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Old 01-31-2008, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BES and Microsoft Virtual Server

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I'm hoping someone will be able to help me. We are a 99% virtual shop. We have 8 servers that actually run about 30 servers. As of now, we only have one non-virtual server which is a DC. Several months ago, my IT Manager tasked me with moving BES onto a virtual machine. Knowind that we had issues getting OTA activation to work, I informed him we wouldn't be able to activate new handsets because Virtual Server doesn't support USB devices like the cable we use to activate handsets. He did some searching and found VMWare and told me to use it because it would forward USB ports. Well, after discovering we had an older (free) version that was not up to date enough for BES's requirements he tells me to do it anyway.

Now we come to this week. I have handsets that I can't activate and even those that I can activate take me about an hour of messing with the cable to get BES to see it. I have asked that I be able to un-virtualize the BES but my IT Manager has a question. I would have to run BES on a host server that is also running Virtual Server. It would be installed on the physical machine, but he is afraid that there will be some form of conflict betweek the two pieces of software.

Has anyone here tried doing this? If so, does it work? If not, do you have a suggestion other than buying a new server? I really don't want to shell out $4000 for a server to run BES but our IT Manager wants rack mount servers only and does not like custom built servers... he wants server warranties.

Thank you all in advance for any advice you are able to give.

Ben
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Would the BES be installed on the VM or physical machine? And you mean hosted as in not managed by your company?

Please explain in more details about your proposed setup. Also, what version of VM are you running now? EA should work fine, what about the BES version as well?

I've done usb activations on Virtual Workstation without any issue at all, USB detection works fine. As long as your are in the VM when you connect it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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BES would be installed on the physical machine. By host, I mean the physical server running Microsoft Virtual Server. Usually in a virtual environment you have two typs of servers, hosts and virtuals. Hosts are the physcial servers while virtuals are the vitual severs. Sorry for the confusion.

VMWare is version 1.4 I believe. BES says it requires 2.(something).
BES is version 4.1.4.15

When I try to use the USB cable, the physical server recognizes the device, but VMWare does not pass it on to BES. VMWare is set up correctly, it passes USB thumbdrives and other things on, only Blackberries mess up.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I believe Blackberry only officially supports VM, might want to check on their position on Virtual Server.

I have a VM BES and it works fine for activation. The BES Sandbox is all in VM for testing
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It will run on a Microsoft Virtual Server but it doesn't have USB support. I'm not wanting to run in as a virtual server. I'm wanting to have it run on the same physical machine that is running other virtual servers.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I know that BES 4.1.2 and up required ESX 3 I beleive, it will be in the Installation Guide for BES 4.1.4 anyways.

I don't think BEs should have an issue running on a physical machine with VM's running. It's not mich different then a BES running on a VM while other VM's are running as well.

You could install the new BES with the old still in place as well. If the new BES runs fine then uninstall the old one. That will be easy if they share a DB or if you keep the same DB as the old BES.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That's a good thought. We do use a DB which is kept on our SQL server. I'll give that a shot and see what happens. Thanks for the advice.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No problem at all, just remember one thing:

During the install of the new BES you will see a screen with the account and password. At the bottom you will see the BES name, change it to match the name of the BES in your current BlackBerry Manager. If you don't you will get 2 BES in the Manager and you will have to reinstall to correct it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruth View Post
Knowind that we had issues getting OTA activation to work, I informed him we wouldn't be able to activate new handsets because Virtual Server doesn't support USB devices like the cable we use to activate handsets. He did some searching and found VMWare and told me to use it because it would forward USB ports. Well, after discovering we had an older (free) version that was not up to date enough for BES's requirements he tells me to do it anyway.

Now we come to this week. I have handsets that I can't activate and even those that I can activate take me about an hour of messing with the cable to get BES to see it. I have asked that I be able to un-virtualize the BES but my IT Manager has a question. I would have to run BES on a host server that is also running Virtual Server. It would be installed on the physical machine, but he is afraid that there will be some form of conflict betweek the two pieces of software.

Ben
Just leave the BES as it is and install BB Manager on a workstation and activate the devices through the USB cable that way.

Last edited by scott_perry : 01-31-2008 at 01:48 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default bes on vs

I currently run 2 bes, primary is on hardware box, secondary back up server with own srp is a guest on a microsoft virtual server. No issues when I have to move 177 users to secondary server. On activating I just activate using my laptop with bes mgr installed. Un supproted but has worked fine for a year+
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8100/4.3.1.14 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102)

I agree with your IT manager. If I gotta buy a server it must be rack mounted. But I wanted to directly activate phones if necessary and didn't have the cash for a tower server. I purchased a dell optiplex tower with 2 hard disks, 1 gb of ram and Core2Duo Cpu with 3 year NBD warranty. Ordered a copy of Windows Server 2003 32-bit and after install had the OS mirror the 2 drives. Spent about $900 on the server and about $1000 on windows server, it sits next to my desk and I have never done a connected activation. Only OTA of all Devices. I may migrate it back to one of our VmWare servers, but not until a major revision of the BES is released. All SQL records are stored on another server.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
I would have to run BES on a host server that is also running Virtual Server. It would be installed on the physical machine, but he is afraid that there will be some form of conflict between the two pieces of software.
Most likely there won't be any conflict ... most likely.

Quote:
Has anyone here tried doing this? If so, does it work? If not, do you have a suggestion other than buying a new server?
I've not done this with BES, but I have with Exchange. We have a limited amount of x64 hardware for our test environments and I needed to use 64-bit Exchange 2007 for an environment I built. The host server runs Exchange & MS Virtual Server ... it works, but it is a NIGHTMARE to administer. Any time I need to do anything with the application and / or troubleshoot it, I have to fight the fact that any change is most likely going to impact the VMs on the server in some manner.

Don't do it. You're better off moving the BES to a VM (yes it isn't supported ... but its more supportable than what you're looking at possibly ... and from my experiences it works fine ... with the exception of being able to cradle; but you don't need that anyway, you can use a remote Desktop and / or BlackBerry Manager).

Quote:
I really don't want to shell out $4000 for a server to run BES but our IT Manager wants rack mount servers only and does not like custom built servers... he wants server warranties.
Is the money coming out of your pocket? I understand not wanting to spend the money ... but in the end, what happens if there is an outage; how much does that outage cost your company? Probably a lot more than you'd think.

Your IT Manager is making the proper recommendation.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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my experience is that the host server should never hold any duties, other than run the virtual server. That is how ours are designed in our network.

BTW, ours was virtualized from the get go. though we are running Blackberry Professional version, we are looking to move to BES in the next 6 months. We also run Goodlink Mobile Messaging in a VM and have not experienced any problems.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Problems running BES on MS Virtual Server

I have just instealled BES on Microsoft Virtual Server R2

Install went fine and it ran fine for a couple of days

However now every couple of days the VM crashes

All latest service packs are applied

Has anyone else had problems with Virtual Server

(I have also encountered the problem with SQL Server 2005 being on the same server as BES which prevents three of the BES services from starting and you have to start them manually. RIM know about this)
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LateralLeap View Post

(I have also encountered the problem with SQL Server 2005 being on the same server as BES which prevents three of the BES services from starting and you have to start them manually. RIM know about this)
Solution is available at BlackBerry look up article KB03806
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Old 03-29-2008, 10:49 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Been running it in Virtual Machine 2005 R2 for the past 6 months.

Though officially only ESX is supported, it's been running fine as our production machine.

We also run goodlink in VM and been running fine (over 2 years now..)
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darthkim View Post
Been running it in Virtual Machine 2005 R2 for the past 6 months.

Though officially only ESX is supported, it's been running fine as our production machine.

We also run goodlink in VM and been running fine (over 2 years now..)

DarthKim,
how many BES users are you supporting on your virtual instance? also how much memory are you allocating to it and are you running SQL on the same server as well?
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Wouldn't a better use of time be to figure out why OTA doesn't work? I think I'd shoot myself if I had to use a USB cable to do it...
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