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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    13

    Question How to set storage for OX Drive to another Server ?

    Hello,

    I am currently evaluating the possibilities of open Xchange.

    Due to security and performance considerations I want to use two servers for my open Xchange setup.
    One providing the frontend webinterface mailserver etc. in a DMZ and another server as backend where the mailboxes and the OX Drive files are stored.
    While searching the web for this topics I did not find any proper instruction how to set up such an environment. Iam using univention corporate server (UCS 4.0) on both servers and have no idea where to start to split these functions since everything is after installing open xchange through the appcenter in one place.

    Any ideas ?

    Thx,
    Ludwig

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    494

    Default

    I'm not sure how to implement this with UCS and the preconfigured OX (and if it's even possible).

    Usually you would have the webserver component of OX in a DMZ but keep the Java application server in your private network.
    To separate webserver and application server you basically just need to change the http_proxy.conf to point to an external machine and make sure that the application server listens not only on the loopback interface.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Rosenauer View Post

    Usually you would have the webserver component of OX in a DMZ but keep the Java application server in your private network.
    That's exactly what I am up to. In my opinion, as UCS claims to be a Linux platform for corporate business it should offer such an option somehow. I cannot imagine that all their customers just set up an OX environment keeping everything in one place/server.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfgang Rosenauer View Post
    To separate webserver and application server you basically just need to change the http_proxy.conf to point to an external machine and make sure that the application server listens not only on the loopback interface.
    In this case I could image a quick an dirty solution like:
    Install 2 servers with UCS and complete OX, then changing the http_proxy.conf in the dedicated frontend pointing to the other which then will become the backend. Afterwards one could uninstall the unecessary components on the frontend left from the "complete setup".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    494

    Default

    I really do not know enough about UCS administration. My guess would be to install OX on the "internal" server with full integration while on the outer one you just install Apache and one or two open-xchange packages required on the webserver manually and manually configure the Apache.

    Probably someone else here has more experience with UCS and OX for that purpose or otherwise you could try Univention forums.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default

    After posting my topic in the UCS forum I just landed straight back here :-)
    http://forum.univention.de/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=3681

    UCS does support only a all-in-one installation. For any distributed structure I was redirected to the open xchange documentation.

    So... is there any guide etc. available showing how the OX Frontend can be set up on a seperate server using an already existing backend (in my case this would be the complete all-in-one setup in UCS) ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default

    After posting my topic in the UCS forum I just landed straight back here :-)
    http://forum.univention.de/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=3681

    UCS does support only a all-in-one installation. For any distributed structure I was redirected to the open xchange documentation.

    So... is there any guide etc. available showing how the OX Frontend can be set up on a seperate server using an already existing backend (in my case this would be the complete all-in-one setup in UCS) ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Just found a short description on how to set up OX in a distributed UCS environment while digging deep in the documentation on the OX website:

    http://software.open-xchange.com/OX6...XSE4UCS_en.pdf

    I will start from there, setting up a backend with the Mysql database an OX instance on one machine and on another IMAP, spam-/virus filter etc. as a frontend.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Hello,

    I just want to report my experiences about the setup described in the article ("Installation in a distributed environment") mentioned above:

    Following precisely the description I set up:
    1x UCS DC Master
    1x UCS DC Backup (Backend)
    1x UCS DC Slave (Frontend)

    On the backend I installed the mysql DB and the active OX instance. (Packets: mysql-server and univention-ox)
    On the frontend I intalled Imap and Smtp as described (Packet: univention-mail-cyrus-ox)

    My exspectation from that was to end up with on distributed OX installation where the internal OX server is using the frontend-servers Imap and Smtp features to communicate.

    What I got was:
    - an fully installed (incl. Imap, Smtp etc.) OX instance on the backend
    - an fully installed cyrus-ox instance on the frontend

    where the backend was using its own (local) imap and smtp server leaving the frontend completely out of concern.

    Thank you "tutorial" this was more than wasting of time since I just could have installed OX through the UCS app-center with exactly the same result having 1 fully configured OX server without any distribution of features at all.


    At this point I want to lose some words about the online availabe OX documentation:

    First of all, I am not a lazy person and you can trust me, when I am saying that I was searching the OX Wiki and all documentation up and down to found information concerning my issues. However, I (except the "guide" mentioned above) found nothing that truely helped me. Even when searching for basic information like "where are the ox-instances files are stored under my linux filesystem" I found nothing. When searching for "best practises" on how to set up OX... I found nothing.

    I understand that open xchange is no charity foundation and offers the community-edition as it is without support. That's fine. But it is no reason (!my assumption!) to hold back general information and documentation for paying customers only, as in my case Iam considering to by a future paying customer but want to evaluate the possiblities before. Furthermore, waiting for 3 days until my post underwent some moderation does not help as well.

    Finally here the quick answer to the topics title "How to set storage for OX Drive to another Server":
    The files for oxdrive/infstore are located on the OX-Server under "/var/oxfilestore" these folder can be easily moved to another server and afterwards be mounted throught NFS back on the OX-Server. Done.

    Since this topic now is finished, I will open a new one regarding best practises for distributed OX setup :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    494

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lw3234 View Post
    At this point I want to lose some words about the online availabe OX documentation:

    First of all, I am not a lazy person and you can trust me, when I am saying that I was searching the OX Wiki and all documentation up and down to found information concerning my issues. However, I (except the "guide" mentioned above) found nothing that truely helped me. Even when searching for basic information like "where are the ox-instances files are stored under my linux filesystem" I found nothing. When searching for "best practises" on how to set up OX... I found nothing.

    I understand that open xchange is no charity foundation and offers the community-edition as it is without support. That's fine. But it is no reason (!my assumption!) to hold back general information and documentation for paying customers only, as in my case Iam considering to by a future paying customer but want to evaluate the possiblities before. Furthermore, waiting for 3 days until my post underwent some moderation does not help as well.

    Finally here the quick answer to the topics title "How to set storage for OX Drive to another Server":
    The files for oxdrive/infstore are located on the OX-Server under "/var/oxfilestore" these folder can be easily moved to another server and afterwards be mounted throught NFS back on the OX-Server. Done.

    Since this topic now is finished, I will open a new one regarding best practises for distributed OX setup :-)
    While I understand your concerns about the documentation in the wiki please let me tell you that the documentation is all the same for everyone. Paying and not paying and also mainly for internal staff. If you work all day with Open-Xchange and our wiki its structure is much clearer. Therefore sometimes it's very hard for us what kind of documentation is missing or unclear.
    Sometimes it's also hard to find the relevant information since we also have old documentation in the wiki which might lead to misunderstandings.
    BTW, I hope you found those tutorials: (like this as the smallest one)
    http://oxpedia.org/wiki/index.php?ti...X_Tutorial_10K

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13

    Arrow

    Thank you for your explanation. I agree with that and I also found out that most things are described in one way or another.
    However, from the side it is quite difficult to get what you need. For example the information about the location of the infostore I found while searching for information how to backup an OX setup. This was the only location where I found anything about the filestructure of OX.

    BTW, I hope you found those tutorials: (like this as the smallest one)
    http://oxpedia.org/wiki/index.php?ti...X_Tutorial_10K
    That one I found, but it is scratching only the surface of everything and when it comes to UCS everything ends with "go to the App Center and click install"

    Hence, my main problem is not so much the documentation of OX in detail (which seems to be ok for standard linux distributions after you got used to it) but the combination of OX + UCS.
    I remember you advised me to ask about UCS concerns in the UCS forum. Guess what... they told me exactly the same, another way round.
    UCS says: "OX is not our product and for some reason, about how it is implemented in our environment, we have no idea"
    OX says: "UCS is not our product and even though it is strongly implemented into that environment we have no idea how"


    Is it so exotic to use OX on UCS ?

    Before you are asking: Why I do not just install a regular linux distribution and use OX directly ? I answer this in upfront.
    Cause I have already an existing UCS domain providing ldap, active directory, samba and several other services. I like that everything can be managed through the webinterface in a central manner. Therefore I now want to integrate OX into that environment with the benefits of central user administration and configuration etc.
    Here the current solution offered for OX is a all-in-one solution on a "take-it-or-leave-it" basis. Installing everything in one place without any freedom of individual configuration.

    Where Iam now on my way of evaluation?

    I started all over again and used the before mentioned guideline for installing OX in an distributed environment under UCS another time.

    1. Setup the backend server (UCS DC Backup) installing the mysql database and providing an NFS share for the filestore
    2. Setup the front server (UCS DC Slave) installing the OX instance including cyrus and postfix since it is part of the packages' dependencies ("univention-ox")
    3. Moved the filestore to the NFS share from the frontend to the backend.

    As I want all data stored on the backend using the frontend really only as application server and gateway for users to connect to I have now only one problem left: Cyrus.
    Cyrus does not support to store its imap folders and mails on an external server (technically). Furthermore it is pretty old and absolutely not state of the art at all anymore. Even OX prefers in their documentation dovecot.

    4. So... I tried to remove cyrus and postfix from the frontend and found out, that these packages are direct dependencies of the "univention-ox" package which is the main OX application. Hence removing that (in any case not necessary services) would cause uninstalling OX at all. Finally I used "dpkg" to manipulate the dependencies of the package "univention-ox" making it possible for me to remove successfully cyrus and postfix from the frontend and keeping the OX untouched.

    5. OX still works fine and also UCS webadministration was updated successfully. Now I wanted to install dovecot and exim on the frontend and found out that both are not available in the univention repository. Why? Because UCS does not officially "support" them as only cyrus+postfix does integrate itself in the UCS interface. Therefore I installed them from the debian repository.

    (6.) Dovecot in exim are basically working and I am currently dealing with the setup of the ldap authentication with UCS as this is now on me after using non official univention-packages
    .
    (7.) After that will be done, I will move dovecots mail store to the NFS and viola I (hope to) end up with a very nice OX/Mail frontend and a complete DB+Filestore+MailDB backend managable through UCS.


    Question then will be: What will happen if I want to install the OXExtender for Outlook and Activesync support ? I suppose it will crash because of missing dependencies etc etc etc.... (same I asume for any updates of OX in future)

    I will see, I do not give up... ;-)

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