I manage a general mail server for my organization and recently i have been receiving complaints that not all their messages are being sent. A quick check to the maillog and i noticed that many of the mail servers of the receivers are getting "Operation timed out" responses. I manually checked connecting to these servers using telnet to see if it was just my mta, but to my surprise telnet was unable to connect as well!
At home i tried connecting to these servers via telnet on port 25 as well, and it worked with ease. Then immediatly I ssh'ed to our remote mail server and telnet'ed to these "operation timed out" mail servers on port 25 and still same thing. Now this shocked me, how could i be easily connecting to the mail servers from home, and from the location of our mail server, not be able to. It connects to other mail servers there are just a few that do not work including:
smtp1.dadeschools.net mail1.dadeschools.net oitmail.dade.k12.fl.us sbabmail.dade.k12.fl.us 7841exch2.tecmiami.com
It's not a DNS problem as the dns resolves the same ip address from home and where the server resides. I'm not sure if it is solely our mail server or it is all the computers on our LAN that are unable to connect, i willl have to examine this when i get there sometime this week. The mail server is connected directly to the internet and is assigned a public ip address (it is not behind a router filewall or is not forwarded packets through NAT). The host address of our mail server is mail.e-equality.org.
Does anyone know the nature of this problem or how to solve it? Could it be faulty design of the network route from our mail server to theirs? Or maybe our TTL settings on the packets are too small.
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