Monday, May 24, 2010

Zimbra, once more

I remember playing around with the Zimbra Collaboration Suite when it first came into public existence sometime ago. I was working for a different company back then and was looking at it from an ISPs perspective, it was good but wasn't exactly there yet but development was well underway in that regard. I played around with it a bit and stuck it on the 'neat tech to check out later' pile.

Later on and a change of jobs I looked at it again, this time from a medium enterprise perspective. This time I was looking specifically at the per user licensing for use of the Outlook Connector. The costs were okay but the limited testing in our environment proved it to be a bit hit and miss, although I contribute a large portion of the blame towards the lack of any formal directory service or structure.

Now that I'm presented with a rapid upgrade requirement to save our e-mail services (due to shortsightedness of management) I'm having to jump straight into rolling out Zimbra with limited testing. So I blew away a idle Win2k3 SBS server and installed Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Server and tossed on Zimbra 6.0.6.1. I did do some testing beforehand on a xen vm just to make sure it would install and operate okay before I wasted a good 2k3 install.

Currently I'm impressed with how far ZCS has come along. There's plenty of documentation available in the wiki and forums and the 'zmprov' provisioning utility is working wonders with shifting user accounts over from the Sendmail/Dovecot/PAM setup on the old mail server. I am using imapsync to copy the 143GB of email over thanks to the handy scripts provided by the ZCS community.

One thing I like in particular is the ability to dump the {crypt} passwords straight from the shadow file into Zimbra's LDAP - no need to have everyone change their passwords. Although it is recommended and I will get them to do so after I'm satisfied that Zimbra is working okay.

I will update this post with a run down on the scripts I used with any modifications I made.
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