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Thread: clustered zimbra

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Los Angeles
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    Default clustered zimbra

    hi zimbra folks, am extensivly testing your email system and so far i can pound it at 14,143 emails every 10 minutes and none got dropped, or corrupted. but would like to go one step beyond this.

    my enterprise has about 5 thousand users throughout the world, and we are seriously evaluating zimbra. is it possible to have the following setup.

    2 zimbra frontend servers
    1 backend mysql ndb server (clustered)

    can i tell zimbra that all the services it requires are not locally but on remote servers.

    i will take the lead in getting this done, but if you can point me in the right direction as to where all the configure files that have all the pointers for mysql etc.. are i would appreciate it.

    i am planning on installing the whole package on the 2 zimbra servers and then modify the code so that it uses a remote mysql ndb server.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default single vs multiple database instances

    Think of Zimbra mailbox server's use of mysql as an embedded database,
    ie, each mailbox server has its own database instance. Contrast this
    with applications that require one humongous database instance on a
    remote server.

    Two main advantages of the embedded-databse-per-mailbox-server

    - Database scalability, wrt data size and load, is less of an issue.
    Hardware is cheaper. Remember email is write heavy on the
    database (more reads than writes with email, but write heavy
    compared to other types of applications).

    - Maintaining integrity between message files, search index, and
    database becomes a problem that is local to a box, and therefore
    easily managed.

    The disadvantage of many mailbox instances is: database servers have
    to be babied, and if you have many it's that much more work. I argue
    that they have to be babied most of the time because they are huge -
    for some applications you must have one database, but for mail - you
    don't HAVE to.

    The trend now is towards clustering, and for good reason. A cluster
    where data can be paritioned is the best kind of cluster. Users are
    inherently partitionable (er, a set of users are - can't partition a
    single user - literally or in ZCS . So why throw a big database
    instance in the mix.

    That having been said, if you want to try and run Zimbra with single
    database instance, a good place to start is:

    - see what the zmmyinit script does to bless and initiliaze a
    database - watch out for those GRANT statements - we only grant
    permissions to localhost. Double check the generated my.cnf
    file also.

    - zmlocalconfig -e mysql_bind_address=<mysqlhost> mysql_port=<port>
    (Look in to see how these local config settings are
    used). tomcat restart will be required - zmcontrol might not like
    mysql not being there, so can not restart with that.
    Last edited by anand; 09-22-2005 at 01:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    I'd like to also add that MySQL Cluster is a pretty new technology and a separate storage engine from InnoDB. There are a number of features that ZCS uses that are not supported on MySQL Cluster, notably foreign keys:

    MySQL Cluster Limitations

    We've done no testing on MySQL Cluster at this point.


  4. #4
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    Sep 2005
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    I have a similar question. Is there a painless (or an efficient way, even if it's painful) way to cluster Zimbra in any way at all? I mean, if we use it for, say, 100 thousand users or 1 mi, what would be the best way to do it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    San Mateo, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigoccurvo
    I have a similar question. Is there a painless (or an efficient way, even if it's painful) way to cluster Zimbra in any way at all? I mean, if we use it for, say, 100 thousand users or 1 mi, what would be the best way to do it?
    Yes. The first step is deploy standalone servers for the various services (MTA, LDAP, Mailboxes, etc). This allows you to split the user base across multiple servers. So a pool of MTA servers, a centeral LDAP server, and multiple mailbox servers each with some part of the user base. This can be done now. It's just a deployment exercise. On the mailbox server(s) just say 'N' to installing LDAP and it will prompt you for your centeral LDAP install.

    Our network edition will include cluster(ie primary and failover) support for all the services. Stay tuned for more announcements here.

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