Migrating BESAdmin to Different Database on Exchange 2013 Break BES 5.0

Keith Pratola
Keith Pratola used Ask the Experts™
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The issue has been resolved, but I am trying to understand exactly what went wrong. Here is the configuration.

2x Exchange 2013 Standard servers with all roles installed and setup in DAG.
1x BES server running BES Express 5.0
Windows Server 2012 R2 environment and AD level.

The BESAdmin mailbox was migrated from DB1 to DB2 which caused the following error on BES and no agents would start.

"Failed to retrieve the server DN" appears in the MAGT log with "Error 5305" and BlackBerry Messaging Agent will not start.

The fix was in this KB article. http://btsc.webapps.blackberry.com/btsc/viewdocument.do?noCount=true&externalId=KB24421

Basically the HomeMTA had no information, and I was not able to recreate the MAPI profile until the HomeMTA attribute was populated.

After some research I found that someone said Microsoft directly told them that the HomeMTA attribute is no longer used with Exchange 2013 and it will need to be filled in manually. The person that installed BES does not remember entering this information. I don't know if it was there prior to migrating the BESAdmin account to a different DB, but it definitely wasn't there when we were trying to resolve the issue. Is it possible that this attribute disappeared during a mailbox migration?

According to this article. http://btsc.webapps.blackberry.com/btsc/viewdocument.do?externalId=KB33413

Verify the HomeMTA attribute for the BlackBerry Service Account is populated: Note: This step is not required in 5.0.4 MR8 and above.

I know they are on 5.0.4, but I doubt they are on MR8. (Also not sure MR8 is available for the Express version...)

Another issue I noticed with the Exchange setup, is that Outlook AnyWhere is not configured properly with a "mail.domain.com" address. It is instead pointing to the FQDN of each server which it shouldn't be when using DAG. Not sure how this affects BES other than BES probably won't work if the Exchange server it is pointing to goes down.

Has anyone come across this issue before? Does this mean I MUST update the HomeMTA attribute if I wish to migrate the BESAdmin mailbox in the future?
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Keith PratolaSenior Systems Architect

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Commented:
Confirmed that no MR's have been installed.
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Commented:
There are no MR updates for BES 5 Express.
Blackberry have basically ignored the product (as it was free).
BES 5 does not play well with Exchange 2013 and I encourage as many clients as possible to move to more modern Blackberry devices like the Q5, Q10 or Classic. Those will either connect via ActiveSync directly or use BES 12.

To answer your specific question, in my experience the HomeMTA value does need to be checked/corrected if the mailbox is moved because Exchange 2013 doesn't use it, so will usually remove it.

Outlook Anywhere should have a public URL configured that matches the SSL certificate.
Do you have a load balancer in house if you have multiple CAS role holders? If not then I would suggest getting one. If the site is small, then the free load balancer from Kemp may well work.

Simon.
Keith PratolaSenior Systems Architect

Author

Commented:
I had a feeling the MR updates weren't for BES 5 Express. The Outlook AnyWhere will need to be corrected. Someone else setup Exchange and missed this step. There are two Exchange 2013 servers with all roles installed and they are using DNS round robin for mail.ad.domain.com, but the URL is rarely used since Outlook AnyWhere is pointing to the FQDN. I also found that the purchased UCC certificate doesn't contain the correct FQDN of EXCH-02 on it. So there are quite a few things that need to be corrected.

For BES I would say their options are to purchase the correct BES 5 with MR updates or like you said, use one of the newer versions which seem to work much better with Exchange 2013. Did I mention they have 400 users on their free version of BES 5 Express with NO BlackBerry support contract?

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