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Old 03-03-2008, 07:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default BES basics questions: requirements, load, encryption, AD, etc.

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Hello,

I'm new to the whole BES thing. My apologies in advance if there are any stupid questions here. I'm more or less trying to establish the basics and the borders/limits of a BES installation. I hope somebody could either answer them for me or give a link to the appropriate docs.

So here it goes...


1. What are the hardware requirements for running BES? Is BES more processor hungry or more RAM hungry? What are the minimal requirements and the recommended ones? How does it behave in an environment with 500 mailboxes? And what if another 500 are added?


2. Does the number of mailboxes in an Exchange server have any major effect on the BES server load when compared to the actual number of devices used? For example if I have an environment with 1000 mailboxes but only 100 of those have Blackberry devices?


3. BES integrates with Exchange which in turn integrates with Active Directory. Is there anything more to AD integration? Any additional features? Or anything to watch out for?


4. Is it possible to run more than one BES (with different SRP id's) in one AD domain (one exchange server)?


5. It is possible to install the Attachment service on a remote machine. Are there any other services that could be installed on a remote machine?


6. BES needs Exchange System Manager installed on the same machine. But what I don't understand is how does BES check mailboxes. Which protocol and which port does it use?


7. If I understand correctly, the connection between BES, Balckberry NOC and the handheld is encrypted. But what about the connection between BES and the Exchange server? Also is the e-mail downloaded from the mail server and then encrypted; or BES encrypts the data while streaming it to the handheld?


8. Are there any limits to the number of users added to a BES besides the hardware and licensing limits?


9. Are there send and delivery timestamps (on the BES server) for e-mails send to handhelds?


Bugger, the more I wrote, the more questions I thought of. ;)
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Old 03-03-2008, 07:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Hello,

I'm new to the whole BES thing. My apologies in advance if there are any stupid questions here. I'm more or less trying to establish the basics and the borders/limits of a BES installation. I hope somebody could either answer them for me or give a link to the appropriate docs.

So here it goes...
Welcome to BBF! A good list of questions for a first post. Most of them can be easily answered through reviewing RIMs documentation but I'll hit upon them all ...

Quote:
1. What are the hardware requirements for running BES? Is BES more processor hungry or more RAM hungry? What are the minimal requirements and the recommended ones? How does it behave in an environment with 500 mailboxes? And what if another 500 are added?
Check out the Guides on the BTSC

Quote:
2. Does the number of mailboxes in an Exchange server have any major effect on the BES server load when compared to the actual number of devices used? For example if I have an environment with 1000 mailboxes but only 100 of those have Blackberry devices?
Yes, but not a direct impact on BES. It indirectly impacts BES with regards to response. If Exchange can handle the demands of the BES (MAPI connectivity & RPC responses) then you won't have issues. The key thing to do is to try to minimize the number of Exchange servers interacting with a single BES to ensure that the BES can best optimize its MAPI threading .

Quote:
3. BES integrates with Exchange which in turn integrates with Active Directory. Is there anything more to AD integration? Any additional features? Or anything to watch out for?
The only thing(s) to be concerned with are:

1) BES has virtually the same limits as Exchange ... meaning all of your users must be in the same Exchange Organization, to be in the same GAL that BES can access via RPC / MAPI.

2) If you use multiple BES servers, you're best served if possible sharing the same Configuration database in the event that you need to fail a server over or load balance users. It is a recommended best practice anyway.

Quote:
4. Is it possible to run more than one BES (with different SRP id's) in one AD domain (one exchange server)?
Absolutely! see above ... and share Configuration databases too

Quote:
5. It is possible to install the Attachment service on a remote machine. Are there any other services that could be installed on a remote machine?
Yes, absolutely. You can also install the Router, all MDS Services, and Collaboration (IM) services remotely. You can also install the BlackBerry Manager on a remote machine too.

Quote:
6. BES needs Exchange System Manager installed on the same machine. But what I don't understand is how does BES check mailboxes. Which protocol and which port does it use?
BES Uses MAPI / RPC; it communicates much the same as an Outlook client communicates with Exchange.

Quote:
7. If I understand correctly, the connection between BES, Balckberry NOC and the handheld is encrypted. But what about the connection between BES and the Exchange server? Also is the e-mail downloaded from the mail server and then encrypted; or BES encrypts the data while streaming it to the handheld?
BES <> NOC = Encrypted

BES <> Exchange = Not encrypted. If you wanted this encrypted you could create an IPSec tunnel ... Remember, BES <> Exchange is much the same as Outlook Client <> Exchange.

The BES grabs what data from the mail server it needs and then encrypts it and sends it out. It is then decrypted on the handheld and stays encrypted its entire way through transit over the carriers & RIMs network.

Quote:
8. Are there any limits to the number of users added to a BES besides the hardware and licensing limits?
RIMs documentation indicates up to 2000 users / BES ... but it really depends on several external factors. When we review environments with thousands of users we generally board no more than 1200 users / BES. This allows for some expansion if needed, but also carries a significant user load. With proper optimization / configuration you can easily load more users ... but your environment needs to be optimally setup from both a BES and Exchange/AD configuration standpoint.

Quote:
9. Are there send and delivery timestamps (on the BES server) for e-mails send to handhelds?
Yes, the best way to review these is to download the BlackBerry Resource Kit and review the logs with the included tools.

Quote:
Bugger, the more I wrote, the more questions I thought of. ;)
Questions are good! Excellent post.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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1. What are the hardware requirements for running BES? Is BES more processor hungry or more RAM hungry? What are the minimal requirements and the recommended ones? How does it behave in an environment with 500 mailboxes? And what if another 500 are added?


BES requires 2.4Ghz CPU and 1.5GB of RAM for 500 or less users.The BES is uses more RAM than CPU I find but it usually isn't that basd as long as your hardware can support your users. Personallt I would use a 3.0Ghz Dual Core or Cure 2 Duo with 3GB of RAM. It works fine with 500 mailboxes and will work fine if you add 500 more if you increase the RAM.

2. Does the number of mailboxes in an Exchange server have any major effect on the BES server load when compared to the actual number of devices used? For example if I have an environment with 1000 mailboxes but only 100 of those have Blackberry devices?

The BES is only concerned with the users on the BES itself, the other 900 don't matter.

3. BES integrates with Exchange which in turn integrates with Active Directory. Is there anything more to AD integration? Any additional features? Or anything to watch out for?

Nope, nothing extra for the BES.

4. Is it possible to run more than one BES (with different SRP id's) in one AD domain (one exchange server)?

This easily done and can help load balance your users if you have say 2000 users for one exchange server.

5. It is possible to install the Attachment service on a remote machine. Are there any other services that could be installed on a remote machine?

The attachment service, MDS(web browising), MDSS and the Router service can be on seperate machines. Not sure about the others.

6. BES needs Exchange System Manager installed on the same machine. But what I don't understand is how does BES check mailboxes. Which protocol and which port does it use?

The protocal is MAPI and the port is random unless you lock down the MAPI ports on the Exchange server and most companies don'r do that.

7. If I understand correctly, the connection between BES, Balckberry NOC and the handheld is encrypted. But what about the connection between BES and the Exchange server? Also is the e-mail downloaded from the mail server and then encrypted; or BES encrypts the data while streaming it to the handheld?

The email is retreived from Exchange then ecrypted and compressed then sent to the BB. The BES uses 3DES ans AES encryption methods.

8. Are there any limits to the number of users added to a BES besides the hardware and licensing limits?

2000 per BES.

9. Are there send and delivery timestamps (on the BES server) for e-mails send to handhelds?

Those are in the logs and the email on the BB itself.
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well I typed that for almost nothing, good post hdawg! Your answers trump mine
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Old 03-03-2008, 08:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gibson_hg View Post
Well I typed that for almost nothing, good post hdawg! Your answers trump mine
Haha! For once I got a post in before you

a dupe response like this is always better than no response!
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