This week, after over a year of development, Zimbra 7 is being released.
The first release of the open source Zimbra email collaboration software since leaving Yahoo debuts. What’s new and what’s different about VMware’s spin on the popular open source software?
A little more than a year ago, VMware acquired open source collaboration vendor Zimbra from Yahoo. The Zimbra 7 release is the first release of Zimbra under VMware’s ownership and includes features that further expand the usability and scalability of the platform.
“The VMware Zimbra team worked closely with both Zimbra and VMware customers over the last year to prioritize the Zimbra 7 release,” John Robb, senior director of Zimbra products and marketing, VMware (NYSE: VMW) told InternetNews.com “VMware is very supportive of open source, community based development, and Zimbra 7 demonstrates our commitment.”
The Zimbra 7 release is the first release since Zimbra 6 came out in September 2009. Zimbra 6 was the last major release of Zimbra under Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) ownership. Yahoo acquired Zimbra for $350 million in September 2007.
The Zimbra 7 release includes improved file sharing capabilities that enable users to store and share files in the cloud using the Zimbra briefcase. From an administration perspective, the release includes enhanced delegation capabilities to control permissions and access. As well, there are new policies for load balancing and automatic recovery of Zimbra servers.
Zimbra 7 also includes VMware virtualization-related enhancements.
“VMware Zimbra 7 includes support for VMware vSphere HA as well as support for NetApp NFS,” Robb said. “Additionally, the Zimbra Appliance leverages VMware Studio.”
Robb added that Zimbra is an important product family at VMware and is part of the VMware End-User Computing Business Unit.
“VMware Zimbra is completely integrated into VMware and it is available for all VMware partners to sell,” Robb said.
As part of the Zimbra 7 update, the desktop client is also being updated. Zimbra Desktop debuted in 2007 as a way to bring web-based email to the desktop. Zimbra Desktop was originally built with the help of Mozilla Prism technology. Prism was a Mozilla project targeted at enabling web applications to run on the desktop. Mozilla has now moved what used to be the Prism project into a new effort called Chromeless.
“We are looking at all options for Zimbra Desktop and we are working closely with the Mozilla team, a Zimbra customer,” Robb said.
Moving forward, Robb noted that the future of Zimbra at VMware is a bright one. VMware is looking to the future of end-user computing, Robb said. It’s a future where end users access their data and applications via a workspace that is available as part of the new mobile enterprise.
“VMware wants to provide IT with the ability to securely manage and deploy these workspaces,” Robb said. “Zimbra is a key component of delivering on the future of end user computing because it provides VMware a platform for delivering personal and end-user data and information.”