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Old 11-05-2007, 06:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How many users per BES

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Hi there,

I would like you just confirm what i'm thinking about how many users you can stick on one BES server. If you can post in this thread how many users maximum you can have on one server without service disruptions.

I've recently encountered numerous problems with server - not stable, hung threads and so on. Anyone had similar issues? Or is there any way how to optimize the structure - move users to one/two servers, disable some functionality?

We have 60 Exchange servers, 1 BES in production - 1340 users on it. Minor outages are daily, I'm fighting with our management to buy another server.
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What are the specs of your current server?
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Old 11-05-2007, 07:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What are the specs of your current server?
DL 580, Xeon 3GHz, 4GB RAM, 2x72GB disks,1GB NC7170 Dual network connection, W2k3 server SP1. Server is in same subnet as Exchange servers. Physically it's next to them in a server room.
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
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We have 60 Exchange servers, 1 BES in production - 1340 users on it. Minor outages are daily, I'm fighting with our management to buy another server.
Are the Exchange servers all located within the same general location (i.e., not going across the WAN to different parts of the world)? RIM recommends pretty much if you have an Exchange server in a location, you have a BES to go along with it. I know there are exceptions to this, assuming you have enough bandwidth to support it.

We have an Exchange/BES in Ahlen, Germany, but have allowed that BES to communicate with the Exchange server in Spain to accomodate a few users (2-3 users). This works fine, but if the Spain location decides they want to have a bunch of users, they will need to get a BES there.

Our current 'big' BES, that we just migrated over to a couple of weeks ago is an Intel Xeon Pentium 4, 3Ghz, 1MB RAM, Win2003 SP2 (on VMWare). This one has 560 users on it, from 2 Exchange servers (both local to the BES).
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You might want to take a look at this document:
http://www.blackberry.com/knowledgec...67404&vernum=0
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, all Exchange servers are at same server room. The problem is, as RIM said once or twice, the number of ther servers - therefore lots of connections.
I don't know for sure, as it is few weeks ago, they said that 1200 users is a maximum i can have with stable and healthy environment.
I'm just curious if anyone has more users than this limit.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Radraf View Post
You might want to take a look at this document:
Livelink - Redirection
Well, that's cool, but for me a little bit useless. Generally management don't want to have all VIP's (as a majority of users are them) on a single server.
They are split all around the environment. That's the major issue here.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Holy Crap! 60 Exchange servers and 1 BES?!?!?! How many Exchange servers have BES users on them? We generally won't have more than 5 Exchange servers communicating with a given BES ... unless the user load is extremely light. Less mail servers talking to a BES means more threads can be allocated per server / connection. We keep to 1200 where possible, and try to not go over 1000 in all cases. In the event of a failure you've got a much better chance of surviving if you have to move 1000 users to another server with 1000 users already than if you have 1200 - 1500 users per server.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
Holy Crap! 60 Exchange servers and 1 BES?!?!?! How many Exchange servers have BES users on them? We generally won't have more than 5 Exchange servers communicating with a given BES ... unless the user load is extremely light. Less mail servers talking to a BES means more threads can be allocated per server / connection. We keep to 1200 where possible, and try to not go over 1000 in all cases. In the event of a failure you've got a much better chance of surviving if you have to move 1000 users to another server with 1000 users already than if you have 1200 - 1500 users per server.
Well, at least i've seen issues like i've never seen before
Keeps me learning all day long. Also i'm really stress resistant now. Once i will got a new one, i will shot it down to ~1200 users.
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I believe RIM has nice excel based calculators for 4.0 / 4.1. Doesn't have all the CPU's out there but gives you a basic idea.

the answer - it depends. How many power users, how hard MDS is being used. For your box you should get close to 2,000 per BES .. I'm around 1,700 with a similar box and the box is fine. Do a perfmon for a week and track cpu, memory, hd etc
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I am happily running with ~800 users per server. I was previously unhappily running with 1300 users on a single server. Nowadays I sleep at night like a little baby. Before I was like a baby with colic.
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Old 11-07-2007, 01:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Server Capacity Planner

... but again your environment isn't a standard environment.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Server Capacity Planner

... but again your environment isn't a standard environment.
Hey - That's very cool
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I would go virtual to save on physically required hardware. Replace with Quad-core CPUs and 8GB of RAM, create 2 BES VMs to start and add more as you purchase more BES Server CALs.
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Old 11-08-2007, 12:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by avial View Post
I would go virtual to save on physically required hardware. Replace with Quad-core CPUs and 8GB of RAM, create 2 BES VMs to start and add more as you purchase more BES Server CALs.
Sounds a bit excessive ... I guess not particularly ... 2 cores and 4gig of RAM is great if you've got it per BES; but why put them both on the same physical box ... what if there is a problem with the host OS?
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Old 11-08-2007, 09:32 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I am pondering the move to ESX however the thing I most worry about is disk IO, hdawg (or anyone else) any experience with large BES 4.1 VM's? How big can you go in a VM?
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:14 AM   #17 (permalink)
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The largest one I touched was abnormal (4000 users ... 7 day item retention policy, no messages over 100k) ... it probably could have lived on a single spindle. That said, I'd measure the current IOPs that your BES is doing, plan for 20% -30% growth (or whatever you feel comfortable with), add another 25% for the VM overhead, and then add whatever IOPs are required for other services on the server.

I've used VM servers with ~1500 users and the only issue I've seen is a lack of RAM allocated to the VM ... disks seem to generally be attached to large arrays or arrays with excessive available IOPs.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
Sounds a bit excessive ... I guess not particularly ... 2 cores and 4gig of RAM is great if you've got it per BES; but why put them both on the same physical box ... what if there is a problem with the host OS?
If you use ESX, the host OS is not much of a problem. My ESX server, which ghosts 12 VMs has been humming for the past year with no issues.

The only drawback with ESX is the lack of USB support from the host. You need a network USB device.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:38 PM   #19 (permalink)
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4 BES at v4.1.2, over 1750 users each connecting to roughly 40 E2K3 SP2 cluster servers, one SQL server. Running like a top but expanding to 6 BES in Feb to spread out the load
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