Exchange Server 2007: Making SenderID work with non-Exchange smtp hosts

by Bharat Suneja

To make the SenderID filter work with non-Exchange smtp hosts acting as your mail gateways for inbound mail, you need to tell Exchange about them. If Exchange does not know about these, SenderID will not be able to determine the correct sending host, and you may see SenderID checks fail on all inbound mail.

This may have been a source of confusion for users in the past – which hosts do you consider as “internal” – the ones on your internal network? or only those located in perimeter networks (aka “DMZ”)? how about those located at your ISP?

Exchange needs to know about all smtp hosts that do not belong to senders – the ones that will handle your inbound mail, whether at your ISP or in your perimeter or internal networks, before messages are delivered to the Exchange Org. (Start by taking a look at MX records in external DNS zones – do these point to non-Exchange servers? If yes, do these hosts route mail to Exchange servers?).

In Exchange Server 2003 this is done by entering internal smtp server addresses in Global Settings | Message Delivery properties | General tab | Perimeter IP List and internal IP Range Configuration.

Screenshot: Adding internal SMTP servers to Exchange Server 2003's Perimeter IP List
Figure 1: Setting up internal or perimeter SMTP hosts in Exchange Server 2003’s PerimeterIPList

On Exchange Server 2007, you can configure this from the shell:

set-transportconfig -InternalSMTPServers,,

8/16/2007: SP1 Beta2 allows setting InternalSMTPServers parameter using the Exchange console, as shown below:

Screenshot: SP1 Beta2 - Setting InternalSMTPServers using the Exchange console
Figure 2: Setting up InternalSMTPServers using the Exchange console in Exchange Server 2007’s new Global Settings tab | Transport Settings | properties | Message Delivery tab

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anonymous June 11, 2010 at 9:09 pm

I find it very confusing in the “Transport Settings Properties” window where it states “Enter the IP addresses of Internal SMTP servers” in the instructions, yet the list is labeled “Remote IP address(es)”.

Which is it that I am to add? Internal or Remote??

I find this exact type of confusing language in all of Microsoft’s products. Frustrating as hell!


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