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Thread: Testing Zimbra

  1. #1
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    Default Testing Zimbra

    Since Zimbra has such a great 63 day trial, I figure I can at least share our experiences so far.

    Overall impression: Ranges between Slick, Confusing and in some areas, buggy. Some areas are very nicely developed and user friendly, others appear less so.

    Overall functionality:
    The core Email tool works quite nicely. Most additional features work reasonably well, however some are lacking refinement. For example, in the Calendar when setting up appointments, say you have the same appointment for three days in a row. If you create the first day and you are looking at this on your calendar, there's no "right-click-copy" and then "paste" into the days you wish to copy it to.

    Another example... you can add an external account - an excellent feature to have. The problem? It seems only halfway implemented. I added my gmail account to test this out. At first I started with imap. It "tested" ok so I saved the settings (yes I turned on imap in gmails side too). I waited about an hour, no mail showed up. So I switched to POP instead. This started working right away, except it would only download ~300 of my 6000 msgs at a click, and every time I try to get external mail I get "You may be on a slow connection or the server is slow, cancel or wait?". Worse yet I cannot continue to use zimbra while I'm checking for new messages on the external account... So far after about 24hrs I've only been able to retrieve half of my messages from gmail... now I get all sorts of error messages or just a few messages come in and nothing is said... Not quite what I had expected.

    Sharing folders, documents, etc.: with other users in a domain isn't nearly as simple as it could be. In some unrelated systems I've used over the years, I find it's incredibly helpful to have a sharing "overview" area where a user can click and quickly see and adjust what contacts have access to what files/folders/documents/calendars, etc... It took us some time to figure out how to do this and some users complained they couldn't figure it out. In the end it works but it could be "easier".

    Other bugs and/or feature requests:

    Move or copy items from one notebook to another, from one briefcase to another so they don't have to be recreated in another share to share them with more than one organization.

    Server RAM requirements seem a bit crazy. I've posted this on another forum and have been discussing this with a very helpful Zimbra user. We're seeing 2GB RAM + 670MB Swap usage with only a handful of users.

    upload progress bar
    upload box should be in a new window or spawn to the background so you can navigate and check mail while uploading files - especially if uploading a large file to a busy server.


    Easily move or copy items from one notebook to another, or from one briefcase to another etc. so they don't have to be recreated in another share to share them with more than one organization.

    When uploading a file and I get a "work in progress" message - "The server appears to be slow to respond, and may be unavailable. Press the button to cancel your request." - what about status and whether or not the program is still trying? Why is there no wait or retry button?

    When I press the cancel button the page just sits there with the "upload new file to briefcase" dialog box still open and its cancel button greyed out - by chance I found out that I can make it go away by pressing escape.....

    Firefox/IE -- So far our tests have gone best in Firefox, however, we've experienced all sorts of lock-ups and lag in both. I haven't tried the installable clients yet.

    Summary -- We're still debating whether or not this will work for our needs. First glance is excellent, there are lots of good features, but as we dig in we're becoming concerned about the cost of educating and supporting this with our users as well as the cost of managing and maintaining the hardware and software. Huge potential....

  2. #2
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    Default

    Okay, so you have been testing out the NE version Have you raised any of these concerns directly with the ZM sales team ? As a prospective customer they may be able to help you out with some of these.

  3. #3
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    Red face

    Sounds logical... I'll do that, thanks.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Overall functionality: The core Email tool works quite nicely. Most additional features work reasonably well, however some are lacking refinement. For example, in the Calendar when setting up appointments, say you have the same appointment for three days in a row. If you create the first day and you are looking at this on your calendar, there's no "right-click-copy" and then "paste" into the days you wish to copy it to.
    Well you could do a reoccurring appointment - but I think you want to vote for this RFE: Bug 8094 - Copy and paste/DnD copy of calendar entries
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Another example... you can add an external account - an excellent feature to have. The problem? It seems only halfway implemented. I added my gmail account to test this out. At first I started with imap. It "tested" ok so I saved the settings (yes I turned on imap in gmails side too). I waited about an hour, no mail showed up.
    You'll have to hit the 'get mail' button, I see you did later with POP but did you with IMAP?
    Ok so, account aggregation:
    -4.5.x supports external POP accounts in the web-client
    -5.0.x supports both external POP & IMAP accounts in the web-client (plus periodic checking can be configured - we haven't set this up automatic just yet)

    You can also show your support for: Bug 22114 - Expose external account polling interval in UI

    It can be set automatic, but only by CLI/SOAP right now until the above enhancement is added.
    su - zimbra
    zmprov mds user@domain.com [Data source external IMAP/POP account name] zimbraDataSourcePollingInterval 900s
    zimbraDataSourceMinPollingInterval is usually 60s or 1m or 2m & zimbraFeatureMailPollingIntervalPreferenceEnabled should be set to TRUE

    To cancel polling, set the attribute value to an empty string ("") or 0. Keep in mind that zimbraDataSourcePollingInterval gets inherited from the COS to the account to the data source. If a child object sets the value to "", it inherits the parent's value - if set to 0, it's turned off.

    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    So I switched to POP instead. This started working right away, except it would only download ~300 of my 6000 msgs at a click, and every time I try to get external mail I get "You may be on a slow connection or the server is slow, cancel or wait?". Worse yet I cannot continue to use zimbra while I'm checking for new messages on the external account... So far after about 24hrs I've only been able to retrieve half of my messages from gmail... now I get all sorts of error messages or just a few messages come in and nothing is said... Not quite what I had expected.
    Hm, stumping me right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Sharing folders, documents, etc.: with other users in a domain isn't nearly as simple as it could be. In some unrelated systems I've used over the years, I find it's incredibly helpful to have a sharing "overview" area where a user can click and quickly see and adjust what contacts have access to what files/folders/documents/calendars, etc... It took us some time to figure out how to do this and some users complained they couldn't figure it out. In the end it works but it could be "easier".
    Yup, another RFE for you to vote for: Bug 7473 - Share management and discovery
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Other bugs and/or feature requests:
    Move or copy items from one notebook to another, from one briefcase to another so they don't have to be recreated in another share to share them with more than one organization.
    - Bug 11465 - ability to move a document page
    - You can move files in briefcase, but care to file one for briefcase copy?
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Server RAM requirements seem a bit crazy. I've posted this on another forum and have been discussing this with a very helpful Zimbra user. We're seeing 2GB RAM + 670MB Swap usage with only a handful of users.
    The swap is something to keep an eye on, can't help but wonder about the VM... By the way, did you ever correct the slapd file descriptors? (known issue)
    Editing /opt/zimbra/libexec/zmslapd so it looks like:
    Code:
    ulimit -n 32768
    ulimit -c unlimited
    export LD_PRELOAD=/opt/zimbra/tcmalloc/lib/libtcmalloc.so
    exec /opt/zimbra/openldap/libexec/slapd "$@"
    Quote Originally Posted by dijichi2 View Post
    zimbra pre-allocates huge amounts of memory by default. you can change this with:

    zmlocalconfig -e mysql_memory_percent = 40
    zmlocalconfig -e mailboxd_java_heap_memory_percent=30

    I think these are the defaults - lower them if you want to use less memory at startup, however if the box is dedicated to zimbra leave them as they are.
    Quote Originally Posted by fcash View Post
    Note: "free" memory is wasted memory in Linux. Any memory not currently and actively being used by programs *will* be used as a disk/data cache. When programs need memory, pages from the cache are freed for them to use.

    You only have to worry when SWAP usage starts climbing into the gigabytes. Until then, relax in the knowledge that the kernel is doing it's job managing memory in such a way to reduce the amount of disk traffic.
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    upload progress bar
    upload box should be in a new window or spawn to the background so you can navigate and check mail while uploading files - especially if uploading a large file to a busy server.
    Bug 22503 - Attachment upload progress prompt
    Bug 7862 - Upload attachments in the background to enable viewing attachments prior to submission and speeding up msg sending

    Have you seen the FF extension? http://www.zimbra.com/forums/announc...ever-here.html
    Bug 24694 - Upload Progress Indicator for DnD Ext
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Easily move or copy items from one notebook to another, or from one briefcase to another etc. so they don't have to be recreated in another share to share them with more than one organization.
    Repeat of an above - you really want that don't ya?
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    When uploading a file and I get a "work in progress" message - "The server appears to be slow to respond, and may be unavailable. Press the button to cancel your request." - what about status and whether or not the program is still trying? Why is there no wait or retry button?

    When I press the cancel button the page just sits there with the "upload new file to briefcase" dialog box still open and its cancel button greyed out - by chance I found out that I can make it go away by pressing escape.....
    Bug 18678 - Attach attachments: Need a Cancel-uploading of attachments during mailcompose (expand that to your situation)
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Firefox/IE -- So far our tests have gone best in Firefox, however, we've experienced all sorts of lock-ups and lag in both. I haven't tried the installable clients yet.
    Any error messages or logs to provide? Firebug, etc (though you shouldn't always run with firebug enabled, mozilla's bugzilla has several things open about that extension eating up memory)
    Quote Originally Posted by rotorboy View Post
    Summary -- We're still debating whether or not this will work for our needs. First glance is excellent, there are lots of good features, but as we dig in we're becoming concerned about the cost of educating and supporting this with our users as well as the cost of managing and maintaining the hardware and software. Huge potential....
    Well I hope you choose zimbra, but of course I'm biased
    In my view, end-users can adapt & we have so many ways to access your data it's unbelievable.

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