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Thread: esx scenarios

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default esx scenarios

    Dear all

    I am presently considering to install zimbra network edition on Ubuntu 8.04 under ESX as an in-house mail server. This would be a scenario for about 60 users, who presently have a total of around 30 GB of messages (uncompressed) on our old server (growth rate of about 2 GB/month). Most users will generally log in through Thunderbird imap client (not the web interface). They expect to have a safe backup of their mails, which means the mails should also be backed up to tape.

    Any advice for configuring the server? In particular:

    A) I presently feel that we should use the backup mechanism of Zimbra network edition (full weekly, incremental daily), but direct its output to a network drive. That drive could then be backed up to tape once a week. Does this sound reasonable?

    B) Where should we store the mail files (not backups)? On the same virtual disk as the OS is running on, or should we store them also on an external drive? Any advice?

    C) What would be a good scenario for backing up the system and software? We could obviously keep a copy of the VMWare image (even though that would be big if the user's mail files also reside in that image, see question B). Any other ideas?

    Any other advice for this type of set-up?

    Thanks in advance


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    A) Sure mount the backup directory to a network drive via NFS, etc. It will work the same and keep the size of the VM drive smaller.

    B) Do you have a SAN? If so you can just store the OS on the VM disk in the VMFS volume. Then directly mount a SAN lun with iSCSI, NFS, etc for the mailbox store. Or if using local storage I like to add an additional virtual disk to the VM for the mailbox store.

    C) Use your current ESX backup strategy. I use Symantec BackupExec 12.5 with VCB to backup my ESXi VMs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Thanks, rsw686, that is helpful.

    If I understand you correctly, you propose to

    A) Mount the network backup drive at /opt/zimbra/backup (or change the path for the backup directory to wherever the network backup drive has been mounted). This seems clear to me.

    B) Mount an SAN volume at /opt/zimbra/store for the message store.

    Should any the other directories in /opt/zimbra, such as "db", also be stored in an external volume? Does any one of them grow a lot when the amount of data increases?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Dependant on your SAN you may wish to look at tiering your storage for HSM aswell. From within the admin GUI (or command line) you are able to migrate old emails to a different message store. That way you would keep your recent emails etc on premium storage and then rest on say Tier 2.

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