During the past 2+ years we’ve deployed a number of single- and multi-server Zimbra systems on Amazon Web Services (“AWS”).  While Zimbra has a number of Deployment Guides, they are generic by nature and do not describe how to leverage AWS features to maximize cost savings, reliability, performance and security.  At this writing, Zimbra has no Reference Architectures for AWS hosting, let alone choices for aggressive RPO/RTO targets (at higher costs) vs. more modest RPO/RTO targets.

Further, our experience has been that even seasoned Zimbra system administrators can find the transition to hosting on AWS somewhat challenging, too often resulting in suboptimal architecture choices that increase costs, reduce performance, reliability etc.

Consequently, in 2018 we created a PowerPoint covering Zimbra Hosting on AWS – Best Practices From The Field.  Given the fullness of time, the evolution of services at AWS, and the improvements in Zimbra, that presentation now contains too many out-of-date concepts to be as useful as it was two years ago.  We have consequently replaced that PowerPoint presentation with a new Architectural Design Reference for Large Zimbra Deployments blog post.

That new blog post describes spreading a multi-server Zimbra system across multiple AWS Availability Zones. But if you have just a single Zimbra server, no problem!  You have two choices: You can use the architectural guidelines in the blog post, but just put your single Zimbra server in a single Availability Zone, or; you can increase redundancy and resiliency by adding a second LDAP/MTA/Proxy server in a second Availability Zone.

Hope that helps!

L. Mark Stone
Mission Critical Email
18 November 2020

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