Jan 11, 2008

I Need Your Help Upgrading Blackberry Enterprise Server

I recently got promoted at my real job and one of my first projects in my new position is to upgrade our Blackberry Enterprise Server from version 4.0.6 to version 4.1. It sounds easy enough on paper, but we don't want to go in and make any changes to our production server without testing it first. That would just not be a good thing to do, and besides I do not want to be the guy responsible for hosing up our 300 blackberry users phones because I didn't do a little planning first.

Some of the features we are looking forward to in version 4.1 are:

  • Wireless Email Reconciliation Hard-delete Support
  • Windows® Messenger BlackBerry® Client
  • Address Look up Enhancements for Hosting Organizations
  • Attachment Viewing Pan and Zoom Enhancements
  • Archiving SMS, PIN-to-PIN and Call Traffic
  • Two-factor Authentication Support
  • Data Group Push
  • Backup and Restore of Saved Messages
A full comparative listing of the changes between version 4.0 and 4.1 are available here: (BES Comparison)

So where do you come in? The thing I need help with is creating a test environment without affecting our production BES server. The thing I am scared of is launching a test BES server and have it start sending out updates to the phones in the field before we are ready, or it may conflict with our production server in some way. We are a Microsoft Exchange house, so the tips on this will need to come from those of you with experience in this upgrade using BES with Exchange integration.

Have any of you done this upgrade? What did you do to create your test environment? Let me know in the comments.

Along with your suggestions, I of course will contact Research In Motion (Company that makes Blackberry) to get a good understanding on how other companies like mine have done this, but I still want to hear from you. I want to get the "in the trenches" take on this upgrade, so don't hold back. Let me know what to do and what not to do.

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