BlackBerry Forums Support Community               

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-17-2009, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Model: none
PIN: N/A
Carrier: ATT
Posts: 5
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Blackberry Software Express & Generic Data Plans

Please Login to Remove!

Hi folks:

I'm an IT consultant that works mostly with small businesses. I'm working on a larger client (for me), that wants to install SBS 2008 and go from a workstation to a domain environment. As part of that effort I bought myself a copy of SBS 2008 and installed it as a VM on one of my machines. Since it comes with Exchange 2007 I thought I'd migrate my personal email to Exchange (I run SMEServer now) so that I'd know how to do it when it came time to work with my customer on the email migration. As part of that effort I was toying with the idea of getting a blackberry and connecting it to Exchange.

My question, not having ever owned a blackberry, concerns what you get with the various data plans, versus running Blackberry Software Express, which is free for one user, on SBS 2008 alongside Exchange. I was looking at AT&T's offerings and I'm wondering if I have to pay extra for the BES service if I'm intending to run Software Express on my own network. I'm confused about whether or not if you get the basic data plan, what you are really getting is a connection to AT&T's proxy server only, and that you can't connect to whatever ports you want, including your own Software Express server. On the other hand, since it's my own network I'm connecting to I can do anything I want, within reason, to my own port numbers to get around some of those restrictions. I've read some threads about "MD5" access and such, but not being a blackberry expert I'm not quite sure what that all entails. Obviously, what I'd like is unrestricted port access to the internet, without going through a firewall or proxy server, but if that brings the data cost up from $30 per month to $50 per month, maybe I should just shelve the blackberry idea for the time being.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.

mudtoe
Offline  
Old 06-17-2009, 07:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
BlackBerry God
 
penguin3107's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Model: iOS 5
Carrier: VZW
Posts: 11,701
Post Thanks: 1
Thanked 237 Times in 219 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
I'm wondering if I have to pay extra for the BES service if I'm intending to run Software Express on my own network.
Yes, you do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
I'm confused about whether or not if you get the basic data plan, what you are really getting is a connection to AT&T's proxy server only, and that you can't connect to whatever ports you want, including your own Software Express server. On the other hand, since it's my own network I'm connecting to I can do anything I want, within reason, to my own port numbers to get around some of those restrictions.
The BlackBerry Data Plan provides access to RIM's BlackBerry infrastructure. It has little to do with the carrier's wireless network, other than you using the carrier's network to get to RIM's.
__________________
BCSA
BES 5.0.3 MR4 :-: Exchange 2007 SP3 RU3
http://port3101.org
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 12:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Model: none
PIN: N/A
Carrier: ATT
Posts: 5
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

So regardless of whether or not I want to run my own Software Express, I have to pay for the BES service from AT&T? If that's the case, why would anyone run Software Express, rather than just sign up for BES and let them take care of it? Am I missing something here? Also, I was under the impression that if I ran Software Express, the blackberry would connect directly to my server, and not RIM's. I guess I'm pretty confused now..

mudtoe

Last edited by mudtoe : 06-18-2009 at 12:25 PM.
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 12:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
BlackBerry God
 
penguin3107's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Model: iOS 5
Carrier: VZW
Posts: 11,701
Post Thanks: 1
Thanked 237 Times in 219 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
So regardless of whether or not I want to run my own Software Express, I have to pay for the BES service from AT&T?
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
If that's the case, why would anyone run Software Express, rather than just sign up for BES and let them take care of it?
I'm thinking you don't fully understand what BES Express (or BES) is.
Regardless of what type of BlackBerry server you choose, you ALWAYS install it on your own equipment. You're not paying AT&T (or any carrier) to host a BlackBerry server for you. You pay them to provision the Enterprise data plan on your account which allows your device to communicate with a BlackBerry server, wherever it may reside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
Am I missing something here?
Yes, see above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
Also, I was under the impression that if I ran Software Express, the blackberry would connect directly to my server, and not RIM's.
No no no... it's always your server... not RIM's or AT&T's. Again, you're paying the carrier for the data plan which allows you to utilize RIM's network to talk to your BlackBerry server.
__________________
BCSA
BES 5.0.3 MR4 :-: Exchange 2007 SP3 RU3
http://port3101.org
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 02:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Model: none
PIN: N/A
Carrier: ATT
Posts: 5
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

OK. So if I don't get the BES plan, essentially what AT&T is doing is only giving me limited access to the internet through some sort of firewall or proxy server, but to get "full" unfettered access to the internet without being limited by port restrictions or proxy server restrictions, which would allow me to connect to my Software Express server running on my own server, I have to buy the "BES" plan. Is that the bottom line here?
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 02:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
BlackBerry God
 
penguin3107's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Model: iOS 5
Carrier: VZW
Posts: 11,701
Post Thanks: 1
Thanked 237 Times in 219 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
OK. So if I don't get the BES plan, essentially what AT&T is doing is only giving me limited access to the internet through some sort of firewall or proxy server, but to get "full" unfettered access to the internet without being limited by port restrictions or proxy server restrictions, which would allow me to connect to my Software Express server running on my own server, I have to buy the "BES" plan. Is that the bottom line here?
Almost. ;)
AT&T, and most other carriers, offer two flavors of the BlackBerry Data Plan. Enterprise (BES) and Personal (BIS).

They're virtually identical in all ways except for one.
The BES data plan will allow your device to activate on a BES. The BIS plan won't.

You'll have full Internet access on your device regardless of which plan you choose.
__________________
BCSA
BES 5.0.3 MR4 :-: Exchange 2007 SP3 RU3
http://port3101.org

Last edited by penguin3107 : 06-18-2009 at 02:34 PM.
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 07:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Model: none
PIN: N/A
Carrier: ATT
Posts: 5
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

If I have full uncensored access to the internet with the BIS plan, how would they prevent me from talking to my own copy of software express running on my own server? Does something odd happen out of band when a device "activates" (i.e. is this activation is not transmitted via a regular TCP/IP packet over the internet, but is done somehow through the cellular network) or are they blocking just a single port (i.e. the BES port)? I'm afraid my ignorance about Blackberry technology is showing here.

mudtoe
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 08:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Model: LEZ10
OS: 10.0.10
Carrier: Rogers CA
Posts: 1,704
Post Thanks: 20
Thanked 77 Times in 68 Posts
Default

A Blackberry communicates with the BES through an encrypted tunnel. The RIM Operations Centre acts like a switchboard allowing the Blackberry to establish that connection from any wireless carrier anywhere (that supports Blackberry). The power in the system is that it also allows the BES to establish a connection to the Blackberry on any wireless carrier anywhere (that supports Blackberry). This means that the Blackberry doesn't have to maintain a connection to the server so that the server can push data to the Blackberry.

It is a powerful and beautiful thing.
__________________
My other Blackberry is a PlayBook.
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 08:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
BlackBerry God
 
penguin3107's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Model: iOS 5
Carrier: VZW
Posts: 11,701
Post Thanks: 1
Thanked 237 Times in 219 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudtoe View Post
If I have full uncensored access to the internet with the BIS plan, how would they prevent me from talking to my own copy of software express running on my own server? Does something odd happen out of band when a device "activates" (i.e. is this activation is not transmitted via a regular TCP/IP packet over the internet, but is done somehow through the cellular network) or are they blocking just a single port (i.e. the BES port)? I'm afraid my ignorance about Blackberry technology is showing here.

mudtoe
OK, you need to try to understand something, because you're missing a very important aspect of this whole BlackBerry thing.
** BlackBerry Data uses RIM's Network... not the Internet. **

Your BlackBerry Server connects to RIM's NOC via SRP on port 3101 TCP.
Your BlackBerry Device connects to RIM's Network by means of your wireless carrier's data network.

Your BlackBerry Device does not talk directly to your BlackBerry Server over the Internet.
All BlackBerry Data traffic is transmitted over RIM's network.

In an oversimplified nutshell:
Device <--> Wireless Carrier <--> RIM BlackBerry Infrastructure <--> RIM Noc <--> BlackBerry Server <--> Messaging Platform.
__________________
BCSA
BES 5.0.3 MR4 :-: Exchange 2007 SP3 RU3
http://port3101.org
Offline  
Old 06-18-2009, 10:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Model: none
PIN: N/A
Carrier: ATT
Posts: 5
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
...
Your BlackBerry Device does not talk directly to your BlackBerry Server over the Internet.
All BlackBerry Data traffic is transmitted over RIM's network.

In an oversimplified nutshell:
Device <--> Wireless Carrier <--> RIM BlackBerry Infrastructure <--> RIM Noc <--> BlackBerry Server <--> Messaging Platform.

OK. Now I think I get it! So RIM is actually playing the part of the proxy server in my earlier scenarios, and what you are paying your carrier extra for is access to RIM's network, which acts as proxy server to the rest of the internet for your BB including your copy of Software Express running on your server, and also provides encryption for everything going between RIM and your BB. Does that mean if you only use the wireless carrier's basic data package (BIS?) RIM gets cut out of the loop, and you have to use the carrier's interface between their wireless network and the internet, but that RIM's software express won't talk directly to your BB that way, but only to your BB via a connection to RIM's network? Also, that makes sense regarding hrbuckley's comment that doing it that way doesn't require every BB to have an open IP connection to the BES server, which I guess could be an issue if you were supporting thousands of BB's on that server. It also is a good way for RIM to make sure that they continue to get a cut of all the revenue...

mudtoe

Last edited by mudtoe : 06-18-2009 at 10:31 PM.
Offline  
Old 06-19-2009, 07:29 PM   #11 (permalink)
BlackBerry Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Model: LEZ10
OS: 10.0.10
Carrier: Rogers CA
Posts: 1,704
Post Thanks: 20
Thanked 77 Times in 68 Posts
Default

The using the BIS is still using RIM's Operations Centre, to get fully away from RIM you would have to back down to a generic data plan (that they would provide to any modern phone). You can read all about what people can and can't do at that level all around here.
__________________
My other Blackberry is a PlayBook.
Offline  
Closed Thread


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On





Copyright 2004-2014 BlackBerryForums.com.
The names RIM and BlackBerry are registered Trademarks of BlackBerry Inc.