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Old 07-31-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
TheLizardFish
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Default 2nd BES setup with BES 5.0

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I’m currently running BES 5.0 for Exchange with 2 BES boxes sharing the same SRP in High Availability mode. BES01 is the primary and BES02 is set as the standby with failover. It’s possible the number of BlackBerry user accounts will exceed 2000 with the company I support. My question is this is the install of BES03 (set as primary) and BES04 (set as standby) basically the same install process as my first setup? Both will be sharing the same SQL 2005 database as BES01 and BES02 and I also understand that BES03 and BES04 will also share an SRP thats different from 01 and 02. Is BES03 and 04 even needed with more than 2000 users?

With this setup already in my test environment, when I log into BES03 and run the BlackBerry Administration Service this server does not show up under the high available BES. I only see BES01 listed. Should I even see BES03? During the setup of BES03 there was an option for pooling, but BES01 was listed and the option to change was greyed out.

I'm not sure if this is related, but my web link for the BlackBerry Administration Service now points to the BES02 standby box that does allow access to make changes to the BES, but this may be this way because I tested the failover from the primary BES01 box to BES02. I put BES01 back as the primary, but I think my web links now all go to BES02. I'm not sure if this is an issue or not. I'm just thinking it may be confusing to the other admins if the web link starts as bes01 then after failover switches to Bes02.
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:04 PM   #2
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Personally I typically don't get over 1200 - 1500 users on a BES. Granted that is from the 4.x days, but I still stick to a point that too many users on a single server becomes to great an impact for an outage ... even if it is in an HA config (Have you tested that HA recently?)
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:39 PM   #3
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I'm not quite there yet in the numbers, but when we migrite from GW to Exchange here in the next few months I suspect the number will go up. The HA has only been used in test. Production was just upgraded to 5.0. Any suggestions or ideas for setting up a second BES box? Can I have 2 primary BES boxes each with their own failover BES? I have this setup in my test enc. but BES03 does not show up under the BES01 box when using the BB Administrative service.

BES01 - Primary
BES02 - Standby
BES03 - Primary
BES04 - Standby
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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By the way, if these are only in your test environment, I would HIGHLY recommend changing the names prior to moving into production. Name them something like BES01-A and BES01-B. It avoids a LOT of confusion down the road.

Also, if you're going to be hosting more than 2,000 users, you'll want to move the BlackBerry Administration Servers to their own system, if that is possible. The Core BES components are not resource intensive, by any stretch of the imagination (not much of a notch more than BES 4.1.x), but the BAS services are memory hogs and could impact your BES servers with that number of users on them. As for the total number of users, I would take what hdawg says as applicable to BES 5.x as well... it doesn't seem scaling has improved much (assuming you're using their recommended hardware configurations and scaling guidelines) - adding BAS onto the same servers doesn't help with those figures.

My current QA environment is as follows:
BlackBerry Administration Service:
Load Balancer VIP Name: bbadm-us.domain.com
Server 1 Name: basqa01.domain.com
Server 2 Name: basqa02.domain.com

BlackBerry Enterprise Server (Core BES):
Server 1 Name: besqa01-a.domain.com (Primary)
Server 2 Name: besqa01-b.domain.com (Standby)

BlackBerry Configuration Database (SQL 2005 w/ Mirroring):
Server 1 Name: bbdbqa01-a.domain.com (Primary)
Server 2 Name: bbdbqa01-b.domain.com (Standby)

Failover components will have the same server name with a partner designation (-a and -b). Pooled components will have incremental server names (01, 02, 03, etc). Not only is this best practice for these sort of configurations, but it is also the most practical method for implementation in this scenario.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:40 PM   #5
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Ok, so if I understand your scenario your users are all activated on basqa01.domain.com and basqa02.domain.com correct and the BAS has been separated from the BES. I have 4 test VMs I can play with. If I ran with this scenario which would need to be installed 1st? The core BES correct or does it really matter? Can you install the BAS without the core stuff?

Sorry for all the questions, but this BAS component is totally new to me. I'm so used to having 3 BES all using the blackberry manager.

Also, the server hardware for production is top of the line. It either matches or exceeds what RIM calls for with 2000 users.

Thanks to both of you for you help. It's greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:01 AM   #6
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Users aren't activated on a BAS; users are activated on a BES.

BAS needs to be installed before anything else in a BES 5.x environment. You can install the BAS without the other core requirements.
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Old 08-01-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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I realized I had BES and BAS reversed when I wrote my responce late last night. I think i understand now. Looks like I will have 2 servers each running BAS only without the core stuff, each with their own SRP. Then 1 BES minus the administration service running in HA with 1 SRP. Total SRPs - 3. Am I on track now?

BAS only (no core)
server 1 - (exch-prd-bas01) - 1st SRP
server 2 - (exch-prd-bas02) - 2nd SRP

BES only (core only)
server 1 - (exch-prd-bes01-a) primary 3rd srp shared
server 2 - (exch-prd-bes01-b) standby 3rd srp shared

Many thanks for the help.
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Old 08-01-2009, 04:58 PM   #8
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ok - correction. Looks like I do not need an SRP when installing on the BAS servers. In my case above only 1 SRP.
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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There you go. The purpose for the two BAS servers would be for HA purposes. If one fails, you have the other one available. Ideally you'd want to configure these behind a hardware load balancer (F5, Cisco, etc), although you could use round-robin DNS to accomplish the same thing (add the generic site host as a CNAME on both server records). But to answer, it looks like you're definitely on the right track.

I'm still working with RIM on the SSL certificate situation with placing a generic site certificate on two or more BAS hosts. I've also investigated off-loading the SSL certificate to the load balancer and using the 18180 port for access, but RIM said that is not the purpose of the HTTP port (which made me scratch my head). Nevertheless, I'll end up writing a blog about it sooner or later.
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Old 08-01-2009, 06:15 PM   #10
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Just finished installing in my test environment and everything is working like a charm. Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:00 AM   #11
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Ok, so even with the BES and BAS separated as mentioned above is a 2nd BES needed when there is the potential of exceeding 2000 users on one BES w/ failover? RIMxxx8217;s deployment planning guide says for large-scale environments any number of BES pairs that use the same BB configuration database can be added.

When setting up a 2nd BES pair is there anything that needs to be done prior to setting up the 1st BES or can the 2nd BES pair just simply be added down the road after production has been setup and is fully fuctional?
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Old 08-03-2009, 06:05 PM   #12
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You can just add the 2nd pair; nothing special needed ... other than an SRP for it.
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:59 PM   #13
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Correct. And both of the new servers and the instance will show up in the BAS interface. I will have 4 server pairs for core BES when all is said and done (in our largest deployment). I do not plan on exceeding 1,000 users per BES.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:10 PM   #14
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Do you think I would be ok with 1 BES if I off-loaded the MDS on to another server/s? Maybe using the MDS Integration Service in HA Round Robin? Use this server/s for all MDS traffic including the help-desk ticket application designed for the handhelds and used by about 300 users 24/7. This way my single BES would only be processing mail delivery. Do you think more BES each with MDS is better than 1 BES with MDS separated to several remote servers?
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:19 PM   #15
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MDS-IS, especially if in use at all, definitely. MDS-CS, possibly, but really depends on the current load. I haven't really looked at the performance of MDS-IS in BES 5.0, but I know it had a lot of really bad low-level calls in BES 4.1.x that caused the CPU on VMware guests to go completely haywire and spike at 100% usage.

As for the segmented environments, I personally feel that keeping things on the same box is my ideal scenario and I have yet to come across a case in our environment that warranted a separation otherwise. A colleague in the industry pointed to RIM's monthly PDF attachment distiller patches as a reason to have the attachment service separated (the ease of updating 4 servers rather than 18 servers), so it's really a matter of what best fits your own environment and how much money you care to spend on Microsoft licensing (which would be the primary concern depending on your contract with Microsoft). If you have datacenter edition for your VMs and have no concerns about the additional server count, then you very well could, and quite possibly should pool some of the more resource intensive services.
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:42 PM   #16
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Thanks for the info. Very useful stuff. We have plenty of SRPs so I'm thinking I may just do more BES pairs with MDS on each, but less users on each BES. I am definitely doing the BAS in HA across 2 maybe 3 servers.

Thanks to all for the help.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:13 PM   #17
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Please tell me you actually know what MDS-IS is and that you're actually using it. Based on what you've stated it doesn't appear that you are using it.

If you don't need it ...
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:45 PM   #18
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Ok, it looks like I may be totally off on what MD-IS was designed for and it doesnxxx8217;t really fit my situation above. I really donxxx8217;t know a whole lot about it other than what I have read over the past few days. We don't currently use it and it probably won't do what I thought it could possibly do.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:47 PM   #19
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You're certainly not in the minority. Many people mistakenly install it.
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