As businesses expand, IT staffs often do not. When more and more people are added to the company, you will need a way to manage everyone’s devices. Whether you have corporate secrets to protect, a BYOD policy to enforce, or you just want people to stop asking you for the Wi-Fi password, mobile device management is becoming a bigger part of day to day operations. Today, VMware is proud to announce the addition of a new product, Airwatch Express!
Airwatch Express is the MDM-as-a-service offering that allows companies to manage mobile devices without going through a major investment in time or resources. At only $2.50/month/device, this offering allows a 100% cloud based management of devices that comes in at almost half the current pricing.
So what do you get in this offering. Well first, it’s 100% cloud based. No need to install and setup a solution on premises. Administrators manage devices by creating blueprints (similar to vRealize Automation). The cloud based portal walks them through 7 steps including the type of devices they want to configure, what applications are required to be installed or need to be blocked (yes you can block things like youtube), as well as mail, Wi-Fi, and encryption settings. You then assign these blueprints to your users (by either creating them in the website or using the active directory connector plugin). It couldn’t be any simpler.
As someone who has worked for a startup that had a single digit sized IT team, yet was hiring 10 new employees a week, this is a great offering to get the job done and not stress out the IT staff. While Airwatch Express might not be the most feature rich offering (it is designed as an entry level product), buyers can upgrade to other versions of Airwatch that might suit their needs better.
About 2 weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a private beta of a new platform Oxygen Cloud is releasing today. This new product, called the Oxygen Storage Connector allows you to use your own local storage for your oxygen cloud account.
Installation of the Storage Connector was very simple and straight forward. You just run the setup program on the windows server you want to use. Once this is done, you login through the web interface and point the system to the folder you want to use for your storage. You can install this inside a virtual machine, or do like I did and put it on my home NAS server that runs windows server 2008 R2. Just remember that you can’t install this on a computer running the oxygen cloud client as well. More information on the setup process (and a download link) can be found here.
Once the setup is all done, you can then connect to the Oxygen Cloud website and inspect your cloud storage. I immediately provisioned out 250GB for oxygen cloud and then went back to check the used space on my windows server. To my surprise, my usage was only a couple of megabytes. This means that it is setup as thin provisioning and won’t eat up all your storage right away. The files inside the storage appear to be broken up into 513k chunks and it is not discernable (to the naked eye) what is stored there.
Usage of the Storage Connector is simple too. Inside my “O” drive, is a new folder in which anything placed there is will be put on my new private cloud. If your windows server is up and running, you will be able to sync new files to this storage space. It really is just that simple and Oxygen Cloud has now given you the ability to use your personal storage with the oxygen cloud interface.
A couple of reasons why I like this product:
- This is the first I’ve seen of a company offering a solution to host your own cloud storage with their public product.
- This will help ease the mind of people who have concerns with keeping their data out in public or hybrid cloud as now you can control the security of the data-at-rest.
- This allows you to get more than 5gb from your cloud storage (at the expense of using your own bandwidth)
I’d also like to see a couple of things come from this in the future of this product:
- Detect users that are on a LAN (or WAN) connection to the storage so that the traffic doesn’t need to go out to the internet to sync. This will allow near instant syncing when a customer is using oxygen cloud at the workplace.
- Allow multiple instances of the cloud connector setup under the same storage profile so that data is backed up to multiple sites for HA and DR solutions.
- Offer setups for MACs and Linux machines or create a virtual appliance that can have storage provisioned directly to it.
All in all I see great work here and you can download the Oxygen Storage Connector for windows here.