Gradual Phase-Out of 32bit Binaries - Q&A
Why are these downloads being slowly deprecated?
While 32-bit computing will undoubtedly be around for quite some time, Zimbra is starting a 64-bit transition initiative early for several reasons. We've created this page simply to make people aware of this process with regards to their own planning, but you're still free to use 32-bit binaries while available of course.
How does this process work?
When a new operating system is released, we simply build and publish only 64-bit binaries. Existing platforms and architectures will continue to be available as long as there are updates or support attainable from respective operating system providers.
What's the timing on version availability?
This will take place over quite a while (read months) but we anticipate that by ZCS 8.0 there will be no more 32-bit releases. Please see the Zimbra Product Management Portal
for a definitive answer.
And the benefits?
Though aren't upstream operating system designers (and third party package developers) still producing 32-bit material?
- Half as many builds to double check means we can focus on quality in other areas of the product. A win-win situation.
- Less servers or test instances to run and maintain; which in turn gets passed along as savings to our customers. We'll even argue that it helps the environment.
- Cuts release time required; getting you new versions faster. Whether you're waiting for a fix or new feature, everyone can appreciate this.
Yup, but someday they won't. Rather than having it creep up on you - we feel you'll have a better experience all around if we start a deprecation plan coinciding with the major ZCS versions as well.
How do we move architectures (or platforms)?But we really need a version, and it's just too much work to convert all our systems. What do I do?
If you're a Network Edition customer we'll be happy to work with you in a conversion plan, or possibly even give you access to a binary with limited support help (if there's an extremely pressing security matter.)
For the Open Source Edition we should point out that we will never intentionally block the ability to build from source, remove the definitions, etc of any platform or architecture. To put it simply: We just won't be building or testing them. If you notice something no longer compiles or is otherwise majorly broken, and you or anyone else in community finds a solution, file a bug and we'll happily add your patch to the core product. If it looks like an easy fix but you're not the developer type, we might even just engineer the solution for you.
With so few users, don't think I'll require that many more resources, RAM etc. Plus there's always PAE right?
16MB used to be considered excessive. At some point you'll want to allocate more; if not for the sheer number of possibilities that the Zimbra Collaboration Suite will accomplish down the road - than for speed of existing features.
Remember that RAM is your friend, reduces disk I/O, and keeps Zimbra running smoother. Making you look like a hero. Granted no cape, but someone in your organization can probably scrounge one up for you. Physical Address Extensions (PAE) was a middle ground, solving only half of the equation.
Did you consider my super old hardware/software?
We'll warrant it's not just about simply a CPU being capable, there's a software side to all your equipment as well. While many used to dread it, 64-bit drivers have actually gotten far better. If the major unix operating system providers don't code for it anymore, it's probably time to upgrade anyways. If you're really intent on keeping that Pentium II around, you probably aren't powering thousands of users who need the latest features.
So why force a migration now?
Preparing you early for 32-bit's eventual demise is prudent. Many people are currently running 64-bit operating systems, but for whatever reason are only using 32-bit Zimbra. (Not related, but as an example: Have you investigated other important protocols for the IT future like IPv6? You should.)
It's my first time installing, what should I grab?
Use the latest 64-bit platform where possible on your brand new systems, it will be supported longer.
As an Open Source Edition user, how can I plan/pick the best platform?
Zimbra will still be providing choices such as Debian and Fedora 64-bit builds. For those platforms we always select the latest operating system available at time of release, rather than keeping multiple old versions around. If an accelerated upgrade cycle is too much for you, consider using something that's also available in the Network Edition. Plus if you come to desire the many additional features, upgrading is a breeze.
What do those background colors on the download pages mean?
In simple green-yellow-red stoplight style colors we're letting you know which options are best for long term support.