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Solving BYOD Challenges with Windows Server 2012 R2

Latest release offers Workplace Join, Work Folders and more for BYOD!

These days, users are growing more and more accustomed to expecting that they can accomplish productive work from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. As a result, IT professionals are increasingly faced with the challenge of balancing convenience with security, in an effort to provide users with the necessary remote access to corporate applications and data being demanded. In the "old days", organizations could easily restrict access to internal business data to only corporate-managed Active Directory Domain-Joined PCs, but this is fast becoming an outdated mode of operation.

Scuba Diver Texting
Extreme Mobility? Yes ... And, perhaps also your next CXO!

To help organizations in addressing the growing trends and pressures around IT consumerization, Windows Server 2012 R2 includes several new capabilities that can be incrementally added to an existing network environment to support secure access and management of BYOD devices. These technologies include:

  • Workplace Join - provides remote users with the ability to easily and securely "join" their devices to an Active Directory environment via only an Internet connection. IT teams can use conditional access policies to determine the specific corporate applications and services that are accessible via Workplace Joined devices, and users can "opt-in" to also permit their Workplace Joined devices to be managed by corporate IT via Windows Intune for application installation and updates. BYOD devices capable of Workplace Join currently include any edition of Windows 8.1 as well as Apple iOS mobile devices.
  • Web Application Proxy - offers IT Teams the ability to proxy internal web-based line-of-business (LOB) applications for remote access, with the ability to differentiate between varying classes of devices, including non-joined devices, Workplace Joined devices, and traditional Domain Joined devices.
  • Work Folders - supports a new Internet-friendly "Sync Share" protocol for remotely synchronizing traditional shared folders on corporate file servers to mobile devices for disconnected access. IT Teams can determine granular levels of access and define policies that require the synchronized data to be stored in an encrypted container on remote devices. Data-level "remote wipe" capabilities are provided for IT Teams to be able to destroy corporate data on remote devices, when necessary, without disrupting personal data and applications on those devices. Work Folders is currently supported on Windows 8.1 devices, with additional support expected soon for Windows 7 and Apple iOS client devices.

Want to learn more?
Get started with the resources below to begin learning more about these new BYOD management capabilities in Windows Server 2012 R2 ...

More Stories By Keith Mayer

Keith Mayer is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 17 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the design and implementation of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

Keith is the author of the IT Pros ROCK! Blog on Microsoft TechNet, voted as one of the Top 50 "Must Read" IT Blogs.

Keith also manages the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge - a FREE online study group for IT Pros interested in studying and preparing for certification on Windows Server 2012. Join us and become the next "Early Expert"!

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