Centralized Storage for Zimbra with Zextras Suite | Zimbra

Alert! This article is written for Zimbra OSE users. As of December 2023, Synacor will no longer be providing support for Zimbra OSE. You might want to consider trying out Carbonio Community Edition – Zextras’s free and open-source email and collaboration platform.

For additional guidance, check out our community articles detailing the process of migrating from your current platform to Carbonio CE.

Centralized storage drastically improves mailbox move speed and facilitates data management. This positive impact on time and resources is even more evident in large-scale infrastructures.

What Is Centralized Storage

Centralized storage is the storage of shared data between different Zimbra servers to facilitate data management. Zextras centralized storage allows Zimbra environments to use an S3 bucket to host data from multiple servers while sharing the same directory structure.

Although it seems that the only difference here is using an S3 bucket instead of storing the data locally, centralized storage has more benefits. We’ll take a look at these advantages in the following sections.

Why Centralized Storage?

In Zimbra multi-server environments, the difference between the directory structure of individual volumes is a big obstacle for smooth mailbox moves. Each volume has its own directory structure based on the server and volume properties.

On the other hand, centralized storage hosts data from different servers with the same directory structure, leading to more optimized data management and faster mailbox move operations.

Centralized Storage Advantages

Centralized storage has diverse benefits. Storing data in one place makes it easier to manage, allows for better control of data protection, and is also more immune to physical harm as it uses reliable S3 buckets. In a Zimbra environment, centralized storage is generally useful when more than one server needs access to the same data. The centralization improves speed, availability, and reliability which have a positive impact on the cost in the long run.

How It Works

Zextras centralized storage stores the data in a centralized volume. The root contains a directory for each server and a directory for each mailbox stored all at the same level.

System administrators can create a centralized volume on any server using the zxsuite powerstore doCreateVolume command. Setting up an S3 bucket for the volume is also very easy using the zxsuite powerstore doCreateBucket command. without the need for any S3-side configurations. You only need an S3 bucket with a policy for user full rights and access/secret key.

You can also use the centralized bucket management UI from the Zimbra Administration Console to configure the S3 buckets. This way there is no need to insert all the information each time creating a new volume as follows:

  • Log into Zimbra administration console,
  • Select Configure on the left pane,
  • Go to Global Settings,
  • Access S3 Buckets.

To learn more about S3 bucket management in detail you can read the Zextras documentation website.

All S3 compatible volumes such as Amazon S3, Cloudian, EMC, Scality S3, Yandex, Alibaba are supported.

To learn more about this feature please refer to the Zextras Powerstore documentation.

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