Zimbra Architecture Overview – A Must Read Document

It’s been a while after VMware acquired Zimbra. In a VMware Console blog, VMware CTO Steve Herrod explained how Zimbra fits in VMware’s mission to simplify IT.

After the acquisition, I actually tried the online demo at Zimbra website. The impression I had was that the Zimbra client was very much like Microsoft Outlook in a browser.

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Today I attended a seminar on Zimbra at VMware engineering weekly tech talk. Kevin and Maria from Zimbra team explained both client side (browser based and desktop) and server side architectures. They also introduced one of the biggest implementations with a service provider, from number of subscribers to the hardware configurations. I am very impressed by the scalability Zimbra offers. This answers partially my question, “Why did they want to create a new mail/collaboration product?”

At the end of the seminar, we got a link to an architecture document. This is a public resource. Although written in 2005, this 33 page document gives a great in-depth introduction on the architecture. Better than describing what it is, the document also explains why and how they made key architectural choices. Highly recommended for anyone, even though you are not really interested in collaboration software. It’s a great case study for software and system architecture design.

BTW, the Zimbra team is hiring. Check it out here.

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2 Comments

  1. Rick Schlander
    Posted April 24, 2010 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    That architecture document is an interesting read. Thanks for the link.

  2. Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    Very interesting document, it does not look very different from Outlook on the surface, but knowing about business collaboration tools, it is obviously much more than that.

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