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Old 12-31-2009, 09:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow Knowledge Sharing - Why Delivery Failure Report is rarely a BES issue

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Hi all,

From my many support experience for Domino BES, for the message sent from the BlackBerry and gets bounced with a Delivery Failure Report message, I found that many administrators are quick to jump to conclude that BES is at fault. The truth is that BES is not a mail routing machine, hence any delivering failure is not its fault. "Who's fault is it then?" You may ask. If you asked, I will ask you this instead "Who sends out that Delivery Failure Report?" The answer is obvious - the Domino Router that cannot deliver the message! Simple as that.

In order to appreciate this logic, you got to know the message flow for the Message From Handheld (MFH). So what happens when a user sends an email from his BlackBerry? This message traverse all the way from the wireless network and reaches the BES server. The BES server will save a copy in the Sent folder of the user's mail box and at the same time deposit a copy of this message in the BES Domino server's mail.box. The Domino router task picks up the deposited message from the mail.box and find its way (based on the Domino configurations it knows) and route it. When the Domino router finds a route, it delivers the message. However if it cannot find a route, this is when it will fire off a Delivery Failure Report back to the sender. So can you see now why BES is no part to play for that report?

The bottomline is that BES is not a mail delivery machine, I would say that it is like a message redirector - and yes its main task is to redirect messages and it is not the one that delivers them.

So the next time you are hit with a Delivery Failure Report when a user complains, don't waste your time looking at the BES logs. You will not find anything out of it. You should get your Domino administrator and re-examine the Domino connection documents, server documents and Domino message tracking and the LOG.NSFs to check why messages that are trying to get out from the Domino BES server are getting bounced.

Thanks for reading I welcome comments and other support experience from all of you as well. Happy New Year!
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I will be building this knowledge sharing with instances of articles or incidents which I may have encountered.

Starting with this find.

Title: DNS: Domino attempts to use an A record sending mail to certain domains
Link: IBM DNS: Domino attempts to use an A record sending mail to certain domains - United States

These two issues SPR# RBOD7RRQ47 and SPR# JFBM7C6GA4 can produce Delivery Failure Reports as well.

1. SPR# RBOD7RRQ47: Some DNS servers return additional information when they are queried for MX records for certain domains. It is believed that this additional information can prevent Domino from being able to successfully parse an MX record from what is returned by DNS and can result in an A record being used.

As a workaround, use an alternate DNS server.

2. SPR# JFBM7C6GA4: When an A record is used, Domino will sometimes cache the A record for 34 years. This can be seen by enabling debugrouter=3 on your server. Once enabled, you will be able see a timeout value on the console 34 years in the future. Development has discovered that Domino can incorrectly set a TTL (TimeToLive) of 34 years when DNS returns an NXDOMAIN (non-existent domain) record.

This issue is now fixed.


Fixed in releases
(1) Fix Pack 1 for Domino 7.0.4
(2) Fix Pack 2 for Notes/Domino 8.0.2
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