[Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?

Victor d'Agostino d.agostino.victor at gmail.com
Fri Dec 13 07:38:33 CET 2019


> John Hurley (head of Zimbra tech support) also mentioned that Zimbra 
> currently sees very few contributions to the product from the open 
> source community.

Well they could have consider not ignoring the public bug tracker and 
the github pull requests.


Victor d'Agostino

Le 12/12/2019 à 19:32, Randy Leiker a écrit :
> Hi Adrian,
> Following the weekly Zeta Alliance conference call on December 3rd, 
> both myself & everyone on the call gained a better understanding of 
> your concerns about the open source edition of Zimbra and we 
> appreciated you joining the call. Again, we welcome anyone to join the 
> weekly calls (https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/zetalliance) to 
> discuss all things Zimbra related, and get early heads-up on Zimbra 
> improvements in the pipeline.  Just to recap the highlights of the 
> conference call for everyone seeing this message on the mailing list, 
> we discussed:
> *Concerns about whether or not an open source version of Zimbra X will 
> be released*
> Barry De Graaff agreed that Zimbra has not been forthcoming with the 
> community about the product direction for open source Zimbra.  In his 
> role as a Zimbra employee, he's initiated a discussion with Rene Otto 
> (head of product management for Zimbra) to seek clarification.  Barry 
> reported in this week's Zeta Alliance call that he has not yet heard 
> back from Rene on this topic.
> *The challenges and workload involved with forking Zimbra*
> Most everyone on the call agreed that forking Zimbra would be a 
> massive task with many challenges, and is not advisable. Barry also 
> reminded everyone that the Zeta Alliance is not a fork of Zimbra 
> (https://zetalliance.org/faq/). There was also a discussion about the 
> challenges related to building a community around a fork and managing 
> code contributions.  John Hurley (head of Zimbra tech support) also 
> mentioned that Zimbra currently sees very few contributions to the 
> product from the open source community.
> *Running Zimbra X using on-premise hardware*
> Barry also asked Rene about this topic, but reported he has not heard 
> back on this topic.  Following the call on December 3rd, I think you 
> are right Adrian in that it will continue to be possible to run Zimbra 
> X with on-premise hardware, since many Zimbra BSPs depend on this 
> capability for thier business model.
> *Next Zimbra X product announcement*
> There were hints offered that the community may be hearing more about 
> the direction of Zimbra X in the coming weeks, which may help 
> definitively answer some of the above concerns.
> *Upcoming schedule for weekly calls*
> Discussed in this week's Zeta Alliance call, we are planning to do one 
> more call this year on December 17th, then will take a break and 
> continue the weekly calls starting on January 7, 2020.
> Randy Leiker (randy at skywaynetworks.com )
> Skyway Networks, LLC
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From: *"Adrián Gibanel" <adrian.gibanel at btactic.com>
> *To: *"users" <users at lists.zetalliance.org>
> *Sent: *Thursday, December 12, 2019 3:49:41 AM
> *Subject: *Re: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *De: *"Randy Leiker" <randy at skywaynetworks.com>
>     *Para: *users at lists.zetalliance.org
>     *Enviados: *Lunes, 2 de Diciembre 2019 22:55:04
>     *Asunto: *Re: [Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?
>     Hi Adrian,
>     Thanks for sending such a thorough email outlining your ideas for
>     forking ZCS 8.8.x.  Similar to Zimbra's policy prior to the GA
>     release of 8.8, they are likewise being quiet about specific
>     roadmap details for the GA release of X, aside from a few high
>     level bits of information publicly released.
> I see.
>     Aside from the things that I've been told that are confidential
>     partner information, it has been publicly hinted that there will
>     be more than one version of X, targeted at different markets.  It
>     has likewise been publicly disclosed that it will likely be based
>     on Docker containers in a Kubernetes environment.
>     My personal speculation (not based on anything shared with me by
>     Syncaor) is that one of those versions will probably be a hosted
>     offering similar to Office 365's Business Premium email
>     subscription model, possibly based on an AWS cloud platform.  I
>     seriously doubt Synacor would directly offer to host it on
>     Microsoft's Azure or Google's cloud services, since they are
>     direct competitors to Zimbra (Office 365 & G Suite).  I also
>     speculate that they would make it optional for a Zimbra admin to
>     independently deploy ZCS on their own using either Azure or
>     Google's clouds, and a Zimbra admin's own in-house infrastructure too.
>     In side conversations I've had with several owners of other Zimbra
>     BSPs over the last year & a half, they share your preference and
>     prefer to run Zimbra on their own infrastructure, rather than
>     public cloud service (e.g. AWS) for various reasons.  On the flip
>     side, I have also heard from 1-2 BSPs who strongly prefer to use a
>     public cloud services for their Zimbra instances.  But, I have not
>     heard any official information about what will happen to the
>     option to run it on an organization's own infrastructure, rather
>     than a public cloud service.  Like yourself, I am hoping that
>     running a self-hosted version of ZCS X remains an option.
> I'm pretty sure you will be able to self-host Zimbra X. You might need 
> to tweak your hypervisor or virtual machines setups but you will be 
> able to do it.
> I'm not concerned about Zimbra X being able to be self-hosted or not. 
> That's not the big picture here.
> I'm worried about Zimbra X not being released with an open source license.
> The reason why I'm advocating for forking Zimbra 8.8.X is not because 
> it is a self-hosted version.
> I'm advocating for forking Zimbra 8.8.X because its license is open 
> source and Zimbra X is not clear is going to be open source.
> I would also advocate for forking Zimbra X if there was an already 
> open source version of it from two years ago and no clear news about 
> newer versions being kept under an open source license.
>     I invite you and anyone else reading this message to join the Zeta
>     Alliance on our weekly Tuesday conference calls
>     (https://www.freeconferencecall.com/wall/zetalliance) to discuss
>     your thoughts on ZCS & your proposed fork.  There's usually at
>     least 10-15 of us on those weekly calls, where most attendees are
>     BSPs, key people that work in Zimbra tech support, engineering,
>     marketing, and key people who work for Zextras.  You can see a
>     list
>     (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uUUDJpwp2CAylU6lxtbEdVcUX_qSbciyes6gLTWw2fY/edit)
>     of the things that we typically discuss on our weekly agendas.
> Thank you for inviting me.
> It was an educational talk which will help me to improve the project 
> FAQ draft.
>     Randy Leiker (randy at skywaynetworks.com )
>     Skyway Networks, LLC
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *From: *"Adrián Gibanel" <adrian.gibanel at btactic.com>
>     *To: *"users" <users at lists.zetalliance.org>
>     *Sent: *Monday, December 2, 2019 9:50:46 AM
>     *Subject: *[Users] Any ETA or planning on actual Zimbra ZCS fork?
>     Please note I already started this discussion at ZetaAlliance
>     devel mailing list ( You can check the original thread here:
>     https://lists.zetalliance.org/pipermail/devel_lists.zetalliance.org/2019-November/000403.html
>     ) . As advised I have moved this discussion to the users mailing
>     list.
>     1) ZCS 8.8.x being a dead end.
>     1.1) Synacor has stated that the current ZCS 8.8.x family builds
>     will no longer be upgraded.
>     More information on "Zimbra 8.8.X support" on "A annex" below.
>     1.2) ZCS 8.8.x now uses a mix of custom scripts and packages from
>     a custom repo.
>     1.3) They will be replaced by "Zimbra X" (
>     https://info.zimbra.com/zimbra-x-beta ) while the ZCS 8.8.x
>     versions based on 'custom scripts and packages from custom repo'.
>     As far as I understand Zimbra X is what a high-grade professional
>     email service should be. A cloud service where many of its
>     services are run in different containers. If a given container
>     does not run as expected you can power it off and power on another
>     one to replace it. If your service has a lot of usage then many
>     more containers are started to keep up with demand. During the
>     night only the minimal containers are kept run.
>     There is also an improvement on UI based on React.
>     Finally it's based on Zimbra's open source project. So that you
>     can have a full source code review.
>     More information on "Zimbra X" on "B annex" below.
>     1.4) No open source version
>     Despite the former statement "based on Zimbra's open source
>     project" as far as we know there won't be an open source binary
>     version or download of Zimbra X.
>     You won't be able to download your own Zimbra X binaries (built
>     only from open source) to be able to deploy it either in your own
>     cloud system (Although I suspect it will be technically feasible
>     to install Zimbra X in a single server it won't be the default or
>     recommended way of doing things, you will need a cloud system
>     anyways.)
>     So one of the key selling points of Zimbra: Being "open source"
>     for either security or "ensuring future updates" reasons has
>     vanished.
>     More information on "Zimbra 8.8.x OSE" on "C annex" below.
>     2) ZCS 8.8.x Replacement
>     This is what I think we need in order to replace ZCS 8.8.x
>     2.1) Git repos
>     Basically we would need to replicate repos found at:
>     https://github.com/Zimbra
>     ( Note: I'm already working in this part. )
>     2.2) Pkg repos
>     Ubuntu packages repo
>     Centos packages repo
>     Etc.
>     2.3) Build knowledge and machines
>     In addition to the code we need to know how to use it to build the
>     different Zimbra versions for each of the supported operating
>     systems and versions.
>     Optionally we could have some build machines to automate the build
>     and CI of the new system.
>     3) License rework
>     It would be nice if plugins could be written in GPL3 and then
>     being able to bundled into Zimbra itself.
>     Apparently right now they can only be GPL2.
>     4) Name (Domain et al)
>     A name for the Zimbra fork.
>     5) What's the current status from the Zeta Alliance side?
>     I have checked both the devel and users mailing lists and I
>     haven't seen any debate about an hypothetic community-driven fork.
>     Is there any message that I have missed?
>     Is there any work in progress that I have missed?
>     Thank you very much for your feedback!
>     6) Finally I know that Zella Alliance has in its FAQ (
>     https://zetalliance.org/faq/ ):
>     "
>     Q. Is this a fork ?
>     A: No, no, no. Everyone involved has clearly expressed, a fork
>     would be the worst possible outcome.
>     "
>     but given the current feedback we have from Synacor we have to be
>     prepared to this new scenario.
>     Annexes
>     =====
>     A) Current end of Support Matrix for ZCS 8.8.x and earlier
>     versions (
>     https://www.zimbra.com/support/support-offerings/product-lifecycle/ )
>     Zimbra Major Release | General Availability | End of General
>     Support | End of Technical Guidance
>     Version 8.8.x | 12/12/2017 | 12/31/2023 | 12/31/2023
>     Zimbra Standard Release | General Availability | End of General
>     Support | End of Technical Guidance
>     Version 8.8.15 (Joule) Next LTS | 07/19/2019 | 12/31/2023 |
>     12/31/2023
>     Version 8.8.12 (Issac Newton) | 04/01/2019 | 12/31/2019 | 06/25/2020
>     Version 8.8.11 (Homi Bhabha) | 12/18/2018 | 6/28/2019 | 12/17/2019
>     Version 8.8.10 (Konrad Zuse) | 10/1/2018 | 03/29/2019 | 10/1/2019
>     Version 8.8.9 (Curie) | 07/09/2018 | 12/14/2018 | 07/09/2019
>     Version 8.8.8 (Turing) | 03/29/2018 | 10/01/2018 | 03/29/2019
>     Zimbra Long Term Release | General Availability | End of General
>     Support | End of Technical Guidance
>     Version 8.7.11 | 07/13/2016 | 12/31/2019 | 12/31/2020
>     Close to End of Life | General Availability | End of General
>     Support | End of Technical Guidance
>     Version 8.6.x | 08/26/2015 | 09/30/2018 | 09/30/2019
>     B) About Zimbra X (taken from https://info.zimbra.com/zimbra-x-beta )
>     The Next Generation of the Zimbra Email and Collaboration Platform
>     Leapfrogging ahead of competitors with a first-of-its-kind
>     containerized architecture and React-based application, Zimbra X
>     is optimized for high performance and flexibility.
>     * Zimbra X Platform
>     ** Cloud native and cloud agnostic
>     ** Stateless, highly available architecture
>     ** Automated container orchestration utilizing Docker Swarm or
>     Kubernetes
>     ** Full separation of services and application
>     Zimbra X Application
>     ** React-based application built on top of Zimbra’s API and GraphQL
>     ** Responsive for use on any device
>     ** Easily integrates with third party services for a customizable
>     experience
>     ** WCAG compliant for full accessibility
>     Zimbra X Benefits
>     ** Automated deployment, recovery, and traffic management
>     ** Flexible cloud hybrid deployment options
>     ** Easily customizable and extensible application, with third
>     party services like Giphy and Emojis already integrated
>     ** Based on Zimbra’s open source project ensuring security and
>     allowing for full source code review
>     C) Zimbra 8.8.x Collaboration OSE (
>     https://www.zimbra.com/open-source-email-overview/ )
>     Since the inception, Zimbra has been a community. All of our
>     Zimbra Collaboration Open Source Edition software, documentation
>     and innovation has been created, tested, used, and discussed
>     openly by people like you participating in our Open Source
>     Community. Our contributors diagnose bugs, fix bugs, translate
>     programs, submit patches, point out deficiencies in documentation,
>     answer community questions, submit killer applications, alert us
>     to something that needs tweaking, and write new software. No
>     matter how you contribute, we welcome new ideas and contributions
>     for the advancement of greater shared knowledge and a better
>     Zimbra Collaboration product.
>     -- 
>     Adrián Gibanel
> -- 
> <http://www.btactic.com/>Adrián Gibanel
> I.T. Manager
> +34 675 683 301
> +34 973 270 382
> www.btactic.com <http://www.btactic.com>
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