Email Continuity for In House Email Servers

While most organizations today need to ensure reliable email delivery, companies that choose to maintain their own in house email servers need reliable backup options for email delivery. Backup MX and temporary email storage is just one part of a reliable email delivery solution and can be achieved for as little as $5 per month.

Here are a few of our tips for IT Pros, small and medium sized businesses and enterprise users who need to ensure email deliver-ability with Ninja Email Continuity.

Add a Backup MX Solution

The first layer of an email continuity solution is Backup MX. You can complete this process in two steps:

  1. Protect your domain with Ninja’s Email Continuity service. Create your free account to get started.
  2. Add Ninja’s MX servers as higher weighted MX entries to your domain’s DNS zone. Detailed instructions are listed in your account.

Manage Anti-Spam Settings

Once you add your domain to the Continuity Ninja, you’ll decide if you want your backup mx solution to include anti-spam and anti-virus or to allow all email through to your own filtering server? Ninja makes this easy. You can turn off spam filtering completely, or you can select from one of six thresholds. Learn more about Ninja’s Anti-Spam settings.

Anti-Spam Scenarios

Here are a few anti-spam scenarios some of our customers use to filter email before the email is received by the email server:

3rd Party Anti-Spam (Postini or other)

If your public MX records are set to route all email through a 3rd party anti-spam service like Postini, you may want to add Ninja’s MX servers to Postini’s online interface. This way, Postini would catch all incoming mail and route it to your server if it’s available. If it’s not available, Postini will route all incoming mail to Ninja’s MX servers were we’ll store it until your server comes back online.

You can bypass a 3rd party anti-spam service by simply adding Ninja’s MX servers to your public DNS as a higher weighted MX entry. Once your domain is setup in Ninja, we will automatically recommend the next highest weight to add to your public DNS.

In House Security Gateways

Many customers have an in house gateway that combines many different types of network security, including anti-spam. For example, the Sophos Security Gateway (formerly Astaro) and the Barracuda Spam & Virus Firewall are among many gateways on the market that can be configured as a primary server to receive, filter and relay email to the storage mail server.

In this scenario, you can do one of two things:

  1. Recommended: Add Ninja’s servers to your MX record at a higher weight than your gateway server.
  2. Keep your MX records pointing to your gateway and add Ninja’s Continuity servers in the gateway interface. In this scenario, your gateway must be available 100% of the time for Ninja to receive email if your primary mail server goes down. If your gateway has any issue at all, Ninja Email Continuity will not be able to receive email. For this reason, we recommend scenario #1 above.

Ninja’s Anti-Spam Settings & Quarantine

Ninja Email Continuity includes 7 levels of anti-spam settings. If you have any questions about whether or not to apply Ninja’s anti-spam and anti-virus settings, please contact us or read about Ninja’s Anti-Spam settings.

Short Email Outages

Face it. Your server will go down, if only for a short time. Even Google has outages.

Short outages for your in house email server can be caused by

  • A server reboot
  • Operating system lockup
  • Mail database size limitations
  • High CPU or memory utilization on the server

For short email outages, Backup MX will do it’s job. There may not be a reason for users to login to their Ninja accounts to send and receive email. If you’re an IT person rebooting a client machine at midnight on Saturday, users may never know, but an email from that one customer or client may be bounced

Long Email Outages

A long email outage in today’s terms may be over an hour during peak usage; during the business day. What happens if email goes down at 10:00 AM on a Monday? 3:00 pm on a Friday? Who wants to close up shop when there are just a few more things to take care of?

For long outages, Ninja has you covered.

  1. Setup your account
  2. Protect your domain
  3. Add user accounts in Ninja Continuity
  4. Setup desktop email clients (Outlook, etc) to check user accounts on Ninja’s servers

If (when) your primary email server goes down, you’ll automatically begin receiving email on our servers and you’ll have accounts setup for users to immediately begin sending and receiving email.

Crisis Mode – Every IT Pros Nightmare

As an IT Professional in a crisis, the last thing you need are calls from users while you’re working on a solution.

With Ninja, simply instruct users to open the Inbox of their Ninja POP or IMAP account and continue working.

Of course, they may need to keep closing the “cannot connect…” popup dialog. But, they’ll be happy to know you’re working on it and they have instant access to email.

Don’t wait for crisis mode to happen. Protect yourself and your users.

Planned Downtime

Protect your domain. Plan your downtime.

If you’re a IT Professional upgrading an email server, you may tell the client or your boss you expect the downtime to be 2 hours late at night. Email traffic at that time may be so low, you don’t care about an missed emails.

Who doesn’t work at 11:00? Who doesn’t send off that last important email just before bed? We do it. And we receive them also.

With Ninja, you can get a little shuteye yourself by protecting your domain and starting the upgrade earlier.