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Understanding BES Licensing
 
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:18 PM
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Default Understanding BES Licensing

One of the common things I come accross when discussing BES requirements with new clients is that they feel RIM don't explain the differing versions of BES properly. Therefore I have created this thread to clarify how it works - which hopefully should help out with some peoples questions. Please post if you believe I have missed something off that should be covered and I'll add it to the first post.

BES license components

Your BES server will contain three separate 'keys' at point of installation:

* SRP ID
* SRP Authentication Key
* CAL (Client Access License)

These will always remain unchanged, although you may add additional CAL's as you require additional users on the BES server.


BES Versions

There are quite a few separate versions of BES now:

Enterprise Edition

This is the full beans. The Enterprise Edition of BES normally ships with a 20 user CAL and has no legal license limit. You will find there are guidelines as to the best practices on having high levels of users and of course you will be limited by the hardware specifications of your BES server computer.

SBE (Small Business Edition)

Pretty defunt these days, but I come across plenty of existing SBE instances. The SBE version ships with a 5 user CAL and can be expanded up to a maximum of 15 users through the addition of extra CAL's. It's no different to Enterprise edition in function, it just has a low CAL threshold.

BPS (BlackBerry Professional Software)

BPS is really intended to replace SBE as the small to medium BES deployment. It is a free download from the BlackBerry website and you get a copy of the software, an SRP licence and a one user CAL all free. BPS is graphically slightly different in terms of the UI from the other versions of BES. Most tasks are wizard based, making it simple for admins who are not familiar with the BlackBerry server platform.

One of the key advantages of BPS is that it's the first version of BES which offers full RIM support when installed on the same server as Exchange or Lotus Domino (there is currently no version for GroupWise mail environments). This is a big cost saving in hardware and Windows licencing. The downsides with this are that some companies will have strict guidelines on running several mission critical applications on the same server, and secondly, BPS does not have a full BES feature set. To elaborate on this final point - users have full email and PIM reconciliation as you would get with a normal BES, but there is no MDS (Studio, not Service) which means it's not possible to build custom applications, but existing java apps can be pushed through the BPS software. Another negative worth noting is that we have noticed service pack releases tend to take a little longer with BPS than they do with full blown BES. For example, at time of writing the current version of BES is 4.1 SP6 and the current BPS is 4.1 SP4 (therefore no HTML email support, no remote email search and no busy calendar lookup).

BPS can take a maximum user threshold of 30 users, and both Small Business CAL's and Enterprise CAL's can be purchased if you need additional users.

BlackBerry Enterprise Server for MDS Applications

The MDS Applications version of BES is a version of the server which has no wireless email facility. While this may sound odd, it is designed for organisations who do not require wireless email but do require the ability to access applications remotely from a low cost handheld device.


Other License Requirements

BES Update Key

BES Update Keys were designed for companies who purchased SBE Edition BlackBerry servers. One of the problems with BlackBerry adoption is that some companies believe they will only have a small device fleet (usually high level management) and it's not until after implementation that they realise they need to expand beyond the user base they predicted during their planning. Originally to overcome the 15 user hurdle companies would have to re-invest in the solution from scratch, casting aside any additional CAL's and purcasing a new Enterprise Edition BES which of course proved costly.

With this in mind RIM introduced the BES Update Key. This is effectively just a 5 user CAL, but when entered in to your BES License Manager it alters your BES version from SBE to Enterprise. Therefore, if you have a 15 user BES which is at its license threshold and you add a BES Update Key, you will now have a 20 user Enterprise Edition BES.

The update key is not a cheap option and will cost significantly more than a standard 5 user CAL, but it is still a cheaper option than discarding any SBE Edition BES you may already have in place and purchasing a new Enterprise Edition.

Purchasing CAL's

Purchasing the right type of CAL's can be confusing as they are not all the same and come in a variety of denominations. CAL's can be purchased in the following numbers, but availbility depends on your supplier:

* 5 user
* 10 user
* 50 user
* 100 user
* 500 user
* 1000 user

You must also purchase the correct type of CAL. If you have an SBE or Express Edition BES you will need SBE CAL's, and if you have an Enterprise Edtion BES you will of course need Enterprise CAL's - there should be a minimal difference in the cost of a (for example) 5 user SBE CAL and a 5 user Enterprise CAL (if at all).

Remember, if you had an SBE BES and have installed an Update Key you will now need to purchase Enterprise Edition CAL's.

Managing CAL's

If you have multiple BES servers in place and want to move licenses around for any reason this is possible. How you remove a license depends on your BES server version number, but in versions 4.0 and above you can simply right-click the license in the License Manager and 'remove' or 'clear'. You can then add that license to another BES server. The key message to take from this is that a CAL, once entered, is not tied to your SRP in any way and can be moved in the futue if required.

I hope this has provided a strong overview of how BES licensing works, but if you have any questions just drop in a post and we can discuss it!

Si
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:05 AM
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I've come across BES installations that started with the SBE and then purchased the BES update CAL to move into the Enterprise solution and subsequently the enterprise CALs. If these organizations had to move their BES server or redeploy on new hardware, what is the proper order to apply these CALs? Do you install using the SBE CALs before the update CAL? If you install using the update CAL or enterprise CALs I would assume the SBE CALs would not be accepted, is this correct?
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:00 AM
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Proper order of usage:

SBE CALs
Upgrade CAL
Enterprise CALs
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:47 AM
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Excellent thread, Si!
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Old 02-02-2009, 02:14 PM
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Thank you, Si.

You've confirmed what I thought. Excellent info on licensing.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:40 AM
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Very nice post, licensing can be a bit confusing for persons not familiar with this model.

Two tiny additions which might be of use:

If SRP-key is locked this might be due to
- network problems (5 in 1 rule - 5 connection attempts within 1 minute)
- second server going online with key already in use
(-> Server Configuration Tool/BB tab >> Validate SRP Key and ID)
In this case correct the issue and contact your support partner or RIM asap to have the key unlocked (usually high priority ticket).

When upgrading from SBE to Enterprise Edition one might encounter an incompatability error after entering the new license. This is because the old license key still exists in the BESMgmt db/registry and might be updated manually instead of installing the BES anew.
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Old 02-03-2009, 06:22 PM
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SBE 4.1.6 has to be downgraded to 4.1.4 when upgrading to BPS.
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Old 02-04-2009, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
SBE 4.1.6 has to be downgraded to 4.1.4 when upgrading to BPS.
Good point. Remind me how that works again - is it still a downgrade followed by BPS installer over the top and the addition of a special (5 user) CAL that unlocks the 15 user threshold and bumps it to 30?
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:23 PM
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Thats pretty much it.
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Old 02-10-2009, 12:03 PM
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Cheers!
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:29 AM
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Can someone remind me the process of BPS to Enterprise? I'm sure it's Update Key (CAL) followed by simply installing SP6 for full blown BES?

BTW, I'm going to take some of the prior points here and update the top post shortly.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:54 AM
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Bloody RIM docs, it's unclear as to whether you run the full BES installer over the top of just a service pack (as it references both):

KB15767 - Upgrade from BlackBerry Professional Software to BES

Emailing them to confirm now!
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:37 PM
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You'll need the full installer.
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:43 PM
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RIM say just the service pack!!!
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Old 02-26-2009, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post
RIM say just the service pack!!!
I could swear that it didn't work when I tried it with just the service pack. And someone reported the same problem to me. Give it a try and "tell us the truth".
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:20 AM
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Sounds about right!
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Old 03-04-2009, 05:48 PM
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When I upgraded BPS to Full BES,

RIM sent me a upgrader file
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Old 03-04-2009, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knottyrope View Post
When I upgraded BPS to Full BES,

RIM sent me a upgrader file
this was very likely the full installer.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Si View Post
Can someone remind me the process of BPS to Enterprise? I'm sure it's Update Key (CAL) followed by simply installing SP6 for full blown BES?

BTW, I'm going to take some of the prior points here and update the top post shortly.
You need the full BES installer files + a trade-up key to upgrade a BPS to full BES.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindware View Post
You need the full BES installer files + a trade-up key to upgrade a BPS to full BES.
This is the correct answer and the problem actually lies in a fluke with the SRP/CAL exchange when BES checks in with RIM's infrastructure. The SRP will identify what type of BES you have installed and what type of CAL's are active on it.
If you look at your keys the differences between versions will be obvious.
When "upgrading" from any limited version to Enterprise, the full installer attempts to recognize the keys and authenticate them as Enterprise keys - half of the time the change is not applied correctly (to all) CAL's - at this point, the BES will continue to function, but you will get persistent "out of CAL's" warnings when attempting to add new users.
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