Zimbra: VMware Content Library with Zimbra Collaboration templates ready to deploy

Hello, everyone, I’ve been working with the VMware Content Library for quite some time, I’ve blogged about it here in Spanish. So, I’ve decided to create my own Zimbra Content Library, one of the first in the entire world, so you can sync it and deploy Zimbra in a really easy way.

Zimbra Templates

For the very first version of this project, I’ve used the latest Zimbra Collaboration 8.7.11 GA, and for the OS I’ve chosen Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, here are more details about this template:

  • vCPU: 4
  • vRAM: 8GB
  • vDISK1: 50GB / partition and SWAP
  • vDISK2: 100GB /opt partition
  • SCSI Controller: VMware Paravirtual
  • Networking: VMXNET3 – IP 192.168.1.150
  • Template compatible with VMware 5.5 and above

Another related topics

  • It does include the Open VMware Tools
  • OS Credentials:
    • User: oper
    • Password: Zimbra2017
  • Zimbra Credentials:
    • User: admin
    • Password: Zimbra2017

On this first version, we have only a single template with a Zimbra Single Server. But one of the benefits of VMware Content Libraries is that as soon I upload more templates or ISOS, you will automatically have them.

How to connect to the Zimbra Content Library

We can manage our VMware Content Library directly from the vSphere Web Client Flash, or even the new HTML Client, available starting vSphere 6.5 U1 or with the fling as I’ve explained multiple times on this Spanish blog post.

The first step is to select a name for this Content Library and the vCenter Server:

Select the option called “Subscribed Content Library” and introduce the public URL for the Zimbra CL – https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/zimbra-content-library/lib.json

It will show a warning about the SSL thumbprint, click Yes.

We will need to save this Content Library on a VMware Datastore, at the moment the size of this CL is 6GB, but it might be more in the future with more templates.

If everything looks fine, click on Finish.

If we come back to the Content Libraries main page we might see the new CL, but it’s probably it does say it only has 0B used, this means it’s still downloading.

Once the synchronization process ends, we will see how it ends on the task bar, and we will now see the used space on our Content Library home page.

Now if we explore the new Content Library, we will see the only Template for now.

Create a new VM from a Content Library Template

By doing right-click on a CL Template, we will have an option to create a new VM from it.

Give a new name to this Virtual Machine, and save it to the VM folder you consider:

Now, it’s time to select the cluster or host:

The wizard will show now a quick overview about the VM:

Once you select the Datastore where you want to save this new VM, you will have the option to deploy it using Thin Provision, which is perfect for a quick test, and if we want more efficiency, we might want to select Thick Eager:

On the Network side, we should select the VM Network for this VM, if the wizard asks for an IP, please make sure you select 192.168.1.150. If you want to select another IP Address, you will need to edit all of the next files:

  • Edit the file /etc/dnsmasq.conf and restart the dnsmasq service
  • Edit the file /etc/hosts with the new IP
  • Edit the zimbraMtaMyNetworks with the new IP

The last step is to make sure we have selected everything we wanted, and click on Finish.

On the Task bar we will see how the VM is being deployed without an issue:

After a few seconds, we will be able to see the VM ready

Login into the new Zimbra Collaboration instance

Once the VM is powered on, we can go to the next URL https://192.168.1.150 and log in with user admin and pass Zimbra2017

We can access as well to the Admin Console by going to the IP https://192.168.1.150:7071

That’s all folks, for now, keep tuned to the Content Library as we will keep adding more Templates ready to use.

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