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Thread: New Zimbra Installation

  1. #1
    ravenswood1000 is offline New Member
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    Default New Zimbra Installation

    Hi. I've used zimbra for a few years and I find it very good. I've always used what might be called a 'inferior' hardware setup because of lack of budget. Recently, I've been given the go ahead for something heftier and was hoping to get some advice from the forum.

    The setup is for a very small radio station with about 25 users, and I'm figuring we will use ubuntu since debian is on the way out.

    I guess my question is/are: what kind of hardware should I consider? Should it be virtualized? Is virtualbox ok for this? Should we have a second mailserver for failover? Software raid 1 ok?

    What about a external firewall? We don't currently have one and Zimbra says don't use a firewall? Should we?

    What is a good backup strategy for Zimbra?

    I guess my questions really boil down to: if you had a limited budget (but at least had a budget) what is the best way to set something like this up and what would you like to see included?

    Thanks a million for any thoughts you folks can offer.

  2. #2
    lytledd is offline Elite Member
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    I guess my question is/are: what kind of hardware should I consider? Should it be virtualized? Is virtualbox ok for this?
    I'm running VB at home with around 3 users, but I don't see why it wouldn't support 25. Virtualization, in my opinion, it a must. Snapshots are just too convenient for failure recovery.

    Should we have a second mailserver for failover? Software raid 1 ok?
    If mail is a critical for your environment, then probably. I'm working on that currently for my employer. As for Software RAID, I'm not a fan.

    What about a external firewall? We don't currently have one and Zimbra says don't use a firewall? Should we?
    ALWAYS! You should never be putting servers directly on the net. A small Linux firewall, running IPTables and using Firewall Builder for the rules. And yes, you can run Zimbra behind the firewall (DMZ) with a Split-DNS setup.

    What is a good backup strategy for Zimbra?
    Depends on what version you're using. At home, I'm using OSE, at work we're using NE.

    At home, I do an XFS snapshot of the file system and then use Duplicity to do the compressing, encrypting and moving to a secondary storage unit. For work, we use the built-in backup facilities

    I guess my questions really boil down to: if you had a limited budget (but at least had a budget) what is the best way to set something like this up and what would you like to see included?
    Low-end quad core system (I'm currently running on a referb Dell with a Core2Quad, between 8 and 10 GB memory and 2 Hard drives, 1 for the OS and 1 for the datastore. For backups, a eSata drive.

    For the Virtualization, VB 4.12 64bit. If you're not Windows averse (I am), the VMWare ESXi 4.10 is a good choice as well, but requires a Windows client for administration.

    Doug
    Last edited by lytledd; 08-26-2011 at 02:46 AM. Reason: Spelling error
    Ben Franklin quote:

    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

  3. #3
    phoenix is online now Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravenswood1000 View Post
    What about a external firewall? We don't currently have one and Zimbra says don't use a firewall? Should we?
    Just to clarify this point, the Zimbra documentation says do not use a firewall (nor AppArmor/SElinux) on the Zimbra server itself. You should always protect your server behind a NAT router or firewall (or with any other security measures/monitoring you feel is appropriate).
    Last edited by phoenix; 08-25-2011 at 11:17 PM.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

  4. #4
    dipeshmehta is offline Special Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravenswood1000 View Post
    The setup is for a very small radio station with about 25 users, and I'm figuring we will use ubuntu since debian is on the way out.

    I guess my question is/are: what kind of hardware should I consider? Should it be virtualized? Is virtualbox ok for this? Should we have a second mailserver for failover? Software raid 1 ok?

    What about a external firewall? We don't currently have one and Zimbra says don't use a firewall? Should we?

    What is a good backup strategy for Zimbra?
    We use Xeon E3110 processor based economic server with 4 GB RAM and software RAID1 on Ubuntu for 125 users (109 active users). Mailboxes ranging from 2GB to 15GB. The setup runs smoothly.

    We are currently using Network Edition, so backup feature is there in Zimbra itself, but if you go for FOSS there are some great backup scripts available in wiki.

    Dipesh

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