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Thread: Zimbra vmware system

  1. #1
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    Default Zimbra vmware system

    I have one server with many services (apache2, zimbra, intranet, mySQL, etc) I'm thinking to separate these servers into separated virtual servers using vmware ESXi.

    The thing is... will Zimbra run smoothly in virtualization environment? I dont have many users, I'd say our current numbers are: 50 users, 14GB (/opt/zimbra) and 2000~3000 emails per day (including spam blocked by RBL).
    Last edited by andremta; 06-03-2010 at 09:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    Zimbra runs quite well in a virtualised environment. We run ours using Linux-KVM on 64-bit Debian Linux 5.0.

    The VM host:
    • Tyan h2000M (S3992-E) motherboard
    • 2x AMD Opteron 2220 CPUs @ 2.8 GHz (dual-core)
    • 16 GB ECC DDR2-SDRAM
    • 3Ware 9650SE PCIe RAID controller with 256 MB cache
    • 12x 500 GB SATA harddrives in a single large RAID6 array
    • Intel PRO/1000MT quad-port gigabit NIC in a single bonded interface used as a bridge for virtual machines


    The Zimbra VM has 2 virtual CPUs, 8 GB of RAM, 1 NIC, and 500 GB of disk, using paravirt drivers for NIC/disk. Running 64-bit Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

    There's also a 32-bit Windows Server 2003 VM running the BES and Outlook. And another 64-bit Ubuntu VM running an external LDAP server (GAL).

    Along with 2 more 32-bit Windows XP VMs, and 4 more Debian/Ubuntu VMs, doing other things.

    We have 2100 Zimbra users with well over 90% of them using the AJAX web client; 50-odd Blackberry users syncing via BES; a decent number of ActiveSync users; and a handful of Outlook Connector users.

    Running Zimbra 5.0.13. Our current mail store is 301 GB.

    The only time we had any slowdowns was when migrating users from our old webmail system using IMAP/imapsync. And that only lasted an hour or so for each school that was migrated.

    AV/AS is disabled on the Zimbra server, as we run a separate filtering mail gateway with ClamAV, SpamAssassin, Amavisd-new, Postfix, etc.
    Freddie

  3. #3
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    Vmware ESXi 4 will work like a charm..we use it extensively.
    if your ram is modest on the vm then atleast give 1-2 GB and your stuff will work just fine

    folllowing is enough to sun your stuff:
    1 vCPU (dont put more than 1 core unless really required)
    1 GB ( i know i know zimbra official support is 2B min..but hey )
    10-20 GB HD as required by your storage requirements
    OS: if you dont have > 4 gb ram in vm dont use 64bit guest..
    Zimbra: if you are ok with 5.xx version then go for that instead of 6.xx as 6 is little bit more resource hungry (you can disable stuff stuff to bring it down in 6.x)

    Raj
    i2k2 Networks
    Dedicated & Shared Zimbra Hosting Provider

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    Guys,

    Thanks for the reply!

    My hardware specs are:

    - DELL PowerEdge 2950 2U
    - Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU L5410 @ 2.33GHz
    - 4 GB RAM
    - Hard-Drive 73 GB SAS 15k RPM (2 for raid mirror)
    - Ubuntu 8.04 64 bit


    I believe the RAM may not be suficient. Zimbra 5 has heavy ram load! never tried ZOS 6

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fcash View Post
    Zimbra runs quite well in a virtualised environment. We run ours using Linux-KVM on 64-bit Debian Linux 5.0.

    The VM host:
    • Tyan h2000M (S3992-E) motherboard
    • 2x AMD Opteron 2220 CPUs @ 2.8 GHz (dual-core)
    • 16 GB ECC DDR2-SDRAM
    • 3Ware 9650SE PCIe RAID controller with 256 MB cache
    • 12x 500 GB SATA harddrives in a single large RAID6 array
    • Intel PRO/1000MT quad-port gigabit NIC in a single bonded interface used as a bridge for virtual machines


    The Zimbra VM has 2 virtual CPUs, 8 GB of RAM, 1 NIC, and 500 GB of disk, using paravirt drivers for NIC/disk. Running 64-bit Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.

    There's also a 32-bit Windows Server 2003 VM running the BES and Outlook. And another 64-bit Ubuntu VM running an external LDAP server (GAL).

    Along with 2 more 32-bit Windows XP VMs, and 4 more Debian/Ubuntu VMs, doing other things.

    We have 2100 Zimbra users with well over 90% of them using the AJAX web client; 50-odd Blackberry users syncing via BES; a decent number of ActiveSync users; and a handful of Outlook Connector users.

    Running Zimbra 5.0.13. Our current mail store is 301 GB.

    The only time we had any slowdowns was when migrating users from our old webmail system using IMAP/imapsync. And that only lasted an hour or so for each school that was migrated.

    AV/AS is disabled on the Zimbra server, as we run a separate filtering mail gateway with ClamAV, SpamAssassin, Amavisd-new, Postfix, etc.
    What virtualization technology are you using? ESXi, Xen, etc

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    Hi Andremta,

    I have implemented Citrix XenServer 5.5, VMWare ESXi 4, KVM, etc. with multiple operating systems and multiple versions of ZCS NE and ZCS FOSS and they can all run pretty smoothly if well planned...

    At the end of the day, you need to be comfortable with the environment which you will be needing to support. I would have to say that if you're used to Ubuntu 8.0.4 LTS x64 version, then you should be pretty comfortable with checking out KVM (if you haven't already).

    All the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GWilliams View Post
    Hi Andremta,

    I have implemented Citrix XenServer 5.5, VMWare ESXi 4, KVM, etc. with multiple operating systems and multiple versions of ZCS NE and ZCS FOSS and they can all run pretty smoothly if well planned...

    At the end of the day, you need to be comfortable with the environment which you will be needing to support. I would have to say that if you're used to Ubuntu 8.0.4 LTS x64 version, then you should be pretty comfortable with checking out KVM (if you haven't already).

    All the best.
    Hello GWilliams,

    Greetings to South Africa, a country that I visit oftently.

    Do you recommend KVM? Since is now part of vmware, I though that maybe that would be (at least futurely) the best supported enviroment.

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    I don't really have a preference, as they all work well. As previously mentioned, which ever you are more comfortable with to maintain is what it is all about to me. You also need to look into possible limitations of each virtualisation technology as well, especially if you are going to be looking into HA and migration and so forth... Look at the end result and work your way back.

    Hope this helps.

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    I don't run our primary server in a VM but I do have backup and test machines in VMs. What I wonder about Zimbra in a VM environment is: I've seen fairly specific recommendations (that's one example) about HD config (RAID & HD technology/speed particularly for the store). How do you go about meeting them with virtual disks?

  10. #10
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    Hi Elliot,

    There are a couple of ways to setup VMs that still meet the required storage compliance. Two of these methods are:

    1. Create the VMs on local storage - ie. you have 1 physical machine with RAID1/RAID10 HDDs and then install all the guest operating systems to these within your host operating system. This has no HA, as there is only 1 physical machine.

    2. Create the VMs on iSCSI over ethernet storage - ie. you can have multiple physical machines running the host operating system (eg. xen, vmware, etc) linked to a SAN via iSCSI. You would then install the guest operating system (eg. ubuntu, centos, etc) directly onto the SAN. This allows for migration and HA.

    This is only a brief discription of how it could work and is also only 2 of the many possibilities.

    Hope this helps.

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