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Thread: Zimbra on VMWare ESX

  1. #1
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    Default Zimbra on VMWare ESX

    We are looking at replacing our current email system with Zimbra and are looking to virtualize (about 4000 users). We would be putting in 3 quad core servers each with 36GB specifically for Zimbra. Our SAN is a fiber channel SAN. We are looking to run Mail and Calendaring (no briefcase).

    How many people have virtualized using VMWare? Does anyone have a similar setup? About how big can we expect for our database to become with ~4000 users?

  2. #2
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    Hi..Zimbra runs just fine on Vmware ESX or ESXi ..not the Vmware Server
    number of users is not the measure of the complexity and other hardware specs. what you need to know before hand is at least the following

    1) what avrage storage space you giving per user/ or a user will use
    2) how heavy is the mail traffic..total number of messages in and out a day
    3) are you runnning ay MX gateways/Appliances for AV/AS or you will be using Zimbra edge MTA itself
    4) how many concurrent users will use POP/SMTP/WEBMAIL and IMAP

    once you post above basic params, many people here on the fourms can chime in and tell you what they running.

    for 3 server setup with SAN.. you can do the following multi server install setup..just one eample no VMWARE direct intall on server

    Server 1: MX + AV/AS + LDAP (master)
    Server 2: MAILBOX1
    Server 3: MAILBOX2 + LDAP (slave)
    SAN --> /opt/zimbra/storage
    SAN --> /opt/zimbra/index
    SAN --> /opt/zimbra/db


    with VMWare..you can actutally create more nodes for multiserver install.

    SERVER 1
    VM1 - Zimbra MX 1 + AV/AS
    VM2 - Zimbra SMTP 1
    VM3 - Zimbra Proxy (optional)
    SERVER 2
    VM1 - Zimbra MX 2 + AV/AS
    VM2 - Zimbra LDAP (master)
    VM3 - Zimbra Mailbox 1
    VM4 - Zimbra Mailbox 2
    VM5 - Zimbra SMTP 2
    VM6 - Zimbra Proxy (optional)
    SERVER 3
    VM1 - Zimbra MX 3 + AV/AS
    VM2 - Zimbra LDAP (slave)
    VM3 - Zimbra Mailbox 3
    VM4 - Zimbra Mailbox 4
    VM5 - Zimbra SMTP 3
    VM6 - Zimbra Proxy (optional)

    SAN to store mails


    all the above just my opnion..
    raj
    i2k2 Networks
    Dedicated & Shared Zimbra Hosting Provider

  3. #3
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    we implimented zimbra about the same time as we did esx. in retrospect that was a bad idea because we didn't know much about either. we got a multiserver setup going with one mta, one ldap and 2 mailbox servers. things were going pretty well but once we started putting users on it we started having problems with java pegging the processor at 100% and slowing it to a crawl. eventually i traced this down to a problem with our iscsi san. at this point though I was still learning a lot about vmware so i decided to go virtual to physical with my zimbra servers just so we could get zimbra going worry free as it was a bigger priority.

    now that i feel a lot more proficient with both, i've virtualized my ldap and mta servers. they run great. i now want to virtualize my mailbox servers as well. i'm still wary about IO performance. We have an iscsi san and if you search the forums theres many reports of people having problems running zimbra on vmware with iscsi. I've done a lot of tweaking and hoping that this isn't an issue for us. You being FC you may never have this issue.

    another thing i need to consider is wether i want to mess with vsmp or not, that is assigning multiple processors to the virtual machine.

    As far as database is concerned it's hard to tell. i was importing users wtih 40k messages in their pst files and then some with only a few dozen.

    if you go ahead with this please post your experiences.

  4. #4
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    1) We will be giving unlimited space to users, but I would say we would average about 500MB per user.

    2) Lets say about 50,000 (before spam/virus scanning)

    3) We will be running Zimbra's MTA as well as Zimbra's SA and ClamAV integration.

    4) POP - maybe 10
    IMAP - 400
    Web - 500

    Quote Originally Posted by raj View Post
    Hi..Zimbra runs just fine on Vmware ESX or ESXi ..not the Vmware Server
    number of users is not the measure of the complexity and other hardware specs. what you need to know before hand is at least the following

    1) what avrage storage space you giving per user/ or a user will use

    2) how heavy is the mail traffic..total number of messages in and out a day

    3) are you runnning ay MX gateways/Appliances for AV/AS or you will be using Zimbra edge MTA itself

    4) how many concurrent users will use POP/SMTP/WEBMAIL and IMAP

    once you post above basic params, many people here on the fourms can chime in and tell you what they running.

    for 3 server setup with SAN.. you can do the following multi server install setup..just one eample no VMWARE direct intall on server

    Server 1: MX + AV/AS + LDAP (master)
    Server 2: MAILBOX1
    Server 3: MAILBOX2 + LDAP (slave)
    SAN --> /opt/zimbra/storage
    SAN --> /opt/zimbra/index
    SAN --> /opt/zimbra/db


    with VMWare..you can actutally create more nodes for multiserver install.

    SERVER 1
    VM1 - Zimbra MX 1 + AV/AS
    VM2 - Zimbra SMTP 1
    VM3 - Zimbra Proxy (optional)
    SERVER 2
    VM1 - Zimbra MX 2 + AV/AS
    VM2 - Zimbra LDAP (master)
    VM3 - Zimbra Mailbox 1
    VM4 - Zimbra Mailbox 2
    VM5 - Zimbra SMTP 2
    VM6 - Zimbra Proxy (optional)
    SERVER 3
    VM1 - Zimbra MX 3 + AV/AS
    VM2 - Zimbra LDAP (slave)
    VM3 - Zimbra Mailbox 3
    VM4 - Zimbra Mailbox 4
    VM5 - Zimbra SMTP 3
    VM6 - Zimbra Proxy (optional)

    SAN to store mails


    all the above just my opnion..
    raj

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    Hi..if your servers CPU is good i dont think so taking that load will be at all a problem, you have more than enough RAM per server..its a little overkill..just make sure you do right Multiserver install.

    vm setup i mentioned..can give you scalability of taking any VM out which is taking more resouces and putting it on HW which has resouces

    if you have paid version of VMware then consolidated backup will help you backup.

    * you did not mention if you going to use OSS or NE version

    Raj
    i2k2 Networks
    Dedicated & Shared Zimbra Hosting Provider

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    Quote Originally Posted by raj View Post
    Hi..if your servers CPU is good i dont think so taking that load will be at all a problem, you have more than enough RAM per server..its a little overkill..just make sure you do right Multiserver install.

    vm setup i mentioned..can give you scalability of taking any VM out which is taking more resouces and putting it on HW which has resouces

    if you have paid version of VMware then consolidated backup will help you backup.

    * you did not mention if you going to use OSS or NE version

    Raj
    We are going to be putting in VCB at the same time, so that's already taken care of.

    We had been looking at putting a system in with 1 MX, 1 Mailboxd, and 2 Zimbra LDAP instances (we're also purchasing both Archival and Mobility, so the archival server will be separate anyhow).

    I kind of like your setup better than breaking out the LDAP servers, since it gives me 2 mailboxd servers.

    Is there any reason that you can think of that we shouldn't leave the 2 LDAP instances on the MX and Mailboxd server?

    My guess is that the MX should be able to make due with 4 processors and 8GB of RAM and the mailboxd server(s) should probably be given 4 processors and 16GB of RAM (the max that VMWare suggests).

    * We would be purchasing NE.

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