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Old 10-18-2007, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BES and SQL : one server or split up...

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Hello all.
Have been reading a lot on this forum in regards to BES and SQL setups, but can't seem to find exactly what I need. Appreciate any feedback.

My setup :
BES 4.1.3 and SQL2000, running on one virtual server Win2K3 SP1 (on ESX 3.01) connected to a fast SAN.
200+ bes users
Exchange 2003 SP2 - physical server, fast (data store on the SAN)

Over the last week or so have been having major issues with email delivery to the handhelds. Checking the BES box, it's getting killed on memory and CPU, running at 100% CPU utilization all the time, sqlserver.exe and bes processes seem to be the ones fighting for resources. If the BES is restarted, takes about 1 hour for messages to resync and email flow then resumes to the handhelds. Not sure what changed, as this setup used to work just fine for the last 6 months or so. Anyhow, most people recommend running SQL component of the BES on another box. Since we are moving to ESX for pretty much everything, I am considering moving the SQL portion to a dedicated VM. Has anyone tried this setup before? What's the general consensus on running SQL in a virtual environment?

Sorry for the long post...... Any comment/feedback much appreciated.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Having BES and SQL Server on the same machine is not really the best idea... even when they're not virtualized.
Having both on the same VM... you're just begging for trouble.

If it were me, I would definitely split them up onto separate servers.
I'd probably take the SQL server out of VM and put it on dedicated hardware.
You should be OK leaving BES in a VM. I believe RIM will support BES within ESX.
SQL in a VM... I wouldn't dare try that.
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Old 10-18-2007, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have run SQL 2000 SP3 on a VM and it runs quite nicely.

Doesn't need as much resources and Ram ad a regular BES Server--Nothing below 1GB of ram is my suggestion. If you have a lot of mail flow and you see your server getting taxed / fighting for resources, then you definitely need to move it to its own server.

Its also a good idea as far as a dr scenario is concerned. You can have your SQL Server Replicate with your Dr Server (if you have one) all day to ensure reliability, faster uptime, and accessibility.

Yes its another server for you to monitor / add to your list of monitoring and troubleshooting but along with the sql server being moved, you can also have that server process attachments too, which will take a small load off the bes server. I think you will see your server run smoother after this change.

What are the specs on your current bes server? How much processor and ram you have on that box?
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the fast reponse everyone.

The BES VM is now set up with 3GB or RAM and 2 CPUs, but originally it was at 1GB RAM and 1 CPU. The extra resources helped a bit, but both CPUs are still being utilized 100% most of the time. It drops down to 40% or so maybe every 10 minutes.

One other question on SQL for BES, in regards to which version. Does it matter if we run SQL 2000 or SQL 2005? Is the version dictated by the BES or other factors?

thanks.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Which process is taking up the most resource? I am curious about your attachments and SQL connectivity..I think moving the db off to another server esp for 200 user's will help tremendously.

I use SQL 2000 but now according to RIM, they support 2005. It doesnt hurt going with the latest. If your current SQL DB is 2000, you will need to research this forum for the link to RIM's KB on upgrading from 2000 to 2005.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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sqlserver.exe is one of them, the rest are mostly bes-related processes

what's the hardware config for your sql box on vm? how much ram and cpu count?
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Because of 2 BES sharing the same DB, I gave it 2GB of RAM and I believe a 3Ghz chip. Along with it, the Attachment Service for BES is on this svr.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just curious..you mentioned a "fast SAN". Why don't you drop the BES config database on the SAN framework? This would remove the db queries off the local disk and free up some resources. Also, did you separate the SQL server from the BES? That would help a lot. How much memory is SQL configured to use? Did you remember to use the /3GB switch statement in the boot.ini file?
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:01 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Amukhey,
how did you setup the Attachment service for the BES to run on the SQL box? Isn't that part of the BES install?
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Old 10-19-2007, 12:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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On the SQL server, I Ran the BES Setup and only selected the Attachment Service. Once installed go back to both BES Servers, change the Attachment service IP to the SQL Server IP and test opening attachments. Once its working, on the actual bes server, you can turn off the attachment service since it is now a remote attachment server.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I would definitely recommend splitting the SQL and BES onto separate servers, whether you have them on VMs or not. The BES is pretty finnicky in my experience, so the less interference it has from other software the better. This is especially true on a VM. I don't know why, but when we had ours on a VM it was really unreliable. As soon as I moved it to a physical server (even an old, crappy one which should theoretically have performed worse than the VM) the BES started working much better.
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