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Old 06-28-2006, 09:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Blackberry global rollout - design suggestion

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Hi

We are in the process of rolling out BES globally.
We have three Exchange 2003 servers; one in USA, one in Europe and one in Asia. It will probably be less than 150 BlackBerry users in total.
Because latency is high (>200ms between the sites), I assume we need a BES server in each site.

I read in some documentation that it is possible to utilize the same database for several BES servers. I also read that by doing this, you could move BlackBerry enabled users between the servers without the need to reauthenticate them.
Is that correct? If so, is it a recommended implementation or should we install a database for each BES installation?


Are there any important things we should consider as part of this project?
Has anyone out there a similar setup?

Some help/feedback is highly appreciated.

Thanks.

/Thomas O
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Same SQL DB

My understanding is that it is desireable to have the SQL Database on the same LAN as the Berry Servers and Mail servers .
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Old 06-29-2006, 09:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If at all possible, try to use one database.

If you use a separate database, you will need to manage the settings for each server separately, including IT Policies. All administration with BlackBerry Manager is done through a connection to the corresponding database.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes you want Three BES, one next to each Exchange server. with 200ms Ping times I might recommend you just use MSDE for each server separately. One database for all is the easiest to manage but with ping times that high you might see some issues.
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Old 06-30-2006, 05:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you are going to put local BES servers at each location you must give them a local DB (MSDE or SQL). BES servers communicate a lot with the database and will not like the latency of the network. Another thing you could consider is to put all your BES servers at one physical location. I'm running my BES servers all from one DataCenter in North America for users in NA(1500 users), Asia (120 users) and Europe (250 users). Especially in Asia we are dealing with some slow VPN connections. Activations take a long time to finish but other then that it works good. One point of concern. Keep an eye on what the server threads are doing. A 4.0 the BES server assigns 40 threads (total) and will give the majority of those threads to the larger group of users no matter where these users are located on your network. Especially with slow network links, it works better if those users get more threads assigned as it takes time to scan their inboxes. First I had these Asian users spread out over all (4 BES) servers (mixed with EU and NA users) but started noticing that the server did not assign enough threads so the Asian people started complaining that Email was slow and not arriving on their BB's during certain hours. After I put all of them on one dedicated BES (120 users on 5 mailservers) things have been working excellent. I also put my European users on their own BES which works good as well (but their network is faster to begin with).
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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We have a similar setup to your design, I too have read the documentation and everything etc and their recommendation of having a server closed to the local servers i.e. we have exchange server in Boston, HK. But what we have is 1 BES server for all our BES users (170 Users), serving users in Boston, Hong Kong, Europe.

There is about 15min delay for users in Asia, which they say is acceptable, so apart from that we have no issues. We are now testing the new blackberry's that are 3G for users in Japan. OK - at some point we were thinking of installing a BES server for Asia users to overcome this 15min delay but since they say its acceptable we have put that on hold.

I know its not a recommended design but it works and havent had any issues.

Last edited by Kul : 06-30-2006 at 06:13 AM.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This topic deals directly with a projec that will be on my front burner in July. My plan is to use one database for 6 servers (exchange2k environment)in six locations all pointed to one SQL2k database located in our main data center. My question deals with 2 components, The blackberry router, and MDS. Should i have them all pointing to one central location through which that one location will handle the SRP? Should I intstall a single instance of MDS and have all of the servers point to that one instance? is either of these scenarios even possible. In summary, my idea is to have

6 blackberry servers 1 SQL database ( ping times between the location do not exceed 70ms)
1 of the six handling all MDS and Routing while the other five simply read and forward mail.

Shoot me down if this looks WRONG

Cartwfh
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is better to have remote BlackBerry router (in the DMZ) for all your BlackBerry servers (maybe two, one fallback), the MDS is depending of your BES version and the use of it. If there are many users you can also consider a remote attachment server.

Regards,
Bob
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Old 07-04-2006, 06:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for good input.

Flying Dutchman, it looks like you have seen some of the problems we currently see. We already have one BES server (v4.0) in US and the users are spread out in Europe and Asia as well as US. It total about 90 users. We have exchange servers in the mentioned regions, and we have recently seen a very high increase in delivery time of e-mails for BlackBerry devices in Europe and Asia.
This is the reason why we are now looking in to installing BES servers in Asia and Europe as well.
I know that it will be some more administration overhead with a database in each reagion as well, but I think it should be manageable with less than 150 users in total. I don't think I will take the rist of using one datebase since you say the communication is pretty heavy between the DB and BES server.
What you mentions about threads is very interesting. I think however that I will install the BES servers on the same network as my Exchange servers to be 100% sure that latency should not be an issue.

/Thomas O
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