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Take Control of OS X Server, Chapter 9: Mobile Device Management

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This article is a pre-release chapter in the upcoming “Take Control of OS X Server,” by Charles Edge, scheduled for public release later in 2014. Apart from Chapter 1: Introducing OS X Server, and Chapter 2: Choosing Server Hardware, these chapters are available only to TidBITS members; see “Take Control of OS X Server” Streaming in TidBITS for details.


Mobile Device Management

From the enterprise angle, a significant feature of OS X Server is mobile device management or MDM, that is, software and services that make it easy for a system administrator to configure numerous devices—iPads, iPhones, and even Macs—with consistent settings and policies. With MDM, an administrator can manage these devices by deploying apps, wiping lost devices, unlocking devices when passcodes are forgotten (yes, it happens), and more.

It may be easy to set up a single iPad as you desire, but setting up 25 classroom iPads manually with the same settings might cause insanity. And you don’t even want to contemplate manual configuration of 5,000 iPads for a large business.

Profile Manager is an MDM tool built into OS X Server that’s designed to simplify the task of managing a fleet of Apple devices in a wide variety of ways. It works with iOS devices running iOS 5 and higher, and with Macs running OS X 10.7 Lion and later.

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