Preview BlackBerry Enterprise Server v5.0
The 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* Offers subject to change without notice. Please check offer details for more information. Void where prohibited. Check with service provider for availability, roaming arrangements and service plans. Certain features outlined in this document require a minimum version of BlackBerry Enterprise Server software, BlackBerry Desktop Software, BlackBerry Device Software and/or BlackBerry devices and may require additional development or third party products and/or services for access to corporate applications. Prior to subscribing to or implementing any third party products and services, it is your responsibility to ensure that the airtime service provider you are working with has agreed to support all of the features of the third party products and services. Installation and use of third party products and services with Research In Motion's ("RIM") products and services may require one or more patent, trademark or copyright licenses in order to avoid infringement of the intellectual property rights of others. You are solely responsible for determining whether such third party licenses are required and are responsible for acquiring any such licenses. To the extent that such intellectual property licenses may be required, RIM expressly recommends that you do not install or use these products and services until all such applicable licenses have been acquired by you or on your behalf. Your use of third party software shall be governed by and subject to you agreeing to the terms of separate software licenses, if any, for those products or services. Any third party products or services that are provided with RIM products and services are provided "as is." RIM makes no representation, warranty or guarantee whatsoever in relation to the third party products or services and RIM assumes no liability whatsoever in relation to the third party products and services, even if RIM has been advised of the possibility of such damages or can anticipate such damages.
The above information regarding third party products and services is provided in BlackBerry Connection for your information. Since third parties provide the information to Research In Motion Limited ("RIM") and RIM relies on the information without performing any independent investigations, RIM makes no warranty or guarantee concerning the features, reliability, or pricing of the third party products or services, or their compatibility with any RIM products.
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