+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
How do you do....it? Thread, Zimbra - open source instead of Exchange in Technical; I'm looking for ways to upgrade our ageing Exchange 2003 server and OWA clients to something with more features and ...
  1. #1
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,283
    Thank Post
    110
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28

    Question Zimbra - open source instead of Exchange

    I'm looking for ways to upgrade our ageing Exchange 2003 server and OWA clients to something with more features and a more updateable future. Upgrading to Exchange 2007/2010 is typical Microsoft, i.e buying CALS for users/devices/individual single dna strands etc which means it runs into 000s when you're not on EES or similar.

    So open source Zimbra ZCS server and web clients looks like a worthwhile trial. Before I even start has anyone had any good/bad experiences doing a similar thing?

    And to anyone using ZCS, how do you back it up? and are you running it on a particular flavour of linux/VM?

    I think I'm spitballing/blue sky thinking etc....

  2. #2


    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    8,202
    Thank Post
    442
    Thanked 1,032 Times in 812 Posts
    Rep Power
    339
    I ran Zimbra for 1800 users for a couple of years. It was very successful, I used Centos and backed it up with scripts.
    We ran Exchange for staff and Zimbra for students. Zimbra was much less hassle than exchange.
    We since migrated all the accounts to google apps, which is even less hassle.

  3. #3
    mdench's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Billingshurst
    Posts
    759
    Thank Post
    35
    Thanked 99 Times in 90 Posts
    Rep Power
    30
    Ido believe that @glennda has setup / run zimbra so he may be a good person to speak to

  4. #4

    synaesthesia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    5,844
    Thank Post
    570
    Thanked 994 Times in 766 Posts
    Blog Entries
    15
    Rep Power
    460
    We run Zimbra and are very happy with it. We used to use prism based clients on the old XP network but now we just use the web based client for users, it does everything we need. (circa 1800 users) including email, some filtering/local security, calendars, distribution lists etc. Plus it's amusing to run something that can be expanded exponentially like Zimbra on a crappy little 4GB virtual machine as opposed to some of the amusing threads on here where people are moaning that 16GB ram isn't enough for their piddly Exchange setup!

  5. #5

    glennda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    7,786
    Thank Post
    272
    Thanked 1,130 Times in 1,026 Posts
    Rep Power
    348
    Quote Originally Posted by mdench View Post
    Ido believe that @glennda has setup / run zimbra so he may be a good person to speak to
    Yup got both zimbra 7 and zimbra 8 running atm although not the free version. the paid version backs itself up send now comes as a VMWare virtual appliance which keeps itself secure and up to date :-)

  6. #6
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,283
    Thank Post
    110
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    I think we'd be looking at the free version - at least to start with, and primarily looking at the web client

  7. #7

    Edu-IT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7,088
    Thank Post
    402
    Thanked 618 Times in 565 Posts
    Rep Power
    180
    Why not look at something like Office365?

  8. #8
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,283
    Thank Post
    110
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    We have looked at office365 and google apps as well, the zimbra option is a way of maintaining our own 'cloud' which seems to be preferred here.

  9. #9

    webman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    North East England
    Posts
    8,400
    Thank Post
    636
    Thanked 961 Times in 661 Posts
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    319
    Hi Sheridan. I set up Zimbra at the school I worked at (where @bossman is). It's been running there almost 5 years, and I just helped upgrade to the latest version. Version 8 includes a vastly improved interface for both email and admin interfaces.

    It's been a great asset for the school, saving money and enhancing communication. It runs virtually on XenServer. Everyone uses the web interface - internally using Prism (Mozilla-based chromeless stripped-down web browser) and pre-authentication for streamlined sign-in.

    Accounts are synced to Zimbra from AD using a custom script and database, because we wanted to fully automate the creation, disabling and list membership of accounts -> mailboxes from AD. I read that Version 8 has some AD/LDAP automation/creation now - but haven't read much about that. Worth looking in to though.

    With regards to backup, there are multiple pieces of functionality in place for it. 1) individual mailbox backups for staff to a NAS box, daily. 2) entire Zimbra installation backup, weekly, for DR. 3) VM snapshots at regular intervals and before doing major upgrades/updates and/or for DR.

    Hope that's useful - don't hesitate to ask me or @bossman any further questions

  10. 2 Thanks to webman:

    bossman (29th October 2012), Sheridan (30th October 2012)

  11. #10
    cpjitservices's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Hessle
    Posts
    2,419
    Thank Post
    507
    Thanked 282 Times in 258 Posts
    Rep Power
    81
    I've looked at Zimbra and when I get time I'm going to put everything on Zimbra, Exchange is an absolute Server Hog and a beast to maintain!

    Currently using Exchange, but have Sendmail / Postfix up & running also as a backup.

  12. #11
    Sheridan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,283
    Thank Post
    110
    Thanked 86 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    28
    Cheers - this is the sort of info I'm after! I'd like full AD integration if possible (everything else is!) and web client is the main concern as even Outlook users here seem to use OWA more than anything

  13. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    310
    Thank Post
    20
    Thanked 80 Times in 68 Posts
    Rep Power
    43
    I set up Zimbra and my last place (synaesthesia's current place )

    I thought it was great, it was quite low maintenance, as synaesthesia has mentioned it's pretty low on system requirements (although quick disks are a must if running anything substantial) and the beauty of it being entirely web based is that users have the same experience where ever they are. In terms of backup, it was simply a case of stopping all the Zimbra services and backing up the Zimbra installation directory via Rsync or alternative. Later we migrated it to a VM on ESXi and used pre & post VM snapshot scripts that run when Veeam takes a backup scheduled late at night. (It's running on Ubuntu Server btw).

    I now run Exchange 2010 at my current place and I'll have to admit I am liking it more & more especially with things like activesync for push emails etc but I believe you would get that functionality with the Network edition of Zimbra along with other features such as hot backups.

  14. #13

    glennda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    7,786
    Thank Post
    272
    Thanked 1,130 Times in 1,026 Posts
    Rep Power
    348
    Zimbra also have a free client to download (Zimbra Desktop) and a plugin for Outlook.

    here is a full feature comparison - Zimbra - Compare Products

  15. #14

    synaesthesia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    5,844
    Thank Post
    570
    Thanked 994 Times in 766 Posts
    Blog Entries
    15
    Rep Power
    460
    Quote Originally Posted by Ashm View Post
    ...I now run Exchange 2010 at my current place and I'll have to admit I am liking it more & more especially with things like activesync for push emails etc but I believe you would get that functionality with the Network edition of Zimbra along with other features such as hot backups...
    This is true - we've been looking at updating Zimbra recently and these are some features that seem to be top of the list, although we were more looking at it for improved (and easier!) filtering/quarantine, which we resolved by plumping for FOPE instead. I still think we'll be upgrading it fairly soon, I know someone is champing at the bit to do it

  16. #15

    Sylv3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Co. Durham
    Posts
    3,197
    Thank Post
    370
    Thanked 374 Times in 332 Posts
    Rep Power
    147
    We ran Zimbra for our students for 4+ years before moving to Live@Edu last year, we run SSO and AD synchronisation so the accounts are automatically created and link with our AD for password management etc. Didn't have any issues with Zimbra and haven't had any issues with Live@Edu. Will be looking at moving to 365 over the next few months, possibly for both staff and students.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Open Source music studios
    By Dos_Box in forum General Chat
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 3rd May 2013, 02:41 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19th October 2010, 11:53 PM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 26th January 2010, 10:03 PM
  4. [Website] 35 Google Open-Source Projects That You Probably [Posibly] Don't Know [Of]
    By DaveP in forum Jokes/Interweb Things
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 27th December 2009, 02:51 PM
  5. Open source media centre
    By Dos_Box in forum Downloads
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 15th February 2007, 12:56 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •