Exchange 2003 Mail between servers stops after a few days

Hi all,

I have an odd situation where mail destined for a different administrative 
group in the same domain stops after a few days; a restart of the server 
where mails are queing clears the problem.

The destination admin group is attached via a connector (smtp), and it's 
this connector that goes into a retry state under fault conditions. A 
bridgehead at either end is used, although looking at message tracking 
suggests the bridge-heads are not being used.

Local mail delivery is unaffected, only mail to the remote admin group is 
affected.

There are firewalls involved: the sites are connected with Checkpoint 
firewalls. I've had them looked at while under fault conditions, but nothing 
has come up there.

I have a number of transport logging messages that are relevant but I am 
still at a loss as to what is causing this; the intermittent nature of the 
problem doesnt really help either.

The following are some of the relevant log messages I've received. As you 
can see, there's nothing here I didn't already know:)

Message delivery to the host 'server-ip' failed while delivering to the 
remote domain  '_28920e5e00f22342bcf4c7a22a742917_D' for the following 
reason: The connection was dropped by the remote host.

Following connector fails to connect to its target bridge head <routing 
group connector>

Message delivery to the remote domain 'servername' failed for the following 
reason: The remote server did not respond to a connection attempt.

I hope this has given you enough to go on. I was wondering if anyone had 
experienced the same issue.

Best regards,

Lewis





0
Lew (13)
12/30/2005 10:38:03 AM
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lew <lew@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

>I have an odd situation where mail destined for a different administrative 
>group in the same domain stops after a few days; a restart of the server 
>where mails are queing clears the problem.
>
>The destination admin group is attached via a connector (smtp), and it's 
>this connector that goes into a retry state under fault conditions. A 
>bridgehead at either end is used, although looking at message tracking 
>suggests the bridge-heads are not being used.

Admin Groups aren't connected -- Routing Groups are. There's a Routing
Group in each Admin Group, unless you've moved them.

Don't use SMTP Connectors to connect Routing Groups -- use Routing
Group Connectors. It's not that SMTP Connectors won't work, it's just
that the RGC's are easier to deal with. If you want, for some reason,
to schedule the connections then use a SMTP Connector.

You don't mention anything about your SMTP Virtual Servers. Is it safe
to assume that you haven't done anything silly with them, like
configuring them to use a smarthost?

>Local mail delivery is unaffected, only mail to the remote admin group is 
>affected.
>
>There are firewalls involved: the sites are connected with Checkpoint 
>firewalls. I've had them looked at while under fault conditions, but nothing 
>has come up there.

Which means what? You can see traffic on port 25 between the servers?

When things aren't working, what does WinRoute tell you about the
state of the organization?

All of the stuff you posted points to connectivity problems.

If you're running Windows 2003 SP1 then you should have installed this
hotfix, too:

Installing security update MS05-019 or Windows Server 2003 Service
Pack 1 may cause network connectivity between clients and servers to
fail [898060]


-- 
Rich Matheisen
MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm
Don't send mail to this address mailto:h.pott@getronics.com
Or to these, either: mailto:h.pott@pinkroccade.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@getronics.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@pinkroccade.com
0
richnews (7315)
12/30/2005 10:45:13 PM
hello rich,

ok i was slightly ambiguous in my description.

nothing out of the ordinary has been done with the routing group 
configs.Internally we are using routing group connectors, apologies for the 
confusion. only the external mail routing (which is fine) is using a standard 
smtp connector.

like-wise with the smtp virtual servers: the only smart host configured is 
the external connector.

i can establish a telnet session on port 25 to/from each server under fault 
conditions. i can even send mail.

Winroute always reports all connectors available, even though the connector 
in question is in a permanent retry state if you look at the queue viewer.

I've just installed the hotfix you mention and will see how it goes. As the 
fault only manifests itself after a few days it will be a while before I am 
confident of a fix.

The weird thing about it is that it will work fine for days then suddenly 
stop - thats what I don't understand.

I agree everything points to a connectivity issue, but up to now I have 
found nothing to confirm this.

regs,

Lewis

"Rich Matheisen [MVP]" wrote:

> lew <lew@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
> 
> >I have an odd situation where mail destined for a different administrative 
> >group in the same domain stops after a few days; a restart of the server 
> >where mails are queing clears the problem.
> >
> >The destination admin group is attached via a connector (smtp), and it's 
> >this connector that goes into a retry state under fault conditions. A 
> >bridgehead at either end is used, although looking at message tracking 
> >suggests the bridge-heads are not being used.
> 
> Admin Groups aren't connected -- Routing Groups are. There's a Routing
> Group in each Admin Group, unless you've moved them.
> 
> Don't use SMTP Connectors to connect Routing Groups -- use Routing
> Group Connectors. It's not that SMTP Connectors won't work, it's just
> that the RGC's are easier to deal with. If you want, for some reason,
> to schedule the connections then use a SMTP Connector.
> 
> You don't mention anything about your SMTP Virtual Servers. Is it safe
> to assume that you haven't done anything silly with them, like
> configuring them to use a smarthost?
> 
> >Local mail delivery is unaffected, only mail to the remote admin group is 
> >affected.
> >
> >There are firewalls involved: the sites are connected with Checkpoint 
> >firewalls. I've had them looked at while under fault conditions, but nothing 
> >has come up there.
> 
> Which means what? You can see traffic on port 25 between the servers?
> 
> When things aren't working, what does WinRoute tell you about the
> state of the organization?
> 
> All of the stuff you posted points to connectivity problems.
> 
> If you're running Windows 2003 SP1 then you should have installed this
> hotfix, too:
> 
> Installing security update MS05-019 or Windows Server 2003 Service
> Pack 1 may cause network connectivity between clients and servers to
> fail [898060]
> 
> 
> -- 
> Rich Matheisen
> MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
> MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm
> Don't send mail to this address mailto:h.pott@getronics.com
> Or to these, either: mailto:h.pott@pinkroccade.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@getronics.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@pinkroccade.com
> 
0
Lew (13)
12/31/2005 9:57:01 AM
lew <lew@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

>hello rich,
>
>ok i was slightly ambiguous in my description.
>
>nothing out of the ordinary has been done with the routing group 
>configs.Internally we are using routing group connectors, apologies for the 
>confusion. only the external mail routing (which is fine) is using a standard 
>smtp connector.
>
>like-wise with the smtp virtual servers: the only smart host configured is 
>the external connector.

 . . . and that's a SMTP Connector you're talking about, not the
virtual server, right?

>i can establish a telnet session on port 25 to/from each server under fault 
>conditions. i can even send mail.

Send it where? Using telnet, or something else? It's unlikely that
you'd create a message with telnet large enough to cause a problem
with the MTU size (which is what's addressed by the hotfix).

>Winroute always reports all connectors available, even though the connector 
>in question is in a permanent retry state if you look at the queue viewer.

That the routes, connectors, servers, etc. all show as available is a
"good thing".

>I've just installed the hotfix you mention and will see how it goes. As the 
>fault only manifests itself after a few days it will be a while before I am 
>confident of a fix.
>
>The weird thing about it is that it will work fine for days then suddenly 
>stop - thats what I don't understand.

The problems that manifest themselves when that hotfix isn't installed
don't pop up until there have been thousands of network routes
created. It's not a panacea for all network problems, but it fixes
stuff that makes problems all that much harder to diagnose.

>I agree everything points to a connectivity issue, but up to now I have 
>found nothing to confirm this.


-- 
Rich Matheisen
MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm
Don't send mail to this address mailto:h.pott@getronics.com
Or to these, either: mailto:h.pott@pinkroccade.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@getronics.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@pinkroccade.com
0
richnews (7315)
12/31/2005 2:24:54 PM

"Rich Matheisen [MVP]" wrote:

> lew <lew@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
> 
> >hello rich,
> >
> >ok i was slightly ambiguous in my description.
> >
> >nothing out of the ordinary has been done with the routing group 
> >configs.Internally we are using routing group connectors, apologies for the 
> >confusion. only the external mail routing (which is fine) is using a standard 
> >smtp connector.
> >
> >like-wise with the smtp virtual servers: the only smart host configured is 
> >the external connector.
> 
>  . . . and that's a SMTP Connector you're talking about, not the
> virtual server, right?

correct:)

> 
> >i can establish a telnet session on port 25 to/from each server under fault 
> >conditions. i can even send mail.
> 
> Send it where? Using telnet, or something else? It's unlikely that
> you'd create a message with telnet large enough to cause a problem
> with the MTU size (which is what's addressed by the hotfix).
> 
> >Winroute always reports all connectors available, even though the connector 
> >in question is in a permanent retry state if you look at the queue viewer.
> 
> That the routes, connectors, servers, etc. all show as available is a
> "good thing".

agreed, but Winroute has turned out not to be as useful as I'd hoped in this 
situation:) 


> >I've just installed the hotfix you mention and will see how it goes. As the 
> >fault only manifests itself after a few days it will be a while before I am 
> >confident of a fix.
> >
> >The weird thing about it is that it will work fine for days then suddenly 
> >stop - thats what I don't understand.
> 
> The problems that manifest themselves when that hotfix isn't installed
> don't pop up until there have been thousands of network routes
> created. It's not a panacea for all network problems, but it fixes
> stuff that makes problems all that much harder to diagnose.

In my case it would make sense that this hotfix could (i hope) solve the 
issue. It would explain why the routing group goes into the retry state after 
a few days of working normally.

Here's hoping this solves the issue - it's been driving me to distraction 
for weeks:))

Thanks for your continued input, its very much appreciated.

> 
> >I agree everything points to a connectivity issue, but up to now I have 
> >found nothing to confirm this.
> 
> 
> -- 
> Rich Matheisen
> MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
> MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm
> Don't send mail to this address mailto:h.pott@getronics.com
> Or to these, either: mailto:h.pott@pinkroccade.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@getronics.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@pinkroccade.com
> 
0
Lew (13)
12/31/2005 3:34:02 PM
lew <lew@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

					[ snip ]

>> That the routes, connectors, servers, etc. all show as available is a
>> "good thing".
>
>agreed, but Winroute has turned out not to be as useful as I'd hoped in this 
>situation:) 

It's not a network diagnostic tool, but it's very useful to see what
Exchange thinks of it's ability to communicate within the
organization. It's important, too, to make sure that you connect to
each of the servers and see what *it* thinks. Just becasue one server
says thinks are okay doesn't mean another sever is seeing the same
thing.


-- 
Rich Matheisen
MCSE+I, Exchange MVP
MS Exchange FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_faq.htm
Don't send mail to this address mailto:h.pott@getronics.com
Or to these, either: mailto:h.pott@pinkroccade.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@getronics.com mailto:melvin.mcphucknuckle@pinkroccade.com
0
richnews (7315)
12/31/2005 5:20:22 PM
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