Email Proxy? (An idea, maybe called something else)

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by thebrad, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. thebrad

    thebrad Member

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    Hi all,

    Now the following is just an idea for the moment, just wondering if such a thing would be possible.

    Now I work at public schools in SA, and all the email is through a custom system called Edport run by the education department. Some of you may be familiar. This system is quite horrible, the staff hate it they always have issue where it goes offline for hours at a time. I've looked into using Google Apps or Live.edu instead however the education department won't let me change the MX records. And neither of these services can hook into (the Send mail as and POP download features) the Edport system successfully to pull/push emails.

    Now my idea, would it be possible to say run a email server on site at the school which collects all the emails from Edport, and allows an outside service (eg. Google Apps) to hook in and pull/push emails using this server (the Send mail as and POP download features). This way staff can use a nice friendly email interface both inside and outside of school, that is available all the time (although wouldn't receive emails if Edport was down, could still look) and keep there .edu.au email address.

    Yes I could use Microsoft Exchange for this, however they don't want to spend money, haven't used it much, and most staff would be familiar with the GMail or Live interfaces instead.

    Any suggestions on how to do this? Using some linux service? Has it been done? Or is it just a to horrible idea to consider?

    Thanks guys.

    PS. I hope this contributes to livening this forum up :D
     
  2. one4spl

    one4spl Member

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    Odd that they wont give up the MX. Is it possible that they could configure forwarding to something like GApps, Live or your own box?

    Not so keen on people building stand-alone mail servers - more complexity usually doesn't improve reliability.
     
  3. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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    Sounds like what you want is a basic smtp server doing relay. You set up server to take SMTP connections, receive all mail, then configure it to re-send that email straight away out to whatever service you choose use's mx record. Pretty basic configuration for most common email server software.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    thebrad

    thebrad Member

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    Yes forwarding is possible. However one of the main things to keep would be when staff send emails its gets send from there .sa.edu.au email address and not some other domain.

    Um thanks Primus. What email service would you recommend. I am familiar with linux but never using any email services on it. I am willing to learn though.

    I will have a look into it tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  5. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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    sendmail is an application bundled into most linux distributions, and should be able to do what you want after ample configuration is done. Good luck :)
     
  6. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Yes. Basic email 101.

    ...a heap of crap. Use Postfix. I leave it to the user to discover why (hint: most of the Linux distros are moving there for a few good reasons).

    It didn't. As above, sysadmin 101.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  7. Simwah

    Simwah Member

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    Education departments have these systems for a reason, I would be checking your allowed to do what your doing
     
  8. FiShy

    FiShy Member

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    He is not compromising any existing setup by putting a mta in behind it.
     
  9. bugayev

    bugayev Whammy!

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    Big difference between an MTA and putting all their staff on the non-corporate e-mail though. Where student data and confidential information is being stored off-site in the cloud, the department could be severely pissed off if they are not fully informed.
     
  10. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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    Fair enough, been a while since i've had to administer email linux servers lol so just pulled sendmail out of memory.

    I didn't say the last bit but (you quoted me), any conversation is better then none i suppose?? :p
     
  11. OP
    OP
    thebrad

    thebrad Member

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    Thanks for your replys all.

    Yeah I looked into using web mail such as Google or Live last year, but got sidetracked to other projects then as this wasn't too important. I did make some phone calls to DECS about it though. They called me back telling me that I can't change the MX records. But also never said I couldn't use a web mail server he just tried to steer me away from the idea, saying that they are looking to upgrade the service within the next year, but that hasn't happened yet, and apparently no one at DECS can tell me anything about when it will be. I did find out from a friend that apparently DECS don't want people using GMail as its data is stored over seas, where as Microsoft's Live EDU is hosted in Australia, therefore under Australian laws. Therefore if I did end up doing this I would probably go Live.

    I can't remember who exactly I talked to but they didn't seem dead set against the idea of using a web mail service at the time(this is before I found out gmail/live don't pull/push to edport). I might ring them up sometime soon again, at see what they say to this idea. Last time apparently I wasn't the only one asking about MX records.

    Yeah maybe, I haven't needed to set up/manage an email system before. I may set it up and play around with it even if I don't go down this path, just to learn a bit about it. :)
     
  12. Simwah

    Simwah Member

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    Get it in writing, that's all I say.
     
  13. mwil7034

    mwil7034 Member

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    Seconded. Good idea but wrong environment
     

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