Recently we updated our listing on VMware’s Virtual Appliance Marketplace with a trial version of ZCS Network Edition 6.0.6. We packaged it up in two formats – traditional VMX/VMDK and the Open Virtualization Format, OVF for short, using VMware Studio. The traditional VMX/VMDK package can be use with VMware’s desktop products like Workstation for Linux/Windows and Fusion for MAC. You can also go grab VMware Player for FREE and test drive the ZCS trial on either Linux or Windows. The OVF package can be used “out-of-the-box” with VMware vSphere or imported to other VMware desktop and server products using the standalone OVF Tool 1.0 or vCenter Converter.
The OVF 1.0 format is a platform independent, DMTF standard that streamlines the application setup process in a virtual environment. This makes deploying the ZCS trial fast and simple to testdrive the latest features.
- You can deploy the ZCS trial OVF package right from a URL directly to VMware vSphere using the “Deploy OVF Template” wizard in the vSphere Client or the OVF Tool 1.0.
- The vSphere Client reads the OVF template and auto-configures certain virtual machine settings as well as guides you through mapping the network and storage configurations into your target runtime environment.
- You will also be prompted to answer runtime specific installation parameters like the ZCS server’s hostname and the admin username/password.
All of the captured input is used on “first boot” to automatically configure the ZCS trial as a unique running instance complete with an activated 15 day trial license! This is a good example of the collaboration that’s been happening between the Zimbra and vSphere teams and a sign of good things to come as we are busy building our Zimbra virtual appliance.
The Zimbra virtual appliance will be ready to ship later this year and will feature a
- Simplified Admin experience
- Expanded usage of OVF properties to further streamline the deployment process
- New capabilities to simplify patch management, mailbox creation, and migration
For more information, you can check out the appliance RFEs in bugzilla.
UPDATE: You can now find this at http://www.zimbra.com/products/zimbra-appliance.html