Appendix A: Preparing Element Server Suite PoC
Please reach out our Element Sales Team if you want to run a Proof of Concept for Element Server Suite.
Note This guide is for running Proof of Concepts. We don't aim to show every feature here, we want to get you up and running most quickly. This guide is focusing on connected standalone installations currently. There are scenarios currently not covered by this guide. Installing into airgapped / disconneted environments, or testing our Cloud Based offering.
A Proof-of-Concept is done in preparation of a subscription sale with the goal of demonstrating the required capablities.
Create an account on element.io
Communication via matrix space
3.1 Preparation of the VM
3.2 DNS names & certificates for the endpoints
3.3 Matrix IDs & Well Known delegation
3.4 Authentication & Postrgres DB
1. Create an account on element.io
Please create an account on element.io. We will enable this account as part of the PoC process and grant you access to the Enterprise Server Suite software packages.
2. Communication via matrix room
The account team will create a matrix room to improve communiclation and invite you. We will need your Matrix ID (MXID) for this. If you don't already have a MXID, you can create one here by signing up. This will create an account on matrix.org, you can authenticate via serverial identity providers. Send the MXID to the account team, so they can add you to the room. You could use the Element Web Client that you used to create the account or install one of the Element Mobile apps from the App or Playstore.
3. PoC preparation
Element Server Suite can be installed in a Kubernetes Cluster or as a standalone installation on top of an Operating System (RHEL 8 or Ubuntu 20.04). Most Proof-of-Concept installations will select the Standalone Installation on top of a VM which we recommend for speed and ease of operation.
3.1 Preparation of the VM
Please set up a VM with 8 vCPUs and 32GB RAM and 100 GB Storage. If this sounds like a lot of resources to you, the requirements do in fact vary and could be scaled down later if required. Install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or RHEL8. Update the system to the latest available patches and create a user to be used for maintaining the Element Server Suite. See our documentation for this step here.
3.2 DNS Names and Certificates
You need to select a base domain for the Server. This can differ from the base domain of the matrix IDs but is often the same. Read more about this in the section on Matrix IDs and Well Known delegation below.
You have chosen eng.acme.com. The following DNS entries must be prepared and point to the external IP of the VM.
This results in the following hostnames for you :
- eng.acme.com (base domain - might already exist )
- matrix.eng.acme.com (the synapse homeserver)
- element.eng.acme.com (element web)
- admin.eng.acme.com (admin dashboard)
- integrator.eng.acme.com (integration manager)
Optional for Monitoring and Integrations :
- grafana.eng.acme.com (Our Grafana server)
- hookshot.eng.acme.com (Our integrations)
Optional for Video Chat with Jitsi :
- jitsi.eng.acme.com (Our VoIP platform)
- coturn.eng.acme.com (Our TURN server)
Optional for the Admin / Audit functionality :
We require certificates for these hostnames to enable SSL/TLS encryption. The quick and easy way is to use the embedded letsencrypt. This is only available if you are in a connected environment. You can provide and use your own certificates.
3.3 Matrix IDs & Well Know delegation
Matrix IDs have the following format :
In our example case the matrix server is matrix.eng.acme.com. If a user Tom Maier has a username tmaier in your LDAP, this would lead to an MXID @tmaier:matrix.eng.acme.com. This is often not desired as we like to keep the MXIDs short. It is more elegant to drop the "matrix" host name from the MXIDs. Tom's MXID would look like this @tmaier:eng.acme.com .
In order to be able to offer matrix IDs with the base domain, we recommend setting up a reverse proxy on eng.acme.com, which forwards https://eng.acme.com/.well-known/matrix/ to the matrix/synapse server on https://matrix.eng.acme.com/.well-known/matrix . Or you shorten the hostname part of your MXIDs even more to acme.com, this would require you to put the reverse proxy onto acme.com.
The configuration on your Apache WebServer should be similar to this :
ProxyPass /.well-known/matrix/ https://matrix.eng.acme.com/.well-known/matrix/ ProxyPassReverse /.well-known/matrix/ https://matrix.eng.acme.com/.well-known/matrix/ ProxyPreserveHost On
3.4 Authentication and Postgres DB
The quickest setup is using local authentication and users only. This is what we recommend in a Proof-of-Concept situation. User accounts are created in the local Postgresql DB (recommended only up to 300 users) through our Admin UI or through API scripts for automation in this case. We support many mechanisms for AUthentication like LDAP, SAML2 and OIDC. We recommend to configure these as a 2nd step only if required.
You have the option to use an internal or external Postgres DB. We do recommend to use the internal Postgres DB for Proof-of-Concept installations. The internal Postgres DB is only available when you are opting for the Standalone Installation on top of an Operating System. You will need an external Postgres DB when installing into an existing Kubernetes cluster.
Checklist before starting the installation
Please prepare the above items before starting the installation. Make sure you have :
- created and communitcated your MXID to the Element Sales Team
- registered an account on element.io
- created and prepared your vm / machine with enough resources
- created DNS entries
- decided on letsencrypt / created host certificates for your hostnames
- installed the reverse proxy on the webserver of your MXID URL e.g. eng.acme.com or acme.com
Don't hesitate to reach out to your Element Sales Team for support. We are here to guide you.