Zarafa is a fully LAMP-based, drop-in replacement for Microsoft Exchange developed by a Delft, Netherlands-based company. Yes, that means that all those Windows desktop users out there can use their beloved Microsoft Outlook to connect to a full-fledged collaboration solution, including email, calendaring, contact management, a global address book, and task sharing. Using native MAPI. And the server components are 100% built on Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. They even use an Embedded MySQL database for off-line storage and synchronization.
What’s particularly nice about the solution is that it has a pretty clean-cut modular architecture. The developers are really making a point of implementing just what they need — a central SOAP-based server instance, an MDA, a spooler, a POP3/IMAP gateway, a mobile synchronization agent — and using existing software for non-essential components: Postfix as the MTA, Apache and PHP for the central application components, OpenLDAP for centralized directory storage, MySQL with InnoDB as the back end database.
Needless to say, DRBD/Heartbeat is a perfect addition to that stack. Full High Availability plus shared-nothing storage replication for any component — MySQL, Postfix, Apache, the Zarafa services proper, everything.
The Zarafa guys were nice enough to invite me for a 45-minute presentation, panel discussion covering various “multi-server” deployment options, and a 2 1/2 hour hands-on session with interested partners and customers. I had a blast. Dank u wel — graag tot volgende jaar!
I ought to state that Microsoft, Microsoft Outlook, and Microsoft Exchange are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. Zarafa is a trademark of Zarafa (who would’ve guessed!). MySQL is a trademark of Sun Microsystems.