upgrading BES 5 to BES 10

Posted on 2013-06-27
Last Modified: 2013-07-12
We have a Blackberry BES 5 server with about 17 users on it. One of the users recently purchased a Z10 and I went to add it to the server, like I have for so many others over the years, but this time it just didn't work. I contacted the provider and striggled for a while then was passed on to Blackberry. Their Level 1 worked with me for a while and finally passed me to Level 2. I then learned that the new Blackberry Z10 was just not going to work unless I set up a BES 10 server. I was instructed on how to use the compromise "Active Sync" solution, but do not have all the BES security and features. I have been tasked with setting up a BES 10 server, so I contacted my software vendor and was told it was a "Free" download, I could run it on my existing BES server and it would have to run parallel with the BES 5 server to keep my older devices functioning as BES devices.

I am hoping to reach out to experianced Blackberry Admins on here that can confirm if everything above is true and what steps can I take to downloand and install BES 10 along side my BES 5. Running "Parallel" does not sound possible, but all advice and input is welcome. We are running Windows 2008 and Exchange 2007.

Question by:Thor2923
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Mike Sullivan
ID: 39281521
Hi Thor2923,

First and foremost, ask yourself the question: Do we REALLY need BES10? What are the advanced security features of BES10 that make it essential rather than 'nice to have'.

We moved from BB7 devices (in my case a 9900) to BB10 (a Z10). As a RIM-accredited BES installer, I took a look at our infrastructure and took a view on the best way for us to proceed.

First: BB10 handsets cannot be controlled from a BES 5 or earlier. It must be a BES10 server.
Second: BES10 is not backwards compatible with earlier handset versions. If you want to continue running earlier handsets, you will continue to need a BES 5.
Third: BES 5 and BES 10 CANNOT co-exist on the same server platform. They require separate server platforms - be it physical or virtualised.
Fourth: The component parts of BES10 can technically be run on the same server platform but, in the majority or cases, you will be better served installing them across individual platforms.
Fifth: The BES software is a free download but you will require device CALs to run it which are not free. BlackBerry are offering free CAL trade-ups on your existing BES 5 CALs until the end of the year.

In our case, we found that BES 10 didn't give us any significant benefits over ActiveSync and wasn't worth the investment of time and money to get it installed and configured. We are running our BES 5 until all legacy handsets have been upgraded.

Hope this helps,

LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
ID: 39281845
Two of my clients are the complete opposite. They have deployed Blackberry 10 devices and BES 10. Primary reason is very simple - access to internal resources.

On the work side we have  browser that allows access to the intranet, and have published the Network Drives app.

You can get BES 10 for free and if you are using full BES 5 get the licences upgraded. If you are on BES Express then you will have to pay (unless you have some BES 4 licences around which you can upgrade).


Author Comment

ID: 39282041
Mike, yes I agree my life would be a lot easier to simply put users that purchase new Blackberries on Active Sync and let BES retire itself as time passes, but that is not what my boss wants and the owner of our company is interested in a new Z10. I am concerned about this statemet you made though;

"BES 5 and BES 10 CANNOT co-exist on the same server platform. They require separate server platforms - be it physical or virtualised"

This is exactly what I was afraid of, even though our software vendor told me;
"BES 10.1 can be installed concurrently with Bes 5 on the same box or on it’s own server instance"

I have asked to speak to his blackberry expert directly on the phone to clear this up, but my research is agreeing with you and I do not see how running concurrently is possible.

Simon, thanks for your input also
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Mike Sullivan
ID: 39282062
Hi Thor2923,

Just to be clear:

BES 5 and BES 10 can be installed in the same environment on separate server instances and can both interact with the same mail server but they CANNOT be installed on the same server instance. If BES 5 already exists on the server, the BES 10 setup process will fail.



Author Comment

ID: 39282407
Mike, I appreicate your efforts on this issue. I guess I am getting confused with "server instance" Our current environment is a physical Windows 2008 R2 Standard windows server as the primary with a similar physical server built in our southern office set up as a "stand by".
To me a physical Windows server is one instance and the only way to get multiple "server instances" on one physical server is to use an operating system such as VMWare to configure several virtual Windows servers or "server instances" on one physical device. Am I missing something? Perhaps I need to review my basic windows server technology?? Please help me in defining a "server instance" in this Blackberry BES environment
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

Mike Sullivan earned 500 total points
ID: 39282453
Hi Thor2923,

You are spot on. Historically, I would have said '...only on one BES installation per physical server...' but many businesses these days are opting for fully virtualised environments so I've had to change my terminology :-)

Given the infrastructure that you've described, you would need to look at a secondary server at your primary site built specifically to host the BES 10 installation. Technically it would be possible to run the BES on the server at the southern office but it would present significant difficulties with network lag between the two sites. The BES installation is recommended on a server on the same network LAN as the mail server.



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