BlackBerry Connection > IT Edition > Preview BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0

Preview BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0

BES packageThe BlackBerry® Enterprise Server version 5.0 launch is just weeks away! We've met with the product experts to create a series of articles about new features, migration planning, manageability, and other topics to help you prepare for the transition. Here, we cover the areas that will see the most significant new features in version 5.0: manageability, reliability and high availability.

Manageability

Web-Based Interface and Role-Based Administration
In BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, the admin console will switch from a desktop administration client to a web-based client, allowing for greater flexibility in how and where the BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution is managed. All administrator permissions and domains are set based on a system of flexible user roles in order to support a much wider range of administrators and help desk personnel. For instance, with the new functionality, you will be able to create a junior administrator role that has access to only a certain group's profiles—your sales team, for example—and can create and modify user profiles but cannot set group-wide IT policies.

Nested Groups
The functionality of user groups has been enhanced in BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0. Groups can now belong to groups, allowing for a nested structure to reflect the sometimes-complicated nature of a corporate structure. Groups, like individual users, can be assigned roles, IT policies, and software configurations. A single user or group can belong to multiple groups, as well, inheriting the roles, policies and configurations of each parent group. In cases where inherited policies are contradictory, the policies from the group with the highest priority are applied.

BES nested groups
With nested groups, permissions can be fine-tuned to accommodate each individual’s needs.

Self-Service Options to Free Up Your Help Desk
Universal tiered access to the BlackBerry® Web Desktop Manager means that a much greater degree of self-service is possible with BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0. Users may be allowed to upgrade their own software and activate their own devices and passwords. This self-service translates directly into a smaller workload for your IT staff and pronounced savings in time, money and resources.

 

Reliability and High Availability

Failover Options
Server downtime can represent a major loss of productivity and money. With BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, it's easier than ever to ensure maximum uptime for your BlackBerry environment. New high-availability options allow you to configure primary and standby BlackBerry Enterprise Servers for automatic or manual failover. Failover thresholds can be defined by the administrator to more reliably meet the demands of any server model, from the very simple to the very complex. Manual failover support allows for minimal-downtime server upgrades. Note, there are no licensing fees for additional BlackBerry Enterprise Servers running in standby mode.

BES servers diagram
A simple primary/standby BlackBerry Enterprise Server model.

System Health Checks
When the BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 is running in High Availability mode, there is no single point of failure. To ensure a rapid, graceful response to problems as—or before—they occur, system health checks generate scores that are shared amongst systems, components and administrators.

Wireless and Scheduled Upgrade and Application Deployment
With BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, software updates, applications, and even entirely new OS versions can be pushed to BlackBerry® smartphones wirelessly, dramatically reducing the need for IT face time. These upgrades can be made automatically, based on user profiles and groups. Updates can be pushed in batches and can be scheduled to happen during off-peak usage hours in order to limit the productivity effects of downtime.

Applications are published via .zip files and can be made optional, mandatory or disallowed, based on the permissions associated with the user. Pushing applications wirelessly is now even more reliable, with dependency checks to make sure that all needed applications are installed and always in the right order. Additionally, new contingency-based software upgrades ensure that events such as changes in device hardware or carrier trigger appropriate software updates automatically.

The Months Ahead
We've covered in general terms the most important enhancements coming with BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, and you can expect to learn about these new features in more detail over the coming months. Next issue, BlackBerry® Connection® will cover the upgrade path to BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, including planning advice and tips for migrating to this new release.

 

Get an Up-Close Look at WES 2009

Another great way to prepare for the upgrade is to attend the Wireless Enterprise Symposium. At WES, there will be more than 20 sessions devoted exclusively to BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, including customer panels, detailed feature reviews, and seminars on new management functions. Additionally, you can see BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 for yourself at the hands-on lab. You can also use your time at WES to meet and network with people who have already used this new version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server. To register or find out more, visit the WES website at http://www.attendwes.com/.

New to BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0

5 Features that Will Make Your Job Easier

BlackBerry Enterprise Transporter Tool
With the BlackBerry® Enterprise Transporter tool you can run parallel BlackBerry Enterprise Server environments, allowing you to do real-world testing in the new BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 environment with part of your team before making a full migration. There's no need to wipe devices before transferring to BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0, and backing out to the pre-existing environment is easy.

Threshold Assistance Tool
The Threshold Assistance Tool resides within the BlackBerry® Monitoring Service; it uses the information gathered by your monitoring database to suggest acceptable operating thresholds for your particular server and network environment. As your company grows, you can run the tool again to set new baselines.

High Availability
Utilizing High Availability is easier than you think—three clicks and you're done. Learn more about this feature in an upcoming edition of BlackBerry Connection.

Role-Based Admins
BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0 allows for granular control of admin permissions. You can now scope a given role to a set of users the admin can take action on. For example, you can create an executive-support IT group, which would allow for only particular employees to perform administrative tasks against the execs' accounts.

Maintenance Windows
You can now opt to suspend alerts during specific periods, for example, during server maintenance. Using this function just might end those early-morning wake-up calls that occur during scheduled server downtime.

WES 2009 - Register Now!
CONTENTS
ON BLACKBERRY.COM
NOT YET SUBSCRIBED?
GET YOUR OWN COPY!

Not subscribed to BlackBerry Connection? Get the latest news, offers, interviews and seminars sent direct to your inbox.
Sign up >>
Already have a BlackBerry smartphone? Turning it into a brand new, sleek BlackBerry smartphone is smarter and more affordable than ever.