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Thread: Zimbra and AMP on same box?

  1. #1
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    Default Zimbra and AMP on same box?

    Hi,

    I'm going to run Zimbra OSS (after running NE at my workplace for the last year) on a Mac Mini for just my friends and family. I also host around 10 very low usage websites. Can I put all of this on the same box? Do I need different IP addresses? Would it be better to run Zimbra in a virtual server like VMWare or Parallels or should I use the OS X version? The only thing with that is Zimbra isn't Leopard compatible yet.


    Thanks for any insight,

    Tony

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    Or what if I put Tiger on the Mac Mini, loaded up the ram to 3GB (It's a core 2 duo 1.83Ghz) and used Tiger's Server Admin tools to host my sites? Not only does Zimbra not work on Leopard, but MySQL is hosed up also under 10.5.2.

    AND not to mention that there are some key apache modules not included and currently unavailable. Like GD, IMAP to name a couple.


    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonythemediaguy View Post
    I'm going to run Zimbra OSS (after running NE at my workplace for the last year) on a Mac Mini for just my friends and family. I also host around 10 very low usage websites. Can I put all of this on the same box? Do I need different IP addresses? Would it be better to run Zimbra in a virtual server like VMWare or Parallels or should I use the OS X version? The only thing with that is Zimbra isn't Leopard compatible yet.
    I wouldn't try running Zimbra and other stuff on the same server, even if "other stuff" is very simple. You don't want to accidentally alter the configuration of a component in such a way as to break Zimbra's assumptions. As your base OS isn't a supported one anyway, running Zimbra on a supported OS in a VM seems to be the best option if your machine is powerful enough. There is always a performance hit running in a VM, but your host machine sounds more than beefy enough to cope - just make sure you give the Zimbra virtual machine enough RAM. The I/O performance hit from VMWare can be reduced by using a fixed size preallocated virtual disc instead of one that grows as needed.

    I run a small Zimbra/FOSS install on a Debian/Etch VM using "user mode linux" (I intend to migrate to Xen at some point) and it runs quite happily for a small number of users (two fully active users of the AJAX mail+calendar and several who just collect mail via IMAP, total mail store currently ~300Mb, 80+ mails/day incoming (mainly junk!)) with 1Gb of memory allocated. In fact for my small user base 768Mb RAM would probably be enough, but RAM is cheap.

    You would not have to have different IP addresses for your Zimbra installation and your other web server, as you can arrange for Zimbra to be visible on ports other than the standard 80/443 so it won't conflict with the other service, though that would make things less hassle.

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    Thanks for the advice.

    What if I were to run TWO virtual machines? Probably 2 Debian's or 2 Ubuntu's. One for Zimbra, and one for Web/MySQL/DNS?

    I forgot to mention that this has been upgraded to a 7200 rpm hard drive. And the optical drive has been replaced with a 2nd hard drive for backups.

    Think a Mac Mini could handle that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonythemediaguy View Post
    Think a Mac Mini could handle that?
    I'm no expert on Macs, but from the spec you've give I should think it'll cope nicely. My little home box is a Sempron something-or-other with 3Gb RAM and a few fairly modern hard drives. It runs:
    • A Zimbra 5 install in a Debian/Etch VM
    • My old Ubuntu and Zimbra 4 VM (now almost entirely inactive but left running until I get round to copying the rest of my old documents over), soon to be replaced by a mirror of the Zimbra 5 one that'll I'll use for testing backups
    • Another Debian VM running running Apache2 and MySQL
    • Yet another small VM, this one running test installations of Subversion that I'm playing with
    • An large set of backups from various places off-site, that get managed by rsync over ssh (these are actually directly on the host box, not a VM)
    • A couple of Samba shares (again on the host)
    • The occasional other task, either on the host or in another UML VM, as and when I want to play with something.
    The only thing I keep thinking of upgrading in that box is the CPU. The motherboard could take a dual core X2 chip quite happily. If my Sempron can do all the above and only occasionally be noticeably slow (when two or more VMs decide to do something demanding at the same time) then your Core 2 Duo based system should cope admirably.

    Having the second drive for backups is a very good idea as it protects you from a single spindle failure but I recommend sorting some type of off-site backup as well for important content such as email, just in case something drastic goes wrong with the machine (like the PSU going pop and taking all the drive controllers with it). I have a small dedicated server out there that I use for this.

    Another useful use for multiple drives is keeping I/O intensive tasks on different drives. I keep the apache+mysql+dns VM on a different drive to the Zimbra one for that reason - both can go off and rattle their respective drives (say, running backups or a sudden glut of other database activity) without interfering with each other as much as they otherwise could.

    One thing to remember with multiple VMs on the go: you have to keep them all properly up-to-date with updates and security patches, and sorting out your firewall rules can be slightly more involved than for a single OS running on a simple box.
    Last edited by dspillett; 04-07-2008 at 03:14 PM.

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