Dell KACE Tackles BYOD

New appliance provides Mobile Device Management, so (in theory) businesses can now handle the blizzard of employee-owned handhelds. 

Dell's KACE division has always been in the business of managing IT deployments and updates, though until now the focus was not on mobile. Dell announced today the new K3000 Mobile Management Appliance which extends the KACE portfolio for mobile devices and the new world of Bring Your Own Device.

Dell acquired KACE back in 2010. The core KACE product has remained the K1000 Management appliance, which is geared toward traditional IT desktop and laptop infrastructure. The K1000 is able to manage and deploy updates to endpoints in an effort to keep an enterprise secure.

The new K3000 supplements the K1000 with mobile capabilities. At the core of the K3000 hardware is the open source Linux operating system on which the KACE management system runs.

"Even though BYOD is the driving trend to implement Mobile Device Management solutions, the K3000 supports both corporate-owned and employee-owned devices," Saranya Babu, Senior Marketing Manager at Dell, KACE explained to Datamation.

For corporate-owned devices, the K3000 can be used to configure and deploy applications to devices as well as apply IT security policy. When an employee leaves a company, the device can be reset and sensitive data can be wiped from the device, allowing the device to be re-provisioned. For employee-owned devices, the K3000 can be used to protect confidential business content. Babu explained that the K3000 enables employees to access business content and it helps to track security policy adherence.

"There are some limitations that we have an on employee-owned devices, given that the users' personal data is also on the device," Babu said. "We can send an alert notification to the employee device if the user violates the corporate policy."

Protocols

The K3000 can manage both Apple iOS and Google Android devices using a pair of standard protocols.

For Android, KACE leverages the Google Cloud Messaging for Android (GCM) service to enable mobile device management. On iOS, Dell KACE uses the Apple Push Notification Service (APNS).

"In order to get corporate access you need to enroll the device with the K3000," Babu explained. "Once you enroll the device, an agent is pushed out to the device."

With the agent in place, the K3000 administrator can have visibility into all of the managed applications that are on the device.

The market for Mobile Device Management (MDM) is one that is now undergoing some change. Last week, Citrix acquired MDM vendor Zenprise in a bid to deliver full mobile BYOD application delivery.

While mobile device management has been somewhat of a standalone technology so far, the Dell KACE view is that mobile management will merge with traditional IT management of desktops and laptops.

"Ultimately we see a single organization managing all devices," Babu said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.




Tags: Dell, mobile device management, MDM, BYOD


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