Why would I want to do this?
Just a quick tip as we’ve received a few questions on enabling email notification for IBM Smart Cloud Entry (Starter Kit for Cloud).
Possible Symptom: SCE fails to send email notifications to Gmail (or other mail systems requiring SSL based authentication)
IBM Smart Cloud Entry can notify users about important activities on the cloud (e.g. new project created, virtual machine deployed, request approved etc.) Google (and other common email systems) require SSL based authentication.
IBM SmartCloud Entry currently uses non SSL based email for its email notifications. You can use a relay server to forward non-SSL based mail (generated by SCE) to Gmail or other external mail systems by following this article.
In the process we will install a free Windows based mail server that will establish an SSL mail “proxy” relationship to Gmail for you. Gmail will then send mail to any Gmail user directly or relay it to other mail systems.
- Note: You will need a valid Gmail account that is used to authenticate any mail requests (suggested to create a dedicated mail account)
- The hMailServer needs to be installed on a computer (or vm) that has access to the Smart Cloud Entry environment as well as the Internet
1 – Install hMailServer as Email Relay Server
You can use other products with similar function – the purpose of this article is not to endorse the product rather than to explain how to enable the function for IBM Smart Cloud Entry.
- Download hMailServer from http://www.hmailserver.com/
- Accept license agreement
- Specify installation destination
- Select to use the integrated DB (or specify an external one)
- Select full install
- Start the hmail admin console (enter the password specified above)
- Add a name for your local local domain, e.g. local.yourdomain.com and save it
- Got to > Settings > Protocols > SMTP > Delivery of e-mail:
- Local host name: enter “localhost” or full host name (irrelevant)
- Remote host name: “smtp.gmail.com”
- Remote TCP/IP port: “465”
- Important: Server requires authentication: yes (checked)
- User name = firstname.lastname@example.org (enter a valid gmail account that will be used to authenticate the relay requests)
- Password: enter your gmail account password
- Important: Use SSL: Yes (checked)
- Click “save”
- Got to > Settings > Advanced >IP Ranges > Internet
- Lower IP – Upper IP = leave as is (all access)
- Other >
- Anti-Spam: No (Cleared)
- Anti-Virus: No (Cleared)
- Require SMTP Authentication:
- Local to local e-mail addresses: No (Cleared)
- Local to external e-mail addresses: No (Cleared)
- External to local e-mail addresses: No (Cleared)
- External to external e-mail addresses: No (Cleared)
Please note that in order to properly secure your mail server in production environments you should limit the scope of IP addresses, the type of mail traffic and enable spam and anti-virus functionality.
2 – Configure SKC to use the hMailServer Relay Server
We have configured the mail relay server, now we need to point SCE to forward mail to it (instead of directly attempting to send it to Gmail)
- Locate the email.properties file on the SKC system (user directory) as seen below
- Change the IP address of the relay host to the system where you installed hMailServer on (can be on the SKC system – not a statement of official support though)
3 – Enable the user to receive email notifications and test the setup
In SCE, ensure that the user has email notifications enabled as seen below.
- To test, add the user (ensure that the email address specified here is a valid external email address – it does not have to be a gmail account)
- Ensure to tick the “Send notifications …” box
- Save the new user and verify that an email has been sent to the address specified.
Tip: In case of problems you can enable logging on the hMailServer as shown below