BlackBerry Connections Test

If users are unable to connect to the messaging agent using their BlackBerry devices, or are experiencing significant delays while accessing the messaging services via the agent, they are bound to be displeased with the quality of their experience with the BlackBerry infrastructure. In order to avoid user complaints, the connectivity to and the responsiveness of the messaging agent should be periodically monitored, and administrators alerted to deviations much before users notice them. The BlackBerry Connections Details test does just that. This test runs periodic connectivity checks on the messaging agents, and reports connection failures that occurred during the last 10 minutes. In addition, the test also reports how responsive the messaging agent is to service requests from devices, and proactively alerts administrators to potential slowdowns.

Target of the test : A BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Agent deploying the test : An internal/remote agent

Outputs of the test : One set of results for each BlackBerry Messaging Agent operating on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server being monitored.

Configurable parameters for the test
Parameter Description

Test Period

How often should the test be executed

Host

The IP address of the host for which this test is to be configured.

SNMPPort

The port at which the monitored target exposes its SNMP MIB; The default value is 161.

SNMPVersion

By default, the eG agent supports SNMP version 1. Accordingly, the default selection in the SNMPversion list is v1. However, if a different SNMP framework is in use in your environment, say SNMP v2 or v3, then select the corresponding option from this list.

SNMPCommunity

The SNMP community name that the test uses to communicate with the firewall. This parameter is specific to SNMP v1 and v2 only. Therefore, if the SNMPVersion chosen is v3, then this parameter will not appear.

Username

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. SNMP version 3 (SNMPv3) is an extensible SNMP Framework which supplements the SNMPv2 Framework, by additionally supporting message security, access control, and remote SNMP configuration capabilities. To extract performance statistics from the MIB using the highly secure SNMP v3 protocol, the eG agent has to be configured with the required access privileges – in other words, the eG agent should connect to the MIB using the credentials of a user with access permissions to be MIB. Therefore, specify the name of such a user against this parameter. 

Context

This parameter appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPVersion. An SNMP context is a collection of management information accessible by an SNMP entity. An item of management information may exist in more than one context and an SNMP entity potentially has access to many contexts. A context is identified by the SNMPEngineID value of the entity hosting the management information (also called a contextEngineID) and a context name that identifies the specific context (also called a contextName). If the Username provided is associated with a context name, then the eG agent will be able to poll the MIB and collect metrics only if it is configured with the context name as well. In such cases therefore, specify the context name of the Username in the Context text box.  By default, this parameter is set to none.

AuthPass

Specify the password that corresponds to the above-mentioned Username. This parameter once again appears only if the SNMPversion selected is v3.

Confirm Password

Confirm the AuthPass by retyping it here.

AuthType

This parameter too appears only if v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. From the Authtype list box, choose the authentication algorithm using which SNMP v3 converts the specified username and password into a 32-bit format to ensure security of SNMP transactions. You can choose between the following options:

  • MD5 – Message Digest Algorithm
  • SHA – Secure Hash Algorithm

EncryptFlag

This flag appears only when v3 is selected as the SNMPversion. By default, the eG agent does not encrypt SNMP requests. Accordingly, the this flag is set to No by default. To ensure that SNMP requests sent by the eG agent are encrypted, select the Yes option. 

EncryptType

If this EncryptFlag is set to Yes, then you will have to mention the encryption type by selecting an option from the EncryptType list. SNMP v3 supports the following encryption types:

  • DES – Data Encryption Standard
  • AES – Advanced Encryption Standard

EncryptPassword

Specify the encryption password here.

Confirm Password

Confirm the encryption password by retyping it here.

Timeout

Specify the duration (in seconds) within which the SNMP query executed by this test should time out in this text box. The default is 10 seconds.

Data Over TCP

By default, in an IT environment, all data transmission occurs over UDP. Some environments however, may be specifically configured to offload a fraction of the data traffic – for instance, certain types of data traffic or traffic pertaining to specific components – to other protocols like TCP, so as to prevent UDP overloads. In such environments, you can instruct the eG agent to conduct the SNMP data traffic related to the monitored target over TCP (and not UDP). For this, set this flag to Yes. By default, this flag is set to No.

Measurements made by the test
Measurement Description Measurement Unit Interpretation

Number of users

Indicates the total number of BlackBerry users who are currently connected to the BlackBerry Messaging Agent.

Number

The detailed diagnosis of this measure shows the TimeStamp and the name of the users whose handheld devices are connected to the BlackBerry Messaging Agent.

Failed connections in the last 10 mins

Indicates the number of times the handheld devices have failed to connect to the Messaging Agent in the last 10 minutes.

Number

A low value is desired for this measure. A high value indicates persistent issues in connectivity. This could be owing to a poor network connection or improper configuration or device or domain failure.

Average response time

Indicates the average time taken by the handheld device to get connected to the Messaging Agent.

Mins

A high value or a value that steadily increases could indicate a sudden/gradual deterioration in responsiveness. This would require further investigation.

The detailed diagnosis of the Number of users measure shows the TimeStamp and the name of the users whose handheld devices are currently connected to the BlackBerry Messaging Agent.

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Figure 1 : The detailed diagnosis of the Number of users measure