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Old 04-28-2008, 10:59 PM   #1
Liz Bronson
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Hello,

I am investigating different vendors of monitoring tools in order to make a recommendation to a client. Does anyone know what the server/system requirements are (including supported databases) for Boxtone? My client has about 1000 BB users out of 12000 total Exchange users. But the BB users will likely double in a year and quadruple in 2 years. So I'm looking ahead. I recall reading that all the Boxtone components can be installed on a single machine... does this include the database? Is there an app server as well? The less hardware the better.

I'll be looking at Zenprise and Concevium as well in case anyone has info or experience with those products as well.

Thanks for your time.

Liz
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:27 AM   #2
jensel79
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Hi Liz,

I had a trial of Boxtone running. Very good monitoring tool from my point of view. But pretty expensive.

With Boxtone installtion comes an Oracle 10g DB which you have to use. There is no way they allow you to use an existing Oracle 10g DB. I had the discussion with them about it.

About the system requirments:
2000-5000 User: 1 Server-->4 CPU-->3,6 GHz Xeon-->4GB RAM-->150 GB for Database-->20 GB for OS-->10 GB for Boxtone Software

Hope this helps!

As well you should check B*Nator from Isec7. It's not that expensive
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Old 04-29-2008, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz Bronson View Post
Hello,

I am investigating different vendors of monitoring tools in order to make a recommendation to a client. Does anyone know what the server/system requirements are (including supported databases) for Boxtone? My client has about 1000 BB users out of 12000 total Exchange users. But the BB users will likely double in a year and quadruple in 2 years. So I'm looking ahead. I recall reading that all the Boxtone components can be installed on a single machine... does this include the database? Is there an app server as well? The less hardware the better.

I'll be looking at Zenprise and Concevium as well in case anyone has info or experience with those products as well.

Thanks for your time.

Liz
Liz - feel free to reach out to me for the proper information.
The specs for the server would be much different for the user base you mention.

On the oracle issue we do embed Oracle, however the notion that this is an issue is null and void as the fact that our database is Oracle is completely transparent to our customers. We fully support, patch and maintain the database as if it was a BoxTone Database.


Thanks

Jon
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:30 PM   #4
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Couldn't you use something like What'sUP Gold to monitor the BES? All you would have to do is compile the mibs and set your thresholds wouldn't you?
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Old 04-29-2008, 06:42 PM   #5
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I looked at Boxtone and Zenprise for our company and went with Zenprise. Their support has been awesome, probably the best support after the sale I ahve seen in years. We have almost 1200 BB users on 2 BES and 12 Exchange servers accross the country. Zenprise is installed on one machine and the Database is on a backend SQL server. It runs great for us and we are currenly looking at 74 servers from Zenprise because is it looking at DCs, and DNS servers as well as the BES and Exchange.

I love the fact that Zenprise walks you through how to fix the issues it finds. Our Active directory team has been able to use it as well to find issues that need attention. So far we are very happy with Zenprise.

I don't know if you are going to WES but if you are, wait a couple of weeks and check them out at WES. It is a great place to see what everyone has to offer under one roof.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:01 PM   #6
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I've never used What'sUP Gold, but I'd assume you could technically use any monitoring programs that accepts snmp traps--its just a matter of having the skillset, time and desire to do it.
We took a look at Conceivium and NeedText (before RIM acquired) a while back and neither really fit our needs for BES monitoring at the time. We purchased BoxTone a few months back and we're very pleased with it. As jsplit says above, contact BoxTone for details on requirements. That said, we have the BoxTone app and DB on a single server, monitoring 3 active BES in 2 different domains with a total of 2300+ BB users. The server itself is four Xeon 2.8 GHz CPUs with 4 GB RAM and we have had no performance problems at all. As far disk space, it probably depends on a lot of factors, especially how much data you want to retain in your DB, your backup starategy, etc.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:25 PM   #7
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I have to agree with "Jack". We are using Zenprise and have had great success with it. It sits on its own server or could be built on a VM server, but I wouldn't recommend it. Our DB is built on a seperate server, but you don't have to do that. We don't have as many BES users as you do, but my understanding is that it is very scallable and the benefit of monitoring more than just the BES is a big plus.
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Old 04-29-2008, 07:47 PM   #8
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We use the latest version of Zenprise (3.3 with March fixes) and have been extremely happy. They have fixed the performance issues that used to make deploying to a larger organization a concern. We have an environment with very similar levels of users and I know that our Zenprise box will scale to meet those needs. We currently support 1500 BB users with 11000 Exchange users and have International presence. My biggest suggestion is to install the Agent on the Exchange and BES servers to gain the compression and point to point testing. That is where you will see the immediate gains.

I can not tell you what the performance curves are when you look at it from a per user aspect but believe it is most likely related to number of boxes (Exchange, AD, and BES) more than anything.

Our group is responsible for Exchange, BES, and AD which was a great fit for Zenprise. It has saved us a lot of time doing the mundain troubleshooting of BES, AD, and Exchange issues so that we could focus our skillsets to the more important issues or tasks.

We run on a DL385 G2 (4 Cores) with 4 Gigs of memory, a 2 drive RAID1 set, and even have SQL Express 2005 running on the same box hosting the database. It only averages 50% utilization on the box (all processes combined). We are not concerned with the database on the same system either as we only keep 7 days of data. If you chose to go above the 7 day default, I would suggest you put in on a full blown SQL box due to database size limitations.

All in all, we chose Zenprise because of product direction, ability to respond quickly and thoroughly to customer needs, and the automated diagnostics. The company really listens to the customer.
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:02 PM   #9
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We have BoxTone running on two servers - both dual-core 3.0GHz with 2GB RAM in the application (web) server and 4GB RAM in the database server. This monitors nearly 6,000 users across 19 BES servers (international and domestic) and we have multiple departments (network ops, server ops, help desk, acquisitions) using it for their various purposes (end-user troubleshooting, BES troubleshooting, usage reports, etc).

Honestly, one of the best new additions we've had was in the form of a report. The database stores so much information that we finally tapped into it and have been able to view who uses their devices afterhours and on the weekends... very surprising, to say the least ...and it allows us to spread the functionality across more than the technology support/operations departments.

So needless to say, these are evolving into much more than monitoring and troubleshooting, so keep that in mind when you go shopping for the product that's best for you... get a good idea of what's available outside of the troubleshooting as well as a road map for what's being added.
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