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Thread: Zimbra suggesting NFS store?

  1. #1
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    May 2008
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    Default Zimbra suggesting NFS store?

    Hi Community,

    I'm still in the process of designing our hardware infrastructure for an upcoming zimbra project. Some weeks ago I already asked some questions about storage and disc types. (

    User LMStone provided a lot of usefull information (thanks for that). Today I read that Zimbra is suggesting NetApp NFS in combination with vSphere instead of SAN storage for large deployments. See » Zimbra :: Blog for more information.

    However the wiki says NFS is not recommended:
    Zimbra continues to view NFS storage of other parts of the system as unsupported. Our testing has shown poor read and write performance for small files over NFS implementations, and as such we view it unlikely that this policy will change for the index and database stores. The binary database products used in ZCS such as MySQL, Berkeley DB (Sleepycat), and Lucene each have respective risks and warnings with running on NFS.
    Source: NFS Support - Zimbra :: Wiki

    NO NFS. It is our experience that the world is full of poor NFS implementations (server and client), and sometimes the disks backing that NFS mount are not performant to boot. Also note that many upstream OSS components of Zimbra (BDB, OpenLDAP, MySQL, Lucene) have or do discourage the use of NFS to store binary/mmaped data.
    Source: Performance Tuning Guidelines for Large Deployments - Zimbra :: Wiki

    Is the combination of NetApp NFS and VMware vSphere doing some magic here to give good performance to the NFS store? What is the opinion of the Zimbra Admins of the NFS approach?

    Having no experience with SANs, NFS would make things much easier for me.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    San Diego
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    From my experience NFS is a poor performer when it comes to lots of simultaneous open and closing of lots of files. When it is writing to a file or reading it can be as fast as your network connection and disks will allow. So if you are reading and writing to a vmware image on an NFS mount it probably is seen as one operation since the task is at a higher level than NFS. The vmware image is already open and the data is just streaming back and fourth. If have your /opt/zimbra on an NFS mount then that would probably be bad. It is all the calls to open and close the files that kill you.

  3. #3
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    May 2008
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    Interesting point millerdc, thank you.

    As I'm used to KVM I would prefer it (at least at the beginning) instead of vSphere - sorry VMware. Has anybody experience with KVM in combination with Zimbra and maybe NFS storage?

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