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Old 01-24-2008, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi,

First post here - been searching/lurking but haven't found anything concrete hence the post.....

I am after recommendations of BES server sizing and server distribution.

We currently run 1 x BES v4.1.4 server with about 600 devices (connecting to a separate SQL server hosting the Blackberry database)

We are planning to add approx 1500 extra devices over the coming months and I am trying to find out how this will affect our BES server. It is currently running with 2gb mem on dual 3.2ghz hyper-threaded cpu's. Mem usage is around the 1.2gb mark at the moment and it seems to be holding up OK

We have 8 x Exchange 2003 SP2 mailbox servers in 5 European locations (UK, Germany, Netherlands, France, Sweden) - the BES server and SQL server are located in the UK (BTW our WAN links are EXCELLENT )

My thinking is to add another BES server in the Netherlands and move the non-UK users to this, this will equal roughly 50% of total users. Am I right in thinking I can simply build a new BES server and connect it to the same SQL database, then right-click and move users within the management console?

What do other admins think of the max number of users per BES? Apparently RIM suggests to max is 3000 but having seen our server slow down after adding 100+ users recently I think this will be a death sentance for the poor server!

Appreciate anyones input.

Cheers
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would definately get another server in place. The standard rule of BES is to make sure the physical distance between BES and the Exchange Box should be minimised due to MAPI overheads. So I would definately get one in NL and move the 'foreign' users to that box.

If you have 2x BES in the same domain that point to the same dbase, then yes you can move users as you've described.

There are some published (need to check link) stats for user/bes that RIM have produced - but I don't think this ever got as high as 3000. Personally I'd be looking to run no more than 1K users per BES. Also with the greater attachement opening you'll get with 4.1.4 including audio attachments etc you'll just put up the load.

You also need to start looking at your DR options as well. BES 5.0 is intended to include a 'high-availability' solution which will enable stanby server to kick-in if the primary goes down. Release will probably be 'around' WES'08 but I'll take that with a pinch of salt...
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the quick reply - confirms what I thought about not loading the BES with too many users, now all I have to do is convince management to pay for a new box.

One other thing, if they are using a common database, does each BES require a unique SRP ID or can they share a single one?

Thanks

PS any links to the Blackberry documentation to multiple BES sharing the same database would be gratefully received ....
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Old 01-25-2008, 09:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiLochus View Post
One other thing, if they are using a common database, does each BES require a unique SRP ID or can they share a single one?
Each BES needs its own SRP ID - that's the bit that authenticates the server to the RIM infrastructure - the DB is basically (as you might imagine) lists of users and other user information..

Quote:
Originally Posted by AntiLochus View Post
PS any links to the Blackberry documentation to multiple BES sharing the same database would be gratefully received ....
Yeah it's hard sometimes to find the golden nuggets in the RIM documentation. I'm afraid I have no time to search for you, but no doubt someone else will add their $0.02 in due course..
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have had issues with memory in the past so do yourself a favor and ensure your current and future BES servers have the max 4GB of memory. I believe SP4 also supports 64bit Windows which gives BES more memory breathing room if you want to go even higher than 4GB.
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bertiebassett View Post
Each BES needs its own SRP ID - that's the bit that authenticates the server to the RIM infrastructure - the DB is basically (as you might imagine) lists of users and other user information..
Thanks, though isn't it the ROUTER component that actually uses the SRP ID? So in theory can you have 2 x servers running BES (but not the router component) and a separate BES just doing the routing over the wireless network (this server is the only one which requires a SRP ID)? Or am I just confusing myself?

As for documentation, I know what you mean, have been trawling the Blackberry Technical Support pages for ages and still haven't found anything specific........

Thanks
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahoward View Post
I have had issues with memory in the past so do yourself a favor and ensure your current and future BES servers have the max 4GB of memory. I believe SP4 also supports 64bit Windows which gives BES more memory breathing room if you want to go even higher than 4GB.
True, I am always telling management that memory is the cheapest upgrade possible and to just put in the maximum - but do they listen!?
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The Dispatcher service which can't be separated from the BES server uses the SRP. The router just routes the connection, you require an SRP for each BES server.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahoward View Post
The Dispatcher service which can't be separated from the BES server uses the SRP. The router just routes the connection, you require an SRP for each BES server.
Excellent, thanks for clearing that up
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