BES Express Installation on Exchange 2010 SP1 – MaxSessionsPerUser key?

So, “where has the MaxSessionsPerUser key setting in the file gone”, I hear you asking?

Research in Motion’s current (as of today) documentation for BES Express 5.0.3 tells us that we need to increase the maximum number of connections to the Address Book service in Exchange 2010 by modifying a key value in a file. To quote the document, they say:

By default, Microsoft® Exchange 2010 limits the maximum number of connections from the BlackBerry® Enterprise Server Express Express to the Address Book service to 50. To permit the BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express Express to run, you must increase the number of permitted connections to a large value (for example, 100,000).

1. On the computer that hosts the Microsoft Exchange CAS server, in :\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\V14\Bin, in a text editor, open file.
2. Change the value of the MaxSessionsPerUser key to 100000.
3. Save and close the file.
4. Restart the Address Book service.

Now this as I have found, is no longer applicable to Exchange 2010 SP1 (and above of course). Apparently, Microsoft have moved this functionality to the Throttling policies in Exchange 2010 SP1. This means we’ll need to modify (or at least check) the Throttling policy that is applied to our “BesAdmin” user instead to ensure that certain settings are null / blank (i.e. meaning there is no limitation on them).

So if you notice you don’t have the MaxSessionsPerUser key in your file as per RIMs instructions, or you know straight off that you are on SP1, do the following to check using the Microsoft Exchange Management Shell.

1. Check the Throttling Policy called “BESPolicy” that you would have created earlier in the management shell as per the RIM documentation. Run: Get-ThrottlingPolicy BESPolicy

Your output will look like the following if the settings are correct (i.e. null):

2. Ensure that all the “RCA” Values listed are NULL – i.e. blank (refer to the screenshot in this post for a sample of the output I got when running the command). If they are not, then run the following:
3. (Run this if the RCA values are not NULL): Set-ThrottlingPolicy BESPolicy -RCAMaxConcurrency $null -RCAPercentTimeInAD $null -RCAPercentTimeInCAS $null -RCAPercentTimeInMailboxRPC $null

This “BESPolicy” should be the Throttling policy which is applied to your “BesAdmin” user, as per RIMs installation instructions for BES Express and shouldn’t really be applied to any other users or groups in your organization.

Following the above instructions should allow you to continue along with your BES Express installation alongside Exchange 2010 SP1. Hope this helps!

Blackberry (BES) user able to receive e-mail but can’t send

There can be many different causes for the problem where a Blackberry user can receive e-mail, but cannot send out. A good place to start troubleshooting is the Application Event log on your BES Server.

In this case we have a user who is unable to send e-mail but they can still receive e-mail. After some inspecting the event logs, I found some event ID “20000” logs, which read as follows:

Event Type:    Warning
Event Source:    BlackBerry Messaging Agent BES01 Agent 1
Event Category:    None
Event ID:    20000
Date:        03/03/2010
Time:        18:43:00
User:        N/A
Computer:    BES01
{} Send() failed: ERR_MAILBOX_FULL, Tag=173571

It is quite clear that this is indicating a full mailbox (or at least a restriction on the mailbox which only allows the user to receive e-mail and not send once this limit has been reached). Your next steps should be to get the user to clear out their mailbox to free up some space, or to increase their mailbox size limit or send limit size in Exchange.

Blackberry Technical Documentation describes this event error in more detail as follows:

The BlackBerry device user has reached the mailbox storage limit and is not permitted to send email messages until the Microsoft Information Store size returns to an acceptable range. The Blackberry device user can receive email messages, but cannot send email messages. Troubleshooting: Delete email messages from the BlackBerry device user’s mailbox and empty their Deleted Items folder.

So clearing out the user’s mailbox or increasing their exchange mailbox size limits should clear this issue up. If you are experiencing the same symptoms, but are not getting this particular event ID message, there are other avenues to go down with regard to troubleshooting. One that I often check is to ensure that the BES admin account has got full “Send As” permission on the user’s account in Active Directory. (You’ll need to view Active Directory in Advanced Mode to see the permissions tab on the user object though).

If all else fails doing a wipe of the user’s BlackBerry device, followed by a new Enterprise Activation is a good fallback point. Provided everything else is working correctly (and all other users seem to be sending and receiving OK) this should clear up any issues for the user in question. Of course you should just about exhaust all other avenues of investigation before trying this though!