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Old 06-05-2006, 04:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Support and Minimum Requirements

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So, I have had some interesting experiences this last week.

It all started with errors in the application log from the BlackBerry Router and the BlackBerry Messaging Agent. The Router reports "Service_Relay_Session...Service Transaction not found." The Messaging Agent reports and increasing number of blocked worker threads since the last health check. The symptoms were actualized in messages not flowing to or from the handhelds.

Before I go much further, I have used the same hardware for 5 years now. I am currently running BES4.0. I installed it in February. Up through Thursday, it worked beautifully. I have 50 users.

So, I did what I could, then I decided to call Blackberry Support. I sent them my logs, and we did a WebEx support session. After 3 hours of being handed off to other support agents and being on hold (two hours fifteen minutes was the longest stretch) I was told I had insufficient RAM. I had 256. Granted it was running a tight ship, but it worked without flaw for years. Upon finding my RAM was below the recommended minimum for 500 users, I was told to have a nice day.

So to abate the RAM problem, I put more RAM in the system. It now has 768MB. About 256 of it is idle. Also while on the call, I was told that since I have Exchange 2003 SP2, I have to update my BES to SP4 in order to get any more support. I proceeded to perform each service pack, and hot fix, to see if any one of them would resolve the issues. No dice. I am now on SP4 HF4. After pushing this through and trying restarts and some system trimming, I again call support.

He looked at the case, and my logs, took note of my updates. He had me delete the MAPI profiles from the registry, then add the profile back. Then he had me reboot. The reboot took longer than he wanted to wait, so he asks, "how fast is that computer?" I oblidge him the answer "800MHz." He responds that my processor isn't fast enough for minimum requirements. I tell him, its been running like a charm for 5 years, and that the average utilization is less than one half of one percent. That is 0.05%. He tells me, "that doesn't matter, in my experience if the processor isn't fast enough..." Again, another thank you very much have a nice day.

No resolution.

50 bosses, none of whom read email messages are calling me, stopping by, interrupting calls, calling me to their desk, blaming missed meetings on the blackberry...

So the long and short of it is this: Spend all the extra cash on a server that will remain mostly underutilized. Otherwise, you will get no support or resolution. I have another 3GB of RAM coming (I have to replace RAM I nicked from other machines).

end rant
Robert Liebsch
Systems Psychologist, Network Sociologist, User Therapist.