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Thread: Running Zimbra on Proxmox Virtualization Environment (based on OpenVZ)

  1. #1
    martinmaurer is offline Junior Member
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    Default Running Zimbra on Proxmox Virtualization Environment (based on OpenVZ)

    Hi all,

    I am new here and I just want to introduce our Proxmox VE (with OpenVZ) platform as a convenient way to run Zimbra (Proxmox VE is licensed under GPL). I am working since years with all major virtualization technologies and OpenVZ is the fastest way to run Linux servers like Zimbra - Why? See OpenVZ.

    Proxmox VE installs from bare-metal in minutes, the rest is done via web interface.

    Here is a (very) short HowTo for running Zimbra on Proxmox VE:


    1. Install Proxmox VE on a new Server, see Installation
    2. Download your favorite OS template via the Proxmox VE web interface (VM Manager - Appliance Templates: Download) - I used "Debian Etch (standard)" - 32-bit
    3. After download, create a new Virtual Machine (OpenVZ) with the Debian template, hostname like "zimbra.yourdomain.com" and with 4096 RAM (yes, you need this as 4096 also includes physical ram and swap space from Proxmox VE host.)
    4. Start the new Virtual Machine and open the console, run "apt-get update" and "apt-get update", remove postfix with "apt-get remove postfix"
    5. Now proceed with the standard Zimbra Installation Guide for Debian Etch.
    6. Please note, you can migrate, backup and restore this Virtual Machine with vzdump.
    We are building ready to run Virtual Appliances with commercial software vendors and also open source projects like Mediawiki - and Zimbra is a very good candidate for both.

    I would appreciate any feedback from the Zimbra community and very important from Zimbra people about this idea.

    Thanks for your patience reading to the end!

    Best regards,
    Martin

    martin@proxmox.com
    Main Page - Proxmox VE

  2. #2
    uxbod's Avatar
    uxbod is offline Moderator
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    Welcome to the forums

    Had a read through your main page, but could you expand on what the underlying technologies are from a OSS perspective ? Have you written your own virtualisation software or using something like Xen or KVM ?

    Nice web interface by the way

    Updated: Do you handle full or para virtualisation ?
    Last edited by uxbod; 04-29-2008 at 11:22 AM. Reason: added updated note

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    Found it You have built using KVM and OpenVZ. Would fit nice with Ubuntu installs now that they have chosen KVM as their primary virtualisation technology.

    Would be interested in performance stats ?
    Last edited by uxbod; 04-29-2008 at 11:28 AM.

  4. #4
    martinmaurer is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by uxbod View Post
    Welcome to the forums

    Had a read through your main page, but could you expand on what the underlying technologies are from a OSS perspective ? Have you written your own virtualisation software or using something like Xen or KVM ?

    Nice web interface by the way

    Updated: Do you handle full or para virtualisation ?
    Hi,

    Proxmox VE is the only platform which can handle several technologies on the same host:

    - Container Virtualization (with OpenVZ)
    - Full Virtualization (with KVM)
    - Para Virtualization (with KVM)

    So can run unmodified guest like windows and performance optimized Linux servers on the same host - a must for small organizations.

    Container Virtualization (also used by Virtuozzo, the commercial version of OpenVZ) is the fastest for Linux servers as the guest uses the Kernel from the host to access the hardware, means there is no overhead here (just a bit). there are also other advantages for migration, backup etc.

    Container Virtual Machines (a container is also known as VE or VPS) are also quite small - Keep in mind, all VPS servers offered by hosting companies are based on OpenVZ or Virtuozzo - its a very stable and widely used technology already. In contrast, KVM is quite new but will evolve very fast - KVM together with the upcoming 2.6.26 Kernel will be a big step here.

    If you use Full/Para Virtualization (KVM/XEN), the guest has its own kernel means you have much more overhead here. By using para virtualized drivers for network cards, block devices, memory etc. improves performance but you will never get container performance.

    Conclusion:
    Running Zimbra as OpenVZ Container will run near to native performance and faster compared to all Para/Full Virtualization technologies like KVM, XEN, Virtualbox, VMware, MS Virtual Server, Parallels, ...

    A Container can be based on all Linux variants - CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, etc. - which means you can choose the Linux OS you already know as a basis for your Zimbra.

    Best regards,
    Martin

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    mlanner is offline Special Member
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    Martin,

    I've been trying to follow your instructions in this thread. I've also looked at the Debian instructions on the Proxmox wiki. I've mainly tried to install Zimbra NE on Ubuntu 8.04. Any tips or hints?

    Thanks in advance.

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    martinmaurer is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlanner View Post
    Martin,

    I've been trying to follow your instructions in this thread. I've also looked at the Debian instructions on the Proxmox wiki. I've mainly tried to install Zimbra NE on Ubuntu 8.04. Any tips or hints?

    Thanks in advance.
    do you try 32-bit or 64-bit Ubuntu? on what stage do you get problems, any logs?

    I already decided to update our wiki how to, but I am unsure about the base OS I should choose for the new howto:
    1. Debian Lenny 32 (not available yet)
    2. Ubuntu 8.04 32
    3. Ubuntu 8.04 64
    4. Centos 32
    5. Centos 64
    which one do you prefer? (I tend to Ubuntu 64 as it looks like that is more preferred from Zimbra and I like deb based distros.)

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    mlanner is offline Special Member
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    Martin,

    Thanks for your quick reply. I actually just got it working about 30 minutes ago.

    Regarding updating the wiki entry, I personally prefer Ubuntu, and I think many others would too, because it's a distribution supported by Zimbra.

    I would've gone with the 64-bit version, but I noticed here in the forums there were still some issues with it. So, I went with the 32-bit version.

    I had problems all along the way:
    - DNS was an issue. Although I'm running a separate DNS server on the LAN, it wouldn't work properly until I installed a separate DNS server on the Zimbra machine.
    - I also had problems with some Zimbra packages, like postfix, not installing properly. I had to uninstall and reinstall many times.
    - Port conflicts were reported, and "magically" fixed themselves upon next reinstall.
    - I got errors that the Java Virtual Machine didn't install properly.

    I've installed Zimbra on other VM hosts before, predominantly VMware ESX and Server, and have never had these problems before. :S

    I'd be happy to assist in writing/reviewing the wiki article.

    Rgds /// mL

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    martinmaurer is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlanner View Post
    Martin,

    Thanks for your quick reply. I actually just got it working about 30 minutes ago.

    Regarding updating the wiki entry, I personally prefer Ubuntu, and I think many others would too, because it's a distribution supported by Zimbra.

    I would've gone with the 64-bit version, but I noticed here in the forums there were still some issues with it. So, I went with the 32-bit version.

    I had problems all along the way:
    - DNS was an issue. Although I'm running a separate DNS server on the LAN, it wouldn't work properly until I installed a separate DNS server on the Zimbra machine.
    - I also had problems with some Zimbra packages, like postfix, not installing properly. I had to uninstall and reinstall many times.
    - Port conflicts were reported, and "magically" fixed themselves upon next reinstall.
    - I got errors that the Java Virtual Machine didn't install properly.

    I've installed Zimbra on other VM hosts before, predominantly VMware ESX and Server, and have never had these problems before. :S

    I'd be happy to assist in writing/reviewing the wiki article.

    Rgds /// mL
    Hi,

    just updated our howto for Ubuntu 32-bit.

    worked as expected without any problem. can you review it?
    the site is a wiki, you can edit the whole page.

    Zimbra - Proxmox VE

    thanks,
    br, martin

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    Hatrix is offline Translation Moderator
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    Hi, i am currently trying to install zimbra in a debian VPS, but i put now more than 6 GIG of ram into this container (the host has 12 gig) but even after this I keep getting failcnts for the privvmpages ... and I can not understand it. After it is started top displays like around 3 gig used, but the failcounts in privvmpages rise. I saw in top for short times peaks in memory, i think it is when zimbra trys to launch another java vm for the watchdog or other stuff, and sometimes these fails with no java could not allocte the memory, sometimes i also get this when using zmlocalconfig ...

    so i am at a loss here, my setup is Host: openvz kernel 2.6.18, latest stable, debian lenny, container debian lenny, barebone install.

    do you have any idea how i can get this more stable? i also set the java heap configuration for mailboxd from 40% to 20% ...

    any suggestions more than welcome!

    thanx

  10. #10
    martinmaurer is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatrix View Post
    Hi, i am currently trying to install zimbra in a debian VPS, but i put now more than 6 GIG of ram into this container (the host has 12 gig) but even after this I keep getting failcnts for the privvmpages ... and I can not understand it. After it is started top displays like around 3 gig used, but the failcounts in privvmpages rise. I saw in top for short times peaks in memory, i think it is when zimbra trys to launch another java vm for the watchdog or other stuff, and sometimes these fails with no java could not allocte the memory, sometimes i also get this when using zmlocalconfig ...

    so i am at a loss here, my setup is Host: openvz kernel 2.6.18, latest stable, debian lenny, container debian lenny, barebone install.

    do you have any idea how i can get this more stable? i also set the java heap configuration for mailboxd from 40% to 20% ...

    any suggestions more than welcome!

    thanx
    see this thread, maybe you can find some hints:
    Proxmox, OpenVZ, memory, Java VMs and Zimbra - Proxmox Support Forum

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