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Q&A with Ron Barrett: App Management in the Cloud

With the proliferation of different device types, managing applications in the cloud promises to simplify the management of those apps. Microsoft offers various cloud options for doing so, including System Center Configuration Manager 2012, Windows Intune and Windows Azure. Ron Barrett, a technical architect at Gotham Technology Group LLC and an upcoming sessions speaker at this year's Live!360, knows how to use each of these offerings to support the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement that's reshaping IT and takes some time to share some of his wisdom.

Q: Windows Intune sounds like it will be a key way IT manages Windows RT devices. Is this a good thing?
A:
In the BYOD era we live in, Windows Intune paired with Configuration Manager 2012 is definitely the way to go to manage not only Windows RT devices but any device a user wants to attach to the corporate network in some way.

Q: How does it work?
A:
Windows Intune is a subscription-based, cloud-based security, systems management and Windows upgrade platform all rolled into one. Because Windows Intune uses Active Directory Domain Services and Microsoft Online Services Directory to synchronize user accounts and security groups -- and integrates with Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync -- IT has the ability to upgrade, manage and patch devices that aren't directly connected to the corporate infrastructure.

Q: Can Windows Intune also manage Windows 8?
A:
Windows upgrades are included in the subscription, so Windows Intune will both provide the upgrade to Windows 8 and allow you to manage that system as well.

Q: That said, is this a good way to go?
A:
For the small to midsize business that struggles with the manpower and budget to implement a full systems-management solution like Configuration Manager, Windows Intune is the way to go. But the midsize- to enterprise-level customer can also reap benefits. Using Windows Intune, Configuration Manager 2012 and Windows Azure together can allow you to not only securely manage remote devices -- the ActiveSync technology also allows you to manage any device, corporate or private. With more and more personal devices coming into the workplace and storing corporate data on them, Windows Intune can be a great tool to manage and protect data while keeping people productive remotely.

Q: What's cool about Windows Intune?
A:
Coming with Configuration Manager SP1, Windows Intune will be able to deliver Windows 8 apps via the app store and a method called deep linking, which I'll explain in my session. Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson explained this delivery model at the Microsoft Management Summit 2012 in Las Vegas this year. It doesn't stop there. Microsoft is looking to use Configuration Manager 2012 and Windows Intune to deliver apps to users on any device -- Android or iOS, whatever, wherever! That's not only the coolest thing about Windows Intune -- it's perhaps the coolest thing I can think of going on in the systems management space.

If heading out to Orlando for this year's Live! 360 event in December, make sure to catch Ron's workshop, "Configuration Manager 2012 and Windows Intune: Taking Application Management to the Cloud."

Posted by Doug Barney on 10/17/2012 at 1:19 PM


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