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2 BES in a single domain
 
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2009, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: London
Posts: 25
Lightbulb 2 BES in a single domain

Hi there,

Hopefully someone in here can guide me in the correct procedure for what I'm about to do. I will explain our current setup 1st then explain what we want to do and achieve.

Current Setup

We currently have a single domain which resides in London and Zurich. These sites are connected via VPN. We have a single BES located in Zurich which has users with mailboxes that reside in London. Aproximately 35 London users. We are experiencing the following issues, and recently these issues have been getting worse:

1) Wireless Calendar Sync not functioning. Meetings are not updating on device or outlook.
2) Wireless Email not syncronising. I.E marking items as read on the handset do not update in outlook and vice versa.
3) Wireless Contact Syncronising not functioning

These issues I have tried to resolve using the usual methods like, Reactivating to the BES checking settings, sending service books, IT policies and OF COURSE good old google. I think being in IT relies heavily on a persons search abilities in google.

We are currently running BES 4.1 with about 80 users attached with mailboxes from London and from Zurich. Both exchange servers in London and Zurich are Windows 2003 Server running Exchange 2003. The handsets range from Curves to Bolds, Storms and Javelins. The besadmin account resides on the AD in Zurich. Therefore this account is constantly going across the VPN to send messages on behalf of users in London as well as local users in zurich. Also just to mention the blackberry server is running on a VMware machine.

The Solution (we think!)

I have done alot reading around the subject and have found out that the BES needs to be as close as possible to the messenging server. I have also found several hotfixes which Blackberry recommend, to fix issues like email syncing and wireless calendar syncronisation. We are proposing to build another BES here in london and migrate all the london users off the BES in Zurich. We think with the BES being in London this may solve some of the syncing issues we are having.

I have a few questions though about this moving forward. Will we need to setup another besadmin account here in London? What impact would this have on our other BES. Is there a standard procedure for having 2 BES's on a network? If so are there any docs out there to guide us? Is there a migration tool for migrating BES users from one BES to the other? Will the 2 BES's be talking to each other?

I would appreciate any feedback on this if possible, I know its a bit specialised, by I reckon this forum is the best place to put this one on.

All the best
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-27-2009, 06:29 PM
hdawg's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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First off, welcome! Thanks for taking the time to actually explain your situation with detail; makes responding a lot easier

What are your RTT ping times between sites? A second BES can be an expensive addition, but it may very well be required.

Quote:
1) Wireless Calendar Sync not functioning. Meetings are not updating on device or outlook.
2) Wireless Email not syncronising. I.E marking items as read on the handset do not update in outlook and vice versa.
3) Wireless Contact Syncronising not functioning
What version of BES 4.1 are you running? Which Service Pack & Maintenance Release?

1/2/3 shouldn't break because of a latent connection ... they should be slow / delayed, but not broken.

Quote:
I have done alot reading around the subject and have found out that the BES needs to be as close as possible to the messenging server.
Yes, absolutely.

Quote:
I have also found several hotfixes which Blackberry recommend, to fix issues like email syncing and wireless calendar syncronisation.
Unfortunately yes; there have been lots of fixes to this functionality.

Quote:
We are proposing to build another BES here in london and migrate all the london users off the BES in Zurich. We think with the BES being in London this may solve some of the syncing issues we are having.
I would generally agree with this approach (as long as it is affordable to you).

Quote:
Will we need to setup another besadmin account here in London?
You don't need to, but I would highly recommend you do so. I'm a fan of creating a single BESAdmin account for each BES... utilizing a mailbox server closest to that BES for the mailbox location.

Quote:
What impact would this have on our other BES.
It will have no impact on the other server. In older versions of BES this would not be the case, but with 4.x and above you've got no impact.

Quote:
Is there a standard procedure for having 2 BES's on a network?
No, but here are a few general guidelines I follow:
  1. Keep BES as close as possible to the Exchange server(s) that its user(s) are located on.
  2. Have no more than 5 Exchange servers users on a single BES (Unless you start tweaking NumAgents)
  3. Share the same SQL database for both servers for ease of movement (making sure you have good connectivity from both BES ... < 85ms RTT ping time)
Quote:
Is there a migration tool for migrating BES users from one BES to the other?
There isn't for 4.x, however if you're sharing the same BlackBerry Configuration Database you can simply drag and drop users between servers.

Quote:
Will the 2 BES's be talking to each other?
No.

I hope this information helps; please let me know if I can help any further.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-30-2009, 09:57 AM
BES Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 69
Post A few More things to ponder

I run a geograpically disperse BES envornment that's a little differnet:
5 Datacentres each with its own BES and Blackeberry Domain (Toronto, Zurich, Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai) and a few remote exchange sites with no BES onsite but BES users on exchange servers (e.g. Kenya, Cambodia, Bemuda,etc...).

Here's what I found works:
RIM likes the BES as close as possible to the exchange server but they will support a remote Exchange server provided the link has less than 150ms latency. In my envoirnment I've seen a bes work wonderfully with a remote exchange sever as long as the WAN latency is <650ms as long as BES users are kept to a minnimum so we don't saturate the WAN link

I have seen similar issues with some of my users and on the remote exchange servers and the one thing that really seems to help is to setup the uses on their own static agent - this makes the BES pay a little more attention to them an typically allows for all BES services to work reliably.

Hope this helps
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