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Thread: Pre-install questions

  1. #1
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    Question Pre-install questions

    Hi,

    I'm looking to migrate my company from Exchange to Zimbra, and I'm looking for some information.

    Can the Network Editions be installed SUSE10?

    Can the Network Editions meant for RHAT be installed CentOS?

    How difficult is Zimbra and its chosen OS to install and get running for Linux newbies? We a Windows house, not religous about it, its just where all our skills lie.

    How easy is it to setup a multi-server, replicated enviroment?

    Is it possible to have Zimbra syncronise a single mailbox with another mailbox using IMAP, ie would it be possible to syncronise a Zimbra mailbox with http//www.Fastmail.fm who offer IMAP?

    Is it possible for us to totally ignore LDAP and ONLY use Active Directory?

    What bandwidth overhead does Zimbra impose? IE say for every 10mb of mail, how much does Zimbra add to that to manage it's multiserver syncronisation?

    Does Zimbras performance degrade as mailbox seize increases? We expect each users mailbox to be in the 2GB to 4GB range.

    At the moment we make extensive use of be able to open and share mailboxes in Exchange (so our customer service personel see in Outlook two mailboxes, their personal one and the "Customer Services" one) does Simbra do that right now?

    Thank you for any and all help you can offer.

    Thanks
    Jason

  2. #2
    dijichi2 is offline OpenSource Builder & Moderator
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    Hi

    Since you're looking at the network edition, you're much better off asking the zimbra sales team these questions, who can give a much better authorative answer than we (community) can on here, i think the email is sales@zimbra.com.

    However, my take on your questions would be:

    Can the Network Editions be installed SUSE10?
    Yes, (Open)SUSE10 and SLES9 is supported, however i'd be inclined to go for a supported OS, I'm not sure how much novell support SUSE10. SLES9 is well supported but quite an old OS now, I think zimbra have mentioned on here they're getting a SLES10 release ready.

    Can the Network Editions meant for RHAT be installed CentOS?
    I think the RHEL4 versions work well on CentOS, certainly lots of people on the forums seem to use CentOS. Again, I'd question the wisdom of running on an unsupported OS - RHEL4 is pretty cheap to buy. RHEL4 seems to be the most stable OS currently and the one best supported by Zimbra.

    How difficult is Zimbra and its chosen OS to install and get running for Linux newbies? We a Windows house, not religous about it, its just where all our skills lie.
    V.Easy! It's self contained and installs from a single shell script.

    How easy is it to setup a multi-server, replicated enviroment?
    It's well architected for multi-server environment, however currently doesn't have store replication, I think I remember them saying they're going to do this in the future. Alternatives are possible at a lower level and have been mentioned on this forum (eg. SAN, drbd).

    Is it possible to have Zimbra syncronise a single mailbox with another mailbox using IMAP, ie would it be possible to syncronise a Zimbra mailbox with http//www.Fastmail.fm who offer IMAP?
    Yes, through a tool called imapsync. Forums and wiki have good tips, I've used it many times and it works very well.

    Is it possible for us to totally ignore LDAP and ONLY use Active Directory?
    Yes, this is a popular enterprise setup.

    What bandwidth overhead does Zimbra impose? IE say for every 10mb of mail, how much does Zimbra add to that to manage it's multiserver syncronisation?
    n/a

    Does Zimbras performance degrade as mailbox seize increases? We expect each users mailbox to be in the 2GB to 4GB range.
    Absolutely not, the indexing and store is extremely efficient and scalable. I've got several mailboxes that are many Gb and perform as quick as little ones.

    At the moment we make extensive use of be able to open and share mailboxes in Exchange (so our customer service personel see in Outlook two mailboxes, their personal one and the "Customer Services" one) does Simbra do that right now?
    You can share almost anything in zimbra - mailfolders, calendars, address books, with finegrained access control.

    Hope this helps, and I'm not spouting complete nonsense.

  3. #3
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    I would recomend you don't install Zimbra on SuSE 10, support for that will be dropped when the SLES10 version of Zimbra is released. My choice would be RHEL if you're runing the NE, it will run on CentOS (that's what I use) but it's not supported by ZImbra - get an operating system that's suppoorted by Zimbra and one that you can get good support from the vendor.

    Just a clarification on your LDAP question, I assume you mean 'ignore LDAP' for authentication? Zimbra has a version of LDAP installed for it's own use, you can use AD for authentication (as dijichi2 pointed out) and many users do just that.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dijichi2
    Hi

    Since you're looking at the network edition, you're much better off asking the zimbra sales team these questions, who can give a much better authorative answer than we (community) can on here, i think the email is sales@zimbra.com.
    Yes, I've been in contact with the sales people and have been less than impressed by the obsesive use of sales speak, and I asked my questions here, exactly the same questions and I am very disapointed, indeed angry that claimed things you say arn't possible (but more of that later).

    Quote Originally Posted by dijichi2
    Yes, (Open)SUSE10 and SLES9 is supported, however i'd be inclined to go for a supported OS, I'm not sure how much novell support SUSE10. SLES9 is well supported but quite an old OS now, I think zimbra have mentioned on here they're getting a SLES10 release ready.
    OK, this shows my Linux ignorance, until recently I thought that Linux was Linux (ie you could run programs for one Linux flavour on abother Linux flavour), but now it seems from your reply that there are even incompatable versions of the same flavour of Linux! When I say SUSE I mean this http://www.novell.com/products/server/ since that's what you see you visist the SUSE site.

    Quote Originally Posted by dijichi2
    V.Easy! It's self contained and installs from a single shell script.
    OK, so Zimbra is easy, but what about OS as well? I had rather hoped that Zimbra would ship as what I've come to understand as "appliances" where the product and OS ship all as one setup.

    Quote Originally Posted by dijichi2
    It's well architected for multi-server environment, however currently doesn't have store replication, I think I remember them saying they're going to do this in the future. Alternatives are possible at a lower level and have been mentioned on this forum (eg. SAN, drbd).
    Now this is where I get angry with Zimbra sales, in response to this requirement
    Ideally I would like 2 or 3 fully synchronized servers, one in each location/country.
    They said
    You can deploy Zimbra in a multi-server multiple location architecture. You can have master LDAP system in one location, but have LDAP replica system in other locations so that the local system there can authenticate. You can also spread out your MTA across locations and use DNS or other software load-balancing tools to redirect traffic.
    Now which ever way I read it, they are saying I can have my mailboxes on different servers and I can use DNS (or other load balancing tool) to direct user traffic to the least used box. But I read your answer as saying thats not possible. However this is one of my top priorities.

    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix
    Just a clarification on your LDAP question, I assume you mean 'ignore LDAP' for authentication? Zimbra has a version of LDAP installed for it's own use, you can use AD for authentication (as dijichi2 pointed out) and many users do just that.
    Thanks for that, but can you clarify that as the administrator can ignore LDAP, administer my Active Directory as usual and let Zimbra get on with doing wahtever it needs to do?

  6. #6
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonWard
    Thanks for that, but can you clarify that as the administrator can ignore LDAP, administer my Active Directory as usual and let Zimbra get on with doing wahtever it needs to do?
    Yes, that's correct you can do that. I just didn't want you to think that you needn't install LDAP in zimbra (I'm sure you didn't but.... just in case).
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix
    Yes, that's correct you can do that. I just didn't want you to think that you needn't install LDAP in zimbra (I'm sure you didn't but.... just in case).
    AFAIK, you'll still have to provision the users in Zimbra "by hand" (or create a script that does it automagically out of the LDAP).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klug
    AFAIK, you'll still have to provision the users in Zimbra "by hand" (or create a script that does it automagically out of the LDAP).
    Sorrry what does that mean? Are you saying I would need to create my users twice? Once in AD and once in Zimbra?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dijichi2
    Yes, through a tool called imapsync. Forums and wiki have good tips, I've used it many times and it works very well.
    Can someone point me in the right direction for this? Using Google to search across Zimbra http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sit...map+syncronise reavels nothing, searching the wiki just tells me there is not article of that exact name!

    It would appear the gods really dont want me to learn about Zimbra at the moment!

  10. #10
    dijichi2 is offline OpenSource Builder & Moderator
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    Hi

    Zimbra is a complex unix based server application. It's no good getting angry at Zimbra because we're (the community, who have no authority to say what zimbra can and can't do) trying to help you best we can and you're misunderstanding the information given to you.

    Yes, I've been in contact with the sales people and have been less than impressed by the obsesive use of sales speak, and I asked my questions here, exactly the same questions and I am very disapointed, indeed angry that claimed things you say arn't possible (but more of that later).
    My dealings with the zimbra sales team, they're as techie and non-sales spiel as i've come across, and if you're getting conflicting information between us and zimbra, zimbra is right - they don't lie or embellish from the dealings I've had with them. There's no point getting angry with them if we're giving you wrong information or not giving you the answers you want - this is a public forum and zimbra have no control over what we say.

    OK, this shows my Linux ignorance, until recently I thought that Linux was Linux (ie you could run programs for one Linux flavour on abother Linux flavour), but now it seems from your reply that there are even incompatable versions of the same flavour of Linux! When I say SUSE I mean this http://www.novell.com/products/server/ since that's what you see you visist the SUSE site.
    As you'll see from the novell website, there are different products (just as there are from Microsoft). The supported enterprise server product is called SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) - this is what you want to be looking at. Given your lack of understanding of Linux, look at SLES9 (soon to be SLES10 supported), and RHEL4 - Redhat Enterprise Linux 4. I would strongly recommend RHEL4 to you. One alternative is to look at a managed provider such as Rackspace - they provide you with a hosted RHEL4 machine on a very fault tolerant network and look after the OS for you - this is how I run a couple of clients who don't want to be completely dependent on me.

    OK, so Zimbra is easy, but what about OS as well? I had rather hoped that Zimbra would ship as what I've come to understand as "appliances" where the product and OS ship all as one setup.
    http://www.zimbra.com/community/downloads.html - VMWare Demo.

    Apart from that, installing SLES or RHEL these days is easier than installing windows. Installing zimbra on top is even easier. This is a realistic barrier to entry.

    Now which ever way I read it, they are saying I can have my mailboxes on different servers and I can use DNS (or other load balancing tool) to direct user traffic to the least used box. But I read your answer as saying thats not possible. However this is one of my top priorities.
    You're mis-interpreting/understanding responses. You can have mailboxes on different servers, and the servers are synchronized, to a degree. The mailstores, as far as I'm aware, are NOT replicated, be careful with mixing terminology. The LDAP trees are replicated as with AD, although because by default it uses openldap this is not multi-master as is AD or as with other directory products. You can use RR DNS for crude load balancing so the users can connect to any box within the cluster and the zimbra proxies will take care of shuttling the backend data around for you, but this is not the same as fully replicated, redundant servers. What you really want:

    Ideally I would like 2 or 3 fully synchronized servers, one in each location/country.
    I presume you mean you want a fully redundant unix cluster, replicated across WAN. I would recommend you seriously think about trying to run a multi-server, distributed, replicated unix network without suitable experience or inhouse skillset - if as you say you are primarily windows based. Unix is not for the faint hearted. That said, a linux box running nothing else but zimbra will be very easy to setup and should require little to no maintenance.

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