Is it possible to have multiple MX records pointing to multiple mail servers for a single domain? Must all mail accounts be identical on each of those servers, or is it possible to have email1@mydomain.com set up only on one mail server, and email2@mydomain.com set up only on the other mail server?

The reason for this is the need to use two different email service providers but still keep everything at a common domain.

My understanding of MX record functionality tells me this scenario won't work, that each server will respond with "mailbox not found" errors for the accounts not on that particular server. Help?


Yes, you understand it correctly.

Sending E-Mail servers use MX records in order of preference defined within the MX records. The record with smallest precedence is used first, then the second smallest etc.

If two servers have equal precedence, the sending server picks a random server from the equal precedence server.

You can make forwarding accounts on server 1 that only forward all e-mails to server 2. This would effectively solve your problem.

  • Thanks for the confirmation. The forwarding account solution intrigues me, but I can't wrap my head around the specifics to make it work both inbound and outbound. – Collin Dec 19 '14 at 20:37
  • The specifics can be pretty complex, and heavily depend on what MTAs you are using. Some MTAs simply wouldn't be able to support a setup like this. Some can do it easily. – Zoredache Dec 19 '14 at 21:41
  • @Collin Don't worry about the outbound as that will just work. The complexity is in getting the various MX servers knowing where the user accounts are. It might be simplify life to use a sub-domain for one server or the other. Then you can use alias, if supported, to route your users to the correct server. – BillThor Dec 19 '14 at 22:31
  • Thanks all for the input and suggestions. I think the forwarding scheme is going to work. – Collin Dec 20 '14 at 3:58

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