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Trying to acheive nirvana - a single global BES domain
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:42 AM
BES Addict
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 69
Post Trying to acheive nirvana - a single global BES domain

Hi everyone,
Just wanted to run this by everyone to see what they think. We have 6 global datacentres (with more coming on line soon) and a very mobile workforce and a small team to manage ~30,000 users (3 of us doing everything Collaboration realted!). After getting increasingly fustrated with managing multiple BES 4 domains (user moves from region a to B we have to move mailbox, deal with remote bes & remote exchange server issues, then use transporter to migrate,etc... painfull).

So with BES 5 we decided to consolidate. Since RIM does not have a formal solution to Global multi domain management we've have deployed the following - wanted to see what everyone thinks:

Toronto - 2 HA pairs with BAS running accross all nodes - this site also houses the BESMGMT database on a SQL failover cluster (working on mirroring to another site)
Zurich, Singapore, Dubai, Makkah and Shanghai - one BES pair per site, using the Toronto DB but NO BAS - Bas has issues scaling past 4 nodes and since you can only have one BAS Pool per BB domain it sucks when trying to get pool members to converge accross a wan (trust me I spent a day trying to get to work).

SO far I have ~1500 users up and runnign in Toronto and a few pilot users in our remote sites. Its wokring well with three little annoyances:
  1. Managing Logging Levels via BAS - we cannot log levels outside of toronto the BAS seems to time out when applying settings. I can hack the registry to set logging levels but it would be nice to manage via BAS - working with RIM on this one will see what they come up with
  2. Managing the default messaing config - since it has to do a mapi logon to the mailbox this can take a while for some sites but otherwise it works well. We rarely have to play with this so its a minor headached and was expected.
  3. BES monitoring service - Issues with load balancing & our toronto servers - not global scale out related but I just wanted to vent - Rim really dropped the Ball with BAS and NLB... support sucks. Our issue is that The monitoring service incorrectly reports the number of activated devices. It only reports users that are not in toronto - The monitoring service seems to have issues with our NLB (Done using ISA)

Just wanted to see if anyone attempted somthing similar and/or sees any issues apart from the single point of failure on the BESMGMT database. We discussed the BESMGMT database issues in great detail, since the BES can run for an extended period of time with no DB connectivity (we've had it run for at least an hour) the benefits to consolidating outweighed the risks on our end.

Later on this week we'll be starting to migrate users to our Remote BES servers (about another 500 users left in the remote sites) just wanted to see if anyone else has attempted somthing as interesting and can provide any feedback,etc...
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Old 03-17-2011, 04:47 AM
Neo3000's Avatar
BES Activated
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 8


We had a similar challenge as we are during migration from Domino to Exchange (150000 mailboxes, 22000 Blackberries).

Both MAPI and SQL is sensitive to latency. MAPI is not supported with latency over 50ms. SQL allows afaik around 300ms.

So the general problem is:
* You have to locate BES near the mailbox - near the CAS is _not_ sufficient!
* You have to place BAS near the SQL DB

This is not easy nor cheap in a big and scattered environment ...

With regards to not being able to use the logging tab in BAS: We experienced similar issue. We use different BES Admin accounts in different locations and according to RIM this is the main problem. Dev task is open for it, but afaik it will not be fixed in SP3.

We use SQL clustering in our european site - this is supported with RIM on a per case decision.

I can not tell you much about monitoring service - we use B*Nator which is quite good but also not cheap.

BES 4.1.7 (20 servers) w/ Domino 7.0.3
BES 5.0.2 (6 server) w/ Exchange 2010 SP1 RU2

20000+ devices on Domino
2000+ devices on Exchange
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:44 AM
BES Addict
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 69

Its always interesting to see what other people are doing and what Rim's told them.

So the general problem is:
* You have to locate BES near the mailbox - near the CAS is _not_ sufficient!
Ya that the most important thing
* You have to place BAS near the SQL DB
For this one Rim's told me that the SQL DB can be high latency but keepting it under 800ms (ideally <400) is fine. In my case depending on the site I'm running ~120-400ms and remote SQL is working great. Like you I've deployed SQL on a failover cluster and working to see if I can RIM to support failover clustering and mirrorning at the same time

With regards to the logging issue I speaking with RIM support yesterday and they mentioned that managing remote loggging levels with the BAS would not work due to there being more than 100ms Between the BAS and the server it was trying to manage (I was get 112ms ping averages at the time). Do you have a DT# that I can use to get more info?

Monitoring wise I'm still chewing through it but we're starting to look at Boxtone, its pricey but along with BES monitoring it will also let us manage other devices as a MDM B*Nator, never heard of it (will dig) anything in particular that made you go with it vs other solutions?

Warmest regards,
[email protected]
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:35 AM
BES Administrator
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Here & There
Posts: 32

The BlackBerry Monitoring service is only able to monitor up to 10 BlackBerry Enterprise Servers...and this includes the failover servers. So if I'm counting correctly, you have 7 pairs and the monitoring service won't be able to monitor all 14 servers. Medium to large environments have to use third party monitoring services if they want to monitor all servers. Boxtone is crazy expensive...but it's an excellent product.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:36 AM
BES Addict
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 69

BB monitoring only can support 10 servers... eeinterestink.. I have it actively monitoring all of mine at the moment.. mabye this # increased in a recent SP?.. will have to follow up with RIM. Thx for the tidbit.

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