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Thread: Zimbra Pre-Implementation Queries

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    Default Zimbra Pre-Implementation Queries

    Hello,

    I am new to Zimbra, in fact I only started researching it last week. Over the past few months I have seen the need for our compan(ies) to implement a collaboration suite to share documents, spreadsheets, and manage our tasks and emails more efficiently. To give everyone a bit of history, we are a small office of about 10 staff, running 2 different companies, and one of those companies has three separate divisions. With this structure, not all staff are working in both companies, 4 work in Company A and the remaining 6 work for Company B.

    Company A runs three websites (one for each division), and therefore has three emails for each of the departments that are within the individual divisions (accounts, administration, sales). To make it even more complex, each staff member has their own email for each division.

    Company B only runs the one website, so only has a single email for each department (accounts, administration, sales) and each staff member has there own email.

    Each department email account is run via imap (ie. sales@company-a.com) so that all users can see which emails have been replied to and access the sent emails.

    Now this system was not designed to manage thousands of emails, and is not remote access friendly. In fact my personal inbox has now over 40,000 emails, due to no archive procedures being in place. Now here are my questions:

    1) Am I able to create a single login for each staff member under a generic domain (ie. staff@domain.com) and setup zimbra to have all the necessary email inboxes.

    ie.

    Inbox (staff@domain.com)
    |-> Company A (staff@company-a.com)

    |-> Division 1

    |-> Sales (sales@d1.company-a.com)
    |-> Accounts (accounts@d1.company.com)
    |-> Admin (admin@d1.company.com)

    |-> Division 2

    |-> Sales (sales@d2.company-a.com)
    |-> Accounts (accounts@d2.company.com)
    |-> Admin (admin@d2.company.com)

    etc.

    An important note is that each box above in the tree, users must be able to see both the inbox and sent emails (not in the same folder though).

    2) Does Zimbra automatically archive inbox/sent emails after say 90 days, are you able to have separate archive times for certain boxes?

    3) Would I need a seat in Zimbra for each email address each user would be able to see (ie. using the above tree example, 10)

    4) Does Zimbra allow for administrators to approve emails before they are sent, this would be important for the sales department to double check quotes?

    I hope I have made sense because the more I think about it, the more daunting it seems, but hopefully Zimbra is the answer I have been looking for.

    Cheers,

    Mike.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forums,

    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    An important note is that each box above in the tree, users must be able to see both the inbox and sent emails (not in the same folder though).

    2) Does Zimbra automatically archive inbox/sent emails after say 90 days, are you able to have separate archive times for certain boxes?

    3) Would I need a seat in Zimbra for each email address each user would be able to see (ie. using the above tree example, 10)

    4) Does Zimbra allow for administrators to approve emails before they are sent, this would be important for the sales department to double check quotes?
    Aliases allow incoming mail and automatically give you the ability to send as that address as well:


    Note: You can also specify 'allow sending from any address', or feed in a specific list if you're using 'external account aggregation':

    But that's not what you need to do here yet, because aliases automatically let users assign a persona.

    You'll want to tweak persons so that 'when replying to email to an address they'll choose that outgoing persona. AND/OR (but might as well do both for doubly sure) use the 'reply with this persona when in this folder' feature. (Or if you totally don't care use the basic account to reply, but it sounds like you do so replies come to that specific division address.):


    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    1) Am I able to create a single login for each staff member under a generic domain (ie. staff@domain.com) and setup zimbra to have all the necessary email inboxes.
    So you do have another domain? (I suppose you could always do user@server.domain.com for the 'physical' accounts if you want.) If you don't want to use one big domain just do A & B so user@companyA.com > aliases user@d1.companyA.com, etc and maybe turn on ROOT level GAL.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    3) Would I need a seat in Zimbra for each email address each user would be able to see (ie. using the above tree example, 10)
    Based on the understanding that you do have another domain, you'll need to create these domains:
    domain.com
    companyA.com
    d1.companyA.com
    d2.companyA.com
    d3.companyA.com
    companyB.com

    Let's cover the user's first-
    Physical accounts/seats:
    user1@domain.com
    user2@domain.com
    user3@domain.com
    user4@domain.com
    user5@domain.com
    user6@domain.com
    user7@domain.com
    user8@domain.com
    user9@domain.com
    user10@domain.com
    Aliases:
    user1@domain.com > user1@companyA.com, user1@d1.companyA.com, user1@d2.companyA.com, user1@d3.companyA.com
    user2@domain.com > user2@companyA.com, user2@d1.companyA.com, user2@d2.companyA.com, user2@d3.companyA.com
    user3@domain.com > user3@companyA.com, user3@d1.companyA.com, user3@d2.companyA.com, user3@d3.companyA.com
    user4@domain.com > user4@companyA.com, user4@d1.companyA.com, user4@d2.companyA.com, user4@d3.companyA.com
    user5@domain.com > user5@companyB.com
    user6@domain.com > user6@companyB.com
    user7@domain.com > user7@companyB.com
    user8@domain.com > user8@companyB.com
    user9@domain.com > user9@companyB.com
    user10@domain.com > user10@companyB.com


    That takes care of the users with only 10 physical 'seats' - now for the workhorse accounts in each division.

    5.0.x has shared mail folders so that helps your situation a lot:


    Note that currently when replying in a shared folder you don't even need persona's at all because it'll send the mail as:
    To: someone@external.com
    From: shared@domain.com (so from recipients perspective it's shared sending the email)
    Sender: user@domain.com (so yes recipient can technically view the mail headers and see which salesperson sent it - in Zimbra is shows this header. This might be good because it maintains the shared address for relies, but still gives the other end accountability over who sent it/know who they're interacting with.)
    This behavior does prove annoying sometimes & will be corrected by: Bug 22819 - reply to another user's message is always on-behalf-of


    A) Pretending you're NOT ok for sales@companyA.com alias > sales@d1.companyA.com
    Physical accounts:
    sales@companyA.com
    accounts@companyA.com
    admin@companyA.com
    sales@d1.companyA.com
    accounts@d1.companyA.com
    admin@d1.companyA.com
    sales@d2.companyA.com
    accounts@d2.companyA.com
    admin@d2.companyA.com
    sales@d3.companyA.com
    accounts@d3.companyA.com
    admin@d3.companyA.com
    sales@companyB.com
    accounts@companyB.com
    admin@companyB.com

    You'd have to share the inbox & sent with all respective users...probably a nightmare - that's 15 physical accounts just for the workhourses.


    B) Depending on how you want to use filters to file into into subfolders like Inbox/Division1 (make sure everyone is shared to inbox & sent and mounts subfolders of inbox) you might get away with only 6 physical accounts-

    Physical accounts:
    sales@companyA.com
    accounts@companyA.com
    admin@companyA.com
    sales@companyB.com
    accounts@companyB.com
    admin@companyB.com
    Aliases:
    sales@companyA.com > sales@d1.companyA.com, sales@d2.companyA.com, sales@d3.companyA.com
    accounts@companyA.com > accounts@d1.companyA.com, accounts@d2.company@.com, accounts@d3.companyA.com
    admin@companyA.com > admin@d1.companyA.com, admin@d2.companyA.com, admin@d3.companyA.com

    As already discussed you can set persons to reply as those addresses when mail is addressed to those aliases.


    C) Of course for all I know you don't mind merging sales accounts, admin into one division1@companyA.com

    Physical accounts:
    company@companyA.com
    division1@companyA.com
    division2@companyA.com
    divsion3@companyA.com
    company@companyB.com
    Aliases:
    company@companyA.com > sales@companyA.com, accounts@companyA.com, admin@companyA.com
    divsion1@companyA.com > sales@d1.companyA.com, accounts@d1.companyA.com, admin@d1.companyA.com
    divsion2@companyA.com > sales@d2.companyA.com, accounts@d2.companyA.com, admin@d2.companyA.com
    divsion3@companyA.com > sales@d3.companyA.com, accounts@d3.companyA.com, admin@d3.companyA.com
    company@companyB.com > sales@companyB.com, accounts@companyB.com, admin@companyB.com

    = 4 big workhorse accounts, definitely might want filters to file into subfolders (that you can then share)

    So there you have it either:
    A) 10 users + 15 workhorse = 25 accounts
    B) 10 users + 6 workhorse = 16 accounts
    C) 10 users + 4 workhorse = 14 accounts
    Of course if you're NE the last 2 options look much more attractive.

    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    2) Does Zimbra automatically archive inbox/sent emails after say 90 days, are you able to have separate archive times for certain boxes?
    There's no 'archive' button like gmail Though some want a button to do a certain folder action move: Bug 12679 - Archive Button You're more than welcome to open a RFE for 'move to folder x after time x' if you want.

    If you want to delete the mail:
    Admins can set these attributes on COS or individual user via CLI or admin console gui > cos/user > advanced tab::
    zimbraMailMessageLifetime (default is 0 disabled - careful with this one as it affects mail in any folder)
    zimbraMailSpamLifetime (default is 30d)
    zimbraMailTrashLifetime (default is 30d)

    These as well, though currently not exposed in the user's UI:
    zimbraPrefInboxReadLifetime
    zimbraPrefInboxUnreadLifetime
    zimbraPrefSentLifetime
    zimbraPrefJunkLifetime
    zimbraPrefTrashLifetime

    There's also: Bug 20753 - Allow user to set chat folder lifetime

    Vote for / support ticket tag / cc watch: Bug 6229 - Individual Folder Max Messages and Max Lifetime


    Zimbra Archiving & Discovery (ZAD) is a separate add-on that's aimed more at compliance & retention purposes - not currently for the end-user to interact with - however there's an RFE to: Bug 18636 - Archiving: give end-user read-only view of their archive

    So someday you could someday combine ZAD & folder lifetimes - delete from the account after a bit so connecting via IMAP you don't have do download a huge inbox but still available if they need to search old mails. Till then you'll have to move stuff to another /Inbox/Archive or /Archive (user root level) manually.

    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    4) Does Zimbra allow for administrators to approve emails before they are sent, this would be important for the sales department to double check quotes?
    Not at present, might vote for: Bug 26851 - Family Mailboxes: Parental screening though it's more intended for scenarios like this: http://www.zimbra.com/forums/users/1...-accounts.html There's probably other software out there you could combine zimbra with to 'approval' queues (essentially another MTA).
    Last edited by mmorse; 07-15-2008 at 01:27 PM.

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    Mike,

    Thanks for your speedy reply. After looking through your possible solutions for the workhorse accounts, solution B would be way to go as it would allow us to create additional divisions (for CompanyA) in the future as more local sites are opened.

    Now with the shared sub-folders, will users be able to view which emails have been replied to and in fact look be able to look through the entire email thread between the client and staff member?

    Does Zimbra also allow an administrator to set up the sub-folders for users? as a basic template and replicate the structure as each user email account is setup, this will make setting up (and managing) the staff email accounts much easier.

    Thanks.

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    Sry in advance, I'm gonna give more info then you probably want at this point!

    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    Now with the shared sub-folders, will users be able to view which emails have been replied to and in fact look be able to look through the entire email thread between the client and staff member?
    As long as all folders where the email may reside (like sent) are shared.

    When replying in a shared folder the on-behalf will take care of changing the from address & putting in sent automatically. That behavior might change later Bug 22819 - reply to another user's message is always on-behalf-of (I don't know what the plan is yet for having to manually select that each time or one zimbraPrefSendOnBehalfInShared TRUE attribute or a zimbraFeatureAllowSendOnBehalf or per share ACL's...)
    Later you may want persona set to always reply with that sales@ address when in the designated folder depending on how that behavior change RFE plays out.

    The 'gap' is if users compose a new mail from another folder instead of the shared one, maybe have a policy of always cc'ing sales@companyA.com > then auto filter incoming from companyA.com > sent if desired.

    If you don't trust those 'user managed' methods you could always user postfix header checks or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    Does Zimbra also allow an administrator to set up the sub-folders for users?
    zmmailbox modifyFolderGrant & createMountpoint, SOAP, and other methods.

    It might also be prudent to not share them with manager roles and instead do them custom role so they can insert but not delete (rwix):

    zmmailbox -z -m theshare@domain.com modifyFolderGrant /Folder account user@domain.com rwix

    You could do any of the following [account <name> |group <name> |domain <name> |all |public| guest <email> <password>] followed by the permissions like r, rw, rwix, rwixd, rwixda, none, etc.
    (r)ead - search, view overviews and items
    (w)rite - edit drafts/contacts/notes, set flags
    (i)nsert - copy/add to directory, create subfolders action
    (x) - workflow actions, like accepting appointments
    (d)elete - delete items and subfolders, set \Deleted flag
    (a)dminister - delegate admin and change permissions

    rwixd = manager rights

    The createMountpoint command is commonly used after this: zmmailbox z -m user@domain.com createMountpoint --view appointment "/Vacation Calendar" vacationcal@domain.com /VacationDates

    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    as a basic template and replicate the structure as each user email account is setup, this will make setting up (and managing) the staff email accounts much easier.
    Thanks.
    User templates with auto mounts are not available yet.
    This RFE is more for account attributes than auto-mounting shares: Bug 3686 - template for user additions

    These RFEs will solve a lot for users:
    Bug 28152 - single-user share management UI
    Bug 7473 - Share management and discovery

    Most just script createAccount, modifyFolderGrant, & createMountpoint:
    Bulk Provisioning - Zimbra :: Wiki
    Zmprov - Zimbra :: Wiki
    Zmprov Examples - Zimbra :: Wiki

    Remember the 'domain' & 'group' values discussed in modifyFolderGrant above?
    Well that makes it easy to sales@companyA.com > permissions to entire companyA.com domain > then you don't have to do more modifyFolderGrants just createMountpoints.
    A distribution list can be a group (and you can hide in GAL & disable the ability for the list to receive mail) thus you can create an division1@companyA.com or all@companyA.com and do the same.


    Which brings up a totally different stance: Instead of accounts & shares, using distribution lists
    sales@companyA.com list > members are user1, user2, user3, user4, & the dist list can actually have aliases as well: sales@d1.companyA.com, sales@d2.companyA.com, sales@d3.companyA.com

    -This moves the filtering, sorting, permissions (and even mount) setup-roles from admin > user.
    -But you need to make sure the policy of always ccing sales@companyA.com is followed (or find a way to check & bcc as needed in postfix)
    -So that you have all the emails available in one place when needed"
    A) Create a sales_archive@companyA.com that's auto FWD
    zimbraPrefMailForwardingAddress corresponds to the user mail option "Address to forward mail to:" which only allows one.
    zimbraMailForwardingAddress corresponds to "Forwarding addresses hidden from the user:" also in the forwarding tab for an account in the admin console (can add as many as you like) which you can use from CLI by +/-:
    zmprov ma a@example.com +zimbraMailForwardingAddress x@domain.com
    zmprov ma a@example.com -- -zimbraMailForwardingAddress y@domain.com
    OR
    B)
    recipient_bcc_map on sales@companyA.com > sales_archive@companyA.com
    http://www.zimbra.com/forums/adminis...html#post58005
    http://www.zimbra.com/forums/install...-accounts.html
    -Would definitely use personas (with the ability to 'allow sending from any/these addresses only' discussed in a pic of my first post) or reply to feature if you don't want to do complete 'mascaraing'.


    Hope that's not too many options to choose from - Zimbra certainly isn't limited in possibilities!
    Last edited by mmorse; 07-21-2008 at 02:34 PM.

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    Mike,

    Thanks for the information, the extra information does help with scoping out the requirements for us to migrate to the Zimbra platform. Now for some rather crucial implementation questions, I must apologise for my ignorance here but emails are a important requirement for our company (or I can bet for any online corporation).

    I will provide some background information, at the moment our domains are hosted on our dedicated server, which is running apache, exim and our service provider also supplies a competitive platform to Zimbra. Zimbra is unable to run on the same server from the installation manual, so I will need to setup a new server, either locally or remotely.

    Now correct me if I am wrong here, but I will need to point the MX entry for each domain (companyA.com, companyB.com) to the new server which will be running the network edition of Zimbra. The website server (webserver.domain.com) will now look after all the websites, databases, etc. while the DNS will reroute all emails to the new server (zimbra.domain.com) for both companyA.com and companyB.com emails.

    We run WHM on our webserver.domain.com, which allows users to create email accounts via the cpanel administration for each domain. Now with the new mx entry pointing to the Zimbra server, would Zimbra now control the email account management (such as the actual accounts, forwarders, etc.)?

    Thanks again for your help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    I will provide some background information, at the moment our domains are hosted on our dedicated server, which is running apache, exim and our service provider also supplies a competitive platform to Zimbra. Zimbra is unable to run on the same server from the installation manual, so I will need to setup a new server, either locally or remotely.
    Or if it's a beefy box another VM.
    If you're installing behind a NAT you need internal DNS to resolve the local IP while external lookups should resolves the public IP - if you don't have another dns server easily available to edit, search for 'split domain' in the wiki & blog if you want directions on using bind to do so.
    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    Now correct me if I am wrong here, but I will need to point the MX entry for each domain (companyA.com, companyB.com) to the new server which will be running the network edition of Zimbra. The website server (webserver.domain.com) will now look after all the websites, databases, etc. while the DNS will reroute all emails to the new server (zimbra.domain.com) for both companyA.com and companyB.com emails.
    Correct.
    dig mx domain.com is your friend - and you of course need a path from internet on SMTP port 25 > ZCS server.
    I'm also a fan of checking pingability for little rules that you might miss - like pointing to an CNAME instead of an A (would require the other end to do a 2nd lookup - which is actually 'frowned upon' by RFC:

    "If an alias record (CNAME) is used for the hostname listed in the MX record, the host might re-write the envelope and redirect the RCPT command to the alias hostname and not the original. This might cause the destination SMTP host to reject the message."

    The host name contained in an MX record must have an address, i.e. an A or AAAA DNS record "CNAME aliases are prohibited in an MX record data, while CNAME is allowed for the MX record label, that is for the domain name leading to the MX record itself."
    1. ^ The prohibition on labels in the data that resolve to CNAMEs is discussed in RFC 2181, Section 10.3; its rationale is to allow a backup MX to recognize itself by name, thereby simplifying the algorithm used to determine the target host. See also RFC 1034
    "Though the practice of pointing MX records to CNAME (alias) records is not that uncommon, it certainly isn't in keeping with internet standards.
    When you point a MX record to a CNAME, you're in fact inviting double the DNS traffic to your DNS servers. Try this by performing a name resolution query using nslookup:
    To resolve the CNAME, the sender's DNS server will have to perform a second query. Not only is that inefficient, it is in fact explicitly prohibited by RFC 2181."

    Exchangepedia Blog: Should MX record point to CNAME records (aliases)?
    MX record - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    And don't forget about setting up a reverse DNS PTR record - not required, but you'll probably end up in a lot of junk folders on the other end if you don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by ims_mike View Post
    We run WHM on our webserver.domain.com, which allows users to create email accounts via the cpanel administration for each domain. Now with the new mx entry pointing to the Zimbra server, would Zimbra now control the email account management (such as the actual accounts, forwarders, etc.)?
    Once you change over that mx you should disable any cpanel options dealing with mail/have your provider do so.

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