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Old 05-05-2006, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Planning for BES setup

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Hello all,

My company has a few Blackberrys in operation, but our Nextel rep recently gave us a copy of BES 3.6 with 20 CALs, which is all we will need for the foreseeable future. I've never even used a Blackberry besides plugging one up, but I've been tasked with implementing this. I've been reading the manual and hitting google and wikipedia for info, but wanted to ask if there were any good dumbed down sources of info since I'm quite the noob to this.

Also, if I could, I'd like to ask just a couple questions regarding server setup.

This install is likely 4-8 weeks out, as we're waiting on a new Exchange server (which will run 2003/2003).

I have the possible options of putting BES on either a Server 2003 machine with new hardware (dual P4s) or a much older machine running 2000 server. Obviously the nerd in me wants to put it on the newer machine, but I also have questions about which database engine:

If I put it on 2003, I assume I would want to use SQL Server 2005 Express rather than MSDE 2000. (though I'm still looking to see if Express is supported by BES 3.6) I would prefer this as it has more options, less restrictions, and a GUI, should we need to use it.

The other option is the 2000 server machine, presumably running MSDE which is included on the BES install disk.

The real question is, besides the obvious hardware speed differences, are there any advantages or pitfalls to running 2003 rather than 2000? My boss has suggested the slower machine as the install target. I have not yet suggested the faster machine pending investigation of said questions.

Thanks for indulging me and please point me to anywhere than can help keep me from asking stupid questions.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:32 PM   #2
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Cliff Notes:

Does anyone see any problems coming from putting BES 3.6 on Server 2003 with SQL 2005 Express?


Any advice appreciated.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:53 PM   #3
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Hi,
If it helps I had not seen a Blackberry let along BES until Thursday last week, I had to get it installed by the end of Friday and have the install completed with Blackberry devices by lunchtime today.
This was in a SBS 2003 environment with a seperate 2003 box for BES.

The things to note from my experience are -
All you need on the BES box is MS Exchange manager (Messaging Server is mentioned in the Install guide, but I still have no clue what they mean)
Make sure the installed exchange service pack is replicated on your BES i.e SP1 as it seems SP2 isnt supported.
As for hardware memory is key, personally my company had spec'd a GL340 HP Server with 3Ghz Xeon, 2Gb and 2 x 72Gb SCSI's, this was total overkill for a 5 user base, but I would say a minimum of 1Gb is acceptable on a W2K box as I have read lots of examples of people using desktop PC's!!!
I used MSDE and theres no issues, I personally thought SQL isnt necessary unless the user base is significantly larger.

The install is straight forward if you follow the guide, with the Blackberrys a dream if you install the software on the users PC and activate that way.

The only other thing is to make sure port 3101 is open on your Firewall
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:36 PM   #4
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Glad to hear someone else totally new to it had a good experience.

As far as SQL goes, I was considering using it since support for MSDE will be discontinued next year - I was hoping to plan ahead a bit. Plus, if things need to be tinkered with I'd rather do it through a GUI than the command line. However, I still haven't found any info on whether or not this is a supported config. Googling it has been unsuccessful thusfar. I wish I could try it all out in a controled environment, but unfortunately we don't have any type of virtual machine software.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:01 PM   #5
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I am not aware of BES 3.6 supporting SQL 2005 - only BES 4.1. It supports Professional, Enterprise and Express. That doesn't mean you can't install MSDE 2000 on Windows Server 2003, though.
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:30 AM   #6
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My $0.02. DO NOT install 3.6 with SQL2005. 2005 has enough difference with 2000 to make it a risky endeavour. I'm not saying it won't work, but... And RIM will not support you.

I'd take the 3.6 and order the upgrade to 4.1 from RIM. Then just install 4.1
Do you really want to be 2 versions behind? Plus the fact that there are a lot of new features in 4.1 compared to 3.6.
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Old 05-10-2006, 08:00 PM   #7
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Yeah, after talking with a few people, I think we'll just go with MSDE 2000 and be happy. As far as upgrading, I'm guessing the cost is several hundred dollars at least. For 20 CALs in an environment where this is merely a convenience feature, I don't think it's really worth it. As long as it delivers email and syncs contacts and calendars my people will be overjoyed.

Plus, I'm just the peon who was told "Here, implement this".
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Old 05-10-2006, 11:30 PM   #8
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...contacts won't sync wirelessly, so keep that in mind. wireless PIM sync was introduced with 4.0.
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