Here is a summary of this week’s conference call. A few brief reminders:
- Conference calls are every Tuesday and open to all using either the FreeConferenceCall.com VoIP app or via a dial-in number: https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/zetalliance
- Each week’s call agenda can be found at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uUUDJpwp2CAylU6lxtbEdVcUX_qSbciyes6gLTWw2fY/edit
- Constructive feedback on these call summaries is always welcome.
May 26, 2020 Conference Call Summary
File Storage In Zimbra
Marc G. asked why Zimbra has not integrated the technology they acquired in 2014 from Mezeo, which included file sharing and cloud storage capabilities. John E., a former Mezeo employee who joined Zimbra post-acquisition, said that about a year after the Mezeo acquisition, Zimbra underwent a business reorganization, and the planned Mezeo integration was de-prioritized. Marc G. said that his customers want to sync their files across devices and that the acquired Mezeos technology would make sense to use as Zimbra Drive, since Zimbra Drive currently operates within a silo in the Zimbra Web Client. John E. said that re-visiting the integration of Mezeo in to Zimbra today would be challenging, as the skill sets needed to do so are no longer available within Synacor.
Zextras Road Map for 2020
Mark S. reported that Zextras has published a new roadmap for 2020: https://www.zextras.com/roadmap-2020 . He asked if Synacor is planning to publish a comparable road map for Zimbra. John E. said he thinks his colleague, Steve, may be working on a Zimbra road map, but did not know of the specifics. Mark said he is looking forward to the Zextras feature anticipated for release in August, to do Zimbra backups directly to Amazon’s S3 storage, as compared to using block storage. He explained that, in his deployment of Zimbra, this will provide a money savings opportunity and it will enable the opportunity to reduce his backup RTO (recovery time objective) to near zero.
Commenting on the Zextras road map, Cine said that in the next release of Zimbra Connect (aka Zextras Team), it is anticipated that it should eliminate the current requirement to install a Chrome extension for screen sharing. He also said that Team Video Server is anticipated to introduce the ability to control attendee video and audio from the Zimbra server, as compared to the current version of Zimbra Connect, where all video/audio controls are managed by individual Instant Meeting attendees. He explained that Team Video Server is anticipated to add an additional video/audio relay option for Instant Meeting attendees with restrictive firewalls, in addition to the existing peer-to-peer and the STUN/TURN server options.
Marc G. said he was looking forward to the S/MIME and PGP integration described in the Zextras road map. Mark S. said that many of his customers are turned off by the current S/MIME implementation in Zimbra, as it can only hold one set of keys at a time, and the amount of work required by users to maintain it does not match user expectations. He also described challenges encountered with maintaining expired certificates for S/MIME, for the purpose of decrypting old emails originally encrypted with a now expired certificate. He said that he hopes the new Zextras S/MIME and PGP implementation will hold more than one set of certificates at a time. Mark G. said his top interest, in regards to the new Zextras S/MIME and PGP implementation is introducing support for encryption of email at rest.
Zimbra 8.8.15 Patch 10
Mark S. asked if 8.8.15 Patch 10 is coming out this week. John H. said that he thinks it will be coming out very shortly. John E. checked the page in the Zimbra Partner Portal which provides an early preview of the release notes for upcoming patches, but did not see notes posted for Patch 10 yet.
Deprecated Zimbra Classic Backup And Restore
Mark G. asked for clarification about a note in the 8.8.12 GA release notes (https://wiki.zimbra.com/wiki/Zimbra_Rel ... le_Updates) that states the Zimbra Classic Backup and Restore features (zmbackup and zmrestore) have been deprecated. John E. clarified that, in the context of the release notes, deprecated means that a feature is unlikely to be included in future Zimbra versions, but is still supported in the Zimbra version in which a feature becomes deprecated. John H. explained that there were plans to remove Classic Backup/Restore after 8.8.12, but it has remained through version 8.8.15, as Zimbra customers were still widely using it, although it has been removed in 9.0. He also explained that it is known to conflict with certain Network Edition NG Module features, so if the Classic/Restore backup feature breaks in 8.8.13 or later, there are no plans to fix it.
Using SSDB With Zimbra
Mark S. asked if installing SSDB (http://ssdb.io) for use with Zimbra continues to be optional in 9.0 as it was in 8.8.15. SSDB is not currently distributed with Zimbra. John E. said that SSDB is becoming increasing required as Zimbra continues to evolve. John H. said he knows the new Zoom Zimlet in 9.0 has a dependency on SSDB.
End-To-End Email Encryption
John E. said that encryption of email at rest is anticipated to be handled at the infrastructure level in Zimbra (example: in block-level storage). He discussed a personal interest in Autocrypt (https://autocrypt.org) and suggested it may be something that everyone on the call should check out to be discussed in a future Zeta Alliance call. Autocrypt provides a means to auto-negotiate end-to-end encryption over email while remaining as transparent as possible to end users. Noah P. said the concern his customers express is that they want to know that email at rest on the Zimbra server is encrypted so that no one who breaks in to the server can gain access to stored email. John E. said that back in 2014, there was a proposal for doing full stack encryption within Zimbra, from encrypted memory down to encrypted storage. He said at the time, this proved to be very difficult and CPU intensive to accomplish, so it was not implemented.