Yay for things working right

Going from Blackberry Enterprise 4.1 to Blackberry Enterprise Express 5.0.2 looks like a daunting task, but really it is not that tough.

So there I was, ready to find the stash of nukes I hid somewhere. In anticipation of the migration from Exchange 2007 to Exchange 2010 coming up real soon, I had to upgrade our BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server) to the most recent version. the prior guy who had gone through 2 weeks of Blackberry training kept putting it off, coming up with excuses, and now is no longer with the company. I had done what anyone should do. I read up on the product and learned how to do the upgrade. Then the worst thing happened. Upon running Windows Update and Rebooting, the Blackberry Server came up but only enough to be pingable. I couldn’t remote into it, which meant so much for doing everything after hours.

First thing in the morning I went to our server room at the office where the BES is located, forced a hard reboot and the server came up normally. then came the task at hand. Few small things about going from BES 4.1 to BES Express 5.0.2. First you have to completely uninstall 4.1. Second, 5.0.2 is extremely slick. Once installed, and I got the users added into it, the majority of phones were found and automatically connected, as if they had always been on the 5.0.2 version of the BES. There were a couple of problem phones, but for the most part, all the planning on having to reactivate 50 Blackberrys went to the trash.

Sometimes, when things get done right, good surprises happen. Just never let it stop you from planning for the worst case scenario. Next step will be the final Exchange Migration.


Licensing… WTF!

So I’ve been working on a project at the office which is more annoying than anything I’ve ever done. I am going through licensing and see what we have, where we need to update, and what is what. The problem is twofold. First, the prior people never kept good documentation, so finding the actually pieces of paper with the licenses on them, or going to eOpen to check on what we have is nigh impossible. Heck, no one even knows what the eOpen username and password are for our licenses. This is a pain mostly because you need to create a Windows Live ID to use eOpen, and every time I try to do it with an actual e-mail address for the company itself, it fails, thereby forcing me to have to create a Hotmail account.

Second, there is no good piece of software to give you an accurate count of licenses installed. I know there is the license logging service on the servers, but it is not always accurate, I have to check it on each server individually, and to top it all off, it won’t show Exchange 2007 licenses, which I did find paperwork for.

Now if companies like Microsoft want people to stay in compliance with licensing, why don’t they make it easier to do an internal audit, so we can find where we are deficient, and then go through the process of ordering what is needed? Am I crazy to be asking for something like that, or is it just a matter of them wanting us to be out of compliance without knowing, so that we can get in trouble? I think that would be called entrapment in the legal field, but I could be wrong.

Monday Microsoft Musings

Monday morning, another work week starting, and a bunch of thoughts and questions about Microsoft for you all.

First off, how does Microsoft determine when it is going to release new software? SBS 2008, which has Exchange 2007 built in it, just came out in November, and now Exchange 2010 is in beta. How fast do they expect people to change? Figuring that it take a while for companies to even consider switching to the newest software, and then the testing and learning curve for it, maybe there is a method to the fast turn around on the next gen software.

Second, and even more annoying to me, is the links inside of the Microsoft Event Logs.   You click on the link, it asks you if you want to send the information, and then 80-90 percent of the time you get a message back saying there is no information from Microsoft on this Event ID. Why the heck do they even offer us a link when most of the time it does nothing but make us bang our heads? Yes there are great ways of finding out about the Event IDs through Google, but the links inside of the event logs are supposed to make our search much easier, and more official.

So, am I way off base on these thoughts? Am I just another looney IT guy who wants more from his vendors than they give, or do you feel the same way?