- CrackBerry Addict
- 595 Posts
RIM is in trouble thanks to BlackBerry 10 BES chaos
The main advantage RIM has—and arguably the one thing that has kept it in the game up to now—is the existing BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) infrastructure. But, if the new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) devices don’t work with the current BES platform, BB10 could be dead on arrival.
Galen Gruman of Infoworld explains in detail the chaos that awaits the launch of BlackBerry 10. The current BlackBerry Enterprise Server—BES 5.0.3—is done, except for a maintenance update that will take it to BES 5.0.4. The existing BES will not be able to manage BB10, and customers will be forced to migrate completely to BB10 all at once—scrapping the existing BES and replacing it—or they’ll have to run a BB10 infrastructure in parallel with the current legacy BES system, and manage them both simultaneously.
RIM has a lot riding on the success of BB10—possibly, the company itself. The platform seems promising. Back in May, I wrote after attending RIM CEO Thorsten Heins’ keynote presentation at BlackBerry World in Orlando: “Does BlackBerry 10 look capable and innovative enough to excite users and keep BlackBerry in the game? Yes, I think so.”
I stand by that statement. However, what I hadn’t anticipated was BB10 being completely incompatible with the existing BES system. On its own, BB10 appears to be a worthy mobile platform. But, if the companies that rely on BlackBerry mobile devices have to scrap their BES infrastructure and start over anyway, they’re likely to consider other options like Android, iOS, or Windows Phone.
A lot of companies out there are heavily invested in the BlackBerry platform. They’ve got BlackBerry smartphones and the BES infrastructure in place, and they’re really hoping that RIM can turn things around with BlackBerry 10. Yet, the fragmentation of BES between the current and next generation BlackBerry platforms is disappointing, and could cause many of those BlackBerry customers to reconsider their mobile strategy.
I understand the need to draw a line in the sand and cut ties with the previous platform in order to build something better. Microsoft did essentially the same thing by abandoning Windows Mobile and launching Windows Phone. I respect that RIM has invested a lot of time and sweat to develop BlackBerry 10 and make it into something that RIM customers will love, and RIM employees can be proud of. If this were five years ago, it might be a brilliant strategy. But, in the state RIM is in now, this could be a final nail in the coffin.
I’m interested in hearing from IT admins managing a BlackBerry mobile environment. Are you looking forward to BlackBerry 10 devices? Does the confusion about BES, or the multi-layered approach of the “unified” BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 management console, change your plans?
- 09-11-12, 03:14 PM #2
I've read many reviews stating that a parallel servers architecture (remember, two servers can be run on the same machine, using virtualization) is probably the easiest/safer way to manage such a transition. Keep the current (the biggest fleet) on actual architecture and empower the new fleet with BES 10.
Also, note that both BB10 and BBx devices will be managed via a single console; it's only the "engine" that's separated; admin interface will be unified.
Add to this that refractory admin that will tend to go straight to BYOD without BES will be able to connect BB10 devices as easily (allegedly) than iOs or Android devices.
So it's far from that black.
Last edited by Superfly_FR; 09-11-12 at 03:25 PM.
- CrackBerry Addict
09-11-12, 03:43 PM #6
- 665 Posts
Thank you for putting this post up! I am a BES Admin and I have to admit that this does throw a monkey wench in my plans. Now if BB10 turns out to be a great device (apps, hardware, etc) then I could see the company spending a ton of dollars to invest deeper into upgrading the handhelds and server. Now remember that BB10 with be able to work with Active Sync which will allow it to retrieve emails like a pop3 (imap) account as well as obtain a policy (so that's an options). It's all riding on the BB10... This is my $0.02!
- 09-11-12, 03:45 PM #7
This is a very big deal. RIM was late getting information out to large accounts. I think they have time to catch up, but the IT decision makers, and not the end users, need to understand the upgrade path and need to know what to budget for now (I know that the licenses may or not be free, but hardware and Windows licenses still cost extra).
- 09-11-12, 03:57 PM #8
- 09-11-12, 05:44 PM #10
And QOS is completely different than JOS. I don't know about you, but shoehorning a bunch of new code into an old platform that wasn't designed for such is never a good idea. and that's why BES10 won't support JOS devices, as they don't want to have old java code in the server.
- CrackBerry Abuser
09-11-12, 06:36 PM #11
- 174 Posts
I've done 2 demos of the Mobile Fusion/BAS/BES product.
Mobile fusion is a decent unified console to manage both BES 5 and the new BAS/BDS/UDS system. It is almost a free upgrade for existing TSupport customers. I believe there are some license fees for BB10 devices when they become available.
My biggest complaint is that the new Fusion/BDS/UDS can't be installed on my existing BES server. So new (64bit) hardware is required.
But the way i see it, if BB fails or we switch off of the platform, i will need to find a device management product to secure whatever new platform we go with. So i'll invest in Mobile Fusion (remember its basically a free upgrade besides hardware) because it will also handle the iphone and android devices. So i'm covered no matter what.
Unless of course rim goes completely out of business........then i will have to start looking for a new solution.
- 09-11-12, 06:38 PM #12
at this point they have a BYOD server that is running off a server that is powered by RIM a company that prides itself on security backing up your none BlackBerry devices
- CrackBerry Abuser
09-12-12, 07:05 AM #14
- 202 Posts
All the chatter about BES 10 is really dependant on how BB10 devices are. If the devices are solid, companies will put in the needed solution to manage them. If they don't appeal to enterprise or consumers RIM is toast. No one is going to buy BES 10 to just manage iOS and Android.
There are really two totally seperate segements we're talking about here.
1. Companies that support a BYOD model
2. Companies that are corporate liable only
Company 1 - they likely already have another MDM in place, if they don't their looking at them. Good Technology is a popular option as it has a NOC for secure transport, secure container and now secure additional Apps to extend functionality and security beyond email / PIM. Mobile Iron and AirWatch make up the short list of other solutions and they all have the same core policy support. The downside is these vendors know they have the market to themselves while RIM struggles and everyone is looking to management the current devices of choice (iOS and Android). The market will change if BB10 is solid though, even moreso if RIM can get consumers interested again. If BYOD becomes the preferred method of mobile device deployment for most companies they'll need to set some standards on what devices they can support. Unless their only using Exchange ActiveSync there is not one MDM vendor that can support every mobile platform. RIM will be in a unique position here.
Company 2 - really depends on what mobile devices are used for and what level of secuity / management is required. These are big Blackberry shops and if they use another MDM it's likely Good Technology. Their looking at BYOD but often the restrictions are too high for employees to embrace en masse. These companies would love BB10 - BES 10 to match what they currently use. They've been waiting for RIM to get this right since 2007 so if BB10 misses or lacks - they will begin to really move to another mobile platform (likely iOS) next spring. Many likely already have a contigency MDM in place now for key employees due to the ongoing RIM negativity. I have people as me once a week if RIM is still in business so RIM has their work cut out to reverse that perception.
Everything else about this is just noise, all the big RIM customers have been aware of this since Blackberry World, no large company is really concerned about spinning about another VM instance. How much is licensing (RIM is matching current BES pricing, how do the devices work etc is what is key now).
Bottom line is employees don't want a restricted iPhone anymore than they wanted a restricted Blackberry.
Last edited by Frank Castle; 09-12-12 at 07:08 AM.
- CrackBerry Abuser
09-13-12, 03:44 PM #16
- 332 Posts
OTOH, if BB10 devices could have worked with BES, then this would have been a great advantage for them, over companies picking a competing platform. Now, I am not blaming RIM for this decision (it seems like a technical necessity), and neither do I think it is a deal breaker, but I do think it makes the path for BB10 success harder. This could have been a great advantage that could have sold many millions of BB10 devices instantly, IMO.
- CrackBerry Genius of Geniuses
09-13-12, 04:29 PM #17
- 12,658 Posts
- Optional, but not needed.
I don't think RIM is in trouble. Maybe the folks at PC World didn't write a correct article. Using mis/incorrect information is never a good thing.
Seeing that VM's were mentioned, that would be a fantastic idea to try out BES 10, manage it all from existing servers without having to invest in or buy new hardware.
Sent from The Root's Crackberry @ wapforums.crackberry.com
- 09-13-12, 04:29 PM #18
ITs much to do about nothing i believe.
We are running bes 4.1(old) Besx 5.0.3, Blackberry Device Manager (for playbooks) and Blackberry mobile fusion which manages, from one webconsole, besx and blackberry device manger.
Any medium to large company should already be running Vmware or hyper-v in their production environments.. If they aren't they are having other issues.
MS server 2008 r2 Datacenter licensing covers all the 2008 r2 installs you want on one vmware host.
We have Besx on one vm and mobile fusion and blackberry device manager on another vm and i control users/devices from one login in mobile fusion.
The only downside is more servers to administrate and patch but you can do all that from one console on vcenter for all the guest machines on you ESX hosts.
We use trellia to manage the ios and android devices that are company owned as it was quicker to setup in a rush then the universal device manager to tie into mobile fusion.
- 09-13-12, 04:38 PM #19
If they are already using the Blackberry Universal Device Manager for ios and android it not more work to install bes 10.
You have to do something similar when everyone moved from bes 4.1 to bes or besx. You had different instances.. I don't know many people that would attempt an inplace upgrade of a whole bes server.
- 09-13-12, 04:43 PM #20
Its simple to setup BB device manager for the playbooks.. I did it in 4 hours start to finish including the time to launch a vm and install and configure.
I doubt it will be much different.
Hopefully they have BESX 10 to keep the costs of operating BBs by using BIS data plans and Free cals for the Bis users. Most companies that i know made the switch to Besx as most didn't require policies beyound what is found in BESX.
- 09-13-12, 05:11 PM #21
And the best part is that when more users switch to BB10/etc and the BES10 gets more load, the BES5 server will have less load, clearing capacity for the virtual BB10 server. Eventually you can switch the servers and make the BES10 server the host and BES5 server the VM, then eventually you can shut down the BES5 VM (not for at least three years though)
- 09-13-12, 05:13 PM #22
Are you not running vmware or hyper-v? If you aren't you are losing money that you could otherwise be saving.
Invest in vMware vcenter essential plus licening at a cost of about 5000$ which allows you to run three hosts with 2 processors (not cores) on each host. Then buy your hosts. one Dell r710 with DUAL xeon 5660 (6x2.8 GHz) with 24 GBs of ram for 7000$.
Depending on number of users you have you wouldn't come close to taxing one Host anytime soon. We have 12 production servers, using local storage on the hosts, and maybe use 10% of the resources on the two hosts in the cluster.
My friend running a local web Host with 500 to 1000 clients on a similar with a fibre san
- CrackBerry Abuser
09-13-12, 07:39 PM #23
- 113 Posts
Being a virtual machine doesn't mean:
A) no OS license needed
B) no overhead in management
Those things exist regardless of being physical or virtual so this is a non-win for every shop that's heavily virtualized.
We happen to be and it doesn't matter. Since supporting both Blackberry lines means supporting multiple BESes, unfortunately we're just going to simplify and do away with BOTH. Afraid we won't be the only ones either...
- CrackBerry Abuser
09-13-12, 09:57 PM #25
- 113 Posts
We went from ~85 to 15 (including test BBs and BBs support staff carries) since iPhone 4S came out with international capability on VZW versions.
Users get to select either an iPhone or a BB (completely their choice) so the shift is user driven.
But now we're getting to the point where the maintenance overhead is starting to be not worth it (we run an HA config which means two BES and two BES DB servers in two sites -- adding BB 10 would mean 8 servers for about 15 people).
We are security conscious like many companies (we REQUIRE whole device encryption in our Exchange ActiveSync policies before a device can connect, as well as autowipe after a set number of failed password attempts, etc, and users can -- and have -- self wipe lost phones via OWA) but we don't require FBI/CIA levels of security.
iOS and EAS policies get use where we need to be with security and the App Store gets the apps users want including business ones many employees use like Lync 2010 client and DocuSign.
We're that kind of "tweener" customer RIM is losing (for now). We'll watch and see and could definitely bring BB back in (esp since EAS is the connection method for BB10) but it's definitely a step in the wrong direction for RIM.
Don't want to pile on RIM, but it is a fact that users have determined what's important to them and it turns out what is important to IT (security, ease of management etc) seems to merge with user wants and find a sweet-spot crossroads in iOS. We watch Android, but the lack of curated app store makes that a harder sell -- while not foolproof, the curated model definitely reduces app risks, so it's no wonder Microsoft is taking that approach too. It's a smart move for RIM too.
RIM doesn't do us or itself any favors by requiring customers to maintain to fully separate ecosystems to maintain (even if it's a single pane of glass to run the management app) but I expect they will figure this out and solve that problem.
As always, it's a question of time -- does RIM have it.