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Thread: Zimbra community edition + VMware ESXi ?

  1. #1
    Storm16 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Zimbra community edition + VMware ESXi ?

    I've done some rudimentary searches on the forum. Since you gents are now owned by VMware, I'd like to see if this is doable, and if not, what I need to do to make it happen.

    I have been running Zimbra since, what, 3.x? on physical hardware. Currently it is only used for internal email on my home domain. (Comcast has blocked port 25 traffic, and I haven't bothered working around it yet.) Currently, I am running Zimbra 6.06 on Debian lenny.

    So I am running it on a P4 with 1GB of RAM, and 80GB HD, and my load average is around 2. I just inherited a Dell PE1850, dual 3.2GHz Xeons, and 2GB of RAM (which is I'll be upgrading to 4GB soon) and a 146GB RAID-1. I have installed VMware ESXi 3.5 on it.

    I have the following questions:

    1. Would Zimbra work in a VM given the hardware I am proposing? It's a fairly low-traffic server, mainly apticron, ossec and cron messages from my servers and VMs. That said, java is the main offender on the current hardware, using between 30 and 95% of the CPU.

    2. I want to change the hostname and IP address. Would it be easier/cleaner to create a clean lenny installation, then back up /opt/zimbra on the original box, copy it over and run the configuration tool? Or run VMware converter and then change the IP and hostname and reconfigure Zimbra?

    Thanks,
    --storm

  2. #2
    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    There's no problem running Zimbra inside a VM on ESXi, I've been running that for a long time. I'd suggest you build a new VM with the most current release of Zimbra (wait a couple of days for 6.0.7 to arrive then migrate you mailboxes to the new VM. You can just export each mailbox then import them in the new server but there are other options if that's not possible. Is there any reason you haven't installed ESXi 4.x on the new server?
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    Storm16 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    There's no problem running Zimbra inside a VM on ESXi, I've been running that for a long time. I'd suggest you build a new VM with the most current release of Zimbra (wait a couple of days for 6.0.7 to arrive then migrate you mailboxes to the new VM. You can just export each mailbox then import them in the new server but there are other options if that's not possible.
    As always, thanks Phoenix, for your response. I do have a couple of questions though. I can understand building a clean box (vm, in this case), but in working with JHolder over the years, I thought to migrate the installation, the versions have to be the same. The upgrade/migration procedure I always followed was:

    0. Install the same version of Zimbra on the new box as exists on the old box.
    1. Stop Zimbra on the original box.
    2. tar up /opt/zimbra
    3. Copy to new box.
    4. untar to /opt/zimbra (overlaying the existing install).
    5. Upgrade as necessary.

    I always thought exporting mailboxes was only for the network edition...

    Is there any reason you haven't installed ESXi 4.x on the new server?
    Its a PE1850 that was excessed by a friend's company. Its a 32-bit server, and ESXi 4 only ships for 64-bit platforms. But hey, beggars can't be choosers.

    --storm

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    raj
    raj is offline Moderator
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    1) yes esxi 3.x is fine for your hardware..esxi 4 is better but you have no option.
    2) your migration process check list is correct. you will need to make new VM with same version as your existing one and the copy all data from old machine..

    PS: changing IP will not be an issue..keep your hostname same for migration and once everything is working then you try that.

    We run hundred's of zimbra VM's on esxi 4 and works like a charme
    Raj
    i2k2 Networks
    Dedicated & Shared Zimbra Hosting Provider

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    phoenix is offline Zimbra Consultant & Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Storm16 View Post
    As always, thanks Phoenix, for your response. I do have a couple of questions though. I can understand building a clean box (vm, in this case), but in working with JHolder over the years, I thought to migrate the installation, the versions have to be the same. The upgrade/migration procedure I always followed was:

    0. Install the same version of Zimbra on the new box as exists on the old box.
    1. Stop Zimbra on the original box.
    2. tar up /opt/zimbra
    3. Copy to new box.
    4. untar to /opt/zimbra (overlaying the existing install).
    5. Upgrade as necessary.
    That would be the way to do it if you want to move everything to a new server. If you have a limited number of mailboxes then you could export/import them (it's a feature of the recent releases) via the user Preferences. That does, however, require you to open each users mailbox and then do the export and import on the new server - I don't know how 'confidential' the data is in each mailbox. It's your choice but obviously you should do the usual backup before the migration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm16 View Post
    Its a PE1850 that was excessed by a friend's company. Its a 32-bit server, and ESXi 4 only ships for 64-bit platforms. But hey, beggars can't be choosers.
    I'm not 100% up-to-date with the Dell server but you should find that it's a 64bit server, perhaps older models aren't? I have a PE2850 and that's 64bit. You can't install 64 bit guests on it but it certainly should run ESXi 4.x, obviously if you try the installer it'll tell you if it won't install.
    Regards


    Bill


    Acompli: A new adventure for Co-Founder KevinH.

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    Storm16 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
    That would be the way to do it if you want to move everything to a new server. If you have a limited number of mailboxes then you could export/import them (it's a feature of the recent releases) via the user Preferences. That does, however, require you to open each users mailbox and then do the export and import on the new server - I don't know how 'confidential' the data is in each mailbox. It's your choice but obviously you should do the usual backup before the migration.
    Very nice. I admit, I haven't had a lot of time to explore Zimbra since I managed to convert from Etch to Lenny. Since then it has run flawlessly, so I have left it alone. Now it is just getting to the point where I need to start retiring some of my longer-in-the-tooth servers to save electricity, hence the reason for this exercise.

    I'm not 100% up-to-date with the Dell server but you should find that it's a 64bit server, perhaps older models aren't? I have a PE2850 and that's 64bit. You can't install 64 bit guests on it but it certainly should run ESXi 4.x, obviously if you try the installer it'll tell you if it won't install.
    You are correct. The final revs of the 1850s (and, I think, all of the 1950 line) are indeed 64-bit. I had a go at installing Proxmox VE, which is a Debian-based distro that manages both OpenVZ and KVM on one of them, but while the installer worked, the KVM portion was disabled because the CPU wasn't 64-bit.

    --storm

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