BlackBerry Forums Support Community               

View Poll Results: Would you (still) be interested in a BES co-op?
Yes 7 46.67%
No 5 33.33%
Maybe 3 20.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-03-2007, 01:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New York, NY
Model: 9800
PIN: 204D6D1A
Carrier: AT&T
Posts: 29
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Blackberry (BES) Co-op

Please Login to Remove!

Hi,
I posted a poll about this a while ago (Original Thread), and there was quite a bit of interest shown for it. The idea was basically a group co-op BES for people interested in the full BES functionality without running their own servers. This time I've gone ahead, and purchased all the licenses (Microsoft Exchange 2003 25-CAL, BES Small Business 5-CAL) as well as the hosting (Dedicated Windows 2003 Std Server on GoDaddy on 3Ghz box with 2GB RAM). I've already paid for the software licenses myself, and I'm not looking to make a profit, just to make enough to cover the expenses. I've already set up the server, and started using it myself. Since I have 4 BES licenses left over, I'm looking for other blackberry users that would like to share the monthly hosting cost with me.

The server's monthly cost is about USD $132 / month. I'd like to propose $30/month for each user, for Exchange and Blackberry access with 3GB e-mail accounts. However, if more users are interested then additional Blackberry licenses can be purchased reducing the monthly costs for everyone. Also, none of the proposed setup or figures are set in stone, if anyone has suggestions on how things might be done differently, please post to this thread.

I'm guessing the biggest concern that people have would be the reliability of the server, and maybe the trust issue of paying for the service without any guarantees. However, since I'm already paying for the hosting and I know that it's working well, I'd be willing to let people try out the service for a couple weeks to see how they like it, before paying for it, or maybe even paying me after the end of the month so that they're not risking anything. The biggest initial hurdle the first time around was that no one was willing to trust anyone else (understandably). However since I've gone ahead and covered the initial costs myself, hopefully people would be more interested in this service.

The co-op service is targeted mostly at people with larger mailboxes and those looking for faster speeds. I think most commercial blackberry bes services have 100MB accounts at around $20, however these servers are split among many users, so it is quite a bit slower than a dedicated box for 5 people or so. Also, once you start looking at mailboxes of 1GB or so, it starts to run much higher.

If anyone has any questions, or is still interested in the service, please PM me or post below.

Thank you.
Offline  
Old 06-03-2007, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
CrackBerry Addict
 
ShaneToronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Model: 8300r
Carrier: Rogers Wireless
Posts: 589
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Cool idea. I currently use exchangemymail and am very satisfied. It would take a lot to get me to leave them for an individual run BES/Exchange server, but I would be interested in hearing feedback and recommendations as time went on.

My biggest concerns would be:

1) Security- An individual running a mail server would have access to inboxes/mail. There is corporate work product, privilege, confidentiality and chain of information issues that would be difficult to ensure integrity with. I am not suggesting that anyone is going to read my mail or gather information for their benefit, however an option of a privately run mailbox like this seems to be out of the question for those that in most business industries. Especially those that deal with publicly sensitive data. Worse yet is those that deal with the data of individuals- privacy legislations would likely act to crucify any business/individual that list people's personal information due to their use of this type of server.

What security assurances can be provided that would protect information from theft, hacking of the server, operation spying, etc, etc?

2) Reliability- It takes a dedicated staff to ensure that a system is running at 100% all of the time. It takes experience and expertise to tweak systems like an exchange server and BES. A single system problem could cause days of down time if the administrator doesn't have the experience or tools to diagnose, identify and repair issues efficiently. Further issues of server redundancy, local and off-site backups, etc come to mind.

What systems would be in place for redundancy and reliability? What is your experience? Credentials?

I have a few other concerns as well, but these would be the two serious roadblocks. I can see this being a great individual project and a great option for individuals who would like BES service, although there are several commercial options available.

ALso, the use of the term co-op can be misleading and might not fly in the strict sense. I would also be concerned about liability issues with a "co-op" type scenario in which if the operator did not have sufficient/active liability coverage and there were issues (security issues discussed in 1 above pop to mind) then it could be messy.

Good luck.
__________________
Blackberry Curve (8300r) on Rogers (Toronto, ON) with hosted BES. Previously: 8700r and 7290.
Offline  
Old 06-03-2007, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New York, NY
Model: 9800
PIN: 204D6D1A
Carrier: AT&T
Posts: 29
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Thank you for the suggestions Shane.

This service is most definitely not targetted at businesses, especially those dealing with publicly sensitive data. I hoped it was clear from my initial posting, but just to reiterate, I do not intended for this service to be used by anyone dealing in sensitive information. I certainly hope that any business dealing with information that sensitive, would not even consider using a blackberry co-op service. If I wanted to service those types of customers I would have set this up as a for-profit business and approached it completely differently.

Also, while regular precautions will be taken (patches, firewalls, etc) there's not a single service provider out there that can guarantee protection from information theft. At most they might be able to offer financial compensation though I would think even that would be quite rare. The fact of the matter is that any software product has flaws, some of which may be exploited, and while all proper security measures will be implemented, there can never be 100% assurance of security.

To address the second point, I'm a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and I have administered a similar Exchange server with 40 exchange users, and 8 blackberry users for 2 years now on a GoDaddy dedicated server and haven't had any unplanned downtime yet. Only planned downtime for installing patches and service packs. That was the reason why I chose to go with the GoDaddy service, since their service seems to be quite reliable in terms of hardware and network connectivity. While larger exchange installations may certainly require a great deal of administrative effort, this server is so small (less than 25 users), that it requires little to no effort to maintain. After the initial installation, I haven't had to perform any administration on the server other than adding/removing accounts, and password resets. The server also has the hard drives mirred in a RAID configuration so that a hard drive failure doesn't result in data loss. Daily backups will also be made. That being said, obviously it's still not a guarantee, and while there may be some downtime, I will try to recover the service as soon as possible. At the worst case, the server can be restored from the daily backup.

I hope this has addressed your concerns.
Offline  
Old 06-04-2007, 10:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
CrackBerry Addict
 
ShaneToronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Model: 8300r
Carrier: Rogers Wireless
Posts: 589
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Sounds like the perfect solution for the more hands on individual user.

I think you would be surprised to see what the level of liability could be for private data loss, however. Liability waivers will only protect you if you do everything possible to prevent such a loss. Redundant disk arrays are definitely a strong start though. I misunderstood this to be a standalone system, not one in a data centre.

Good luck. Sounds like a great idea!
__________________
Blackberry Curve (8300r) on Rogers (Toronto, ON) with hosted BES. Previously: 8700r and 7290.
Offline  
Old 06-06-2007, 10:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New York, NY
Model: 9800
PIN: 204D6D1A
Carrier: AT&T
Posts: 29
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

If anyone is interested in trying out the service before deciding, please let me know, and I can set you up with an account so you can try it out to see how it is. Just PM me the username you'd like.
Offline  
Old 06-18-2007, 11:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Washington
Model: 8800
Carrier: Cingular
Posts: 4
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Would I be able to point my MX records of my domain to this server? I may be interested if that's a possibility.
Offline  
Old 06-19-2007, 05:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
Knows Where the Search Button Is
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: New York, NY
Model: 9800
PIN: 204D6D1A
Carrier: AT&T
Posts: 29
Post Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Yes, you can certainly point just the MX records of your domain to the server. You can point as many domain MX records to your account as you'd like. You can also have a catch-all account for the domain if you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aderuwe View Post
Would I be able to point my MX records of my domain to this server? I may be interested if that's a possibility.
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.