Zimbra – Part II
In late Sept. 2007, I ditched Outlook for good and switched to Zimbra. My experience with Zimbra has been great — exceptionally stable, wonderful user experience and every feature I have ever wanted in a webmail client. That was until v5.0x was released. It had even cooler features and I decided to take the plunge.
Bad move…after spending almost a whole day in aggregate, my smooth running Zimbra server on a Linode VPS is toast. I mean the data is all there, but I cannot get the server to work right. I have spent lots of time on the Zimbra wiki and forums, scoured the documentation and tried lots of fixes — bottom line, the new webserver Jetty that replaces Tomcat just does not work. It basically responds to requests, but does nothing…for infinity. I have done upgrade installs, clean installs, clean installs on a clean server…no dice…it just won’t work.
Today, I finally admitted defeat…Zimbra has lost some of its lustre (but only on the server side). For the first time ever, I have my mail hosted on a server that I do not control. When I first started my Zimbra experience, I found 01.com to be the best Zimbra host out there, so today I setup all the family email accounts on 01.com.
So far the experience has been pretty decent. Everything works as advertised (although it’s a bit sluggish…but maybe that’s because I’m coming from a VPS). The only area I was underwhelmed by was support…it took several hours to get a couple of domain aliases added to my account…a pretty simple operation. But so far, so good.
Now, all I have to do is figure out how to get the message store from my server into my 01 Zimbra account.
The VPS on Linode has a cool feature that allows you to purchase more memory for your server on-demand. On a whim, I did this and presto…my Zimbra server was back to normal operational status. I was running it on 1Gb, while the minimum requirements for Zimbra v5.0 appear to be 2Gb. After doing some research I found that this is only for the default settings. By making config. changes for how much the Java VM and MySQL consume, you can run it on 1.5Gb.
Now, I have all my email from my Linode transferred to my 01.com Zimbra mailbox (using IMAP). Even though I like the thought of having complete control on my mail, this experience has convinced me that for something as critical as email, delegating backups, upgrades and compatibility to a provider is a better option. I have been using 01.com’s service for over a month now and am a happy customer. I even signed-up for the Blackberry OTA sync of emails, calendar, addressbook and tasks that they provide. It works great.
Glad to be enjoying Zimbra once again. The lustre is back.