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I wonder if someone can assist in solving a problem I am experiencing. Our organisation has 13 offices around the country with an MS SBS2008 box in each office. Each office has its own email domain name and public DNS has been configured to deliver to their respective server. All offices are connected via SDSL VPN's, each site has a different 192.168.X.X address and the routers have been configured so that each address can talk to one another. This all works fine, access to server share from any network by UNC or IP address is possible and RDP between servers works fine by IP address.

Outbound and Inbound email at each server works fine too except to each other. I half expected exchange to send the mail out to the internet and back in via the public DNS but instead I just get mail stacking up in the exchange queue. If I create a forward lookup zone in DNS and enter a record for one of the other servers, within a minute or so I see the mail queue empty bound for that domain name. I dont want to have to create 13 forward lookup zones on all 13 servers just so that they can email one another accross the VPN so was wondering whether the hosts file could take care of this if set on the server?

We do not have a smarthost for sending mail either, advice on this would be most welcome.

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Can't you setup the 13 zones in a DNS server in the central office and configure the servers to use this DNS server?

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I see 2 potential pitfalls: 1. You still need to set up conditional forwarders on each server for every other domain that point to this central server. This makes every office dependent on the central office server for name resolution for every other office's DNS namespace. 2. If you just configure all the other offices to use this central server as a conditional forwarder for all non-local domains (1 conditional forwarder instead of 13) then you've created a dependency on this server for all non-local DNS resolution; office-to-office and external, putting more load on the central server. – joeqwerty Oct 1 '11 at 17:02
Either I'm not understanding something right, or we're just seeing things a bit too complicated here :) I would setup a seperate DNS server in the central office that would hold the 13 offices zones and also handle non-local DNS resolution. Then I would go to every SBS server in each office and set this DNS server as the primary DNS server and (or the local IP..) as the secondary. – George Tasioulis Oct 1 '11 at 17:21
This way 1) I wouldn't mess with the client DNS resolution 2) the exchange server would find its way to the correct destination exchange server when sending emails and 3) In case the office looses connection with the central office, the it will still continue to work with the local DNS service (although exchange won't probably work) – George Tasioulis Oct 1 '11 at 17:23
Thank you Guys, both have viable options I should consider. – Lee Oct 2 '11 at 16:53
Thank you Guys, both have viable options I should consider. Just a little history that may affect your previous advice, the 13 offices were all separate islands until just recently hence there being so many SBS boxes. Now they are VPN linked I will be implementing a restructure mid next year which will likely end with 2 physical servers (or a Blade) with a handful of virtual servers on them and V-motion so this is to be a temporary solution. Currently there are no trust relationships on any of the servers, the central DNS server is a good idea however I agree on the dependancy – Lee Oct 2 '11 at 17:04

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