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Thread: Testing Outlook connector

  1. #1
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    Default Testing Outlook connector

    Hi,

    I am wondering if there is a way to test Outlook connector for zimbra server, without impacting my production setup of ZCS?

    I have few 100 users on my ZCS production server, and some dozen of them experience constant issues with connectivity, Outlook timeouts, IMAP off-line etc.
    So my idea is to somehow enable paid features for a month or so and install Outlook Connector for this dozen of users. To see if their problems would go away.

    But on the other hand, I do not want to install full-featured Zimbra NE over my open-source ZCS edition, just for testing, because don't want to break anything.

    Tips welcome.

  2. #2
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labsy View Post
    I have few 100 users on my ZCS production server, and some dozen of them experience constant issues with connectivity, Outlook timeouts, IMAP off-line etc.
    So my idea is to somehow enable paid features for a month or so and install Outlook Connector for this dozen of users. To see if their problems would go away.
    You can't 'enable' the NE features you have to install the NE version of ZCS and the licence.

    Have you tried to resolve the IMAP problem? Perhaps the problem is a hardware or network problem? Have you also tried the Zimbra Desktop instead of Outlook? Do you have the IM chat server enabled on this server and if you do I'd suggest you disable it and see if that helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Labsy View Post
    But on the other hand, I do not want to install full-featured Zimbra NE over my open-source ZCS edition, just for testing, because don't want to break anything.
    Why do you think it would break anything? It's as easy as doing an upgrade but I'd obviously recommend taking backups before doing it.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    Hi Phoenix,

    thanx for reply!

    Regarding IM chat, I don't find it under any feature in admin gui, and I don't remember installing it separatelly, so if it's not part of default install, I don't have it.

    Performance might be more software issue, because my ZCS is on ESX 4.0 and I am kinda sceptical about performance....despite of all graphs showing just the opposite - CPU usage average is 3%, virtual disk has practically no latency, network is gigabit direct exchange, server is robust, RAID etc...and there are also other servers on this ESX, which all behave excellent.
    So it should not be hardware nor networking issue.

    BTW - is there any parameter or log file in Zimbra I should observe? Actually I don't have an idea what to observe, what to look for when customers report bad performing Outlook with IMAP mailbox type. It might be local networking issue also, which I don't have insight into.

    Regarding upgrade to NE.
    If I understand, it should be easy and harmfull if I upgrade ZCS 7.0.1 to NE edition, test it for a month or so, and then what - downgrade back to ZCS, or just leave NE to expire paid features and it will work as ZCS OS edition?

  4. #4
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labsy View Post
    Regarding IM chat, I don't find it under any feature in admin gui, and I don't remember installing it separatelly, so if it's not part of default install, I don't have it.
    It is disabled for a clean install of ZCS 7 and enabled on earlier versions - if you had it enabled prior to this then it will be enabled. Do the following to make sure it's disabled:
    Code:
    zmprov -l mcf zimbraXMPPEnabled FALSE
    zmcontrol restart
    Quote Originally Posted by Labsy View Post
    Performance might be more software issue, because my ZCS is on ESX 4.0 and I am kinda sceptical about performance....despite of all graphs showing just the opposite - CPU usage average is 3%, virtual disk has practically no latency, network is gigabit direct exchange, server is robust, RAID etc...and there are also other servers on this ESX, which all behave excellent.
    So it should not be hardware nor networking issue.
    There really shouldn't be any issues running on ESX (assuming you have plenty of RAM allocated), I presume you've checked things like the NIC being in full duplex mode; any physical hardware the ZCS server is connected to (switch?) has no problems; whether these problems occur at certain times of day (with increased users on the system); the number of IMAP sessions you're running (increase if necessary), could your RAID performance (what RAID level?) be a problem; disabled any unnecessary services (in Ubuntu); disabled IPv6; is it always the same users that have problems etc.? Those would be the questions I'd ask to start with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Labsy View Post
    Regarding upgrade to NE.
    If I understand, it should be easy and harmfull if I upgrade ZCS 7.0.1 to NE edition, test it for a month or so, and then what - downgrade back to ZCS, or just leave NE to expire paid features and it will work as ZCS OS edition?
    You'd need to do an 'upgrade' with the Open Source version when the trial expires.

    Is it only IMAP that has the problem? When the problems occur are any Web UI users reporting problems? Have you considered using ZD 7 beta for a couple of the 'problem' IMAP users to see if that makes any difference.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    Phoenix, you surprise me with your detailed answers

    First, thanx for instructions on how to disable IM Chat feature. I wasn't even aware I have it installed.

    Further, it's kinda strange to me to continue discussion away from post's original theme, but since it passed smooth from one problem to another, I hope it won't be a sin.

    Possible hardware weaknesses:
    • RAID 10 is on SATA disks, which are not as fast as SAS, but still, there is HW RAID controller, with 512 MB RAM which compensates for slower hard disks.
    • Networking uses 2 Gigabit Intel NIC phisical cards, manually set to 1GB full-duplex, teamed in active-active configuration and joined in ESX vSwitch networking. When server was in old data center, everything was OK, but when we moved it to new datacenter, which utilizes Cisco switching, we've got 100% incoming speed, and under 1% outgoing speeds. This problem was solved by adding intermediate Gigabit switch from D-LINK, server-to-dlink and d-link-to-cisco internet backbone. Since then both, incoming and outgoing speeds in praxis achieve rates of up to 200Mbps/session if tested during business hours (with dozens or hundreds of other live sessions), which is quite good performace.
    • Generally, this ESX host is average 18% CPU busy, datastore read latency average 2ms and max 50ms, and write latency 0ms maximum (because of HW RAID ctrl), average disk read or write rates of 300kBps, etc...With other words, by my oppinion quite healthy and with quite lot of reserves.
      The only time it hicups is when I am deleting snapshots, when it's noticeably slower, but still very usable.
    • Regarding ZD beta, I'll give it a try. Thanx for tip.
    • Clients with problems? General rule on my ZCS is: mailbox under 1GB=no problem, 2GB mailbox=occasional slowliness, 3GB or bigger mailbox=frequent timeouts and problems with IMAP sync.
      My customers are mostly companies with 10-50 employees, which in past had hosted mailboxes with their ISP and we moved them to hosted ZCS as alternative. So all they denied to go for paid Zimbra NE edition features, since it seemd way too expensive (compared to other hosting providers).
      But downside of that was they all wanted to keep MS Outlook as client (they didn't like ZD because of lack of features, like copy-paste screenshots and excell tables into mail body).
      So, we're stuck with Outlooks 2003, 2007 and 2010, where only latest shows at least some reasonable will to cooperate with IMAP as expected. But still, when server is busy (for example, client sending out 10.000 recipient mailing), most of those clients with mailboxes over 1GB have sync issues - timeouts and "lost connection to IMAP server".

    Talking about last alinea, I was looking for posibilities:
    - to limit send-out ratio (in messages per minute) setup per domain, so I could limit outbound frequency only for those domains, which are known to send large scale mail listings.
    - or...what do you think - would specifying a smarthost for these mass mail senders be of any help? I mean, if I would setup smarthost/mail relay via different SMTP for domain, which sends mass mail, be a releaf for my ZCS?
    I can easily do this since I have 4 other mail filtering servers, which can be used also as outbound servers.

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    The number of IMAP sessions you're running (increase if necessary), could your RAID performance (what RAID level?) be a problem; disabled any unnecessary services (in Ubuntu); disabled IPv6

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    Ups...I forgot to answer these...
    The number of IMAP sessions you're running (increase if necessary)...
    How to do that? On client or on server?
    If this is "Number of threads" under server settings --> IMAP, then value is 100, and I barely see over 20-30 sessions active, so I don't consider that as an issue.
    Could your RAID performance (what RAID level?) be a problem;
    I doubt so. It is RAID 10 with hardware raid controller, 512 MB RAM and battery backup, having a bunch of 1TB SATA disks. ESX reports 0ms of write latency average, and not more than 20-50ms of max read latency during top business hours. I don't think RAID is an issue.
    ...disabled any unnecessary services (in Ubuntu); disabled IPv6
    IPv6 disabled on ESX networking. Ubuntu 8.04 is bare bone, having only needed services installed by-the-book as Zimbra requires to run. Only thing I've added out of neccesity, if UFW firewall, having it close all other ports, except those needed, and limited admin and ssh access only from my IP addresses.

    BTW...I've tested Zimbra Desktop 7 beta2 and it seems like ZCS Web GUI of 7.0.0 version (with bugs from 7.0.0, too). But as I mentioned, my clients are spoiled, used to MS products and they won't give up requesting 100% Microsoft copy-paste capabilities (paste screenshot into message body, paste excell tables, paste designed Word paragraph etc...), so Zimbra Webmail and Zimbra Desktop can only serve as backup option, not as primary mail client for them.
    Indeed, I use Outlook too, because I have lots of screenshots to paste and I found all other options time consuming.

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