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Old 01-25-2008, 05:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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hi!

im not familiar with blackberry technology, so be kind

im evaluating a migration from exchange to postfix+dovecot+egroupware solution.

im almost there except for blackberry.

the customer have a blackberry server (BES server?) and i have some questions:

* generic questions:
- what are the main advantages of blackberry connector over a simple imap/pop3 program? i think is about doc/xls/pdf conversion, but i dont really get the point to mantain a very expensive service just for applying some filters/converters to allow people see their funny slides on the phone.

- what diferences are between having our own BES server or using RIM ones? i guess performance can be one, but im not sure.

- is better to create specific accounts for bb users or just use the regular ones?

- in case that i need specific bb accounts, where i create them? on the BES server/RIM server or my mail system?

* linux specific:

- related to my first generic question: what advantages are of getting mails through BES server over a plain pop/imap connection?

- i know there's no linux version of BES, any hints about virtualizating it?

- is there any dependencies to run BES besides obvius requisites?

- can i just forward/relay mails to a BES server? and to an account on a RIS server?

- can a BES server retrieve mails from a imap/pop system?



im sure i'll have more questions but i'll stop for now.

my intended setup is:

postfix + dovecot + egroupware

postfix droping mail to real accounts and forwarding a copy to bb accounts. this way i just have to set up a new account for every bb device and create an additional alias for the real user.

any additional hints will be more than wellcome,

best regards.

Last edited by muzzol : 01-25-2008 at 05:44 AM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'll take a stab at some of these. Disclaimer: I don't use BES, I just read about it and have a buddy who runs a big one for a bunch of Doctor-type people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muzzol View Post
hi!
- what are the main advantages of blackberry connector over a simple imap/pop3 program? i think is about doc/xls/pdf conversion, but i dont really get the point to mantain a very expensive service just for applying some filters/converters to allow people see their funny slides on the phone.
OK for the purposes of your needs you cannot lump POP3 into IMAP for this comparison, you have to stick to IMAP only. BES provides all the folders support, it's a lot more than just the Inbox - this would also happen with a robust IMAP client (think Thunderbird). At this time there is only one known open source IMAP client (LogicMail) that's still in early development, it's not Enterprise-ready yet. So this really pushes you back towards using BES to provide a more "desktop-like" experience on the client. Corporate address book, folders, etc. are all key.

Quote:
- what diferences are between having our own BES server or using RIM ones? i guess performance can be one, but im not sure.
Performance, the BES server is a "heavy" connection to the Exchange server, lots of chatting and information flow. I didn't even know that RIM would run BES for you... (are you sure you didn't get confused with BIS, not BES?)

Quote:
- i know there's no linux version of BES, any hints about virtualizating it?
I theorize it might hold up OK, but from what I understand it can be a bit disk intensive. Considering that you can virtualize Exchange itself on VMware with acceptable performance these days, it would stand to reason you could VMware-virtualize a BES server as well (note I didn't say Xen, just VMware). If I'm not mistaken by buddy runs his BES under VMware (I know he definitely does for his Exchange), but they use a fiber-connected SAN instead of local disks.

Quote:
- can i just forward/relay mails to a BES server? and to an account on a RIS server?
No, it doesn't work quite like that. BES "plug in" to your Exchange server (across the network) and directly intercepts and manages email flow (as well as calendars, tasks, etc.) BES itself is not like a traditional email server like you're thinking; instead, think of it like a Cisco router - it's an email router of a very specific kind. It's not an actual email server system, only a gateway (sic).

Quote:
- can a BES server retrieve mails from a imap/pop system?
Natively no, but I once read about one company who made a plugin (??) to BES that provided the ability to use IMAP as a backend. That product marketing blurb has since disappeared from their website, so I think the current answer to your question is "no, there is no way". (someone feel free to prove me wrong! )

I recommend that you post and ask in the "BES Admins" section of this website instead of the Linux section here, it sounds like you need more/better hardcore BES answers than you do actual Linux answers. Those guys in that sub-forum should be able to help out a lot better, it's their bread & butter.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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A better idea would be migrating to another BES supported groupware. You should take a look at Novell Groupwise, as the server runs on linux systems.
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