Q. I see MX record in DNS configuration file. Can you explain the usage of MX record?
A. AN MX is short form for Mail exchanger record. The Domain Name System (DNS) stores and associates many types of information with domain names including
=> IP address
=> Host aliases
=> Email server address etc
DNS server is a general-purpose distributed, replicated, data query service chiefly used on Internet for translating hostnames into Internet addresses such as www.yahoo.com into 188.8.131.52 or vise-versa.
a) To specify IP address you need to use A record.
b) To specify Email server IP you need to use an MX record. With MX record Internet e-mail should be routed. MX records point to the servers that should receive an e-mail, and their priority relative to each other. Consider following DNS zone file for gite.in domain:
@ IN SOA gite.in ( 2007020704 ; Serial 3600 ; Refresh 300 ; Retry 604800 ; Expire 3600 ; Minimum ) @ 86400 IN ns ns1.gite.in. @ 86400 IN ns ns2.gite.in. @ 86400 IN a 184.108.40.206 www 86400 IN a 220.127.116.11 mx1 86400 IN a 18.104.22.168 mx2 86400 IN a 22.214.171.124 ns1 86400 IN a 126.96.36.199 ns2 86400 IN a 188.8.131.52 mail.gite.in 86400 IN cname mail.cyberciti.biz. 10 @ 604800 IN mx mx1.gite.in. 20 @ 604800 IN mx mx2.gite.in.
Last two line define an MX recored for gite.in mail server. So if someone send an email to email@example.com it will be first routed to mail server called mx1.gite.in. If mx1 failed to accept an email, it will routed to 2nd mail server mx2.gite.in.
The relative priority of an MX server is determined by the preference number present in the DNS MX record. When a remote client (typically another mail server) does an MX lookup for the domain name, it gets a list of servers and their preference numbers. The MX record with the smallest preference number has the highest priority and is the first server to be tried. The remote client will go up the list of servers until it successfully delivers the message or gets permanently rejected due to an unreachable server or if the mail account does not exist on that server. If there is more than one entry with the same preference number, all of those must be tried before moving on to lower-priority entries.