BES Licensing Thread
There does seem to be the odd bit of confusion now and again to do with how BES licensing is designed, so I have created this thread to clarify how it works - which hopefully should help out with some peoples questions. Please post if you believe I have missed something off that should be covered and I'll add it to the first post. If this thread proves useful I may stickie it.
BES license components
Your BES server will contain three separate 'keys' at point of installation:
There are five separate versions of BES:
The Enterprise Edition of BES ships with a 20 user CAL and has no legal license limit. You will find there are guidelines as to the best practices on having high levels of users and of course you will be limited by the hardware specifications of your BES server computer.
SBE (Small Business Edition)
The SBE version ships with a 5 user CAL and can be expanded up to a maximum of 15 users through the addition of extra CAL's.
The Express Edition of BES is a free download from the BlackBerry website. This versions ships with a 1 user CAL. BES Express is basically identical to the SBE Edition as it can only be expanded to a maximum 15 user threshold.
BlackBerry Professional Software
BPS is intended to be the replacement platform for Express Edition. It is (currently) a free download from the BlackBerry website and you get a copy of the software, a licence and a one user CAL all free. BPS is graphically slightly different in terms of the UI from the other versions of BES. Most tasks are wizard based, making it simple for admins who are not familiar with the BlackBerry server platform. One of the key advantages of BPS is that it's the first version of BES which offers full RIM support when installed on the same server as Exchange or Lotus Domino (there is currently no version for GroupWise mail environments). This is a big cost saving in hardware and Windows licencing. The downsides with this are that some companies will have strict guidelines on running several mission critical applications on the same server, and secondly, BPS does not have a full BES feature set. To elaborate on this final point - users have full email and PIM reconciliation as you would get with a normal BES, but there is no MDS (Studio, not Service) which means it's not possible to build custom applications, but existing java apps can be pushed through the BPS software.
BPS can take a maximum user threshold of 30 users, and Small Business CAL's are the ones you should purchase if you need additional users.
BlackBerry Enterprise Server for MDS Applications
The MDS Applications version of BES is a version of the server which has no wireless email facility. While this may sound odd, it is designed for organisations who do not require wireless email but do require the ability to access applications remotely from a low cost handheld device.
Note: There is no difference in the feature set, functionality or GUI of the BES editions with the exception of 'BlackBerry Enterprise Server for MDS Applications' as this has no wireless email features
BES Update Key
BES Update Keys were designed for companies who purchased SBE Edition BlackBerry servers. One of the problems with BlackBerry adoption is that some companies believe they will only have a small device fleet (usually high level management) and it's not until after implementation that they realise they need to expand beyond the user base they predicted during their planning. Originally to overcome the 15 user hurdle companies would have to re-invest in the solution from scratch, casting aside any additional CAL's and purcasing a new Enterprise Edition BES which of course proved costly.
With this in mind RIM introduced the BES Update Key. This is effectively just a 5 user CAL, but when entered in to your BES License Manager it alters your BES version from SBE to Enterprise. Therefore, if you have a 15 user BES which is at its license threshold and you add a BES Update Key, you will now have a 20 user Enterprise Edition BES.
The update key is not a cheap option and will cost significantly more than a standard 5 user CAL, but it is still a cheaper option than discarding any SBE Edition BES you may already have in place and purchasing a new Enterprise Edition.
Purchasing the right type of CAL's can be confusing as they are not all the same and come in a variety of denominations. CAL's can be purchased in the following numbers, but availbility depends on your supplier:
Remember, if you had an SBE BES and have installed an Update Key you will now need to purchase Enterprise Edition CAL's.
If you have multiple BES servers in place and want to move licenses around for any reason this is possible. How you remove a license depends on your BES server version number, but in versions 4.0 and above you can simpley right-click the license in the License Manager and 'remove' or 'clear'. You can then add that license to another BES server. The key message to take from this is that a CAL, once entered, is not tied to your SRP in any way and can be moved in the futue if required.
I hope this helps!
I hate licensing; but I love this thread!
- BlackBerry Enterprise Server for MDS Applications is the fourth version of BES.
- Helpful Hint: When adding a new CAL, simply copy the entire 5x6 CAL from email, document, etc. and paste it into the first field. It will populate at the appropriate break points.
Cheers for this bud, updates made to the first post!
Possibly worth noting, although completely unverified, RIM may be doing some sort of CAL management and 'call-home' verification. I was told they have the ability to expire CALs (I'll report back at a later date on this), as well. Considering the SRP connection is completely encrypted, you can't really sniff packets to see what's happening on port 3101, so a 'call-home' feature is very much a reality that may or may not be happening behind the scenes.
Regardless, it's something to be open to thinking about. While the general perception of CALs is that they aren't tied to an SRP or they can be re-used multiple times without RIM knowing, this may not be the case. I'm assuming if a 'call-home' feature is enabled with their CALs, then the SRP it's attached to (at that time) can be tracked as well.
Paranoid food for thought. :)
CALs expire; oh boy do they expire ... sucks when you've got 10 of them that all expire on the same day and 20 servers give you really dumb looks.
I still don't get why RIM doesn't do CAL lock-outs much the same as they do SRP lock-outs. ... same goes for the lack of enforcement everywhere with the hard CAL model.
One thing is certain, RIM have a very poor system for managing licensing. Their excuse to me has always been that they don't want licensing to be a barrier to deployment (hence the introduction of BES Express and the demise of SBE) but that's a poor excuse as far as I'm concerned. I wish they would tighten up this side of things.
My favorite is getting the question:
So, what happens when we go over our license limit?
... and the response is always:
You'd be running in an unsupported configuration and we would make a best effort to assist you, however if we needed to escalate to RIM for assistance they would most likely request log files, which would show a lack of licenses in your environment.
the retort: Yeah, but will it still work?
and the comeback: unfortunately, generally yes.
Its a bit difficult to keep people in line with their licensing if the seller of the licensing doesn't attempt to enforce it. Oh look, here's a CAL, let me put it in every BlackBerry Domain I have ... I just got free licenses; OY!
It does my head in no end - not from a cash perspective because we're a service provider and we only care about the airtime and as a result we sell CAL's to our clients at cost price. It does wind me up though that RIM don't keep it tight and it does annoy me that people can add a bit over the licence limit.
...atleast they're not Microsoft :)
"You'll need to contact a Microsoft Rep. to find that out. I'm not qualified to discuss Microsoft licensing as it varies from organization to organization"
Cal licensing- oversubscription
Is there a rule of thumb of the percentage of cal licenses to actual users you can overscribe before it affects server operation
no; I'd recommend sticking to a plan of having more or the same number of CALs as users.
Hold, the phone...Express edition is free!!! My RIMM rep made it sound as if it was a purchase item (he is a weasel anyways). I run 2 BES servers with only 120+ users, yes this is one of my secondary tasks. What I need is a test environment. It looks like Express will allow me this luxury...How will the DMZ Router react with a second BES server?
OK, nobody seems to be reading the top post!!!!
There is no difference between Small Business and Express - the only difference is that Small Business ships with a 5 user CAL and Express ships with a 1 user CAL. Both can be updated to a maximum of 15 users.
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