Run Domino Mail on Dynamic IP Without Being Blacklisted
The main problem with running a Domino Mail server from home is the dynamic IP address. Using a service like DynDNS or No-IP.com (my choice), gets around the problem of inbound mail finding its way to you (just be sure that your updater runs often, and you use some sort of backup service like No-IP.com's BackupMX for those occasional periods when your server is unreachable). Unfortunately, since many dynamic IP address pools have been blacklisted as potential sources of spam, not all the outbound mail gets where its going. There are several possible workarounds, including:
- Getting a Static IP from your ISP, which can easily add $50/mo to your telecom bill. Consider this option if you also want to host your website internally and are currently paying someone else for this, since Port 80 will no longer be blocked.
- Hosting your mail externally, which can also get expensive, and you'll have to consider bandwidth and disk space limits.
- Finding an SMTP relay host through which you can route outbound SMTP mail. Unfortunately (or fortunately) few ISPs seem eager to provide this option. And even if you find an SMTP host that will serve as a relay, chances are it's already on the spam blacklists for precisely that reason, so you gain nothing anyway.
- Connect to another Domino Server that has SMTP enabled, has a static IP, and is not blacklisted anywhere.
The SMTP relay is probably the easiest method that doesn't cost anything, if you happen to have suitable servers to point to. However, unless you own both boxes, the owner of the relay server may not be comfortable taking the risk that your mail server won't misbehave and cause his server to get blacklisted.
So, I chose the last option, which meant cross-certifying my organization with DDN (who host this blog), and vice versa. The trick was in getting the right combination of connection, configuration, and foreign SMTP domain settings. The Administration Help seemed to suggest using an SMTP connection document in conjunction with a Foreign SMTP Domain document, where the "domain" that these two documents shared was some arbitrary, fictitious name. I suppose this might have worked had the DDN server been part of the same Notes Domain as my mail server, but in any case, it didn't work. In the end, I made the following changes to my existing mail server to get things working:
Step 1: SMTP Mail Routing on the server document - can be enabled or not in a single server environment like mine, but in a multi-server setup I'm not sure. You may need to pick one or the other, perhaps even different settings on different servers depending on your topology.
single server its ok
Step 2: Turn off outbound SMTP routing on your mail server's Configuration Doc - Router/SMTP - Basics Tab.
Step 3: Create Connection Document between your mail server and the outside Domino SMTP server. Note that most values are bogus for confidentiality reasons, but the Destination Domain is "DDN", which matches the value used in Step 4.
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure to enable the schedule here, or the connection won't work.
Step 4: Create Foreign SMTP Domain Document, but put the *Actual* domain name of the hosting provider, in this case "DDN". Don't put a fictitious name here as the Help file suggests (and don't bother with an "SMTP Connection Document" that's supposed to accompany it). The ficticious domain stuff (eg. TheInternet) applies when you are routing SMTP mail directly (thanks Paul!).
Step 5: Issue a "Tell Router Update Config" command from the server console to rebuild the routing tables, etc.
If you can suggest alternative ways to achieve this goal or see any potential pitfalls I may have overlooked, I'd love to hear from you.