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Old 03-13-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
beev
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Unhappy Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

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Hi guys, I've been reading your forums for a couple months now and it's all been very helpful. You see, I'm just a lowly co-op student but it just so happens I've been delegated some pretty big responsibilities, including administrating our BES (Exchange).

I need to perform a pretty major upgrade, so I was hoping to get some advice to make sure there are no "gotchas" along the way, as I really don't want to look like an idiot.

We're currently running 4.1.6 and need to go to 5.0.3..

Here's the plan:

Prep:
1)Create an image of the server for backup purposes
2)Create a virtual machine of the current server for testing purposes

Execution:
3)Purchase a beefy new server
4)Use the server's image to do a "universal restore" (we have some neat software that can do this), essentially moving everything from the old server to the new
5)Upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to 2008
6)Install the service pack to move up to 4.1.7
7)Backup and upgrade the Database (this step is a real grey area for me)
8)Install the upgrade to 5.0.3

Note: The BES software and the database reside on the same server.

I'd love to hear your guys' feedback and feel free to ask for more details of course, I'm just a novice at all this right now. I would hate to embarass myself and render the server non-functioning.

Hopefully the famous KnottyRope can lend me some advice as well.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

What version of SQL are you currently running?

I don't run Exchange, but when I migrated my system from 4.1 to 5, I built a completely new Windows 2008 R2 server, as well as upgraded from SQL2000 to SLQ2008. I left the existing server at 4.1.7 and kept the new DB and BES separate from the existing one. Then I used the Transporter Tool to migrate users over to the new BES/DB. It was pretty seamless.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

I prefer a new database when ever possible.

upgrade to SP 7 on old BES

Install new machine OS and install BES 5 and then use transporter once all is running well.

But.... do you have a second SRP for this? if not you can do a bulk mode transport with one SRP.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsconyers View Post
What version of SQL are you currently running?
This server has been in place for quite some time (hence the need to upgrade the entire physical server) so it's actually running MSDE for the database (I suppose because it was free, this is a small company and at the time monetary resources just weren't there). I don't know if that will be a problem or not.

Last edited by beev; 03-13-2012 at 09:34 AM..
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:36 AM   #5
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by knottyrope View Post
I prefer a new database when ever possible.

upgrade to SP 7 on old BES

Install new machine OS and install BES 5 and then use transporter once all is running well.

But.... do you have a second SRP for this? if not you can do a bulk mode transport with one SRP.
Speak of the devil.

Anyways, if I'm understanding what you're suggesting, it seems as though you're asking for a clean install of 5.0.3 on the second server (correct me if I'm wrong).

We don't really want to do a clean install of 5.0.3 (the cost will be triple for us) and there's always the hassle involved with a clean install.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by beev View Post
Speak of the devil.

Anyways, if I'm understanding what you're suggesting, it seems as though you're asking for a clean install of 5.0.3 on the second server (correct me if I'm wrong).

We don't really want to do a clean install of 5.0.3 (the cost will be triple for us) and there's always the hassle involved with a clean install.
I don't see how the cost is going to be any different.
The resulting environment is going to be the same as you're describing above.
Knottyrope is merely suggesting an alternative (and better, IMO) way to get there.

Using the transporter, you'll end up with a fresh new database... minimal downtime for your current users... and an upgraded BES on new hardware at the end.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by beev View Post
We're currently running 4.1.6 and need to go to 5.0.3..

Here's the plan:

Prep:
1)Create an image of the server for backup purposes
2)Create a virtual machine of the current server for testing purposes

Execution:
3)Purchase a beefy new server
4)Use the server's image to do a "universal restore" (we have some neat software that can do this), essentially moving everything from the old server to the new
5)Upgrade from Windows Server 2003 to 2008
6)Install the service pack to move up to 4.1.7
7)Backup and upgrade the Database (this step is a real grey area for me)
8)Install the upgrade to 5.0.3

Note: The BES software and the database reside on the same server.

I'd love to hear your guys' feedback and feel free to ask for more details of course, I'm just a novice at all this right now. I would hate to embarass myself and render the server non-functioning.

Hopefully the famous KnottyRope can lend me some advice as well.
Not that you're creating more work for yourself, but there's a much easier way:
Use the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter Tool and migration kit.
You will have 2 total servers to deal with.
  1. Old BES 4.1.6 with BESMgmt database
  2. New BES 5.0.3 - Primary with BESMgmt5 database and BAS.
In an ideal situation, you need 4 new servers.
  1. New BES - primary
  2. New BES - HA
  3. New SQL
  4. New BAS
Quick summary, set up New BES (primary and HA) & new BAS on new beefy servers using New SQL server for your new BESMgmt5 database. This will give you a clean slate for BES 5 to work with.
Use the transporter tool to move your users from 4.1.7 to 5.0.3.
User the migration kit so your SRP doesn't die. (To use a Ghostbusters reference.... "Don't cross the streams. Egon says that's bad.")
Once everything is installed and folks are successfully moved, decommission the Old BES server.

You'll end up with a primary BES, a failover BES, a dedicated Admin Server and a dedicated SQL server.
Your users won't experience any downtime.

We did this process and migrated 100s of users with no downtime.

Recommended reading:
BlackBerry Enterprise Server Resource Kit - Manuals and Guides
KB10945-What is a BlackBerry Enterprise Server migration kit
KB22499-How to migrate the BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 to new hardware using the high availability feature
KB21609-Overview of the BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter Tool migration process

PS: Knotty learned everything he knows from me. LOL
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
I don't see how the cost is going to be any different.
Obviously I can't get into too much detail, you'll have to take my word for it. It will cost significantly less the way I proposed, although it may not be easier or better in some ways. Don't forget we're also purchasing a brand new server and a Windows Server upgrade, I'm trying to keep costs as low possible.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by beev View Post
Obviously I can't get into too much detail, you'll have to take my word for it.
Wow, OK. Good luck with your transition.

PS: DarthBBerry learned everything he knows from me. ;)
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by beev View Post
Obviously I can't get into too much detail, you'll have to take my word for it. It will cost significantly less the way I proposed, although it may not be easier or better in some ways. Don't forget we're also purchasing a brand new server and a Windows Server upgrade, I'm trying to keep costs as low possible.
Most likely you would have to purchase those pieces anyway, regardless of which way you choose to upgrade.

Take a look at the compatibility matrix : http://us.blackberry.com/support/sof...r_jan_6_12.pdf

I, too, don't see how doing it knotty's way would cost more. If you don't have a support contract, you will have to purchase the BES software at the same price, regardless of how you do it.
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When you take things for granted, the things you are granted, get taken.
Even a mosquito doesn't get a pat on the back until it starts to work.
Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
[BES 5.0.3 / GroupWise 2012 HP2]
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #11
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

you do realize that 4.x does not run on 2008, so you need to rethink your plan.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:12 AM   #12
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by knottyrope View Post
you do realize that 4.x does not run on 2008, so you need to rethink your plan.
Including Windows Server 2008 32-bit?
Yes, it seems I may need some rethinking if that is the case.

EDIT: Or perhaps I could do things backwards... upgrade to 5.0.3 THEN upgrade to Windows Server 2008?

Last edited by beev; 03-13-2012 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by penguin3107 View Post
PS: DarthBBerry learned everything he knows from me. ;)
True dat! Fo sho!
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:19 AM   #14
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

you are better off not upgrading to 2008

use a 64 bit version so it can use more RAM

you will have to remove CDO to do the upgrade and convert MSDE to SQL espress. its not fun.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:20 AM   #15
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by beev View Post
Including Windows Server 2008 32-bit?
Yes, it seems I may need some rethinking if that is the case.

EDIT: Or perhaps I could do things backwards... upgrade to 5.0.3 THEN upgrade to Windows Server 2008?
Dude.... you're thinking waaaay too much on this.

Beefy server = Windows Server 2008.
Install BES 5.0.3 on Beefy Windows Server 2008
Transporter and Migration tool to move users from 4.1.7 to 5.0.3.
End of line.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:24 AM   #16
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

I think you should follow the advice given here. It will save you a lot of headaches and make life for you so much easier, not to mention, easier for your users with less downtime.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

It seems as if you guys are pretty unanimous, I appreciate all of your insights and experiences.

Back to research for me, I'll be looking into the migration tool and a clean install of 5.0.3.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:45 AM   #18
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by beev View Post
It seems as if you guys are pretty unanimous, I appreciate all of your insights and experiences.

Back to research for me, I'll be looking into the migration tool and a clean install of 5.0.3.
Let us know if you have any more questions.

Every one of us has been a BES admin for years and each of us has done this migration before. This is the best/easiest way of completing this task.
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When you take things for granted, the things you are granted, get taken.
Even a mosquito doesn't get a pat on the back until it starts to work.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #19
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by beev View Post
Hopefully the famous KnottyRope can lend me some advice as well.
you got help from many famous poster here


Here is most of the documentation you need will to install and administer the BB 5.0 server:

Server 5.0 Upgrade Paths:
http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/server/upgradepath.jsp

Server 5.0 Intsallation Support:
http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/software/serverinstall.jsp


Server 5.0 Upgarde guide:
http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/deliverables/7315/index.jsp?name=BlackBerry%20Enterprise%20Server%20 for%20Microsoft%20Exchange%20-%20Upgrade%20Guide5.0&language=English&userType=2& category=BlackBerry%20Enterprise%20Server%20for%20 Microsoft%20Exchange&subCategory=

BlackBerry Enterprise Server Resource Kit Docs and Files
https://www.blackberry.com/Downloads/entry.do?code=D736BB10D83A904AEFC1D6CE93DC54B8

http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/subcategories/?userType=2&category=BlackBerry%20Enterprise%20Ser ver%20Resource%20Kit

Server 5.0 Admin Tutorial:
http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/deliverables/7466/flash_start.html

All Server guides:
http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/?userType=2
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #20
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Default Re: Seeking BES Upgrade Advice

Hi, I've got a supplementary question.

So after reading all of your posts thoroughly, I've decided the use of the migration kit/transporter tool would be best.

I was wondering what I would be doing with the database in this case. Our current database (MSDE) is residing on the same server as the 4.1.6 BES, which we will be retiring.

Now, is this going to be just as simple as creating a new database on the new server and using the migration kit to move the old stuff over or will I have to upgarde the old database (for compatability with 5.0.3 and SQL Server Express) and fully move it to the new server?

Also, where can I get my hands on the Migration Kit? So far our provider doesn't seem to know what I'm referring to.
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