Zimbra Appliance upgrade

Zimbra ZCA8 LogoNearly one year has past using Zimbra 8, so I decided it was time to upgrade theĀ appliance from version 8.0.0_GA_5434 to the latest and greatest 8.0.4_GA_5737 by doing a clean install on a brand new VirtualBox vm. Call me crazy, but I’m a fan of clean installs. I like the smell of clean and it makes it mean again.

I chose the OVA ZCA package on the Zimbra website. This is just a GNU tar package, so I untarred it and imported the ovf file using the following:

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Upgrading to Zimbra Appliance 8

After doing some testing on the recently released Zimbra Appliance version 8 I decided it was good enough to make the step from my current Zimbra Appliance running version 6.0.14 to the newly release version 8.0.0_GA_5434 (build 20120907144730). Although announced there is no version of the Appliance for Zimbra 7.

The most important thing for me was the availability of the Active Sync (EAS) feature in this release for my mobile devices. A quick test with my HP Pre3 showed it works flawless. It appears EAS protocol version 12.1 is used, so HTML mail is supported. This was not the case with the previous Zimbra Appliance release where I had the make use of the Z-Push connector to enable HTML mail on my webOS devices.

I have described the installation steps below. As a prerequisite have VirtualBox 4.1 installed.

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Zimbra and webOS

I would like to share my experience with webOS in combination with Zimbra Collaboration Suite. For the past two years I’m using Zimbra Open Source edition and I am pretty satisfied with it. It handles my email, contacts, calendar and tasks very well. Call me paranoid, but I don’t like Google or Yahoo! to watch over my personal data. All was working well till I received my first webOS device, an HP TouchPad, which I wanted to connect to my Zimbra server to manage email, appointments, contacts and tasks. Doing some searches I discovered it is possible to use Exchange (ActiveSync) with Zimbra Mobile, but I had the wrong edition of Zimbra. It appeared Zimbra Mobile is available for all Zimbra editions except for the Open Source edition I was using, that’s how they earn their money. I chose to go for the Zimbra Appliance Basic Free Edition. This free edition allows you to create up to 10 mailboxes, which is enough for myself and some family members.

I am using VirtualBox virtualization software, which works with the VMDK from the ZCA zip file. The configuration and migration from one Zimbra edition to the other went relatively smooth. The first thing to test was to setup my HP TouchPad and HP Pre3 smartphone (both collectors items now) and both are connected without a glitch.

One last catch, be careful with the Zimbra default mobile policy. Remote wipe works extremely well if you enter four incorrect your pin codes.

After all I am pretty pleased the way it’s working.

My specs:

  • VirtualBox 4.1 on Debian 5 (Lenny)
  • ZCA 6.0.13 (Installed) upgraded to 6.0.14 (6.0.15 is on it’s way to be released shortly)
  • HP TouchPad 3.0.5
  • HP Pre3 2.2.4