Building your BYOD ecosystem

 

For the majority of employees and executives, BYOD is about the experience of bringing their lifestyle to work. However, if you’re an IT manager who has to provide solutions for all the devices now entering the network, BYOD can rapidly turn to a management and security headache. 
The reality is that if there is less to manage at the endpoint, there is more to manage at the datacentre. For IT, there are a number of key elements to keep in mind including device security, secure connectivity, policy management and data security. There is no single all-encompassing BYOD datacentre product, rather BYOD must be architected through a cross-section of hardware and software vendors – and this ecosystem of interoperability is the key to a successful enterprise BYOD strategy.

At the Datacentre
At the bottom of the visual stack is storage. Storage is often an afterthought and only really considered once the data quantity is known, that is, how many terabytes of storage are needed?. However, having an agile data infrastructure can be one of the biggest enablers to provision new BYOD services to end users, including facilitating new application support, file sharing in the private cloud, backup and restore of device data, and standard-operating-environment management. NetApp offers agile data infrastructure solutions via its FAS portfolio of products.

The next biggest enabler for BYOD infrastructure is the network. With so many ways to access corporate data, network and security are tightly coupled. Cisco offers a range of datacenter networking solutions, such as Nexus, Catalyst, MDS, Integrated Service Routers (ISRs), Wireless LAN Controllers, and much more. For security, Cisco offers Adaptive Security Appliance, AnyConnect for secure VPN connectivity, Identity Service Engine and much more.
NetApp and Cisco have teamed together to offer a pre-validated server-network-storage architecture – FlexPod. FlexPod is a pre-validated, pre-tested datacenter platform that can scale up or out. It can be optimised for a variety of mixed workloads in both virtualised and non-virtualised environments.

When choosing partners for virtualisation and security, the key to lowering your total cost of ownership is ensuring your chosen vendors demonstrate interoperability with your datacentre platform. VMware, Citrix and Microsoft all have strong server and application virtualisation technologies, with the industry leaders in desktop virtualisation being Citrix and VMware. Cisco and Citrix have a range of industry leading security and access control solutions.

At the End Point
At the end point, the user is usually the main decision maker. Most end users will have all three types of devices – a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone – each serving a different purpose in the workday. However, irrespective of the device hardware, operating system, or its purpose, it must be able to connect to the network quickly and simply. At the end point, the speed of connectivity can make or break the user experience, making an ecosystem of strong network connectivity suppliers key. Endpoint security is another major area of concern – security of enterprise applications and enterprise data. Mobile Iron has some great solutions here.

Summary
BYOD is not just about management of the devices connecting into your network. It is about a complete experience for the end user, as well as delivering operational scalability to IT to enable the business. The choices you make in the datacentre are key to delivering enduser flexibility, operational scalability and business agility. It is best to partner with a mature systems integrator to implement a comprehensive and secure BYOD strategy and solution.