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Old 10-02-2006, 02:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello,

Really looking for feedback from other admins in large environments. Currently production BES is 3.6 sp7 (1700 users) and I have looked at both upgrade paths and am unsure which is the lesser of two evils:

Inplace - upgrades everyone. issue is anyone below firmware 4.0 will stop working until they cradle their device, now with 3.6 I have no way of knowing who has what firmware, or device for that matter. A SMS query of the Desktopmanager.exe brought back roughly 600 users using a version below 4.0 (again no way to tell firmware level) ... not to keen on stopping blackberry services and flooding the helpdesk with a bunch of calls.

Phased - moves the upgrade path over a longer period .. double the hardware .. doubles the DR environment .. my concern is RIM recommends users ERASE their device prior to moving to the new server. This seems worse then inplace as I'm dealing with all users vs. the ones below firmware 4.0 ..

One thought - create a SMS package with the latest desktop manager and firmwares for the common models.

Anyone with advice / past experience would be helpful.

Thanks
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Old 10-02-2006, 03:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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FYI - Both inplace and phased upgrades should not requires users of any devices to re-cradle. Users with older devices just won't get the new version features that newer devices get.

Personally when working with over a few hundred users I would do a phased upgrade or a migration upgrade.

A migration upgrade would be where you migrate the current BES to another server and then upgrade that to 4.0 / 4.1. This gives quick and easy rollback to the old server if all should go wrong.

You do need to get Desktop Manager version sorted though. If you have 4.0 or 4.1 devices synching with DTM 3.6 after you have upgraded the BES you will start getting duplicates as 3.6 DTM is not aware that the BES now synchs over the air.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Exchange or Domino?

Sfez is right, both ideas wont require you to cradle...However some users will see the "Enterprise Activation", which may cause their device to perform slowly for a few minutes.

**Once you have BES 4.0 up, you have to have at least a team of 2 going through PIM Settings for each user to de-crease the load on the server and ensure the pim settings for address book and Journal are correct.**

This is the way we did it in Domino: Phased--To move to a better IBM Server that has 4 times the power it had when it was on BES 3.6.

1. Ensure all devices are on 4.0 handheld OS software..Cross check your inventory of devices. If you dont have this in place, create a comments field and for every device you do upgrade lets say from today, enter that info so you will know and be able to create a Spreadsheet and know when this was done and how many.

2. Build your new server exactly the way your current server is right now, with the BES and Service Packs. You will need the SRP ID, etc but you do NOTstart ANY BES Service..Change Windows Service to Manual when doing any reboots.

3. If you are using domino: Migrate all Lotus Domino and BES data as the way it is from the current to the new server OR use robocopy..Do it 2x, one after the server is down and once more in case it missed something.

4. Upgrade the BES to 4.0 and let the DB's be upgraded which can take some time so plan for the downtime.

5. SQL Server? Separate Server? Dont forget to add the IP in the Attachment Properties for the BES Config

This should keep you going good. Always have these things handy:

1. The setup guide for both BES and SQL in case you have questions.

2. Access to Blackberryforums.com

3. Support to reach rim in case things get out of hand..not to scare you lol.

4. a full system backup before you attempt anything so its easy to revert back...

These are my thoughts in a nutshell..you have to extensively think of any loopholes because of how your environment is set up.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just a thought to add: you can create the DManager package for the 3.6 Handheld Users OR wait until they are all upgraded to 4.0, this way, you deploy the Handheld Manager so when they plugin their 4.0 Device to their machine, it will recognize the USB plugged in.
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Old 10-04-2006, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the response .. sorry I left out some info.

Exchange 2003 SP2
Enterprise SQL

Now I have asked T-Support twice about older devices and both times they have said older devices cannot get the new service books wireless so they won't work until they cradle.

Right now I have the whole infra for Blackberry duplicated on new servers (both services off right now) and was planning to stop all services, copy the production SQL DB, run the upgrade inplace and let it cook for 3-4 hours while new service books deliver.

My concern with phased is this is going to take months to move all the clients over and having to backup and erase 1700 BB isn't a fun thought.
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Old 10-10-2006, 02:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You stated you have roughly 600 user's on software below 4.0. You have to get them to 4.0 or at 4.1 first and then think about your servers. We had 1000 user's to do this to, we had consultants in and they banged out 20-25 devices a day (with the proper documentation). Its possible, just going to take some time.
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Old 10-13-2006, 03:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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trust me,

if your going to do either you will not be require to recradle the devices,

reason,

In 3.6 the encryption keys are stored in the users mailbox and on the device, when you upgrade to 4.1 (which is what I would suggest, dont go to 4.0 then 4.1.) the upgrade copies information including the encryption key to the SQL database. The Only issue you will have if the devcies aren't on v4 is that they wont have the V4 features. All the devices regqrdless of version will work. who ever you spoke to are sort of right with regards to the service books. they won't be updated on Prior to V4 HH SW however all that means is what I said previously. they won't have the V4 features. they will continue to work.

your could go for a inplace full update however I woudl choose the phased. all phased means is that you carry out the upgrade in stages. sorry if i'm being patronising and you are aware of this.

Basicallty a phased upgrade is the same as inplace however you do it in part. first you upgrade the database, then you upgrade the BES software to the relevant SW version I.E. i would recommend you use the intergrated version of BES 4.1 with SP2.

Hope this helps.

C
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You wont require to be recradled but you left out that the PIM Setting should be entered because it wont populate automatically when you install / upgrade 4.0. So there is still manual labour involved.
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