Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Exchange 2003 SMTP Connectors in Exchange 2007

In this post I will give some insite into Exchange 2003 SMTP Connectors in Exchange 2007. Exchange 2007 treats a SMTP connector as a send connector - however exchange 2007 cannot modify a SMTP Connector.

In this environment we have a single hub transport server and a single exchange 2003 server acting as a relay. Our exchange 2003 SMTP connector is called "Ausmail01" as shown exchange 2003 system manager. Remember SMTP connectors are located under:

Administrative Grups --> Administrative Group Name --> Routing Groups --> Routing Group Name --> Connectors. Remember to see routing groups you need to ensure you have display routing groups enabled on the the exchange organisation level.

Here you can see the SMTP connector appears in Exchange 2007 as well. We also have a Send connector called "Send to Ironport" which is unique to exchange 2007.

Although the the exchange 2003 SMTP connectors appear in exchange 2007, exchange 2007 cannot be used to modify them. Saying that some attributes can be changed using Exchange 2007 such as Maximum message size limit - but to stop yourself hitting walls its best to use System Manager when dealing with these legacy SMTP connectors. Also if you try and use power shell to work with these legacy SMTP connectors you will recieve errors too. Here I showed you what I got when I tried to change the logging level on the Ausmail01 SMTP Connector.

One thing that I think Microsoft can improve is the fact there is no attribute on these connectors stating if they are a legecy SMTP connector or not. Lets look at the attributes in Powershell - you will see that they are exactly the same. An attribute defining if its legacy with a true or false would make it much more easy.

Ausmail01 SMTP Connector:

Send to Ironport Send Connector:

To determine how your mail is flowing out of your exchange organisation, look at the servers that are associated with the SMTP or Send Connector stored in the SourceTransportServers attribute. { } means its a multivalue attribute. Remember you do not need a send connector to relay mail around your exchange organisation, only when mail is needing to leave the organisation. Exchange 2007 uses hub transport servers to relay mail around between other hub transport servers. Exchange 2003 uses routing group connectors. When you have them mixed you will have 2 routing group connectors for bidirectional flow linking the exchange 2007 routing group to the exchange 2003 routing group or routing group(s) for that matter.

When doing a migration from exchange 2003 to 2007 you will notice that you have a connector already, the exchange 2003 SMTP connector (if one exists - remember exchange 2003 you do not need SMTP connectors). This means all your mail from exchange 2007 will go accross the routing group connector and out through exchange 2003. If you add a Send Connector for one or more hub transport servers, the mail will no longer need to go accross the routing group connector and out through exchange 2003, as the hub transport server will be able to take care of mail leaving the exchange organisation itself.

I hope you found this post informative.


  1. You can easily see if a connector is a legacy connector by looking at the routing group and/or server that is the bridgehead server. You can also tell the version of any object by looking at the "ExchangeVersion" attribute.

    So, you could easily get this information by doing something like this:

    Get-SendConnector | where {$_.ExchangeVersion.ExchangeBuild.Major -lt 7

    Get-SendConnector | where {$_.ExchangeVersion.ExchangeBuild.Major -gt 7


    [Get-SendConnector | where {$_.SourceRoutingGroup -eq "Exchange Routing
    Group (DWBGZMFD01QNBJR)"}

    [Get-SendConnector | where {$_.SourceRoutingGroup -ne "Exchange Routing
    Group (DWBGZMFD01QNBJR)"}

  2. I have the same configuration. But no Exchange 2007 eMails are leaving the organization out through Exchange 2003

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