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brendenm 03-01-2006 09:39 AM

Exchange Servers across WANS
Okay design question here.

We are running Exchange 2003 and BES 4. We have a primary routing group with our main Exchange cluster and our BES. Then our remote sites have their exchange servers in another routing group because they are across a WAN link.

We are having some problems with users on these remote Exchange servers. Can we install Blackberry Services are these remote Exchange servers to help us out, such as the Blackberry Router and Attachment services?

Basically how should a multiple WAN routing group Exchange setup well be setup with BES.


jibi 03-01-2006 09:53 AM

How are the ping times between the remote offices and the BES?

brendenm 03-01-2006 11:42 AM

Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=124
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=27ms TTL=124
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=26ms TTL=124

jibi 03-01-2006 11:45 AM

I'd contact RIM. If you have under 30ms ping replies, there should be no reason to have any sort of piece localized to those remote Exchange servers, imo. If it was in the neighborhood over 100ms, then it'd be a suggestion. They can atleast help troubleshoot the issues to an extent.

brendenm 03-01-2006 11:47 AM

This is from another remote server to the BES.

Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=47ms TTL=124
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=124
Reply from x.x.x.x: bytes=32 time=22ms TTL=124

brendenm 03-01-2006 12:07 PM

What are the "requirements" for adding multipule BES servers or adding the BES Services (Attachment, Router, etc.) on other servers?

What number of Users, what latency between BES and Exchange? I couldn't find anything in the Admin or Install guide.

jibi 03-01-2006 12:28 PM

As far as the WAN response times, I've only ever encountered a direct reference through the seminar classes - taken with a grain of salt. It really comes down to MAPI and the WAN protocol - they don't like each other. However, here's their performance documentation and white paper, concerning users, connectivity, etc.

Typically speaking, I think that response times should be within 50-70ms at a maximum (obviously preferrable would be under 10ms). As for users, they claim 2,000 per server, but most people on here will either branch off with more BES servers when they start experiencing issues, or they will simply call the magical number between 200-500 users - I'm not sure if many administrators on here actually practice maxing users at 2,000/server (once again, this is a MAPI performance issue).

As for the services being installed in the remote offices, I do not believe that is necessarily what the functionality behind the remote installations of the Router/Attachment services is for, to be perfectly honest. You can only have one Router service per BES, I believe (someone can correct me if I'm wrong though)...

Natrone 03-01-2006 01:11 PM

Maybe our environment will help.
We have 45 exchange servers, with only about 10 in the same data center as our blackberry servers....corporate headquarters. Half of our blackberry users are on those 10 exchange servers, 1200. We have 2 BES servers servicing those 1200 users because ping times are less than 1ms. The other 1200 users are on 25 different exchange servers. Our average ping times to those servers is around 50ms. With that we can only put around 300 users on a BES before we start seeing problems. Our numbers have gone up due to grouping by exchange server, but that is still going on due to not every user having 4.0 on their blackberry.

brendenm 03-01-2006 01:18 PM

Hmm well we are WAY under the users, still under 100 and we are for sure under the 100ms time. Usually around 25ms to 30ms, sometimes it peaks higher but not on a consistent basis.

However we are getting these errors in the eventlog.

BlackBerry Messaging Agent, 20265, {}MAPIMailbox::CreateSearchFolder - Open Entry (0x80070005) failed

followed by BlackBerry Messaging Agent, 20154, User XXX XXXXX not started.

Any idea's on this would be much appreciated.

Wakefield103 03-01-2006 02:40 PM

We have been running BES 3.6, so I am not sure how valuable this information will be to you, however...

We have 2 Exchanges servers, each in a different physical locations.
We have one BES 3.6 SP2 in one of the two locations serving both Exchange servers
We have around 120 BES users, with about 60 users from each of the Exchange servers.

I am not sure exactly when it started, but at some point users on the remote Exchange server began seeing message deliverly delays (from 5 - 2 hours). We begain receiving lots of "Some worker threads have been blocked for 31 health checks" or "At least one worker thread seems to be blocked (2)" warnings in the event log. I expect it was after we added additional users from the remote Exchange server.

According to RIM, this was due to the efficiency (or lack of) of the MAPI protocol and the way it expects to open and close its sessions during a specific time window. The latency between our two sites was 90-120 ms. Microsoft's recommend latency (and therefore RIM's) is 32 ms. RIM's recommendation was to deploy a BES to the remote site. In other words, the information the guys above had posted is dead on with what we saw.

We asked if BES 4.0 would correct the problem or inefficiency. They said it would help, by closing hung threads after a period of time and and not letting the server kill itself. But, it would not solve the overall problem. Never did they suggest just deploying the BlackBerry router to the remote site.

As for the multiple Exchange routing group, I don't think that really comes into play here. The key point is that the BES and Exchange server(s) are seperated by a WAN.

We have since deployed a BES 4.0 SP3 HF4 server to the remote site and have begun moving over users. As expected, users that have been moved are no longer seeing delays.


dev 03-01-2006 02:42 PM

The following might shed some light on the issue...
*** MAPI ***
MAPIMailbox::GetNewMessages - GetContentsTable (0x80040115) failed for User.
The BlackBerry Enterprise Server attempted to query the Information Store to process a request for a user account, but it was unable to connect due to a network issue. Either there are network connectivity issues or the Information Store is unavailable.

20265 (11/25 09:24:56):{0x1BC}
*** MAPI ***
MAPIMailbox::DefineCustomProps - m_pRootFolder >GetIDsFromNames (0x80070005) failed.
(11/25 09:24:56):{0x1BC}
*** MAPI ***
MAPIMailbox::Construct - DefineCustomProps (0x80070005) failed.
(11/25 09:24:56):{0x8C8}
*** MAPI ***
MAPIMailbox::DefineCustomProps - m_pRootFolder->GetIDsFromNames (0x80070005) failed.
(11/25 09:24:56):{0x8C8} {} *** MAPI ***xxx9251; MAPIMailbox::Construct - DefineCustomProps (0x00000000) failed.
The Everyone group has not been given the Create named properties in the Information store permission at the Exchange organization level. If this permission is not granted, some user accounts will not be started and message redirection will not occur

As for the is technically possible to use more than one router, but the "switch-over" is manual. The logic is useful if multiple BES servers exist and the Router service is remote to facilitate a fail-over or a centralized approach to service management. But this does not seem to be a common configuration. It is however only possible to connect the BB Router to a single SRP address (e.g.

Taken from "Architecting for Scalability & Performance" document:
Key concepts to consider in the infrastructure
As a general rule of thumb, the BlackBerry Enterprise Server should
be on the same LAN as the email servers
If a connection to a mail server over a WAN is an absolute
requirement, link latency should be <35ms
A remote BlackBerry Enterprise Server is the same as hosting the
users mail clients remotely
Message latency
Additional network (WAN) traffic
Persistent connectivity to the configuration database is required for
optimal performance

Wakefield103 03-01-2006 02:43 PM


Originally Posted by brendenm
BlackBerry Messaging Agent, 20265, {}MAPIMailbox::CreateSearchFolder - Open Entry (0x80070005) failed

followed by BlackBerry Messaging Agent, 20154, User XXX XXXXX not started.

Has this ever worked for this user? Do you have other users on this Exchange server and in the same database that are working properly? If not, you might want to double check the permissions set on the Exchange server for the BES admin account.


brendenm 03-01-2006 05:09 PM

Permissions have been double, triple and quadruple checked. I myself thought that this was the case and checked it plus my supervisor verified it.

brendenm 03-01-2006 05:12 PM

Yes it has worked and there isn't any rhyme or reason between users that are and ones that are not.

Two users, same server, one works one doesn't, permissions and access the same.

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