Exchange Server does not forward all mails, just sends HELO and QUIT

Hi,

We have set up one account on our server (info at davos.ch) to forward
all mails to davos at frogstyle.ch. Most of the times, this works as
expected, but sometimes, it doesn't. The log files of Exchange Server
show that the server only connects, sends an EHLO (which is blocked),
then HELO, and then QUITs. When delivery succeeds, the EHLO and HELO
are the same, but then followed by the MAIL, RCPT and DATA commands. I
included the few lines of a failed delivery below.

The setup of the two mailservers are:

(Exchange Server - SonicWall) - Internet - (PIX 501 - Merak Mail
Server)

The Merak side worked fine for years, the Exchange part does not since
a recent update. I have found some articles about 8bitmime, but that
didn't solve anything.

What I would like to know:

- can the PIX have anything to do with that or is it on the Exchange /
SonicWall side (which I assume)
- _if_ the PIX would block some commands, that'd be visible in the
Exchange Server logs, right?

The PIX has MailGuard on, and I don't want to switch it off if not
necessary. If I see in the logfiles that the mails can't be delivered
after some response from our side, I'd turn it off - but since the
Exchange Server doesn't even try to send the mails, I'm blaming
Exchange Server or SonicWall. Also, if you look at the date and time,
everything happens within a second - no timeouts happen.

If anyone could give me hints or answer the above questions, I'd
greatly appreciate it.

Thanks a lot,
Gianni

2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 - -
220+**********************************2*******0******200************0200
0 72 0 15 SMTP - - -
2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionCommand SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 EHLO - smtp.davos.ch 0 4 0 15 SMTP - - -
2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 - - 500+5.5.1+Command+unrecognized:+"XXXX+smtp.davos.ch" 0 52
0 47 SMTP - - -
2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionCommand SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 HELO - smtp.davos.ch 0 4 0 47 SMTP - - -
2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 - -
250+mail.frogstyle.ch+Hello+smtp.davos.ch+[217.71.245.25],+pleased+to+meet+you.
0 79 0 62 SMTP - - -
2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionCommand SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 QUIT - - 0 4 0 140 SMTP - - -
2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 - - 221+2.0.0+mail.frogstyle.ch+closing+connection 0 46 0 156
SMTP - - -

0
10/3/2005 9:38:51 AM
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What recent update to Exchange did you apply?

All I can say is that I've seen plenty of problems in the past with smtp 
proxies (that don't work correctly) between Exchange and the destination 
mail server.  My recommendation would be to eliminate the middle men to see 
if it has any effect.  This means to (temporarily) disable mailguard.  Also, 
check on the Sonicwall to see if there is an smtp function on it.  If there 
is, make sure it is disabled.

The bottom line here is that you cannot blame anything in the current 
state - there are too many variables that need to be accounted for.  When 
you are having problems with SMTP mailflow, it is always a good idea to get 
back to basics.  That means, allowing Exchange to deliver directly to the 
destination host with no other SMTP filtering in place.  Mailguard (blocking 
ALL EHLO commands) is quite outdated, IMHO.

- can the PIX have anything to do with that or is it on the Exchange /
SonicWall side (which I assume)
It may or may not have something to do with it.  Not enough information to 
place blame currently.

- _if_ the PIX would block some commands, that'd be visible in the
Exchange Server logs, right?
Um, they are visible in the server logs.  See the part I inserted with 
asterisks.  That is PIX all the way.

SMTP - 25 EHLO - smtp.davos.ch 0 4 0 15 SMTP - - -
2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
SMTP - 25 - - 500+5.5.1+***Command+unrecognized:***+"XXXX+smtp.davos.ch" 0 
52
0 47 SMTP - - -


-- 
Ben Winzenz
Exchange MVP
MessageOne


<gianni.frey@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1128332331.636060.127270@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> Hi,
>
> We have set up one account on our server (info at davos.ch) to forward
> all mails to davos at frogstyle.ch. Most of the times, this works as
> expected, but sometimes, it doesn't. The log files of Exchange Server
> show that the server only connects, sends an EHLO (which is blocked),
> then HELO, and then QUITs. When delivery succeeds, the EHLO and HELO
> are the same, but then followed by the MAIL, RCPT and DATA commands. I
> included the few lines of a failed delivery below.
>
> The setup of the two mailservers are:
>
> (Exchange Server - SonicWall) - Internet - (PIX 501 - Merak Mail
> Server)
>
> The Merak side worked fine for years, the Exchange part does not since
> a recent update. I have found some articles about 8bitmime, but that
> didn't solve anything.
>
> What I would like to know:
>
> - can the PIX have anything to do with that or is it on the Exchange /
> SonicWall side (which I assume)
> - _if_ the PIX would block some commands, that'd be visible in the
> Exchange Server logs, right?
>
> The PIX has MailGuard on, and I don't want to switch it off if not
> necessary. If I see in the logfiles that the mails can't be delivered
> after some response from our side, I'd turn it off - but since the
> Exchange Server doesn't even try to send the mails, I'm blaming
> Exchange Server or SonicWall. Also, if you look at the date and time,
> everything happens within a second - no timeouts happen.
>
> If anyone could give me hints or answer the above questions, I'd
> greatly appreciate it.
>
> Thanks a lot,
> Gianni
>
> 2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
> SMTP - 25 - -
> 220+**********************************2*******0******200************0200
> 0 72 0 15 SMTP - - -
> 2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionCommand SMTPSVC1
> SMTP - 25 EHLO - smtp.davos.ch 0 4 0 15 SMTP - - -
> 2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
> SMTP - 25 - - 500+5.5.1+Command+unrecognized:+"XXXX+smtp.davos.ch" 0 52
> 0 47 SMTP - - -
> 2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionCommand SMTPSVC1
> SMTP - 25 HELO - smtp.davos.ch 0 4 0 47 SMTP - - -
> 2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
> SMTP - 25 - -
> 250+mail.frogstyle.ch+Hello+smtp.davos.ch+[217.71.245.25],+pleased+to+meet+you.
> 0 79 0 62 SMTP - - -
> 2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionCommand SMTPSVC1
> SMTP - 25 QUIT - - 0 4 0 140 SMTP - - -
> 2005-10-01 16:59:17 213.144.138.154 OutboundConnectionResponse SMTPSVC1
> SMTP - 25 - - 221+2.0.0+mail.frogstyle.ch+closing+connection 0 46 0 156
> SMTP - - -
> 


0
Ben
10/3/2005 12:57:02 PM
Ben,

Thanks a lot for your answer. The update we applied on Exchange was the
2003 version.
You're probably right, there's no way around disabling MailGuard.

About the log files: yes - there is something visible. It is the EHLO
command replaced by XXXX in the PIX. But what I don't see in the log
files, is the actual attempt of Exchange to deliver the mail -
something like MAIL FROM, RCPT TO, DATA. If Exchange sent those, and
they were blocked by the PIX, wouldn't they still be in the Exchange
logs?

Thanks,
Gianni

0
10/3/2005 3:55:36 PM
to disable mailguard:

no fixup protocol smtp 25

this has been causing me a serious headache for the last 2 days with a 
site-to-site VPN and running 2 exchange servers across it.

if that's not the problem just enable it again

fixup protocol smtp 25

cheers
--Mark

"gianni.frey@gmail.com" wrote:

> Ben,
> 
> Thanks a lot for your answer. The update we applied on Exchange was the
> 2003 version.
> You're probably right, there's no way around disabling MailGuard.
> 
> About the log files: yes - there is something visible. It is the EHLO
> command replaced by XXXX in the PIX. But what I don't see in the log
> files, is the actual attempt of Exchange to deliver the mail -
> something like MAIL FROM, RCPT TO, DATA. If Exchange sent those, and
> they were blocked by the PIX, wouldn't they still be in the Exchange
> logs?
> 
> Thanks,
> Gianni
> 
> 
0
mark564 (750)
10/3/2005 7:16:08 PM
Thanks, Mark.
I disabled mailguard, but I don't have any results yet.
By disabling mailguard, our server accepts 8bitmime messages, maybe
this was the cause (I read that somewhere else).

0
10/4/2005 10:01:53 AM
The 2003 version of what?  Which update?  Just curious.

Mailguard won't block any standard SMPT commands (RCPT TO, MAIL FROM, DATA 
are all standard commands) - it just blocks the Extended SMTP commands 
(8BITMIME, EHLO, STARTTLS, etc).  Some of them can be quite useful.

I'm not arguing saying that Exchange "isn't" the problem here, just trying 
to point out that I don't think there is enough information to currently 
assess blame.  Taking out all middle men means that Exchange is directly 
connecting to the destination server (Marek mail?) with no smtp proxies.  It 
just makes things easier to troubleshoot when you don't have to worry about 
wading through multiple layers.

-- 
Ben Winzenz
Exchange MVP
MessageOne


<gianni.frey@gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:1128354936.509548.170280@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Ben,
>
> Thanks a lot for your answer. The update we applied on Exchange was the
> 2003 version.
> You're probably right, there's no way around disabling MailGuard.
>
> About the log files: yes - there is something visible. It is the EHLO
> command replaced by XXXX in the PIX. But what I don't see in the log
> files, is the actual attempt of Exchange to deliver the mail -
> something like MAIL FROM, RCPT TO, DATA. If Exchange sent those, and
> they were blocked by the PIX, wouldn't they still be in the Exchange
> logs?
>
> Thanks,
> Gianni
> 


0
Ben
10/4/2005 1:51:02 PM
gianni.frey@gmail.com wrote:

>I disabled mailguard, but I don't have any results yet.
>By disabling mailguard, our server accepts 8bitmime messages, maybe
>this was the cause (I read that somewhere else).

Turning off mailguard just allowed ESMTP to be used. You can disable
the 8bitmime advertisement on the server without causing a problem.

-- 
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
0
richnews (7316)
10/5/2005 2:04:08 AM
The results from disabling mailguard look promising. I think that was
it - especially that 8bitmime thing from what I read at microsoft.com.
Still, I don't like that I had to disable it, felt kinda save.

@Ben: 2003 version of exchange server, changed the whole mailserver and
installed Exchange 2003.

So - Exchange 2003 can't do any conversion if the message is 8bitmime
and the remote server does not support that. I think that's a terrible
thing.

Thanks all for your help.
Gianni

0
10/9/2005 3:38:43 PM
gianni.frey@gmail.com wrote:

>The results from disabling mailguard look promising. I think that was
>it - especially that 8bitmime thing from what I read at microsoft.com.
>Still, I don't like that I had to disable it, felt kinda save.

You don't need the 8bitmime for things to work correctly. Maybe in the
next release of Exchange (oe Windows server) they'll do the right
thing and convert the 8-bit MIME to 7-bit MIME after they accept the
message and discover that the downstream server doesn't advertise the
8bitmime keyword.

>@Ben: 2003 version of exchange server, changed the whole mailserver and
>installed Exchange 2003.
>
>So - Exchange 2003 can't do any conversion if the message is 8bitmime
>and the remote server does not support that. I think that's a terrible
>thing.

The RFC doesn't think it's so terrible. It offers two choices: convert
or NDR. Either is acceptable, but one is preferred.

-- 
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
0
richnews (7316)
10/9/2005 4:15:38 PM
Reply:

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