Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

    Evening all.

    We are set to merge with our sister company soon, and as part of that we are going to overhaul the IT system. At present, both companies use Exchange 2003.

    At the sister company, there was no network until last year. They took on a temp to setup the systme, and he did a pretty awful job of it. There were frequent outages, mostly affecting Email. The CEO wasn't happy. We've worked very hard and their email platform is now running perfectly, but being a non-technical manager (and on a different planet most of the time ) the CEO is still adamant that our email platform is not reliable. He has therefore decided that we are going to move both sites over to Zimbra (original idea was Google, but he decided against that after our technical manager told him that he could go and fornicate himself).

    What really amuses me is that his number one arguement for moving away from Exchange is the cost benefit. Now I'm no economist, but I see no point in paying for a hosted email system (Zimbra is going to cost us at least 4000 a year) when we already are fully licenced for Exchange and BES. We've also pointed out to him several times that the WAN connection is far more unreliable than the email, and if that goes down then we're stuffed.

    Naturally, he's ignoring the techies. Even when we've made it clear to him that Zimbra doesn't support all of the features that our business relies on.

    Does anybody have any experience of Zimbra? Preferably people who switched to them from using Exchange... and most certainly anybody who has anything negative to say (via PM if you'd prefer).
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

  • #2
    Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

    i don't know about Zimbra but however I would prove him how reliable exchange is running and how unreliable your internet feed is.
    Think about performance monitors, sniffers etc.
    Make some really cool graphics and calculations about them and your CEO will love it.

    Also, if I'm correct Zimbra is running on linux. How is your linux knowledge?

    Hmm if I see this url you need the Professional edition (assuming you use Outlook)
    http://www.zimbra.com/products/product_editions.html
    And here the pricing: http://www.zimbra.com/products/pricing_on_site.html

    I think it costs more then running Exchange and that make it easy to calculate

    Hmm can it also be integrated with AD? (think about central management?)
    Last edited by Dumber; 15th November 2008, 18:14.
    Marcel
    Technical Consultant
    Netherlands
    http://www.phetios.com
    http://blog.nessus.nl

    MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
    "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

    "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
    "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

      Originally posted by Dumber View Post
      i don't know about Zimbra but however I would prove him how reliable exchange is running and how unreliable your internet feed is.
      Think about performance monitors, sniffers etc.
      Make some really cool graphics and calculations about them and your CEO will love it.
      6 week outage sound good for an ADSL line? With new excuses given on average every 4 days.

      Unfortunately, it's very difficult to explain to someone who's totally non-technical that a system is *reliable* - all we can do is show him the MTBF. Sadly he's not your average manager - his attention span lasts just about long enough not to be wowed by bright colours

      Originally posted by Dumber View Post
      Also, if I'm correct Zimbra is running on linux. How is your linux knowledge?
      Personally, very good, but the rest of them aren't familiar and show no inclination to become so. We are definately a Microsoft driven organisation, not least because our technical manager is a consumer Mac platform MVP.

      Originally posted by Dumber View Post
      Hmm if I see this url you need the Professional edition (assuming you use Outlook)
      http://www.zimbra.com/products/product_editions.html
      And here the pricing: http://www.zimbra.com/products/pricing_on_site.html

      I think it costs more then running Exchange and that make it easy to calculate
      Seeing as running Exchange effectively costs us nothing... try telling him that though. God knows how he became a millionaire.

      Originally posted by Dumber View Post
      Hmm can it also be integrated with AD? (think about central management?)
      I don't believe it can be. Plus we'd be looking at the hosted product rather than hosting a Zimbra server at our site.

      He doesn't understand the concept of reducing overhead. Maybe we should promote him to domain admin and then all go on an extended holiday to see how he copes

      Thanks for the input
      Gareth Howells

      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

        I think you or your technical manager should create a business case and show him a pricing calculation.
        Managers only understand what it costs so numbers only. Maybe some cool drawings.
        If you show him for example that Exchange costs (buying prices) about $6000 every 3 years (because of upgrades) and Zimbra costs about $ 6000 a year (so 3x $6000 makes $21000) he will start scratching his head. The pricing are fictive but I think you understand what I mean

        Also calculate how much hours it will costs to manage and maintain an Exchange server and a Zimbra server.
        Show him how much it costs to train people for managing the Zimbra server or how much it costs to hire an engineer for this.
        Show him how much time it will costs (and time is money) to migrate away from exchange.
        Show him a report how much hours the Internet feed is down and what it costs when you loose this connection.

        Talking to non technical managers are time consuming and you have to take a lot of preparation but if you an create some numbers then the most managers will understand it quickly

        I would definitely take that challenge to calculate that for him.
        Otherwise hire an consultant to take that challenge.

        Anyhow good luck with Excel and Word
        It's the only way I think and otherwise good luck with your newly Zimbra server(s)
        Marcel
        Technical Consultant
        Netherlands
        http://www.phetios.com
        http://blog.nessus.nl

        MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
        "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

        "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
        "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

          Another point I would include would be that with Exchange you have TOTAL control over the hardware and software with it being inhouse. If you have a security issue, removing the blue cable can instantly stop an attack (you know what I mean). With the hosted option, you have to wait for them to pick up the phone and then try and understand the urgency of your situation. Hopefully their helpdesk is onsite and are technically trained enough to provide help.

          Personally when I was hosting my email, I really didn't like someone else having the ability to access my personal messages. In business, confidential emails in the wrong hands can cost a company everything. This is vastly reduced when you rely on the company making money to keep you employed.

          Hope all that makes sense. It's 5am and Mr Sleep doesn't want to come out and play.
          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

            These are all very good points... and how did you know our magic cables are blue?

            In any case, the idea has been abandoned. Despite our best efforts, the CEO forced a move to Gmail (he didn't tell us it was Gmail until we were due to begin...

            My colleague handled it as I was away this weekend. Long story short, he setup the users, setup IMAP in their Outlook profiles, and tried to sync. Instant Outlook freeze. On every machine. So he reverted everyone except the CEO back to Exchange, and then left him to it
            Gareth Howells

            BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

            Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

            Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

            "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

            "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

              Originally posted by gforceindustries View Post
              Despite our best efforts, the CEO forced a move to Gmail (he didn't tell us it was Gmail until we were due to begin...
              I can't pass this one up...

              First, with whom did he speak to or from whence did he get his information about gmail's capabilities that made him think that this would be a good idea?

              Second, exactly how did he force it? Just curious, but does this fellow have a temper?

              Third, help me build my mental picture of this situation. He calls you in to his office, tells you that he's got the solution to all of the company's problems, says that everyone will be using GMail and then points you out the door and says "go make it happen!".

              Fourth, this wasn't just plain ol' Gmail, was it? It was really Google Business Solutions or Google Apps, right?


              There can't be such a dearth of open IT positions in your area that you absolutely must stay there. I suppose I've heard of much worse places (at least you're not fearful of being assaulted... are you? ). But seriously, with someone like that, eventually you'll be blamed for a failure that he precipitated and then you're reputation will be dented for no good reason. Or maybe I'm just a quitter... ?
              Wesley David
              LinkedIn | Careers 2.0
              -------------------------------
              Microsoft Certifications: MCSE 2003 | MCSA:Messaging 2003 | MCITP:EA, SA, EST | MCTS: a'plenty | MCDST
              Vendor Neutral Certifications: CWNA
              Blog: www.TheNubbyAdmin.com || Twitter: @Nonapeptide || GTalk, Reader and Google+: [email protected] || Skype: Wesley.Nonapeptide
              Goofy kitten avatar photo from Troy Snow: flickr.com/photos/troysnow/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

                Well in any case he don't understand anything technical.
                I think you should send a note (or via your manager) to the management board.

                I think it's unacceptable that a CEO is forcing the IT department to move to an other messaging system without any know how.
                Also personally I would make sure that everybody was moved to gmail and then forward the helpdesk phone number to the phone of the CEO.
                Let him handle the problems than...
                Marcel
                Technical Consultant
                Netherlands
                http://www.phetios.com
                http://blog.nessus.nl

                MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

                  I've moved several small offices to Zimbra from exchange - everyone is extremely happy
                  but that is only if we use free zimbra - community edition. the full version costs money, and while it might be considered for cost effectiveness when setting up a completely new installation, if you already paid for exchange, switching over is rather silly

                  btw, zimbra already packs very good antispam and antivirus built in. has some other nice features - like a built in wiki, to replace some sharepoint functionality
                  Real stupidity always beats Artificial Intelligence (c) Terry Pratchett

                  BA (BM), RHCE, MCSE, DCSE, Linux+, Network+

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Anybody have any opinions on Zimbra?

                    Now I'm no economist, but I see no point in paying for a hosted email system (Zimbra is going to cost us at least 4000 a year) when we already are fully licenced for Exchange and BES. We've also pointed out to him several times that the WAN connection is far more unreliable than the email, and if that goes down then we're stuffed
                    .

                    There shouldnt be too much arguement from the cost perspective if you already have Exchange & BES plus CALS. But for future expansion & costs, we found it easier from an administrative point of view & cost to end user to migrate away from Exchange & BES. We hosted them ourselves & didnt get external hosting.

                    We started using Zimbra, Mailsite & Kerio about 2 years ago & couldnt be happier with the move. We have sinced stopped using Zimbra & Mailsite though & only use Kerio mail server now. With Kerio, Mailsite & Zimbra, you can have a first day level 1 tech walk in the door & make them an intermediate user of these products within an hour. The same thing on exchange would take hours of training, reading & procedures & experience, except for maybe adding a user.


                    With Mailsite you can have Astra sync for Blackberries, so you dont need a BES & expensive CALS. Although most clients we now push them to get Iphones & use Activesync, as it cuts their costs from $1000's to $0 due to BES Cals.

                    Mailsite, Zimbra & Kerio have 2 or 3 releases per year. Microsoft has 1 every 3 or so years to address problems or add features.

                    We still have 2 exchange servers & 1 BES for clients who already had them & didnt want to migrate away, as they just HAD to have the ability to recover items from deleted items folder. Everything else the other products do.

                    One thing I will say about Exchange compared to the other products I mentioned is. Its fast. The other products as yet cannot match its speed. Indexing, searches etc are at least twice as fast with Exchange.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X