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Old 06-09-2009, 10:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default NeverFail vs. BES 5.0

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Please help!

It has just become apparent to me that the organization purchased Neverfail last year but never used it. It is now up for renewal and at the same time, we're starting the upgrade to BES 5.0. I'm trying to explain to the customer why BES 5.0 is better than Neverfail. Can anyone help with this? The only thing I can really think of is that we can use database mirroring with BES 5.0.

Can someone help me with this argument? I need to provide a response ASAP and I'm actually having a difficult time defending BES 5.0 against Neverfail.

Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Neverfail = Expensive.
BES 5 HA = Free.
;)

Obviously there's a whole lot more to that argument, but I'm not qualified to talk about Neverfail since I've never used it, and I know nothing about your environment.
Maybe Neverfail is the better option for you. It's all subjective to your needs and environment.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How many users do you have?
Do you have SLAs in place for BES?
Do you have HA in place for Exchange?
Do you have a T-Support level which includes free BES upgrades?
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
How many users do you have?
Do you have SLAs in place for BES?
Do you have HA in place for Exchange?
Do you have a T-Support level which includes free BES upgrades?
670 users
No SLAs
No HA for Exchange
We have a TSupport contract...
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How many Exchange mailbox servers do you have?

Given the size of your environment ... if you haven't implemented HA anywhere else, and you're not having issues I can't see the benefit of doing it.

Personally, I'm a fan of simple solutions and BES 5.0 HA is simple ... that said I know a lot of people that use Neverfail and are very happy with it.

If it were me, I'd be more worried about some form of HA for Exchange.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
Neverfail = Expensive.
BES 5 HA = Free.
;)

Obviously there's a whole lot more to that argument, but I'm not qualified to talk about Neverfail since I've never used it, and I know nothing about your environment.
Maybe Neverfail is the better option for you. It's all subjective to your needs and environment.
Currently, we have a stand-alone SQL box so Neverfail would be pointless...and so would BES 5. But I've recommended in BES 5 that we go with a SQL cluster and mirroring.

I think I have my answer. Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
How many Exchange mailbox servers do you have?

Given the size of your environment ... if you haven't implemented HA anywhere else, and you're not having issues I can't see the benefit of doing it.

Personally, I'm a fan of simple solutions and BES 5.0 HA is simple ... that said I know a lot of people that use Neverfail and are very happy with it.

If it were me, I'd be more worried about some form of HA for Exchange.
We're on Exchange 2007 with 6 mailbox servers. My other concern would be implimenting Neverfail in an existing environment. Normally, the cost factor alone would be enough to scare them away but my fed lead is asking if Neverfail would help until we stand up BES 5.0. The upgrade to 5.0 wont take that long if they move on it...LOL.

Thanks as always!
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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SQL mirroring! Don't do clustering unless you have to. Mirroring I've found to be a lot easier overall (both as a concept and implementation).

Given the number of mailbox servers you have I'm surprised you don't have any HA in place!
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
SQL mirroring! Don't do clustering unless you have to. Mirroring I've found to be a lot easier overall (both as a concept and implementation).

Given the number of mailbox servers you have I'm surprised you don't have any HA in place!
Believe me, we've been screaming about Exchange HA for awhile now and they are finally starting to bite. I actually was just looking at port3101.org and noticed that the Transporter utility only works for handheld versions above 4.3.0.x. Of course, that is about 90% of the handhelds in our environment.

I just find it way too risky...considering our environment...to do an in-place upgrade. Especially with so many new features to test.

Thanks for the input on mirroring. From what I read on mirroring, it seemed as though you couldnt manually point the BES to the mirror...is that accurate?
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah ... 4.3.x is definitely the bastard stepchild in the HH OS world. Good Enterprise Transporter thread that you mentioned.

I'm not sure what you mean by manually point it ... When you do the 5.0 setup you can point it to the mirror and it'll recognize it as a mirror ... with 4.1.x however it is a different piece of cake.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdawg View Post
yeah ... 4.3.x is definitely the bastard stepchild in the HH OS world. Good Enterprise Transporter thread that you mentioned.

I'm not sure what you mean by manually point it ... When you do the 5.0 setup you can point it to the mirror and it'll recognize it as a mirror ... with 4.1.x however it is a different piece of cake.
My understanding of mirroring is that the BES will always point to the primary db. Only in the instance of the primary DB failing with the BES look to the mirror. So, while you can manually fail BES back and forth, the DB HA is more automatic.
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:55 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmbascfan View Post
... Only in the instance of the primary DB failing with the BES look to the mirror...
do you mean Only in the instance of the primary DB failing will the BES look to the mirror

If so, if you want to fail it over, you could simply take the primary database offline and it'll fail to the mirror; no?
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Neverfail on BlackBerry with Domino

I've been using this for 2 years.

I am comparing BES 5 HA vs Neverfail now.

Neverfail is not yet BES 5 compatible, it's due before the end of this month (June 2009).

BES HA switchover is faster than Neverfail.
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Old 06-10-2009, 10:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Just like to contribute/highlight on BES5 HA. There are basically 2 options:-

(1) HA on BES components only (w/o SQL mirroring)
(2) HA on BES components only (w SQL mirroring)

A note on support for Domino BES5.0, your primary BES and standby BES needs to be in a Domino cluster for the "BES" folders native NSF files/replicas instant failover. For Exchange, I've not play yet - zero knowledge for now.
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Old 06-10-2009, 09:10 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've used Neverfail for BES and SQL for serveral years now and have been very happy with the product. Aside from the failover it allowed me to patch my servers with near zero BES downtime.

I haven't test BES 5 failover yet so I'm no opinion of the comparison. I do see the following argument from Neverfail why their product would be better.

"Neverfail is a 3rd party component and can monitor BES processes. With BES 5 you are depending on it to monitor itself."
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:41 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for everyone's input. I think the money issue alone but this thing to bed. We're gonna go with the BES 5.0 HA with DB Mirroring. the only issue now is how to address the migration since only 30 of the 650 devices in our environment can take advantage of the Transporter tool. One last question...does the mirroring need to be configured BEFORE upgrading BES? I'm assuming so since during the install process you have to point to the server with the mirror. Also, what's the deal with the witness? (I'm not a DBA at all so I'm not too familiar). Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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You can configure it before or after; the process is in the documentation.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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The witness is a third instance of SQL Server 2005 that acts as an intermediary between the principal and the mirror to determine when to failover.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The witness is a third instance of SQL Server 2005 that acts as an intermediary between the principal and the mirror to determine when to failover.
The witness is the greatest thing ever. ever.
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Old 06-12-2009, 09:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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and the Witness HAS to be on a SQL box? There has been some debate amongst some of us that it doesnt have to be a SQL box.
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