for you. If you have a Strictly
Business account and add the record from the ‘DNS management’ section,
then you’ll need to add both of those things. So if I wanted to direct
mail to mouse.cat.edu from the MX record tab, I’d just put:
mouse.cat.edu
But if I were doing it from the Strictly Business DNS control panel, I’d do:
0 mouse.cat.edu.

[/quote]

Oooh… Sounds like some serious Interface Inconsistency™ in the DH CP; the user should be asked to enter the same thing no matter what tab they’re under. Or maybe this is one of those things for which you should have “Beginner” and “Advanced” interfaces, under each of those tabs, for consistency. Beginner mode would ask for just the host name, and advanced would allow the user to enter the weight. And I would think the system should add missing a trailing period and/or default weight anyway, regardless of interface, knowing it’s an MX record. (But hey, that’s just me.)

Anyway, I’m going to do this with a Code Warrior account, so there’s no DNS Management tab… I’d be doing this under “Mail -> MX Record” so I take it I just enter the “beginner” version.

[quote](note both the metric (0) and the trailing dot)

[/quote]

So the weight is the server’s priority, yes? As in primary (0), secondary (1), etc.?

And… I take it I should not go to “Domains -> Manage” and click on “mail -> [Deactivate]”. Correct? Or would it make any difference? I’m guessing that changing the MX record just bypasses any mail settings/mailboxes/etc. there might be for a domain. (I suppose there should also be some info about all this next to the MX change fields under the various tabs.)

And following up to that… Does changing MX affect the mail settings? We probably will want to use DH as a backup mail server (so we can take down the office box, etc.) If I were to change the MX selection back to DH, would all the mailboxes, etc., still be in place (assuming I don’t [Deactivate])?

[quote]Complex enough for you yet?

[/quote]

Almost!

Thanks…

…Bob


#4

The DNS panel in the Strictly Business web panel (which is the only place the weight and trailing dot are asked for) is very specifically marked as for advanced users only (and it will return an error if you don’t include them). The reason for allowing this functionality, is that anyone who is entering the data there rather than from the mail tab most likely:
a) knows what they’re doing (or at least thinks they do)
b) may very well need to enter MX records with multiple weights

99% of customers will never need to use this panel. Basically MX records have a metric weight which indicates their preference. A weight of 0 is most preferred; a weight of 100 is least preferred. Generally people use multiples of 5 or 10, but this isn’t necessary. You shouldn’t use a backup MX record unless the server with the higher weight is specifically configured not to do anything except cache the mail and deliver it to the more preferred server. For almost all setups (except for very high volume ones) this is unnecessary, and likely to result in more, rather than less, stability.

If you don’t know the hostname of your friend’s box, you can contact support. They can remove ‘mail’ service for that domain and then make an A record for ‘mail.yourdomain.com’ pointing to your friends box. Then they can set the MX record to point to mail.yourdomain.com (or if you prefer, 0 mail.yourdomain.com.’ :>


#5

Wil…

Thanks for all the info…

Although I’m not sure whether you’re trying to say that you think beginner/expert modes aren’t needed, or… something else.

Anyway, thanks.

…Bob


#6

Rather than starting a new thread, I’ll just post here again…

For the first time, I just entered a change to MX for a domain hosted on a Code Warrior account, in the CP under Mail -> MX record.

The result was… Puzzling.

The CP simply gave me back the same page I had just submitted. So, although no specific error message came up, no confirmation of the change was returned either.

IIRC, in some other screens there’s a line of red text that’s added at the top, saying something like “Changes have been submitted.”

So… Should I assume my change go through?

And… Could the form be changed so there’s a clear result returned?

Thanks…

…Bob