My company's DSL provider went out of business unexpectedly and suddenly. While I wait for a new DSL provider, I've arranged for a dial-up connection to a local ISP. How do I configure Exchange to use that dial-up connection?

The answer depends on what your ISP supports and which version of Exchange you're using. In general, though, you need to consider three questions.

First, how do you connect to the ISP? For Exchange Server 5.5, you need to configure a Dynamic RAS (DRAS) connector. This task is straightforward; you need the same basic information you'd use to configure a DUN connection. Exchange can bring up the connector on a schedule or when mail is queued for outbound processing. Exchange 2000 Server has no DRAS connector; instead, you create a demand-dial route with RRAS. As with the DRAS connector, RRAS can bring up the connection on demand. You can then schedule connections with an Exchange 2000 SMTP connector, and the RRAS connection will occur automatically.

Second, how are you going to pick up new mail? I assume you've changed your DNS MX record to point at the ISP's SMTP server instead of yours. In that case, the ISP's server will queue mail for you. You still have to dequeue it by using either the TURN or ETRN SMTP verb. (For more information about dequeuing, see the Simpler-Webb dequeuing FAQ at http://www.swinc.com/resource/exch_dq.htm.)

Finally, how are you going to send outgoing mail? With a permanent connection, most sites just let the SMTP server do its thing whenever mail is ready to go out. With a demand-dialed connection, scheduling outbound mail in batches might be the most cost-effective technique. The DRAS connector in Exchange Server 5.5 includes this functionality; if you want to schedule outbound mail in Exchange 2000, you need to use the SMTP connector.