BlackBerry Mds Connections Test

Application developers can use the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service component of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server to proactively deliver data or web content directly to BlackBerry devices that are activated on an organization’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Users do not need to request or download data; the push application, in conjunction with the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service, delivers it as soon as it is available. This way, BlackBerry device users gain access to web content. It also permits applications on devices to receive application data and updates from your organization's application servers or content servers.

By monitoring the MDS communication between the MDS-enabled devices and the BlackBerry Enterprise server, you can determine the number of handheld device users to whom data will be pushed by the MDS, and thus infer the load imposed by such users on the BES. In the process, you can also monitor how MDS controls the flow of data packets to the BlackBerry device, and regulate the flow (if need be) based on your findings. This test enables you to achieve all of the above.

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 every 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

Mds connection enabled users

Indicates the number of users who have enabled the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service on their handheld devices.

Number

 

Total push connections

Indicates the total number of push connections that were initiated by the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service.

Number

Using the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service, you can push content to the BlackBerry handheld device using any of the following push methods:

  • Pushing content to a browser channel: This method delivers content to the browser cache and adds an icon on the Home screen as an entry point to the content. Clicking the icon opens the pushed content in the browser.
  • Pushing content to the message list: This method delivers content to the message list, where it appears as an item in the list. Clicking the item in the message list displays the pushed content in the browser.
  • Pushing content to the browser cache: This method delivers content to the cache, but provides no notification to the user. The next time the user accesses the content, the updated cached content is displayed.

Total cached push connections

Indicates the number of push connections that pushed content directly to the BlackBerry Browser cache.

Number

Browser cache push content helps to ensure that users can access pages from a local cache at any time, even when they are outside a wireless coverage area. An application that pushes data to the browser cache can include an expiry time that defines the length of time that the data remains in the cache before it is removed.

The default length of time that push content is stored in cache memory varies with the BlackBerry Browser software version used. In BlackBerry Browser version 3.8 and later, pushed content is removed from the cache after 12 hours. In preceding versions, pushed content expired and was removed from the cache after 29 days.

Data received on MDS connections

Indicates the amount of data received by all the MDS-enabled BlackBerry devices on MDS connections that they initiated.

KB

 

Data transmitted on MDS connections

Indicates the amount of data transmitted by all the MDS-enabled BlackBerry devices on MDS connections that they initiated.

KB

The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service controls the flow of data that is sent to the BlackBerry device. This flow control allows the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service to minimize the amount of data that is sent over the wireless network, and can help to reduce the impact of pushing data to BlackBerry devices that are out of network coverage, turned off, or otherwise unavailable.

The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service sends data to each BlackBerry device specified in the push request as a series of packets.

To control the flow of pushed data, the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service initially sends a maximum of five packets. The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service does not send additional packets until the BlackBerry device returns an acknowledgment that the initial packets were received. By default, the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service limits the size of packets to 29 KB for BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.0, or 1 KB for BlackBerry Enterprise Server 4.1 or later.