Ever since VMware acquired Zimbra from Yahoo in January of 2010, there were speculations about VMware plans up the stack. VMware hasn’t talked about their strategy at the application layer of the cloud stack yet but they are taking steps to integrate Zimbra with their platform and push it aggressively on the enterprise market. Yesterday, VMware announced the launch of Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance, an enterprise-class email and collaboration solution delivered as a virtual appliance using vSphere platform.
Larry Dignan of ZDNet points out to some interesting stats about Zimbra under the VMware roof
- Under VMware, Zimbra went from 1,000 resellers to 25,000
- Zimbra now has 60 million email boxes
By packaging Zimbra with their virtualization platform, vSphere, VMware is making it much easier for their customers to run Zimbra collaborative suite either inside their datacenters or through one of VMware’s more than 2,000 VMware vCloud partners who host the application as a service. The packaging as an appliance makes the deployment of Zimbra painless, saving quite a bit of time and money compared to traditional deployment process. The deployment time with a Zimbra appliance is just minutes compared to hours with the traditional deployment model, Appliances also save money and reduce risks drastically in terms of better business continuity.
Some of the features of Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance include
- Enterprise class email and collaboration solution that includes email, contacts/address book, calendaring, document management, file sharing, tasks, and comprehensive search and indexing
- Multi platform web-client with a rich AJAX interface delivers a robust desktop-like experience for end users
- Native “over-the-air” synchronization to iPhone, Windows, Palm and Symbian OS Smartphones with customizable mobile security policies including remote device wipe, PINs and device management features on user accounts
- Zimbra Appliance Migration Wizard allows customers to rapidly and easily migrate from Microsoft Exchange and Domino environments
- Simplified task-oriented web-based administration console enables “anywhere administration”
- Rapid deployment of integrated operating system and application stack, combined with firewall, anti-virus and anti-spam filtering
- Software and security updates are combined into a single lifecycle management policy and completely automated, configurable from the anywhere access, web-based administration console
- Open Virtualization Format (OVF) packaged Virtual Appliance
Zimbra Collaboration Suite Appliance is currently priced at USD $ 625/25 mailboxes for a perpetual license. VMware has made it available through their extensive sales and channel partner ecosystem, providing VMware’s 190,000 customers and 25,000 partners full access to Zimbra’s email and collaboration product suite. The fact that it has been integrated with their vSphere platform makes Zimbra easily scalable to meet the demands of the enterprise users. Even though Zimbra has gained some traction, it is a good alternative to Microsoft Exchange and offers VMware an opportunity to offer full plate to their customers when they are looking for solutions with one throat to choke when things go wrong.