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Thread: Hardware Sizing Recommendations

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  1. #1
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    Default Hardware Sizing Recommendations

    I run an IT consulting firm that helps small businesses use open source to save money. One of my best-selling products is Zimbra for obvious reasons.

    Most of my clients have 25-50 users and almost any hardware with two cores and 4+ GB of RAM will work for years to come!

    However, my latest client is a 400 employee insurance firm currently using Lotus Domino. A far cry from my usual clientèle.

    I have absolutely no idea what kind of hardware to use for their deployment. I asked my Dell contact, and he came back with the following "solution:"

    • PowerEdge R520
    • On-Board Broadcom 5720 Dual Port 1GBE
    • 2x Intel Xeon E5-2407 2.20GHz, 10M Cache, 6.4GT/s QPI, No Turbo, 4C, 80W
    • 4x 4GB RDIMM, 1600 MHz, Standard Volt, Dual Rank, x8
    • 8x 300GB 15K RPM SAS 6Gbps 3.5in Hot-plug Hard Drive
    • PERC H710P Integrated RAID Controller, 1GB NV Cache
    • RAID 10
    • Dual, Hot-plug, Redundant Power Supply (1+1), 750W


    I have absolutely no idea if the hardware above will be able to handle 400 Zimbra users (NE/Professional). So, out of sheer desperation, I figured I would ask the Zimbra community.

  2. #2
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    We're talking about "standard business users", right?

    CPU is overkill, one 4C is be enough (if there's a Dell specials giving you the second CPU, take it. If not, don't order it).
    16 GB of RAM is nice (and cheap, 8GB might be enough but considering the price, 16 GB is nice).
    PERC H710P with 1GB NV is overkill : H710P without NV is enough (if you have two UPS, one per PSU).
    8x300 GB SAS is against ZCS's philosophy. One pair or SAS 15K drives is enough (146 or 300 GB depending on cost). Then two or four NearLine SATA 1TB/2TB drives to store HSM.

    Don't forget "something else", outside the server, to store the backup (iSCSI appliance? ).
    You can also add more NL SATA disks inside the server to store the backups locally then sync them to an external server/appliance.
    Order one SAS and one SATA disk more and set them up as "hotspare", you'll sleep better 8)

    R520 is brand new, double check the OS of your choice (RH6? Ubuntu 10.04? SUSE?) is able to deal with the H710P and the network cards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klug View Post
    We're talking about "standard business users", right?

    CPU is overkill, one 4C is be enough (if there's a Dell specials giving you the second CPU, take it. If not, don't order it).
    16 GB of RAM is nice (and cheap, 8GB might be enough but considering the price, 16 GB is nice).
    PERC H710P with 1GB NV is overkill : H710P without NV is enough (if you have two UPS, one per PSU).
    8x300 GB SAS is against ZCS's philosophy. One pair or SAS 15K drives is enough (146 or 300 GB depending on cost). Then two or four NearLine SATA 1TB/2TB drives to store HSM.

    Don't forget "something else", outside the server, to store the backup (iSCSI appliance? ).
    You can also add more NL SATA disks inside the server to store the backups locally then sync them to an external server/appliance.
    Order one SAS and one SATA disk more and set them up as "hotspare", you'll sleep better 8)

    R520 is brand new, double check the OS of your choice (RH6? Ubuntu 10.04? SUSE?) is able to deal with the H710P and the network cards.
    Thank you very much! Your advice has helped a lot.

    By the way, is it better to store just "/opt/zimbra/store" on the cheap storage, or the entire "/opt/zimbra" directory?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksoviero View Post
    By the way, is it better to store just "/opt/zimbra/store" on the cheap storage, or the entire "/opt/zimbra" directory?
    Neither. Don't even think about doing one or the other.

    Read the admin doc (for NE), especially the part about "volumes" and "HSM".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klug View Post
    Neither. Don't even think about doing one or the other.

    Read the admin doc (for NE), especially the part about "volumes" and "HSM".
    Ya, I figured out what you meant about a 1/2 second after hitting the post button, but too little too late I guess. Anyway, thanks for the advice.

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