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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Managing 150 iPads using MDM in Technical; Hi all, I have recently been tasked with helping a school with their iPad deployment - i'll give you a ...
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    Managing 150 iPads using MDM

    Hi all,

    I have recently been tasked with helping a school with their iPad deployment - i'll give you a bit of background:

    They have purchased 150 iPads (used by staff and students) and Lion Server which have been onsite for over 6 months but the previous technicians who were involved did not get round to setting up any sort of MDM system.

    The schools requirements are:

    1. iPads need configuration profiles pushed out with 'curriculum' restrictions
    2. iPads need configuration profiles pushed out with 'Staff' restrictions
    3. They either need access to windows shares from the iPads OR the ability to save to a share on the mac server and access it from a windows client.
    4. Students need to be able to sign in with their Apple ID's and install their own Apps
    5. Students need 'standard' school apps pushed out via MDM.
    6. The iPads are assigned to staff/students on a 1:1 basis.

    Now I support another school with 20x iPads which I use Apple Configurator to prepare and supervise - this works well as they sit in USB docks with servers connected to each of the two docks.

    Obviously with 150 devices, this isn't really suitable for Apple Configurator as we can't connect every iPad to USB every time we want to install an app so we very much need to look at over-the-air solutions.

    I've been looking at the Apple Profile Manager and briefly looked at an MDM solution called Airwatch but I thought I'd ask you first if there's any advice or suggestions on the best way to handle this project.

    Some questions I need to answer:

    1. Can the native Apple Profile Manager handle the requirements above?
    2. Is there functionality within Lion Server to enable sharing to windows clients or vice versa?
    3. If we have to look at a third party MDM solution - what would be the most cost effective solution based on the requirements of the school listed above?

    This is all fairly new to me, and despite some experience with Lion/Apple Configurator, this is a daunting task for someone who is very much a 'windows' guy!

    Any help, advise or suggestions will be most graciously received.

    Thanks
    Chris

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    Eappariello's Avatar
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    Chris,

    What you can achieve with a MDM system is really governed by Apple. They allow certain payloads to be pushed to the IOS devices so you will find most MDM systems when dealing with IOS at least fairly close in functionality. Same for Apps, Apple support 3 models for App deployment, personal, institutional, and layered. Sounds like you need layered or personal but your Apple sales people can advise best.
    As you rightly point out, MDM is about the ongoing management of these mobile devices, and in a 1:1 environment you just don't know when you might see them again to plug them into Apple Configurator.

    Lightspeed have designed something just for education if you PM me I can send a link to the datasheet ( don't think I am allowed to post marketing material here).

    We have just taken a different a slant on things by allowing you to create a hierarchical structure for the school. This allows users to be part of multiple classes, receive multiple payloads/restrictions, and Apps depending on what classes they are a member of, and it also facilitates delegated administration.
    For example the school may want all devices to have the Pages App so that would be deployed at the school level, however Mrs Smith may be a admin of a level in hierarchical for her Math class and want her students to have a Calculator App, so she can push that out just to the students in her class.
    We can link with a MIS system to auto create the hierarchy and users also.

    Simon



    Quote Originally Posted by escc_chris View Post
    Hi all,

    I have recently been tasked with helping a school with their iPad deployment - i'll give you a bit of background:

    They have purchased 150 iPads (used by staff and students) and Lion Server which have been onsite for over 6 months but the previous technicians who were involved did not get round to setting up any sort of MDM system.

    The schools requirements are:

    1. iPads need configuration profiles pushed out with 'curriculum' restrictions
    2. iPads need configuration profiles pushed out with 'Staff' restrictions
    3. They either need access to windows shares from the iPads OR the ability to save to a share on the mac server and access it from a windows client.
    4. Students need to be able to sign in with their Apple ID's and install their own Apps
    5. Students need 'standard' school apps pushed out via MDM.
    6. The iPads are assigned to staff/students on a 1:1 basis.

    Now I support another school with 20x iPads which I use Apple Configurator to prepare and supervise - this works well as they sit in USB docks with servers connected to each of the two docks.

    Obviously with 150 devices, this isn't really suitable for Apple Configurator as we can't connect every iPad to USB every time we want to install an app so we very much need to look at over-the-air solutions.

    I've been looking at the Apple Profile Manager and briefly looked at an MDM solution called Airwatch but I thought I'd ask you first if there's any advice or suggestions on the best way to handle this project.

    Some questions I need to answer:

    1. Can the native Apple Profile Manager handle the requirements above?
    2. Is there functionality within Lion Server to enable sharing to windows clients or vice versa?
    3. If we have to look at a third party MDM solution - what would be the most cost effective solution based on the requirements of the school listed above?

    This is all fairly new to me, and despite some experience with Lion/Apple Configurator, this is a daunting task for someone who is very much a 'windows' guy!

    Any help, advise or suggestions will be most graciously received.

    Thanks
    Chris

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    Hi Chris,

    Firstly to agree with Simon, The capabilities of any solution for device management are indeed governed by the OS manufacturer and the release of the relevant APis to MDM vendorworld.

    Apple configurator is a great tool for the initial set up of a low number of devices and moderately proficient at ongoing management if you have the time, resources and visibility of the devices on a regular basis. The issues you have are clearly outlined and as you describe them make any solution that relies on physical connectivity to provide the management function for over a hundred devices would be a short walk to near insanity for you.

    I would suggest a solution designed around a full "multi tenancy" hierarchy, AD integration, secure email gateway, proxy filtering etc etc. This is the fundamental technology underlying the Airwatch solution. Allowing each class to be provisioned according to age, subject, need, month, day etc etc in real time by the classroom manager (teacher, LA) is key to what you are tasked with achieving. Recommend you examine the capabilities of each MDM as to their multi tenancy depth especially as you are potentially looking to manage a variety of end users over a variety of sites.

    The most cost effective solution would be one which allows full real time over the air management of those devices at a level of granularity which allows you address the specific requirements of each of the schools you mention. There are a plethora of cost models out there from Standard subscription to perpetual FTE and all things in between from various vendors. I would be happy to discuss further.

    John



    Quote Originally Posted by escc_chris View Post
    Hi all,

    I have recently been tasked with helping a school with their iPad deployment - i'll give you a bit of background:

    They have purchased 150 iPads (used by staff and students) and Lion Server which have been onsite for over 6 months but the previous technicians who were involved did not get round to setting up any sort of MDM system.

    The schools requirements are:

    1. iPads need configuration profiles pushed out with 'curriculum' restrictions
    2. iPads need configuration profiles pushed out with 'Staff' restrictions
    3. They either need access to windows shares from the iPads OR the ability to save to a share on the mac server and access it from a windows client.
    4. Students need to be able to sign in with their Apple ID's and install their own Apps
    5. Students need 'standard' school apps pushed out via MDM.
    6. The iPads are assigned to staff/students on a 1:1 basis.

    Now I support another school with 20x iPads which I use Apple Configurator to prepare and supervise - this works well as they sit in USB docks with servers connected to each of the two docks.

    Obviously with 150 devices, this isn't really suitable for Apple Configurator as we can't connect every iPad to USB every time we want to install an app so we very much need to look at over-the-air solutions.

    I've been looking at the Apple Profile Manager and briefly looked at an MDM solution called Airwatch but I thought I'd ask you first if there's any advice or suggestions on the best way to handle this project.

    Some questions I need to answer:

    1. Can the native Apple Profile Manager handle the requirements above?
    2. Is there functionality within Lion Server to enable sharing to windows clients or vice versa?
    3. If we have to look at a third party MDM solution - what would be the most cost effective solution based on the requirements of the school listed above?

    This is all fairly new to me, and despite some experience with Lion/Apple Configurator, this is a daunting task for someone who is very much a 'windows' guy!

    Any help, advise or suggestions will be most graciously received.

    Thanks
    Chris

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    Hi Chris,,

    The link below will also give you a unbiased view of current MDM solutions out there,my own opinion would be to go with one of these providers. Even tough you have one already ML Server will not support the model of deployment for this number of devices.

    Comparison of MDM Providers | Enterprise iOS

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    Have a look at the Meraki MDM manager - its free and for Apple devices pretty robust!

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    ButterflyMoon (8th March 2013)

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    Thanks for all the advise guys. We'll definitely be looking at your suggestions, it's just a case of figuring out which MDM fits the school's needs I guess! Shame Apple aren't as forthcoming with the builtin tools. No surprises there though to be honest!

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    +1 for Meraki just installed it here for 4 class sets of iPads. Pretty impressed

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jax View Post
    +1 for Meraki just installed it here for 4 class sets of iPads. Pretty impressed
    Wait until you see the rest of the range!

  10. Thanks to glennda from:

    ButterflyMoon (8th March 2013)

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    Can you offer any suggestions glennda please

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jax View Post
    Can you offer any suggestions glennda please
    Sorry i meant the meraki range - switches, security appliances and wireless all is good kit

  13. Thanks to glennda from:

    ButterflyMoon (8th March 2013)

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