Join Sean Colins for an in-depth discussion in this video Device storage needs, part of Foundations of Mobile Device Management.
- [Instructor] You may not think of MDM and device storage being closely tied, and in may cases, you'd be right about that. That being said, there are specific technologies that can be enabled by mobile device management on devices that require those devices to have a certain amount of storage or the feature will not be possible. A perfect example of this is Apple's new Shared iPad feature. For education deployments, iPads can be enrolled into Apple School Manager, so that the iPads are directed during startup to associate with a mobile device management server.
If that MDM server has been used to configure the device record for the iPad to setup the shared iPad capability, that iPad will be configured immediately during the setup assistant to support the new shared iPad features. Part of that setup is to partition the storage of the iPad into slices or segments. Each one dedicated to a unique user space intended for the individual students who will log into that iPad with their managed Apple ID. Apple uses the example of six unique user spaces in most of their documentation and presentations, but I think that seven, or even eight, is a better number if you imagine a middle school where iPads are deployed in a cart for a specific classroom.
Let's say science. You can imagine that from periods one through eight, from 7:00 in the morning until 3:00 in the afternoon, different students cycle through that science classroom, and if they are assigned a specific iPad, each student in each class can pick that iPad up, login with their unique managed Apple ID and password, and have access to a user environment with only their documents. If you've ever shared an iOS device, you immediately recognize the utility of this.
By having a unique environment to login to, each student will only see their own documents and settings. One student will never see another student's work. Because this has iCloud Drive in the backend, if a user has Pages or Keynote, or Numbers documents in use on that iPad, when they log out, those documents are uploaded to iCloud and can then be accessed via a web browser, or a different shared iPad in the same Apple School Manager and MDM-enabled environment.
If the iPads don't go home with the students at the end of the day, they can get work done from home via iCloud Drive and a web browser from just about anywhere with an internet connection. This unique user environment capability was introduced in iOS 9.3. All major mobile device management solutions now support this feature. I mentioned that they support this feature because as it turns out, the mobile device management server is the technology that actually tells the iPad to become a Shared iPad. So if you want to use the Shared iPad capabilities, you'll need to enroll your device in Apple School Manager, and you'll need to have a mobile device management solution that supports activating Shared iPad.
Storage is a very big deal here, because limitations on storage are the whole reason why we need to be careful as administrators with the number of slices we choose to configure for the iPads via our MDM. If a device runs out of available user slots because the same number of users has logged in as there are slots available, then the oldest user on the device will be erased, and replaced with the new user account that is trying to login. This cycle will continue going on forever if users constantly exceed the number of partitions you setup initially.
It is important to setup identical numbers of user spaces or partitions, as the number of students you expect to use the iPad in any given day. This will minimize the amount of partition erasure and re-downloading of new user environments as much as possible. Apple has run the numbers, and they know that only a 64 gig iPad or larger would be enough space to provide enough slots for unique user environments to handle a typical cart deployment model in a school where kids are going through classes as frequently as six to eight times per day.
For that reason, Shared iPad is only available if the devices are 64 gig models or greater. On other devices, storage requirements aren't as critical as they are on iPads. Even iPads that won't be configured in the above-mentioned shared configuration contain a rich environment filled with multimedia opportunities that depend heavily on local storage. With its onboard camera and microphone, and it's built-in iMovie and Garage Band applications, iPads are expected to be used to create lots of rich media.
This is something that is not as expected of devices from other companies, though vendors like Microsoft are making great strides towards capturing more of that creative market, so you should seriously consider acquiring Windows devices with larger storage capacities to accommodate that growth direction.
Dig into how MDM works on company-owned devices and in one-to-one, BYOD, and shared models. Learn how to enroll devices and manage profiles, and deploy applications to Apple, Android, and Windows devices without user involvement. Explore "over the air" management, security and control best practices, and storage planning. Sean also describes how to remotely wipe and unlock mobile devices, and set important restrictions. Finally, Sean will preview a number of the MDM vendors, including ZuluDesk and AirWatch, so you can choose the right solution for your organization.
- Introducing MDM principles
- Device storage needs
- Device control and unlocking
- Device supervision
- Using MDM to enhance security
- Working with the Apple Volume Purchase Program
- Using apps on Windows devices
- Deploying MDM on Google platforms
- Shopping for an MDM vendor