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Exchange Server forwarding to Blackberrys occasionally causes repetiitive Messages

Posted on 2008-06-22
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Last Modified: 2010-03-06
We do  not have a Blackberry Enterprise Server.  (too expensive)  Instead for each of our blackberry users, we create a contact in Active Directory and forward all of the users messages to the contact which has the username@rogers.blackberry.net address.  This generally works quite well.

Occasionally however, users will complain of receiving thousands of the same message to their blackberry.  This occurs about once a week to a single user for a single message.  (we have 40 BB users)  When I look into the Exchange System Manager, I can clearly see that the message has several hundred Retries.  (though not the thousands that the users report - no surprise)

My impression is that our server is sending the message, Blackberry is receiving it, but not confirming the reception and therefore our Server feels that there was an error and it was never really received.   Eventually the message is delivered correctly and the repeating messages stop by themself.  Alternatively, I can manually delete the offending message in ESM.  Sometimes the messages are very large (7+mb), other times only a few kilobytes in size.

Event logs contain no warnings or errors.  Our internet connect is not congested.  (100mbit fiber).  This problem only exists when communicating with Blackberry and no other domains.  Blackberry and Rogers "have never heard of this problem", though I see that others online that are experiencing the problem as well.  (with no posted resolution).

Any help would be appreciated!
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Question by:encoad
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15 Comments
 
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:LegendZM
LegendZM earned 80 total points
ID: 21841614
So you're sending the mail by using  phonenumber@phonecarrier.com  with the contact? or to another e-mail address on their phone? Have you tried having them connect their BB's to use OWA to download mail? I've seen the option to set that up on a few carriers, it'll check the mail once every 15 minutes.

Here's another way: http://www.runpcrun.com/blackberry-exchange
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Author Comment

by:encoad
ID: 21841661
LegendZM,

Not quite, most carriers provide somename@carrier.blackberry.net, I am forwarding to this address.

The other way you suggest at runpcrun.com is exactly what we are doing now.

Thanks
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:scdavis
ID: 21841682
Oh, how I hate the crackberries.  Seriously, I really do -- despise the things.

Are you aware that you can download and deploy the BB "professional" version of the 'enterprise' software at no cost if you're willing to deploy it with no ongoing maintenance..?  (RIM will give ya install support at no charge..)

I've got 8 clients, totalling about 30 crackberries, using the freebie version of the BES server.  Some shops 2 crackberries, two shops ~8 crackberries..

Forget all that forwarding/redirecting to external ("contacts").  (i.e. username@rogers...)  Seriously, it's just a recipe for disaster.  (have you found the reply-to-all muckup yet?)

If you're going to support crackberries in "internet" mode -- do it as they mean it to be done.  Get your Exchange system available via POP3 and configure the crackberries to pickup email from those POP3 enabled accounts.  Let the crackberries do what they're supposed to do -- pickup from POP3, rather than pushing via someone@rogers.blackberry.net..


The other -- and much better option though is the BES software..  



Seriously -- once installed, the BES server software is rock solid reliable.  You're shooting yourself in the foot if you're not considering it.  40 crackberry users?  No budget?  fire up the BES freebie/15 user limited version for 5-6 executives and then let 'em have their secretaries book calendar appointments for 'em while they're half way around the planet..

Your clients sync their contacts, calendar and email back to the exchange mothership without the need to plug in the USB cable ever again.  Delete on the crackberry, it can delete on the Exchange/Outlook -- so your users are *NOT* reading their email TWICE.

Seriously -- NEVER, ever, plug in that stupid "syncing now" cable.. and crap-can the annoying "desktop manager".   Never, ever, need to use that again..  



Users lose/drop/have a crackberry stolen?  Push a "WIPE DATA" out to it ..  



BES rocks.  I strongly, strongly advise you consider it..  

I'm in toronto, On.  If you want to see the GUI/install space/services/etc ..  just give me a ring.  (416) 432-4334.


Best,
Scott..

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Author Comment

by:encoad
ID: 21841742
Hi Scott,

Thanks so much for the help comments.  I certainly agree that POP3 would be great, but we are the continual victims of hacking attempts here and enabling POP3 would end up with alot of locked up accounts.

Could you point me towards a download for the free version?  They're website has a Professional version, but it's $849 per 10 user licenses up to a maximum of 30.

Thanks!
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Kutyi
ID: 21841764
I was doing the Blackberry forwarding the way you do and had similar issues.  I then installed the free copy of BES and bought licenses at a significant reduction from eBay.  Cost $189 for 11 licenses, 1 free from Blackberry bundled with BES and 10 from eBay.  Now everything syncs correctly and the way the Blackberry's are supoosed to work.  I can see not spending the $1000 from Blackberry or any retailer and that is why I love eBay.  It is true you don't get support, other then 1 complimentary support call, but if you follow the install directions EXACTLY then you should have no issues.

Hope this helps!
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:scdavis
ID: 21841951
Encoad:

http://www.blackberry.com/select/professional/express.shtml

Click on that and put in a PIN.  It'll email you back a link for a ~300MB installer/download..



http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=4C6BA9FD-319A-4887-BC75-3B02B5E48A40&displaylang=en

Click on that, it should get you SQL 2005 advanced edition..





The install is basically two components:  

1)  Install MS-SQL 2005 express advanced edition first.  Uncheck the "hide advanced options", install it on an instance named "BES"

2)  BES install..  Just run setup, tell it to connect to servername\BES and you're off to the races..




Of course -- being male, I don't read manuals.  Just do that on a test machine and see how it goes.

On the client machines -- uninstall the BB desktop manager then re-install it and select the "Enterprise Redirector" option.  (**NOT INTERNET OPTION**)

Plug the crackberry into the PC via USB cable, watch it start up the "Enterprise Activation Wizard"..  which counts up a percentage.  Assuming your Exchange is available to the PC at 100MBps, leave the crackberry plugged in until the EAWiz reaches 100%.  If you start the wiz, then disconnect the USB cable, the BB will fail back to doing the initial sync via wireless -- if your users have loads of data, such as 8000 contacts or 12,000 phone logs, the wireless sync may take 4-6 hours..  

Finally -- the handsets have to get an enterprise data plan setup.  

You said your users are mostly on Rogers?  God bless you -- calling into Rogers tech support and requesting an enterprise data plan is akin to talking to a lump of coal.  Most of the rogers BB tech folks only understand crackberries in internet mode -- enterprise mode throws them so far out of their experience that they will give you/your users absolutely ludicrous, garbage answers.


Figure on paying about $15-$20 more per month for the enterprise package, per handset.


Well worth it..  



0
 

Author Comment

by:encoad
ID: 21842995
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions.  I'm going to present buying BES off ebay as a affordable option.  It shouldn't take more then 3months to get a response from management.

In the meantime, can anyone recommend a fix to my original question?
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:LegendZM
ID: 21843125
Try having your black berry users directly connect through OWA. (free method) it works fine, i'm telling ya...

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Server_Software/Email_Servers/Exchange/Q_22149021.html
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:LegendZM
ID: 21843152
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Author Comment

by:encoad
ID: 21843162
Hi LegendZM,

We've had some security leaks in the past and we are highly suspect of 3rd parties gaining access to our emails.  Enabling the OWA would require my users to either give the u/p combo over the phone or into a form.  It's also a problem with our password policy since users forget to change their password on the blackberry website when they change it in Active Directory.

Thanks though!
0
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Kutyi
ID: 21843515
Well if you can't change POP3 or OWA then you are probably stuck with these retries and multiple messages.  If this ONLY happens when forwarding to Blackberry.net accounts then set the user up with a POP3 account outside you organization and have the their Blackberry setup to POP the account instead of forwarding to Blackberry.net you forward to a POP3 account with a different provider.  Work on convincing Management that by not spending the on BES they are costing themselves more with your support time.  By the way I just noticed you have 40 BB users and the free version of BES does not support that many, I think 30 is the number.  Still look on eBay when you are ready as you will save alot of money.
0
 
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:LegendZM
ID: 21843866
Hi, Yes it would be over a "form" but that form would be secured by SSL if you have a certificate installed.
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Author Comment

by:encoad
ID: 21846624
Hi LegendZM,

Our particular business has a lot of "fanboys".  It's not the over-the-internet transaction that I'm worried about.  It's the reversible encryption in which the passwords are stored on Blackberry's servers.  I also assume that Blackberry support/sales/IT CAN in fact view those passwords even though they claim they cannot.   (they also claimed that there were no backdoors in their data encryption until India was about to band blackberrys entirely, then they released the codes)
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Accepted Solution

by:
encoad earned 0 total points
ID: 21997822
Unfortunately nobody has been able to address my actual issue, but thanks to all for the suggestions.
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Author Comment

by:encoad
ID: 22394494
Unfortunately nobody has been able to address my actual issue, but thanks to all for the suggestions.
0

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