OX HE Tutorial 100K

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Tutorial: High Available OX HE Setup for up to 100.000 users

This article describes what you need for a typical OX HE Setup for up to 100.000 Users, which is fully clustered and high available.

It contains everything you need to:

  • Understand the design of the OX HE setup including additional services
  • Install the whole system based on the relevant articles
  • Find pointers to the next steps of integration

System Design


The system is designed, to provide maximum functionality and availability with a minimum of necessary hardware. If the services on one server fail, it is enough to take over the IP address to the other machine and service will stay up and running.

Core Components for OX HE

  • Two basic configured Open-Xchange HE servers (HW recommendation: 16GB RAM / 4 cores each)
  • MySQL installed directly on these server
  • NFS Server to store documents and files

Infrastructure Components not delivered by OX

  • An email system providing IMAP and SMTP
  • A control panel for creation and administration of users
  • A Load Balancer in front of the OX servers (optional, recommended)

Overview Installation Steps

To deploy the described OX setup, the following steps need to be done.

Mandatory Steps

  1. Initialize and configure MySQL database on both servers
  2. Install and configure OX on both servers

Steps depending on your environment

  1. Implement Load Balancer
  2. Connect Control Panel
  3. Connect Email System

Recommended Optional Next Steps

  1. Automated Frontend Tests
  2. Upsell Plugin
  3. Mobile Autoconfiguration
  4. Automatic FailOver
  5. Branding

Installation Steps - Instructions & Recommendations

Mandatory Steps

The following steps need to be done in every case to get OX up and running:

Initialize and configure MySQL database on both servers

MySQL will run on both servers. MySQL will be configured as Master-Master configuration to ensure data consistency on both servers. If one machine fails, the other machine will take over all functionality.


Install and configure OX on both servers

OX will be installed on both servers. It will be configured to write to the first MySQL database and to read from the second MySQL database. This will distribute the load during normal operation as smooth as possible.

The NFS server will be mounted and registered as filestore.


You also may should install and configure the OXtender for Business Mobility


Steps depending on your environment

The following components need to be implemented in your environment.

Implement Load Balancer

A load balancer in front of the OX servers is optional, but recommended. (In small environments, DNS Round Robin may be sufficient).

If you do not have a load balancing solution already in place, we recommend to use Keepalived as reliable and cost effective solution.

Read more about configuring Keepalived for Open-Xchange

Connect Control Panel

You need a Control Panel to create and edit users.

OX is designed to integrate into every solution you may already have in place and into existing solutions, like the Parallels Control Panels

Integrate your own Control Panel

If you already have an Control Panel in production, you should integrate OX with it. It is recommended to use the SOAP provisioning Interface for that purpose.

Read more about: Provisioning using SOAP

A good start to test and to understand the necessary commands are the Command Line Tools. They have exactly the same calls like the SOAP API.

Read more about: Open-Xchange CLT

Integrate with Parallels Automation (POA)

If you want to use Parallels Automation (POA) to manage your users, there is an APS package available to integrate OX into the POA system.

Read more in the: POAIntegrationGuide

Integrate with Plesk Panel

If you want to use Plesk Panel to manage your users, there is an OXtender available to integrate OX into the Plesk Panel.

Read more about the: Plesk_Oxtender

Connect Email System

Every email system providing IMAP and SMTP works as backend to OX. Best experiences are made with the widespread Linux based IMAP servers Dovecot, Cyrus or Courier.

Other IMAP servers need to be tested thoroughly before going into production.

There are several possibilities to implement the Email system:

  1. You already have an email system available: Nothing needs to be done, it just needs to be configured
  2. You use Parallels Automation (POA): Nothing special needs to be done, everything you need is contained in the APS package
  3. You use Plesk Panel: Nothing special needs to be done, everything you need is contained in the OXtender for Plesk
  4. You want to setup a new Email system: It is recommended to use Dovecot, as this is very stable, fast, feature rich and easy to scale

Dovecot Setup

If you want to setup a new Email system, based on Dovecot, it is recommended to use NFS as storage backend and to install at least two Dovecot servers, accessing this storage. With that setup you have best scalability and high availability with a minimum of complexity and hardware.


Recommended Optional Next Steps

You will find plenty of additional documentation for customization of OX in our knowledgebase [1]

When the main setup is completed, we recommend to start with the following articles to enhance your system and to become more attractive for your users.

Automated Frontend Tests

It is a good idea, to verify the functionality of your freshly set up and integrated system. Our QA department does that with tests, running automatically on the web frontend. We release this tests with every release and recommend you to use them to verify your environment with every update.

Read more about Automated_GUI_Tests


It is recommended to implement at least a minimal monitoring solution to get an overview of the systems health. If you have a support contract with Open-Xchange, it is very helpfull, when support can access the monitoring graphs. There are example scripts for a basic monitoring with [Munin] available.

Read more about installing and configuring Munin scripts for Open-Xchange

Upsell Plugin / Webmail Replacement

If you want to use your OX based Webmail system to upsell premium functions like full groupware functionality or like push to mobile phones, it is strongly recommended to use the in-app sales process.

Read more about Upsell

Mobile Autoconfiguration

If you have the OXtender for Business Mobility installed, it is recommended also to install the autoconfiguration plugin, to allow your users to configure their iPhones and Windows Mobile devices directly from within the OX webfrontend. All you need is to adapt the SMS interface to send autoprovisioning SMS.


Automatic FailOver

DA_BIN_ICH_BLANK - Heartbeat??


If you want OX to look more like your own Corporate Identity, including your logo, product name and maybe your colors, this can be easily achieved by changing the logos and stylesheets.

Read more about: Gui_Theming_Description

Read more about: Gui Branding Plugins