Howto test some configuration settings on the 2nd appliance?

Unanswered Question
Mar 3rd, 2008

We have made some changes on filters and want to test it.
But: How do you test such configuration settings?

We don't like to change the settings on the PROD-Ironport without testing.

Is there an easy way to send a mail to the second Ironport (with the changed settings) to test such cases without impact on all the other mails?

I have this problem too.
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steven_geerts Mon, 03/03/2008 - 13:50

Hi Pat,

can you give some more details about your configuration?
are the two ironports in a cluster, are they both connected to the internet, do you want to test commandline filters or GUI filters, etc.


Pat_ironport Mon, 03/03/2008 - 14:22

We have two IronPort-appliances - not clustered, but identically configured.

One appliance works for all the PROD-Mails (incoming/outgoing).
The second TEST appliance is for the failover only and would be used if the PROD appliance isn't reachable anymore.

Both machines have a working connection to our ASP.

We have the idea, that we could make our changes on the TEST appliance first, test it and then make the identical changes to the PROD.

Our problem is to configure a (Outlook/Mail-)client to use the TEST-IronPort for our test cases. All our Outlook-Clients are connected to the exchange-server and not to the IronPort directly.
In this case, we would like to test our changes on the message filter - but our question is about testing for other changes as well.

Any idea, how we could test our changes?
How do YOU test your changes, before you give your "ok" to apply them on the PROD-machine?

steven_geerts Mon, 03/03/2008 - 22:48

Hi Pat,

To test inbound policies you can add a sub domain to your internet MX configuration. (For instance MX preference = 10, mail exchanger =, add the sub domain to your Ironport configuration, add the domain to your Exchange server and add an address within the domain as secondary address to your mailbox.
This way you can test your policies and every inbound setting you like by sending a message to your sub domain mail address. (With no additional costs)

Outbound mail is more complex. You can configure Exchange to route all mail for a specified domain to an alternative MTA (your test system in this case) but you need to have a domain on the internet that is safe to use for tests like this. If you have a personal Hotmail mailbox and you decide to route all mail to over your test device you might experience some production problems when your filter is not doing what you expect and one of your users is sending a mail to a customer with a hotmail mailbox.
For me it's simple, I have a personal domain and so I'm sure there are only two "production" mailboxes: mine and my wife’s. I use this all the time when I need to do some outbound mail tests. But is costs me a few box a year for my domain and the power I need to have my personal mail server running 24/7.

I hope you find this useful.

Best regards


Pat_ironport Tue, 03/04/2008 - 13:55

Thanks for your suggestion!

(You are right, testing incoming Mails are not a big deal, we use our private adresses as well :wink:)

But you gave my the important hint about an alternative MTA for outgoing-Mails. I have to look at this and the necessary configuration-changes. (Do you have some links or more detailed information about the exchange-part?)

Pat_ironport Thu, 03/06/2008 - 13:46

Thank you for that info! Here (@work) I get a

Your page is blocked due to a security policy that prohibits access to category: Remote Proxies.
I have to download it at home this evening. :wink:

Unfortunately, the SMTP-GUI-Tools doesn't work in our environment.
But I found a working one for the commandline: bmail

With your help and this little tool, it is much easier to test outgoing mails and new outgoing filters and disclaimers.


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