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Old 08-30-2006, 06:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy BES Limits.........Is there a limit?!!

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Hi,

We currently have over 1200 users on our BES 4.0 and the user population is growing by the day!

Are there any limits to the number of users/max mail traffic etc. that can be held on one BES?

We have been experiencing some strange problems recently and I'm not sure if it is because of this or if it is an exchange/mail server issue (messy!).

Any help - greatly appreciated.

Mark
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have heard that once you hit 2000 user on a BES server you will start to experience problems. It seems that is the saturation point.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have you changed your registry to handle more thread connections?
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Old 08-30-2006, 10:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagz
Have you changed your registry to handle more thread connections?
No.....

How is this done??
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Old 08-30-2006, 01:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well I did a lengthy response but my pc crashed. So this time im giving the short one.

Im not sure if it is the same for an exchange environ, but for a domino shop you can increase the maxthreadpool size in the registry. This allows the server to increase the amount of threads allocated per mail server connection, so you dont see the bottle neck or hung thread problems. I believe the default is 54 or 40, I cant remember anymore. By increasing the thread pool it can possibly add load stress to your server but our case it made the stress go down. You do want to make sure you have some hefty cpu's though. One of our BES' handles 50k+ messages a day avg and cpu is 30% avg and 70% peak on normal days.

To make the change
Go to your registry and find: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Research In Motion\BlackBerry Enterprise Server\Agents]
Now find: "MaxTotalThreads"=dword:00000028
This is probably on your default. You can change this to decimal and raise it. I believe the high recomendation is 100is, and like I said we are running 128.


If you go to your MAGT log you can see what your settings currently are before and after changing. Just do a search for "Optimize Thread". Below is an example. This will show you if you have to many handhelds from one server connected without enough threads.

[30000] (08/30 00:01:27):{0x1578} Optimize ThreadPools, total number of users 1203
[30000] (08/30 00:01:27):{0x1578} No empty thread-pools were found.
[30000] (08/30 00:01:27):{0x1578} Before optimization: total number of worker threads 128, where 55 non-removable
[30000] (08/30 00:01:27):{0x1578} Thread pool for mail server (server/srv/aasdd) has 3 threads to serve 32 handhelds
[30000] (08/30 00:01:27):{0x1578} Thread pool for mail server (serverx/srv/dsaa) has 28 threads to serve 84 handhelds



Hope this helps I can explain more if need be.
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Old 08-30-2006, 02:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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From what RIM told me you can only have 4 instances of BES on the one install with a maximum of 500 users per instance which gives you a 2000 user limit per box.
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Old 08-30-2006, 05:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamo
From what RIM told me you can only have 4 instances of BES on the one install with a maximum of 500 users per instance which gives you a 2000 user limit per box.
This is for 3.x only. It does not pertain to 4.x. The figurative limit is roughly 2,000 users, although you'll likely start seeing issues earlier than that, be it MAPI connections or system resource issues. Do yourself a favor and just purchase another server and another BES license and make sure you're running SQL 2000 (or 2005 with BES 4.1) on a separte server. Might even want to think about detaching the attachment service to it's own server is any of the issues can be attributed to system resources.
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Old 08-30-2006, 06:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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We have 2600 devices spread mostly across 3 BES servers (a 4th handles remote Exchange users or users that have apps using MDS heavily).

We're at 800+ per BES and seeing no real issues that I can blame specifically on BES. However, we do have issues with 1-2 of our Exchange servers' disk performance and this seems to directly impact the associated BES accounts dramatically. I have set each of our BES servers to have one mail agent per Exchange server that it connects to and that helps lessen the impact to BB users on other mailbox servers when the Exchange servers in question are "hiccupping."

Each of our main BES servers handle upwards of 80K messages per day and barely break a sweat (10-15% cpu avg). I'll have to look into that maxtotalthreads key and see if it'd help at all for us...we see seemingly random issues with message reconciliation and calendar synchronization (yes, mapi and cdo are same on BES and Exchange servers).
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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It also depends on users mailbox sizes and the amount of mail that comes into your business.
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Old 08-31-2006, 08:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

We've come to conclusion that it is our exchange servers that are the problem. We have several servers spread right across the country, but the ones that are causing the problems are pretty old.

For now we are going to load balance the 275 affected users over the 3 mail servers for one site to see if that makes a difference.

The ideal solution would be to sort out the mail servers.......
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Old 09-05-2006, 05:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Rule of thumb straight from my TAMS mouth at RIM. No more than 1500 users on a BES, especially if they are high end users. We have many BES servers right at 1500, we do seem to see more latency in email delivery and clumping of emails (due to the rescan) the more users we have. If you are planning to go to 4.1 or 5 you will also want to keep that number down.
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Old 10-11-2006, 09:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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We have BES 4.0 on Domino and starting seeing stability issues (i.e. crashes in NBES process) at 1350 users. After moving 100 users to new server, the server is more stable. I would say 1200 or even better 1000 as a max per server in the Domino environment.

Even if the server can support it, think about failover. How long would it take to move over 1000 users to another server for DR purposes? There are other considerations than just raw capacity at these higher numbers.
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Old 10-11-2006, 08:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have asked this same question to a number of RIM resources along with other extremely knowledgeable engineers with the communications vendors. Here is the deal. RIM will usually tell you it can handle up to 2K users per BES. But if you get someone to tell you the whole story they will tell you it highly depends on how your overall company network infastructure is setup. It is also highly dependent on how your Domino/Exchange environment is setup. So I think they are saying in the best case scenario the BES can handle 2K users....but I would highly discourage admins to test the limits. I have talked to BES Admins that have seen the performance take a big dive at as few as 400 users and some that have 1K users are still seeing great performance. So if you are adding a boatload of users at a time pay very close attention to the server performance along with the user's experience (how fast msgs take to process to users, how fast the read/unread/delete functions take to update, etc). Hope this helps
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Old 10-12-2006, 04:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
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When getting to 1000 users I would want to start splitting the user base across multiple instances of BES...it's a preference thing though I guess.
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Old 10-12-2006, 08:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwcanada
I have asked this same question to a number of RIM resources along with other extremely knowledgeable engineers with the communications vendors. Here is the deal. RIM will usually tell you it can handle up to 2K users per BES. But if you get someone to tell you the whole story they will tell you it highly depends on how your overall company network infastructure is setup.
I have heard the same thing. Further to that, I was told at WES that RIM bases their performance metrics on what MS defines as the 'typical' environment which includes server farms that are probably slower than what we all have in house. If you look at the minimum requirements chances are most servers exceed it. I have a GroupWise BES with 540 users (40 more than what I 'should' be able to support), but I also have super fast WAN links to all of my Post offices. So, like wcanada said, it highly depends on how your network infrastructure is set up.
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Old 10-12-2006, 11:15 AM   #16 (permalink)
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The first BES environment I setup, they had a ton of money and an itch to spend it. The server lan was gig enabled and they were using x345s. Needless to say they packed the users on and rumors are now that they have about 1800 users per BES and they run comfortably.

I would think that most people, given a properly maintained environment could easily fit 500-800 users on a BES without really having an issue. I after working with them for a little more then 2 years i would say that the biggest emphasis should be placed on RAM. Anyone have other opinions?
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
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There are a great many issues that can affect the performance of a BES, and the configured number of users actually plays a small part. A BES with 5,000 users that send mail a couple of times a day is certainly workable, while a BES with 500 users each sending lots of mail to distribution lists and including attachments is certainly going to eat into performance.

Another thing to consider is the size of your address book. Large companies with 100,000+ employees can just kill a BES when address lookups are done with a very ambiguous name. Just imagine how many names are returned if a user of, lets say, us.army.mil does a name lookup of "smith" or even worse "s".

tbw in Waterloo.
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Old 10-12-2006, 10:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I should also mention that threads are a big deal with BES especially using Domino. Each thread in a BES is going to consume 1M of address space. Use 500 threads and 1/4 of the 2gig of address space is gone.

Perfmon will show thread usage as will task manager, perfmon will also report virtual address bytes and when this reaches 2G you WILL have a crash to deal with.

With Domino an additional thread is spawned for each concurrent address lookup/name resolution so the address space consumed can the nearly double.

tbw
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