Introduction to Element Server Suite

What is Element Server Suite?

Element Server Suite provides an enterprise-grade secure communications platform that can be run either on your own premise or in our Element Cloud. Element Server Suite includes the Element Matrix Server, which provides a host of security and privacy features, including:

and combines them with the following Element Server Extensions:

Further, we also offer Enterprise Support, giving you access to the experts in federated, secure communications giving you confidence to deploy our platform for your most critical secure communications needs.

Given the flexibility afforded by this platform, there are a number of moving parts to configure. This documentation will step you through architecting and deploying Element Enterprise On-Premise.

Deploying to Kubernetes or to a standalone server?

Element Enterprise On-Premise can be deployed both to Kubernetes (a lightweight container orchestration platform) or a standalone server. One key benefit of going with Kubernetes is that you can add more resources and nodes to a cluster as you need them where you are capped at one node with our standalone server. In the case of our standalone server installation, we deploy microk8s (a smaller lightweight distribution of Kubernetes), which we then use for deploying our application.

In general, regardless of if you pick the standalone server or Kubernetes deployment, you will need a base level of hardware to support the application.

For scenarios that utilise open federation, Element recommends a minimum of 8 vCPUs/CPUs and 32GB ram for the host(s) running synapse pods.

For scenarios that utilise closed federation, Element recommends a minimum of 6 vCPUs/CPUs and 16GB ram for the host(s) running synapse pods.

Architecture

This document gives an overview of our secure communications platform architecture:

Matrix Architecture - Generic Kubernetes Deployment.png

(Please click on the image to view it at 100%.)

Comprising our secure communications platform are the following components:

For each of the components in this list (excluding postgresql, groupsync, adminbot, auditbot, and prometheus), you must provide a hostname on your network that meets this criteria:

It is possible to deploy Element Enterprise On-Premise with self-signed certificates and without proper DNS in place, but this is not ideal as the mobile clients and federation do not work with self-signed certificates. Information on how to use self-signed certificates and hostname mappings instead of DNS can be found in How to Setup Local Host Resolution Without DNS

In addition to hostnames for the above, you will also need a hostname and PEM encoded certificate key/cert pair for your base domain. If we were deploying a domain called example.com and wanted to deploy all of the software, we would have the following hostnames in our environment that needed to meet the above criteria:

As mentioned above, this list excludes postgresql, groupsync, adminbot, auditbot, and prometheus.

Wildcard certificates do work with our application and it would be possible to have a certificate that validated *.example.com and example.com for the above scenario. It is key to do both the base domain and the wildcard in the same certificate in order for this to work.

Further, if you want to do voice or video across network boundaries (ie: between people not on the same local network), you will need a TURN server. If you already have one, you do not have to set up coturn. If you do not already have a TURN server, you will want to set up coturn (our installer can do this for you) and if your server is behind NAT, you will need to have an external IP in order for coturn to work.

Installation

Airgapped Environments

If you are going to be installing into an airgapped environment (one without internet connectivity), you will need to also download the airgapped installer, which is ~4GB of data that will need to be transferred to your airgapped environment. More information on this can be found in our airgapped installation documentation here: https://ems-docs.element.io/books/element-on-premise-documentation/page/using-the-installer-in-an-air-gapped-environment

Software

To obtain our software, please visit our downloads page at: https://ems.element.io/on-premise/download

Kubernetes Application (Multiple Nodes)

For an installation into a kubernetes environment, make sure you have a Kubernetes platform deployed that you have access to and head over to Kubernetes Installations

Standalone (Single Node)

For a standalone installation, please note that we support these on the following platforms:

Once you have a server with one of these installed, please head over to Single Node Installations


Revision #28
Created 25 July 2022 17:44:50 by Karl Abbott
Updated 28 February 2023 20:55:07 by Karl Abbott