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Old 01-18-2008, 03:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Post BES Upgrade - BB Reconnect Status?

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Here's a story we've all experience I'm sure!

After upgrading a BES, there is a significant delay for all Blackberry's to be reconnected. Some right away, some several hours later.

Is there any way to see where the BES is at, at any given time, in re-establishing communication with each Blackberry.

Yesterday, I updated our two BES (Exchange 2003/2007), from SP3 to SP4 then MR4. The upgrade was flawless. However, several hours later and some BB users reporting no messaging capability (normal), Management was getting impatient. This was around 4pm yesterday. By morning, all BB's were functioning normal.

It would have been nice to be able to display a queue (sort of), showing where the overall process of BB's reconnecting was at.

Just curious what others have done during their upgrades.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bumping this just once, to see if anyone has input.

Much appreciated!
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have seen these issues when performing an upgrade. Sounds like you had a lot of email during the downtime---How long was it down for?

In a lotus environment, the domino console shows you whats going on ie message delivered, holding in queue, failed, and or cancelled.

There has been a time where I needed actual stats so I checked the Pending column on the BES manager but that constantly refreshes every 10 seconds or you can force the refresh.

it is possible that some devices lose connectivity even after the server comes back online and the best option would either be to turn the device on and off or reboot / pull the battery.

Usually, prior to the upgrade, We inform the HD and the user's of issues that may arise and give them a few options.
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Old 01-21-2008, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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After upgrading you will of course reboot the BES. This in turn causes a mailbox rescan. As the BES scans a mailbox the user will then be functional. Mailbox rescan can take a long time based on the following:

1. Amount of users - I always allowed 30-45 minutes max for about 75 users

2. The size of the mailbox - Large mailboxes will take longer to scan. Especially when they are over 1GB in soze

3. Pending mail - The more mail pending the more work the BES has to do before moving on to the next mailbox

4. Are the mailservers all local to the BES - If any Exchange server has a high ping time you will also have longer delays as MAPI should not exceed 35 Milliseconds ping times

During a mailbox rescan the BES allows 5 mailboxes to be scanned at time, no more than that so it does not over work itself.

Hope that helps clarify things.
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thx for the quick replies!

Sounds like I had a very normal upgrade experience. We have two BES (single MS SQL database). Exchange servers (2003 & 2007), are local. We have approx 520 BB users split evenly between the two BES.

gibson_hg -

Without going into the why's, we have a fair number of users, that have mailboxes well over 10GB's in size (don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger)!

That may then account for our extended 'reconnect' time, which took several hours (if not more), for all BB's to begin sending and receiving again.

amukhey -

Our servers were down approx 1 hour during the upgrade. I did monitor Blackberry Manager, however it doesn't really give you the status I was looking for. Even though a user profile showed a current 'Last Connect' time, the employee's BB was not sending or receiving messages. Again, they all returned to normal function without any intervention. Just seemed to take much longer than I expected.

Thank you both for your comments!
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The quick reconnection for some of the user's and some a few hours can only be attributed to the following:

1. The device needed a reboot.
2. Was the device out of the coverage area or NO GPRS / EGE?
3. Device was turned off?

For 520 user's, the bottle neck should clear up within an 45 minutes to an hour depending on the time of day / night it was down for and the amount of email you receive.

For 800 user's, the time it takes to clear is at least an hour or so due to the number of emails held in queue during this downtime.

As for the status you are looking for, That would be a function on exchange or BES tools that can provide on the BES Resource Kit --however I may be mistaken...
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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After an upgrade I always perform 2 reboots ... here's why:

After the upgrade you're BES is going to do full mailbox scans which will take time ... in addition to taking time you may get some hung threads if the BES is over-worked or if your mail server can't keep up with it. Its possible that the BlackBerry Controller service will restart any mailbox agents that become non-responsive ... but after 10 tries (within a 24 hour period), it won't try anymore.

If after 30-45 minutes after a reboot I don't see mail being delivered immediately to HHs but instead being delivered via a mailbox rescan or not at all, I give the box another boot. Considering the BES will only have to process mail for a short amount of time this second reboot almost never causes a problem.

You can check the ALRT and CTRL logs after that first reboot to see how the BES is handling processing of items too.
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks hdawg.

Much appreciated!
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Also keep in mind that if something was added to the policy like a new feature, the BES will want to send that out too. That combined with an application deployment, typical queue building, processing, etc. Always do an upgrade when you can give the BES time to get everything caught up.

Don't know if anyone else has seen this or if it is just me, but I have found that if a BES does not get past a hung thread (during reboot or otherwise) in 30 minutes, in 95% of the cases, it never will. I ended up making the registry change to restart the Agents after 30 minutes of a hung thread. Saves me the reboot in about 80% of the cases.
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