Author Topic: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?  (Read 12713 times)

qsnap

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Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« on: September 20, 2013, 03:12:15 pm »
Hi guys,
I actually been suggested zentyal by spiceworks members, so i am trying to find some answers here.

BG- Our office is about of 25 peoples and we have old SBS 2003 server with exchange 2003 running and ubuntu linux server with mysql server running in domain.

So with zentyal which is based on ubuntu handling emails with mail server (importing from exchange 2003 database is it possible?) and running mysql server on same machine. Is linux server handles emails like exchange with same features and how good is zentyal server with troubleshooting.

In my view linux would be hard to manage than ms server 2011 ??
Please have your views on this.
Thanks.

stc

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 06:39:21 pm »
I'm fairly new to Zentyal however I have been an Ubuntu server user for a bit. I must admit that Zentyal IMHO takes a great load off when setting up an ubuntu server and saves a lot of time in configuring. Preloaded with things like samba4 and must have server apps, LXDE gui and admin console most settings are there in a nice neat configuration/admin console as opposed having to download and configure apps through editing .conf files etc.

I am in the process of moving from MS to Linux both servers and clients and so far things are not difficult in any way. Both MS server and Zentyal are running along side each other causing no conflict allowing a smooth switch over.

As to email/exchange type server I think you have some options depending on what exactly it is you are looking for. Zentyal comes with Zarafa (which can be expanded at cost) but other options to name only a few are Zimbra, Scalix, Sogo (my personal fav.). Worth having a look a few and seeing what meets your needs each has pros and cons.

You say you have 25 stations which I believe are on MS, are you looking at swapping client OS to linux too? You don't have to get rid of you MS servers and move to Zentyal over night, there are great how to's explaining how to add Zentyal as an ADC to MS server and to then transition to a Zentyal PDC only setup so you can have both running.

Hope this helps

robb

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 09:02:46 pm »
Zentyal is perfectly capable of taking the place of a MS 2003 SBS. If you are looking for about 25 users, the small business subscription with the Zarafa addon might be the best deal.

Zentyal is quite easy to manage and even a MS admin can do the job.. :) so don't worry on that, it is not more difficult than managing a Windows SBS.

I do think that you should dive into the admin features of Zentyal. You will see a lot of similar things as you will see in a Windows SBS Webgui, but you will have to get acquainted with Zentyal. There for getting the Zentyal book for Network Administrators is highly recommended, as is getting yourself ZeCA certified. Mateo Burillo (mburillo@zentyal.com) can tell you all about Zentyal education.

Good luck with choosing the right solution for your company, I think Zentyal will do a good job.
regards, robb

qsnap

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2013, 12:15:21 pm »
I am in the process of moving from MS to Linux both servers and clients and so far things are not difficult in any way. Both MS server and Zentyal are running along side each other causing no conflict allowing a smooth switch over.

As to email/exchange type server I think you have some options depending on what exactly it is you are looking for. Zentyal comes with Zarafa (which can be expanded at cost) but other options to name only a few are Zimbra, Scalix, Sogo (my personal fav.). Worth having a look a few and seeing what meets your needs each has pros and cons.

You say you have 25 stations which I believe are on MS, are you looking at swapping client OS to linux too? You don't have to get rid of you MS servers and move to Zentyal over night, there are great how to's explaining how to add Zentyal as an ADC to MS server and to then transition to a Zentyal PDC only setup so you can have both running.

Hope this helps

Thanks for some positive direction. :)
NO i am not planning to change windows 7 workstations to linux, only thinking about putting MySQL server and email server on single machine.
As of now i am planning to select most adaptable and reliable linux version maybe zentyal it is.. to show my boss.
How you managing with zentyal server, any troubleshooting you faced, as i understand when something goes wrong in linux you have spend quite a time with it to fix. ?

Thanks @robb as well.. :)

christian

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2013, 12:27:00 pm »
Did you notice that Zentyal purpose is not MySQL server. It embeds MySQL for its own purpose. You may use it for other DBs but keep in mind Zentyal manages it for its own usage first. Does it generate side effects ? I don't know but if I had to do this, I would check it carefully.

qsnap

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 02:58:36 pm »
I have no clue  :o
I thought i would be able to run MySQL db on this as this is based on ubuntu server. (like ubuntu + server feature) I need to know more about this. Thanks for letting me know, if you have more information please do let me know.  :-\
currently i am trying out ClearOS.

christian

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 03:07:23 pm »
No I didn't investigate this deeper.
What I wanted to highlight is that Zentyal already uses MySQL. This can be seen as an added value but you also have to take it in account just to be sure it doesn't conflict with your plan. I don't think it will but check it twice.

robb

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 03:24:17 pm »
I have some applications installed on a Zentyal (3.2) server using mysql. I haven't noticed any problems with this. You can add db's and mysql users to your liking.
I would use other users for other db's if possible.

If you intend to use php based applications, make sure you install php5 + libapache2-mod-php5
If you want to integrate mysql with php5, also install php5-mysql

All these packages can be installed through the console using apt.

BrettonWoods

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 03:48:36 pm »
There is absolutely no problem in using MySQL for other purposes.

Zarafa the web email client is superb and installs all the php stuff you will need.

I have a habit of installing webmin as well as it gives just a few things extra in terms of DB and online file manager.
You have to give a disclaimer with webmin be carefull as your changes could conflict with zentyal.
This is really for noobs to say don't do something stupid and then rant your server is broken.

The zarafa install gives a good example of security rights.

The mysql password is stored in the zentyal config files. Each application database should have its own user as running all as root is frowned upon due to security implications.

The only thing I don't like and this is nothing to do with zentyal. Zentyal provides everything in one box which is brilliant.

From a sysadmin who runs in the middle of SMB this means the services don't have the isolation of preference as things can come down like dominoes.

As I say for me there are two bits missing from my own Zentyal perfect world.

Webmin and http://lxc-webpanel.github.io/index.html

Both are a doddle to install.

lxc gives me the isolation to install other applications.

lxc is somewhere between a chroot and full hypervisor.

Basically virtualisation with a tiny memory and resource footprint isolated at a network level.

https://www.docker.io/

If you want a super simple higher level abstraction of LXC.

Anyone with zentyal I suggest take a look at the above.

Also the last bit in the jigsaw and its an obvious but the free M$ RSAT Remotes Server Administration Tools for those of us stuck with win clients.

Zentyal isn't a replacement for SBS, its much much more.

PS I do dabble with Microsoft and I was a fan of SBS if you are thinking of 2012 Fundmentals I had to think what does it exactly do apart from create a domain. The license is a catch aswell, I presumed concurrent users but its 25 configured users. At the end of 6 months I realised what it did was annoy. So ditched and there are two choices ClearOS and Zentyal with Zentyal being my preference.

/var/lib/zentyal/conf for mysql password and others

you might need to install apt get install bridge-utils libvirt-bin debootstrap for lxc also do a reboot for the networking

lxc-console -n myfirstcontainer to ssh (the defualt ubuntu template user=ubuntu password=ubuntu)

ctrl+a q to quit

If you look at the image you can see how slim LXC is by sharing the kernel.
This way you can install apps, kill the distro without affecting zentyal.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 07:55:52 pm by BrettonWoods »

rikkan

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2013, 08:33:02 pm »
Sorry to bandwagon your thread qsnap, but i thought replying here would probably be less irritating to people than starting another topic on the same theme.

I've made a living persuading local businesses that it was time to invest in "baby's first server" in the guise of microsoft sbs. Obviously the announcement that it's being discontinued has thrown a spanner in the works so i have been looking for alternatives (full fat server+exchange is too expensive, and my attempts to suggest the cloud have all been laughed out of the room). Several people have pointed me towards Zentyal, and from my demo install it certainly seams like it would tick all the required boxes.

The only slight snag is the price. Unless i have misunderstood the information on the website, the community edition only supports 3 outlook connections, making it effectively useless as a sbs replacement (thunderbird etc might be viable at some future point when trying to persuade clients of the merits of ditching Microsoft altogether, but trying to get there in one jump would be suicidal.)

This leaves me looking at the supported small business edition, but i just can't find a way to make the numbers work. On a nominal 10 user network small business edition + the communications addon comes to 900 euros (or roughly £750) per year.

erring on the generous side, and assuming a 5 year life-cycle (in reality most my tightfisted clients only upgrade every 8-10 years), this would make Zentyal's tco £3750, which is massively more than the £850 or so that (non-oem) sbs would cost and is actually more expensive than server 12 standard + exchange.

I know that effectively i'm comparing supported vs unsupported pricing which is unfair, but it appears to be the only option with the community edition being useless (for my purposes) and the communications addon requiring the small business edition.

Rather than coming here just to bitch, i was hoping that i might have got the wrong end of the stick somewhere along the line & that someone would be able to set me straight. I appreciate that  Zentyal is a product in its own right rather than just a drop-in replacement for microsoft, but when imagining it as one (as im sure more than a few sbs admins are currently doing) i'm struggling to find a way to justify the proposition.

any thoughts would be much appreciated.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 08:44:37 pm by rikkan »

BrettonWoods

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 08:41:28 pm »
I think you would be better asking about the partner program. As I totally agree about the cost foobar.

Also I would like to pick what modules I use and pay for those and not support something I have no use for.

I could use Zentyal as a simple firewall router and currently would be paying the same as a full blown office solution.
The current licensing scheme might be simple but I have a feeling it is a hindrance to adoption.

I do know that Zentyal is shifting and that openchange is coming on board. If it will run paralell with zarafa or replace I am unsure.

Thing is with samba4 openchange is its exchange partner and the news is really exciting.

But hey Zentyal have a rethink of your licensing as personally I think its pants :)

With Zarafa yeah it has three outlook licenses unless licensed. The web app for many is good enough and no need to support desktop installs.


« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 08:43:58 pm by BrettonWoods »

christian

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2013, 08:43:23 pm »
any thoughts would be much appreciated.

That's an interesting debate indeed.
What's the main goal ? To replace SBS in term of feature or to replace SBS for free or at least at very low cost?

BrettonWoods

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2013, 08:51:05 pm »
I don't think its a matter of replacing SBS for cost reason's as SBS et tu bill.

The current license isn't representative of real world prices.

Hardware is really cheap and partitioning services across a few servers makes a network much more robust.

There isn't even a domain price. Its just too monolithic and for many hard to justify the cost.

I have a feeling that the current scheme will garner a few high value customers at the detriment of a huge market of low cost modules.

The all-in-one offering has failed again and again, anyone remember what wordperfect did and an upstart brought out an office suite of applications of choice.
 
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 09:00:44 pm by BrettonWoods »

rikkan

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2013, 08:56:11 pm »
I think you would be better asking about the partner program.

Thanks, I'd not thought of that, i'll shoot them an email

That's an interesting debate indeed.
What's the main goal ? To replace SBS in term of feature or to replace SBS for free or at least at very low cost?

A mix of both i suppose as i effectively have two markets
1. existing clients who're more likely to be irked about sbs features suddenly disappearing in an upgrade
2. new clients getting their first server who won't know any different.

In order of priority the things i'm after are
1. exchange replacement, ideally with activesync ( it does need to do contacts & calendars aswell rather than just imap)
2. central logons (roaming profiles are a nice touch but not the end of the world)
3. group policy alike
4. the usual assortment of file-server / backup toys
5. a sharepoint equivalent would be a nice touch but ... meh who uses sharepoint anyway? 

In terms of cost, in an ideal world it'd be free, but business-grade things seldom are. As a more realistic wishlist £1500 per release (or £300 a year) is probably all the money. One thing that i think is worth mentioning, is that my experience has been that a major part of peoples objection to the cloud has been over the shift from perpetual licenses to ongoing subscriptions (almost regardless of the cost, although that's also a factor), so given a choice being able to frontload it would actually be an advantage over microsoft.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 09:07:14 pm by rikkan »

BrettonWoods

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Re: Zentyal server is replacement for MS SBS ?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2013, 09:04:03 pm »
I have a feeling that openocean made an inspired choice for the leadership of zentyal development.
http://www.zentyal.org/2013/04/zentyal-appoints-julien-kerihuel-as-chief-technology-officer/
http://www.openchange.org/

Have a look

What is needed and I think its more or less happened with 3.2 is a stable platform to get zentyal offerings and 3rd party offerings in a marketplace such as google play or the app store and really let zentyal fly.

Alfresco or Liferay could provide sharepoint but we need someone to supply it.

If Zentyal controlled the market place then like the previous they can create revenue. It would be really easy to provide a certificate authentication service and provide solutions for free, commercial and any other offering you would like to think of.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 09:12:28 pm by BrettonWoods »