Zimbra Open Source Or Network Edition: Which Way to Go?

open source email server

Email solutions play a pivotal role in the success of any business, no matter whether small or big. Millions of emails are sent every second containing all sorts of information. The crux, your email solution needs to be robust, secure, and scalable to meet growing business requirements. Zimbra email or Zimbra Collaboration Suite, is one such email solution, as it has all the features to support your business and comes in two main versions- Zimbra Open Source and Zimbra Network edition. Continuing the discussion, the blog post discusses key features of both editions to help you to select the ideal email solution. Take a look.

Why You Must Invest in a Business Email Solution?

As the world moves deeper into the digital realm, it has become more important than ever for organizations to invest in a business email solution. Here is a look at some of the most notable reasons to invest in a business email solution:

  • Professionalism: A professional email address (e.g., rickandmorty@example.com) is more credible and trustworthy than a free email address (e.g., rickandmorty@gmail.com). A business email solution like the Zimbra open source email server allows you to create email addresses that are specific to your company and domain, helping you to project a professional image to your customers and partners.
  • Branding: A business email solution allows you to customize your email signature with your company’s logo, contact information, and branding, helping you to further solidify your brand identity.
  • Collaboration: A business email solution comes with specialized tools for collaboration, such as shared calendars, task lists, and document storage, allowing teams to seamlessly work together with high efficiency.
  • Security: In today’s digital world, it’s crucial to prioritize cybersecurity. This is where business email solutions like the Zimbra open-source edition can prove helpful. It comes with enhanced security features that help to protect your company’s sensitive data and guard against cyber threats.
  • Productivity: A business email solution can integrate with other business tools and applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and project management software, helping you to streamline your workflow and increase productivity.

How to Choose the Right Business Email Solution

When looking for a reliable business email solution, you cannot afford to make a blind choice. Here are some factors you must consider before choosing an open-source email hosting provider:

  • Features: Consider the features that are important to your business, such as email storage capacity, the number of users, collaboration tools, security features, and integration with other business applications.
  • Scalability: Choose a solution that can grow with your business and accommodate an increasing number of users and data.
  • Ease of use: Look for a solution that is easy to set up and use, with a user-friendly interface and helpful documentation.
  • Support: Consider the level of support provided by the email solution provider, such as online documentation, email support, phone support, and live chat.
  • Cost: Evaluate the cost of the email solution and determine whether it is within your budget. Consider both the upfront cost and the ongoing cost, as well as any additional fees for features or support.
  • Reputation: Research the reputation of the email solution provider and go through reviews from other users to get a sense of the quality of the product and the level of support provided. It may also be helpful to get reviews and recommendations from other businesses or industry professionals before making a decision.

By considering these factors, you can choose a business email solution that meets the needs of your company and provides the features that will drive your organization’s growth in the long term.

Why did Zimbra Become So Popular?

Over the years, Zimbra has emerged as a popular email and collaboration platform with widespread adoption in a variety of organizations, including multinational conglomerates, government agencies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations. Here are some of the major reasons why Zimbra has become so popular:

  • Feature-rich platform: Zimbra provides a comprehensive set of email, calendar, and collaboration features that meet the needs of a wide range of organizations. It includes support for email, calendar, tasks, file sharing, and more.
  • Flexible deployment options: Zimbra is available as a software solution that can be installed on your own servers, or as a cloud-based service, including open-source private cloud deployment options. This offers organizations the flexibility to choose the deployment option that best meets their needs.
  • Open-source version: Zimbra has an open-source version that is freely available and can be modified to meet the specific needs of an organization. This has made it popular with organizations that want to have complete control over their email infrastructure.
  • Strong support and community: Zimbra has a strong support team and an active community of users who contribute to the development and enhancement of the platform. This has helped to ensure that the platform is reliable and continuously improving.

To put it simply, Zimbra’s comprehensive feature set, flexible deployment options, and open-source cloud backup capabilities, among other features, have contributed to its popularity and widespread adoption.

Zimbra Open Source and Zimbra Network Edition: A Brief Introduction

Zimbra is a popular email and collaboration platform that is available in both open-source and network edition versions. However, business owners often unsure as to which one to choose. To help you make an informed decision, let’s go through a brief introduction to Zimbra Open Source and Zimbra Network Edition.

  • 1. Zimbra Open Source: Zimbra Open Source is a free, open-source version of the Zimbra platform that is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It includes email, calendar, and task features, as well as support for file sharing and collaboration. It can be installed on your own servers and is suitable for businesses that want to have complete control over their email infrastructure. In this regard, you can collaborate with an open-source cloud server provider that can assist you with the management and maintenance of your email server.
  • 2. Zimbra Network Edition: Zimbra Network Edition, on the other hand, is a commercial version of the Zimbra platform that includes additional features and support options. It is available as a software appliance that can be installed on your own servers, or as a cloud-based service. The network edition includes all of the features of the open-source version, as well as additional features such as email archiving, data leak prevention, and integration with third-party applications. It is suitable for businesses that want a more feature-rich email and collaboration platform and are willing to pay for additional support and features.

Overall, both the open-source and network edition versions of Zimbra provide a comprehensive email and collaboration platform. Nevertheless, the network edition includes additional features and support options that may be more suitable for larger businesses or those with more complex needs.

Zimbra Open Source Or Network Edition?

1. Messaging and Collaboration

Both, open source and network edition equip users with a smart mailbox that can be easily integrated with email, tasks, address book, calendar and enterprise level applications. IT administrators have the freedom to install either version, open source or network, on a private cloud as virtual appliance or on a public cloud. By leveraging the power of Zimbra Collaboration Suite, your business users can access their mailboxes through smartphones and other computing devices by using the active sync feature in network edition or IMAP/POP and CalDAV in open source. Even though the Network edition requires a license, the total cost of ownership is much less than legacy platforms.

2. Web Experience

Whether open source edition or the Zimbra network edition, they both provide a rich web-based interface, dedicated search tab, and customizable filters. If you opt for Zimbra email to run your mail operations, privacy is never an issue as all sent and received messages are encrypted through the OpenPGP Zimlet and there is additional two-factor authentication for web client. Business users can become more productive through ZCS, as both versions allow seamless document management, and instant sharing of files and folders through the mailbox. Irrespective of the version of ZCS your business is running, your business users can always integrate external applications such as Facebook and Twitter along with enterprise level applications such as Oracle and SAP.

3. Professional Administration

Zimbra Collaboration suite features a simpler than ever, AJAX-powered administration console that empowers IT administrators to manage tasks such as quotas and storage policies through Class-of-Service (Cos). If you are already running a different mail client for, ZCS has a number of unique features that enable your IT administrators to quickly migrate from Microsoft Exchange or Domino to any of the two ZCS versions. Outlook connector also allows your business users to continue working on the Microsoft Outlook interface powered by enhanced features of Zimbra Network Edition. There are a few exclusive features available with the network edition, such as real-time mailbox backup and restore, whereas it’s a manual script job in Zimbra open source mail server.

Related read – Zimbra Collaboration Suite: More Than Your Average Business Email

4. Compatibility

ZCS, gives you an exceptional offline emailing experience through Zimbra desktop, which is offered free of cost to be used with Windows, Mac and Linux based systems. You can get the most out of ZCS, as it allows you to aggregate leading email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and other POP/IMAP accounts. Though there are certain Zimbra Open source limitations, including incompatibility with desktop clients such as Outlook and Apple Mail, they are covered in the network edition. On the flipside, the open source model has a number of advantages, as your business never requires to pay a license fee ever, and there is no limit whatsoever, to the number of mailboxes that can be deployed through the open source edition.

5. Deployment

ZCS, whether open source or network edition, can be installed on a native hardware or deployed as a software virtual appliance. The network edition can also be delivered as a cloud application instead of an on-premise based application by one of the reputed VMware hosting partners. Zimbra is a favourite email solution for enterprises, thanks to its high-availability, disaster recovery, and backup features. Should you require any help or face any difficulty in accessing or launching the email client, you can always reach out to the dedicated support team, if you have opted for the network edition which is not possible in the case of open source edition.

The Bottom Line

Selecting the right email solution can be confusing, given the dynamics and the growing needs of businesses. Zimbra Collaboration Suite offers a host of features that make for an effective emailing solution, without compromising on any of the vital features and security. Both versions are compatible with leading operating systems and web browsers. If you are looking to deploy and manage Zimbra as your default emailing system, look no further than i2k2 Networks. Your search for a reliable and reputable data center service provider has come to an end. We offer a complete spectrum of email solutions, including mail server hosting services, installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting. To learn more about our mail solutions, fill out our contact form or call us at +91-120-466 3031.