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Thread: Multi Server solution for some clients.

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    BenG is offline Intermediate Member
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    Default Multi Server solution for some clients.

    G'day All,
    We have a scenario that has been proposed to us that I can't seem to find in the Wiki.
    So wanted to get some advice before undertaking it.

    Basically we have a few smaller clients, <10 mailboxes that struggle with their ADSL connections. (ie bandwidth limits etc) and want to host their own server to improve local performance. (They shift a lot of large files emails 30Mb+)
    We also have hosted ZCS in a datacentre that obviously has no such restrictions. (Lets calll it ZD and the Client server ZC)


    So we have been asked if we can split mailboxes between servers.
    ie Have some mobile staff using ZD, with the bulk of internal staff using ZC.

    I've read through the Multisite deployment docs etc and we already have a site that has multiple MBox servers etc, so that much we are familiar with.
    So while I think this CAN be done, whether it SHOULD be done is another matter.

    The issues I can see is will there be any problems with shared calendars/inboxes etc. Or will the clients transparently handle this?
    We already have a few issues with Outlook Sync, so will this just make things worse?
    As far as I can see the Multi server deployment is more about Load balancing rather than distributed sites.

    I'm happy to beta test all of this if it's not been done, but just wanted to get a feel for the possibilities and whether this is a scenario that Zimbra would support into the future, if at all.

    Of course the ultimate answer for us would be to have a clustered arrangement, so they used the local server in the office, and them the ZD when out and about. But I think that is a little way off yet.....


    Rgds Ben

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    LMStone is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenG View Post
    G'day All,
    We have a scenario that has been proposed to us that I can't seem to find in the Wiki.
    So wanted to get some advice before undertaking it.

    Basically we have a few smaller clients, <10 mailboxes that struggle with their ADSL connections. (ie bandwidth limits etc) and want to host their own server to improve local performance. (They shift a lot of large files emails 30Mb+)
    We also have hosted ZCS in a datacentre that obviously has no such restrictions. (Lets calll it ZD and the Client server ZC)


    So we have been asked if we can split mailboxes between servers.
    ie Have some mobile staff using ZD, with the bulk of internal staff using ZC.

    I've read through the Multisite deployment docs etc and we already have a site that has multiple MBox servers etc, so that much we are familiar with.
    So while I think this CAN be done, whether it SHOULD be done is another matter.

    The issues I can see is will there be any problems with shared calendars/inboxes etc. Or will the clients transparently handle this?
    We already have a few issues with Outlook Sync, so will this just make things worse?
    As far as I can see the Multi server deployment is more about Load balancing rather than distributed sites.

    I'm happy to beta test all of this if it's not been done, but just wanted to get a feel for the possibilities and whether this is a scenario that Zimbra would support into the future, if at all.

    Of course the ultimate answer for us would be to have a clustered arrangement, so they used the local server in the office, and them the ZD when out and about. But I think that is a little way off yet.....


    Rgds Ben
    For managed services clients of ours, if an Internet connection is important to the running of their business, we often recommend they get a cable modem connection in addition to a DSL connection, and then get a firewall/router that can do sticky load balancing/failover between the connections.

    When you look at the incremental fixed costs for better bandwidth versus the costs from lost productivity plus the costs associated with setting up and maintaining a split server solution like you are thinking about (which can be done with sub-domains; there are posts here from Raj which describe it), in most cases I think you'll find the redundant Internet setup costs the client less at the end of the day.

    Hope that helps,
    Mark

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    BenG is offline Intermediate Member
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    G'day Mark,
    Thanks for your thoughts, and sorry the response has taken so long.
    I agree that in a perfect world redundant links through multiple carriers are the best option.
    But unfortunately these clients are in regional Australia locations. As such we need to contend with environmental factors, low bandwidth and often a single carrier, with no 3G option either.
    Offline Mailboxes go a long way to resolve the issue if they were SOHO(ie we would host the server in the Data centre), but in a lot of cases they are 4 or 5 person sites. The other issue with Offline Mailboxes and Outlook, is that we have had numerous problems with Mailboxes randomly re-synching, or having to be reset, which takes a huge toll on their Bandwidth allocation.

    Thanks for the tip re RAJ's posts, I'll review them and see whether the subdomains route will work.

    Rgds Ben

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    G'day Ben,

    I think you will find Raj's subdomain configs will be exactly what you need.

    Best of luck!
    Mark

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    @Ben: if you have not found the link Mark mentioned then its in this message.

    you can assume instead of 2 servers in 2 countries..you have 2 boxes sitting next to each other or one local (with public ip) and other in datacentre
    They can be NE + OSS or OSS + OSS

    Multi-country secondary servers

    domain or subdomain..for zimbra its a seprate entity so it will work.

    Raj
    i2k2 Networks
    Dedicated & Shared Zimbra Hosting Provider

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    BenG is offline Intermediate Member
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    G'day Raj,
    Thanks a lot for your postings, they are fantastic.
    Thankfully they answered a critical show stopper for this, and that is the lack of shared calendars etc
    The main reason (our) customers go from IMAP to Zimbra (or Exchange) is the shared calendars.
    So this wouldn't work in our case.

    So it looks like I will have to wait for Active-Active clustering....but I suspect that our vaunted NBN which supposedly will give national 12mb/s to the 10% of the population not covered by 100Mb/s will get here first :-)

    Rgds Ben

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