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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Help me, please drag me from this pit of despair

    How much planning and implementation went in to your networks prior to making full use of iPads? Even a little would have been nice here!

    This is where we were this time last year:
    Full windows network, no linux or mac devices bar two that aren't even using the network, some staff using iPads for their email and internet at max. So basically none of us have any real experience of iPads bar basic use, and we didn't have any intention of getting any more experience in that area either....

    Now...3 months ago our head decided to go out and buy a load of iPads, with no consultation with ourselves (we've all felt this story in some manner before I'm sure) this was done in April. Bare in mind that we do all our planning for our next budgets between January and March, we had allocated where our money was going to go and what work we needed to do in the summer, expecting a few small extras that the site team often drop on us. So we had allocated no time or money to this.

    Starting with no prior knowledge of iPads bar adding users email accounts to them, we've been lumbered with a trolley of 30 plus two stacks of 10. First off we hadn't finished rolling out our managed wireless throughout the school, this has now been fast tracked thanks to one of those magical pots of money headteachers seem to have access to and we're working on that over the summer, but we have other issues which i'll now list:
    1) We have no knowledge of the protocols used by iPads and Macs (bonjour and mDNS are two thrown around)
    2) Our network is segregated into 8 subnets which means...
    a)Airprint doesn't work, so they can't find our printers, even the ones setup to fake being airprint printers
    b)Airplay (is that the right name? whatever they use with apple tv anyway) doesn't work so they can't connect their ipads to their projectors
    3)They (the staff) instantly expect a student to be able to pick one up, access their files, do some work, save it back to the network
    4)Buying and installing apps is soooo cumbersome

    Overall I'm sick to death of them, I don't have anywhere near enough time to work through getting them setup properly let alone getting all of the above working, because we've already done all our planning work for this summer... every sight of an ipad now makes me want to punch it.

    I know they're not terrible devices, but I'm becoming incredibly anti apple over this, i know other schools have had success stories but in order for ours to be a success i need help! I'm effectively on my own in doing everything to do with the setup of them......oh and everything else on the network! (I know this bit should all be in BTRD but i just don't care any more, if someone reads it that i work with, they'll only hear what i've already told them in person multiple times)

    Anyway, Can anyone help me with the above issues, sometime in the summer holidays I'm going to be looking to power through these issues so i need to start early. So here's some information:
    We've already bought (even though i never said i was sure i wanted it ) "foldr" though it isn't setup yet and probably won't be until the summer hols.
    We have a trolley that holds 30 and has two sync n charge kits
    We have a macbook with apple configurator on which goes with the above
    We'll soon have lightspeed MDM to get some control back
    We use an entirely HP procurve managed switch environment and all servers are 2008R2 minimum - I've no idea what it takes to setup bonjour and mDNS, I can't even bring myself to google it again.
    Aruba managed wireless system - soon to be 3 SSIDs, one specifically setup for iPads, one using RADIUS for internal devices, one using the aruba guest account system and firewalled off to allow no access to the network bar the internet connection.

    I don't know if I've repeated myself anywhere in this thread but what i want from you guys is information, and from those of you who are well experienced in this area...help! PM me if you wish, ask me for more information, i'll no doubt add more things i hate about them to this thread as the replies come () and no doubt you wonderful people will tell me how to resolve that too (i hope) I just want to be rid of this feeling I've got that the iPads are going to make me want to leave IT altogether (i love my job, but i hate devices i can't control, i know i need to get out of this mindset though)

    EDIT: holy moly that was longer than i was expecting. Have a read before bed if you want to sleep well! ha

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    speckytecky's Avatar
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    Well worth giving Junction IT, Apple Education Consultant a call. Ross of this Parish is a magician with Macs. We had a so called expert in before who charged us £150 for his visited talked a load of baffling stuff and made absolutely no difference. Ross paid us a visit, stayed a morning and set our Mini Mac server up and configured loads of stuff so that even I can manage it now. Fair enough our set up is a baby compared to yours but I'm sure the modest fee they charge would be money well spent in your case as well.

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    I think there will be several people on this forum who can help you.

    We're currently going through our own tablet woes so I may be able to offer some assistance; if not, there are others who have already rolled out such setups who can offer better assistance.

    Do you have a wireless infrastructure that can support this? Hint: you cannot answer this question until you know exactly how these devices will be used in lessons to support learning, so it might be possible to attend Curriculum Group meetings (or whatever) to ascertain just how big of a challenge you face. It might feel insurmountable right now, but sometimes schools buy in these things without planning for their use properly in advance, which might be poor management but it does at least give you some extra time to set up the resources needed.

    Having an MDM is a distinct advantage and I'm aware of schools that rush into it similarly but without even some form of MDM solution to cover the basics. In a sense you've dodged a bullet there; it could be worse.

    One way to regulate mobile devices is to enforce a setup in which they can only get on RDP (or ICA, if you're rich enough) sessions to an existing remote access server. Decent client apps are available for this at a minimal cost (if you set up a single school Apple ID and link all devices to this but WITHOUT storing the password), whereby you could aim to provide a similar experience to a bookable ICT suite, but at less money and without having to move kids around the building. This also makes the Head look good if you can support an initiative like that (whether or not they thought of it).

    Can you find out through which supplier the devices were ordered? Some will set them up in advance to your specification at no additional cost provided enough of a bulk order has been placed.

    Always on the PM if you need anything.

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    1) We have no knowledge of the protocols used by iPads and Macs (bonjour and mDNS are two thrown around)
    don't worry about them - they use tcp/ip too
    2) Our network is segregated into 8 subnets which means...
    a)Airprint doesn't work, so they can't find our printers, even the ones setup to fake being airprint printers
    Papercut has some good options here: webprint works for us.
    b)Airplay (is that the right name? whatever they use with apple tv anyway) doesn't work so they can't connect their ipads to their projectors
    We just put appletv devices into the same subnet as the wireless devices (stafff wi-fi)

    3)They (the staff) instantly expect a student to be able to pick one up, access their files, do some work, save it back to the network
    works for us. Google drive is the key. Sync the desktop files to google drive, install the app and hey presto. THis is for staff though. I can't see a way of them being multiuser.

    4)Buying and installing apps is soooo cumbersome
    yeah. An apple server can install them I think (colleague did that work so I'm not sure). Ultimately its departmental problem as far as I'm concerned.

    So all in all ipads have worked out fine for us with very few issues. We only gave them to 8 PE staff so it wasn't quite as epic as your dilema and I already stated to HT that we'd be happy to give students ipads - but they'd not be able to share them - one student -one device
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 13th June 2013 at 07:08 AM.

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    iPads are first of all, not multi user devices. Buying foldr is a massive strain off yourself in terms of support. Teachers can't get their head around; They are NOT PCs. They are simply not designed for enterprise work.

    A MDM is the second step to a good rollout, but key is proper wireless.

    Btw, I was in your shoes in terms of 'here's some iPads, make them work'. It took my a lot of research to make our rollout stable and robust.

    Any help on anything iPad related, PM me

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    Unless you get a mdm such as meraki or sccm l. You probably need to look at a rdp solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by free780 View Post
    Unless you get a mdm such as meraki or sccm l. You probably need to look at a rdp solution.
    Lightspeed MDM is on the same level as Meraki

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    don't worry about them - they use tcp/ip too


    Papercut has some good options here: webprint works for us.

    We just put appletv devices into the same subnet as the wireless devices (stafff wi-fi)


    works for us. Google drive is the key. Sync the desktop files to google drive, install the app and hey presto. THis is for staff though. I can't see a way of them being multiuser.


    yeah. An apple server can install them I think (colleague did that work so I'm not sure). Ultimately its departmental problem as far as I'm concerned.

    So all in all ipads have worked out fine for us with very few issues. We only gave them to 8 PE staff so it wasn't quite as epic as your dilema and I already stated to HT that we'd be happy to give students ipads - but they'd not be able to share them - one student -one device

    Papercut - We're well engrained into uniflow now, they have an airprint option, but all our printers are on their own vlan, so typically we can't see the printers from our other vlans, even the one that's setup to be an airprint printer. If i connect an ipad to the printers vlan it'll see them fine though.

    The managed wireless is on its own vlan currently, which is separate from what the wired devices are on, so this is where we have a problem again.

    Quote Originally Posted by free780 View Post
    Unless you get a mdm such as meraki or sccm l. You probably need to look at a rdp solution.
    I have an SCCM2012 SP1 server, how can i use this to manage iPads? Obviously the lightspeed MDM we're getting is built in to our agreement with SchoolsBroadband so we'll have it regardless, but i'd quite like to know what SCCM can do for us in this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by SovietRussia View Post
    iPads are first of all, not multi user devices. Buying foldr is a massive strain off yourself in terms of support. Teachers can't get their head around; They are NOT PCs. They are simply not designed for enterprise work.

    A MDM is the second step to a good rollout, but key is proper wireless.

    Btw, I was in your shoes in terms of 'here's some iPads, make them work'. It took my a lot of research to make our rollout stable and robust.

    Any help on anything iPad related, PM me
    This is my big problem, everyone wants to use them as multi-user devices, and i don't have the time to be bringing them back to our office in the trolley and unsupervising and resupervising them to clean them up every day (the only method i currently know of to keep them clean)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    I think there will be several people on this forum who can help you.

    We're currently going through our own tablet woes so I may be able to offer some assistance; if not, there are others who have already rolled out such setups who can offer better assistance.

    Do you have a wireless infrastructure that can support this? Hint: you cannot answer this question until you know exactly how these devices will be used in lessons to support learning, so it might be possible to attend Curriculum Group meetings (or whatever) to ascertain just how big of a challenge you face. It might feel insurmountable right now, but sometimes schools buy in these things without planning for their use properly in advance, which might be poor management but it does at least give you some extra time to set up the resources needed.

    Having an MDM is a distinct advantage and I'm aware of schools that rush into it similarly but without even some form of MDM solution to cover the basics. In a sense you've dodged a bullet there; it could be worse.

    One way to regulate mobile devices is to enforce a setup in which they can only get on RDP (or ICA, if you're rich enough) sessions to an existing remote access server. Decent client apps are available for this at a minimal cost (if you set up a single school Apple ID and link all devices to this but WITHOUT storing the password), whereby you could aim to provide a similar experience to a bookable ICT suite, but at less money and without having to move kids around the building. This also makes the Head look good if you can support an initiative like that (whether or not they thought of it).

    Can you find out through which supplier the devices were ordered? Some will set them up in advance to your specification at no additional cost provided enough of a bulk order has been placed.

    Always on the PM if you need anything.
    The wireless infrastrucutre is about to be put in place, the best way to set this up however is one we're probably going to have to trial and error. Like i said in the OP we were going to go for a 3 SSID solution where one is specific to the iPads, one is for internal devices using RADIUS for auth and one is a guest completely firewalled off from the rest. How i best setup the iPads part though is anyones guess....

    The list in the OP probably covers their requirements based on the "can we do this?" questions i've had over the past 3 months, when i asked what they wanted to be used for when they were purchased the head told me that he didn't know because he didn't know what we could do with them, and to talk to some apple expert that he'd spoken to.....typical purchuse first ask questions later sort of job :/

    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    Well worth giving Junction IT, Apple Education Consultant a call. Ross of this Parish is a magician with Macs. We had a so called expert in before who charged us £150 for his visited talked a load of baffling stuff and made absolutely no difference. Ross paid us a visit, stayed a morning and set our Mini Mac server up and configured loads of stuff so that even I can manage it now. Fair enough our set up is a baby compared to yours but I'm sure the modest fee they charge would be money well spent in your case as well.
    Thank you that may be our best course of action, the last person we tried to get in to help us ended up talking like a salesman, telling us all the things we "could" do and all the things we could buy...rather than actually helping us with our problems.

    EDIT: I wish i could have convinced them to buy Asus ME400C windows 8 tablets with 64gb storage and win 8 pro on them didn't even get the chance
    Last edited by mrbios; 13th June 2013 at 08:52 AM.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    We have no knowledge of the protocols used by iPads and Macs (bonjour and mDNS are two thrown around)
    AirPlay (what the iPad uses to mirror screen information to an AppleTV or a computer) is an extension of the RDP-based RTSP protocol - the Wikipedia page is a good place to start:

    AirPlay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    AirPlay is a point-to-point protocol, so we found that with the iPad and the AirPlay server on the same switch (i.e. with the iPad connected to a wireless access point attached to the same switch that the PC in the classroom running AirServer was attached to) then performance was good enough to get 4 or 5 iPads mirrored to the same PC at once. We aren't quite sure what will happen if we start to transmit AirPlay data all over the network, but for the most part we should be able to keep it contained within given sections.

    The problem, if I understand correctly, can potentially be with Bonjour. That's the broadcast protocol that AirPlay uses to annouce its services - an iPad needs to know an AirPlay server exists to be able to connect to it, so Bounjour has to sit on a machine and peridically do a broadcast to say that it has AirPlay facilities available. This, seemingly, can get out of hand if you have every teacher machine in the school doing Bonjour broadcasts the whole time, plus of course when someone goes to connect an iPad via AirPlay they get a list of every capable machine on the network. There's probably going to need to be some network configuration involved to limit traffic from given AirPlay-capable machines to given clients.

    Our network is segregated into 8 subnets which means...
    There's been a couple of threads on here recently about getting AirPlay traffic routed between vLANS - a search might turn up something, I'll have a look.

    Buying and installing apps is soooo cumbersome
    Actually, from looking at the Lightspeed MDM solution, managing the apps and other facilities available on iPads is quite easy - you can limit users from doing certain things, limit the apps they can use to just a given set, and you can have apps auto-install. The iPad switches to "school mode" when it's within range of your wireless network, and outside that the teacher or pupil can use the iPad how they wish. This, of course, rather assumes one-to-one iPad ownership of some kind - quite how this works in a shared situation I'm not sure. I've tried Lightspeed's MDM solution and it looks good, it did strike me as a bit pricy when Meraki's solution is free, though.

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    AirPlay (what the iPad uses to mirror screen information to an AppleTV or a computer) is an extension of the RDP-based RTSP protocol - the Wikipedia page is a good place to start:

    AirPlay - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    AirPlay is a point-to-point protocol, so we found that with the iPad and the AirPlay server on the same switch (i.e. with the iPad connected to a wireless access point attached to the same switch that the PC in the classroom running AirServer was attached to) then performance was good enough to get 4 or 5 iPads mirrored to the same PC at once. We aren't quite sure what will happen if we start to transmit AirPlay data all over the network, but for the most part we should be able to keep it contained within given sections.

    The problem, if I understand correctly, can potentially be with Bonjour. That's the broadcast protocol that AirPlay uses to annouce its services - an iPad needs to know an AirPlay server exists to be able to connect to it, so Bounjour has to sit on a machine and peridically do a broadcast to say that it has AirPlay facilities available. This, seemingly, can get out of hand if you have every teacher machine in the school doing Bonjour broadcasts the whole time, plus of course when someone goes to connect an iPad via AirPlay they get a list of every capable machine on the network. There's probably going to need to be some network configuration involved to limit traffic from given AirPlay-capable machines to given clients.



    There's been a couple of threads on here recently about getting AirPlay traffic routed between vLANS - a search might turn up something, I'll have a look.



    Actually, from looking at the Lightspeed MDM solution, managing the apps and other facilities available on iPads is quite easy - you can limit users from doing certain things, limit the apps they can use to just a given set, and you can have apps auto-install. The iPad switches to "school mode" when it's within range of your wireless network, and outside that the teacher or pupil can use the iPad how they wish. This, of course, rather assumes one-to-one iPad ownership of some kind - quite how this works in a shared situation I'm not sure. I've tried Lightspeed's MDM solution and it looks good, it did strike me as a bit pricy when Meraki's solution is free, though.
    Thanks dhicks that's some good info there. RE: the MDM, we haven't got it yet but it's built into our internet/filtering/firewall contract with schoolsbroadband for no additional cost, really looking forward to getting hold of it but sadly I'm playing the waiting game while we go through the motions of getting our internet setup.

    If i can get airplay traffic routed between vlans then we may be on to a winner there, i assume this would sovle half the problem with airprint as well?

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbios View Post
    RE: the MDM, we haven't got it yet but it's built into our internet/filtering/firewall contract with schoolsbroadband for no additional cost
    Good deal - we are paying for our Internet connection, plus we paid a one-off fee for the Lightspeed server, plus annual maintainance, and then MDM is a per-user fee on top of that.

    If i can get airplay traffic routed between vlans then we may be on to a winner there, i assume this would sovle half the problem with airprint as well?
    I think so, yes. We're upgrading our network hardware over the summer, and I'm going for HP 3800 core switches and 2920 edge switches - all of which support OpenFlow for Software Defined Networking. My plan is to use that to limit Bonjour traffic.

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    MDM: You have a small deployment, so you could go Meraki very easily and very quickly and for free as an interim before you get the lightspeed.

    I assume you have read the documents available at:
    Apple - Support - iPad - Enterprise


    For AirPlay /Bonjour/mDNS, Cisco have a guide for their systems - which would be a reasonable starting point. The secret source is Avahi on Unbuntu. I have not tried this, but a couple of independent wireless experts have both recommended this route to me.

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    I've just been speaking to someone about avahi, looks like it might do the trick and save us some hassle with configuring switches. If we can get everything running essentially through a proxy that would be wonderful and a solution i would be happy with, going to start taking a look at it now

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Good deal - we are paying for our Internet connection, plus we paid a one-off fee for the Lightspeed server, plus annual maintainance, and then MDM is a per-user fee on top of that.
    Very impressed with the price we got from SchoolsBroadband, it includes a fortinet firewall, lightspeed filter, my big campus vle and MDM licenses, as well as the 100mb internet connection for what i think was £12-13k if i remember rightly. Not bad considering every other company wanted at least that for the internet connection alone! Should be quite an improvement over SWGfL and their dire filtering
    Last edited by mrbios; 13th June 2013 at 11:25 AM.

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    I currently have 48 iPads deployed and find I'm permanently tinkering and tweaking. There is always an app or something that will never play nice or a workaround for something very apple specific.

    Feel free to drop me a PM if you need some specific help.

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