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Exchange and blackberry servers?

Discussion in 'Software' started by nugget, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Hi all. I was wondering if anyone here had experience with blackberry's and their setup?

    The reason being:

    We currently run a SuSE linux server that acts as a file and print server and a 'domain controller'. A while ago I was given the task to upgrade the network to something usable. My suggestion was to have a win2k3 server, a linux server, and due to an expressed wish for a blackberry (management) an exchange and blackberry server.

    This was reduced to the win2k3 and linux servers due to cost and a decision from the CEO against blackberry's (and so no need for the exchange server et al).

    My CEO was in the states this week and his laptop overheated and basically died (got a new one for him yesterday) and on the way home he was standing in a queue for checkin for an hour and a half (so called security) and another guy that works for us as a consultant (and who has a blackberry) was busy working away.

    So now you know the background story, can you guess what my boss said to me this morning? He said, "have you heard the good news?" and of course I said no. "We're getting blackberry's" he said, then told me about how he's seen the light about how useful they can be.

    So yesterday he checked them out and today a guy rang me to find out what infrastructure we have so he knows what he should put in the offer for server hardware, exchange server and so on. The problem here is that I know next to nothing about blackberry's, blackberry server and also exchange server (and things are going to get more complicated when PGP comes into play).

    My questions:
    1. If I understand this right, I need another win2k3 server and the exchange server 'sits' on top of this, then the blackberry server 'sits' on top of exchange. Is this right?

    2. Would I need CAL's (for exchange) for all 35 members of the company or could I get away with 25 as not all would be connected and checking email at the same time?

    3. Does this make sense to have an exchange server for 7 blackberry users, keeping in mind that these guys want some sort of calender sharing and I want internal email security and not have our confidential information going around the world 2 times only to land in the office next door?


    Any help appreciated and I'm sure that I'll have more questions later.
     
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  2. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I avoid them as much as possible. They're a support nightmare, especially with an Exchange infrastructure. I try to recommend Windows Mobile devices whenever possible.
     
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  3. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    Thanks BBM. I'd like to take your advice but the boss is dead set on it.:rolleyes: Thanks anyway.
     
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  4. Boycie
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    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Nugget,

    I have also looked in to this recently, but cannot seem to find any *official* documentation on the matter with regards to exchange.

    Here is a link for the devices, if it is of any interest mate.

    This is a link, if you think your boss is open to debate. :rolleyes:

    Merry Christmas

    Si
     
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  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I`ll second that, with SP2 on Exchange you can use push technology which means you dont have to configure a sync routine (e.g pull down email every 5 mins) and it is easy to set up. 8)
     
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  6. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    What irks me is either having to install a BES server, configuring software to run on the users' desktop (which, if it goes down, the doctors and CxOs go nuts), or configuring a web-based account whereby you must enter your user's domain password on their Web site!! Sheer madness.
     
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  7. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    For 7 users a BES server is indeed a bit of overkill, perhaps a hosted solution would be more appropriate

    failing that you would need
    1x windows server w/ Exchange
    1x windows server w/BES
    its not best practice to have them running on top of each other

    having used and deployed the exchange push techology back when SP2 was first released and used it for a year
    as well as using blackberry, orange push email, good technology and many other mobile solutions I would have to say blackberry is more enterprise friendly for numerous reasons

    exchagne push email is simple, cheap and easy to implement, but the security of data is a problem
    blackberry is far more secure, far more managable and far tighter from an enterprise integration standpoint and this is why it is a bit more hassle to install, sayign that a BES server is a piece of piss to manage/maintain


    The exchange/Bes would be a better solution over the other two that BBM metioned, however its more cost/hassle to INITIALLY implement

    i'd be happy to give you more of a detailed overview at some point if you want mate.
     
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  8. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    We would also be migrating to exchange as our own mail server for 30+ users.


    I would really appreciate that Ryan. :biggrin

    We just got a quote of around 40K to set it all up. 15-20K seems to be just for set up and configuration.:eek:
     
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  9. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    thats not THAT suprising due to the complexity of an exchage environment
    to be honest that equates to about ten days PS and project planning at current rates and thats probably a bit more than it would take


    whats your current mail system?
     
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  10. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    Our current mail system consists of a mix of mozilla, thunderbird and outlook all getting the mail through our ISP. Very early next year we'll bu upgrading to office 2007 and I'll take that opportunity to convert everybody to outlook.

    We'll also have 1 Win2K3 server and 1 SLES server. I also want to put WSUS on the Win2K3 server too.

    From looking at the qoute it looks like they plan to install the Win2K3 server, Exchange 2003 server on the supplied server hardware and then Blackberry Enterprise Server on top of that.
    When I spoke to the rep, I told him what we will have (1 Win2K3 and 1 SLES server) so he might be thinking of installing the BES server on that.


    Sparky, did you mean that you prefer Windows Mobile devices over Blackberry?
     
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  11. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I haven’t installed a Blackberry solution before so I can’t comment on that. With Windows mobile devices I had the whole thing up and running in a couple of hours which was a surprise as I was expecting the whole install to be a nightmare!

    Why don’t you give it a try, as you are investing in an Exchange server, before going for the Blackberry solution? 8)
     
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  12. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    As far as I understand these guys will come in and set the whole thing up from A to Z over 10 days or so. My boss and I planned to do it over a period of 6-8 weeks (new servers/domain etc) but that was without exchange in the picture.

    I did tell my CEO about BBM's comments (and also from Boyce's) and he was also open to me finding out more about it.

    I would also like to do it myself for the learning experience too.:oops:
     
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  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ahh, so the upgrade is being outsourced?

    How many users are involved? Is it possible to keep the project inhouse? 8)
     
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  14. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    Sort of. We are getting 2 new servers (1 win2k3 and 1 sles) shortly and as far as I know the company supplying the hardware will also set it up for us. While I would like to do this myself and I'm sure that I could (eventually), our IT professional only works for the company as a 10% side job.

    As our new setup will involve integrating linux with an AD environment (I have no idea) along with a 2 TB NAS and somewhere along the line a dual raid and backup system I an realistic enough to know that I couldn't do this in 2 months (well maybe:oops:) let alone in the 5 days quoted and our IT pro hasn't got the time.

    And then comes the new idea of an exchange server and blackberrys.


    There are about 30 users at the moment but only 7 that need the blackberry solution. I'm sure that I could also set this up but I don't want to spend 2 months doing so, especially with the CEO breathing down my neck.:blink

    I would love to do it all myself but time is the problem here. I could do it by myself in 2-3 months (maybe) as I don't know enough about linux, exchange or BES.
     
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  15. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    *bump*

    Anyone with any advice??:oops:
     
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  16. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    hi Nugget,

    A BB and Exchange solution is not cost effective for 7 or so users, especially if only for email...

    Just install Exchange first for all users, then forward out the emails for the 7 users to an ISP's email proxy for them to look at via a Nokia phone or something.

    You should be able to daisy chain the 7 users under the one webmail account as additional email addresses no worries.

    We do this where I work and it is ideal for us.

    Basiclally this low end solution will save your firm thousands compared to the work for a BB install and is dead easy to set up.

    Then do a cost analysis later on then to see if the BB's are neccessary...

    HTH

    supa
     
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  17. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Setting up a single exchange server and single bes server isnt all that complex to be honest
    now weather or not its worth the hassle depends on a few factors

    cost of data plan on mobiles
    privacy concerns of data
    data confidentiality requirements
    etc

    the SP2 push option provides minimal compression potentially causing large data plan bills unless you have an unlimited one
    its also got rather poor central management options
    data can however be secured in transport via ssl

    it requires one less server than a blackberry environment


    i would not suggest installing BES on top of your only exchange server, its not best practice from MS or Blackberry

    Personally i like the simplicity of the SP2 Push option, however you will need Mobile 5 AKU2.0 systems for it to work properly, Blackberry is a better long term solution with far superior managability and support around it however its more costly at the end of the da
     
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  18. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    supag, this sounds like a great idea. We will probably get the exchange server setup and used for email for 30+ users so it's not only for the BB users.

    Thanks mate. Another useful piece of info, as I don't think they will want to get a third win2k3 server.

    Many thanks.
     
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