BlackBerry Mobile Data Service Test

BlackBerry Mobile Data System (BlackBerry MDS) v4.1 is an optimized application development framework for the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution. It can dramatically reduce the amount of time and resources required to develop and deploy wireless applications for mobile workers. BlackBerry MDS allows organizations to deliver corporate data wirelessly, leveraging the same proven push delivery model and advanced security features used for BlackBerry email.

bb_mds_arch_large

Figure 1 : BlackBerry Moble Data System architecture

BlackBerry MDS provides the essentials for creating, deploying and managing applications for the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution. Its three main components are:

  • BlackBerry MDS Services : BlackBerry MDS Services are the next generation of the BlackBerry Mobile Data Service. As part of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server, they are responsible for managing interactions and requests between BlackBerry smartphones and enterprise applications that sit behind the corporate firewall.

  • BlackBerry MDS Developer Tools : Use BlackBerry MDS Developer Tools to create wireless applications for BlackBerry smartphones.

  • BlackBerry MDS Device Software : BlackBerry MDS Device Software allows applications built with BlackBerry MDS Developer Tools to run on BlackBerry smartphones.

This test monitors the efficiency of the BlackBerry MDS Services component of the BlackBerry MDS.

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

Handheld initiated connections

Represents the number of handheld-initiated MDS connections initiated during the last measurement period.

Number

This is a good indicator of the workload on the BlackBerry MDS.

Push server connections

Indicates the number of connections the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service central push server has established with BlackBerry devices during the last measurement period. 

Number

‘Push’ technology is a data distribution technology in which selected data is automatically delivered into a mobile phone/computer at prescribed intervals or based on some event that occurs.

Using the BlackBerry Manager, you designate one BlackBerry MDS Connection Service in a BlackBerry Domain as the central push server. The central push server receives push requests from applications. It establishes a connection to the BlackBerry device through which applications send data.

Average packet data size from device

Indicates the average data packet size received from handheld devices during the last measurement period.

MB

 

Average packet data size from push

Indicates the average packet size of push data sent from the MDS to handhelds during the last measurement period. 

MB

Typically, the enterprise application residing behind a corporate firewall sends an HTTP POST request to the BlackBerry MDS Connection Service central push server over the web server listen port (default 8080). The central BlackBerry Connection Service push server checks the central BlackBerry Configuration Database for information about the recipients who are defined in the push application. The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service responds to the push application to acknowledge that it is processing the request, and then closes the connection.

The central BlackBerry MDS Connection Service push server routes the content to the push server connection listen port (default 8080). The BlackBerry MDS Connection Service converts the content for viewing on the BlackBerry device and sends the content to the BlackBerry Dispatcher.

The value of this measure indicates the amount of data traffic that is handled by the BlackBerry MDS Services component while routing, converting, and eventually pushing the content to the handheld device.

Packets refused by SRP Host

Indicates the number of packets sent by MDS that were refused by the wireless network during the last measurement period.

Number

Server Routing Protocol (SRP) is a unique identifier used to communicate and authenticate the BlackBerry Enterprise Server with the BlackBerry relay. The BlackBerry relay is a key component of the BlackBerry system. It receives messages from within a corporate network, translates the messages, and routes them to the wireless network for delivery to the handheld device. 

SRP needs to be allowed through your company firewall. Therefore, if the value of this measure is very high, it could indicate that your firewall rules might have to be fine-tuned to allow bi-directional traffic from and to the SRP host. Also, check whether the SRP status is disconnected, as this could also obstruct the movement of data packets into an SRP host.  

Invalid packets received by MDS

Indicates the number of invalid packets received by the MDS during the last measurement period.

Number

A very high value of this measure could indicate a problem.

Successful connections from MDS

Indicates the number of successful connections initiated by MDS with another address or service during the last measurement period.

Number

 

Failed connections from MDS

Indicates the number of connections the MDS attempted with another address or service, but failed currently.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be low.

Truncated connections encountered by MDS

Indicates the number of truncated connections that the MDS encountered during the last measurement period.

Number

Ideally, the value of this measure should be low.