Decommissioning Day

So the varsity vacations are after all right here and each sysadmin is aware of that that implies you’ll get started ripping issues aside with overall abandon. It is the happiest day of the 12 months!

This 12 months, I’ve a lot of jobs to do since its refresh 12 months. The primary process is to decommission all the previous units.

As a part of the hand-in this 12 months, I intentionally made positive the entire pupils had grew to become off In finding my iPad in an effort to disable the Activation Lock. This most commonly labored and just a few nonetheless had it enabled.

Subsequent, I made up our minds to unsupervise them from Apple Configurator. I had a lot of reasonably huge USB hubs so I attached them unexpectedly and plugged in about 30 iPads. Configurator (we’re nonetheless on 1.8 at this level) promptly fell over.

So I unsupervised them in smaller batches till all have been achieved. One of the most large issues at this level is that you are operating with previous Lightning cables, a few of which would possibly no longer paintings completely. A variety of occasional random screw ups.

Anyway, I were given that achieved and it proved that all the set used to be now not activation locked and have been erased. I discovered a couple of units that claimed to be supervised however Configurator may just no longer see them. I believe this dates again to the insects we encountered within the iOS 7 transition the place some units misplaced their supervision identities, however I did not stay an in depth report of that point so cannot be positive.

Consequently, I stopped up forcibly restoring about six units. No large deal.

El Capitan

Subsequent step used to be to improve the Configurator gadget from Yosemite and Configurator 1.8 to El Capitan and Configurator 2. At this level, a number of iPads have been at the back of of their model of iOS. I left them that method as a result of I figured that Configurator 2 would possibly do a greater activity of upgrading more than one units without delay.

Sadly, at this level, the Mac made up our minds to throw its disk. Cue a 2+ hour rebuilding procedure which used to be tedious however uneventful.

Thankfully, Configurator 2 used to be a lot better at dealing with more than one units without delay. I used to be then ready to replace 25 or so iPads without delay with out factor. Bradley and I’ve given Apple Configurator a difficult time at the podcast through the years however AC2 is surely a lot, a lot better than model 1.


Subsequent factor I did used to be arrange a brand new MDM. We now have used Casper Suite for years now and I imagine it the only non-negotiable factor about my iPad deployment apply. I in truth could not reside with out it.

Our earlier Casper example predates the discharge of VPP Controlled Distribution in the United Kingdom so it had a large number of cruft in it about coupon codes and such. Between that and the upward push of Apple Faculty Supervisor, I made up our minds that it used to be well worth the effort to arrange a brand new MDM.

We host our MDM on Amazon EC2, so it used to be simple to throw up a brand new digital gadget and set up Casper.

Within the previous MDM, I revoked the entire apps from the entire customers. The fastest method to try this is to delete your VPP token from Settings > World Control > VPP Accounts. This routinely revokes each VPP license you’ve gotten assigned.

I re-uploaded the brand new VPP token to the brand new MDM server and as soon as all of it synced up, I had all my app licenses within the new server.

App Deployment

Within the early days of VPP, you needed to assign each and every app to a person Apple ID. Since iOS 9, you’ll assign to a tool as an alternative of a consumer. This appears to be a greater way for varsity 1:1 eventualities. In my analysis in class, I came upon that just about no pupils ever put in a school-provided app on a non-public iOS software.

Software Project lets you push an app immediately to a tool and pull it again at will. Apple ID task infrequently labored and infrequently did not relying on more than a few elements.

Consequently, we’re transferring to software task for all pupil units within the subsequent deployment.

We also are switching to the Casper cell app for get entry to to self provider. In the past, Casper’s Self Carrier used to be a internet clip. The local app, in addition to being quicker and extra responsive additionally permits directors to ship push notifications to all or some iPads with the app put in.

Every other factor we’re doing this deployment is making extra use of non-compulsory installs of apps. There are a definite set of apps we need to be all over always – iTunes U, Google Force, Pages, Notability – and different apps that we’ve got sufficient licenses for to make to be had to everybody however which everybody would possibly no longer want. Those 2d types of apps are going into Self Carrier and pupils can pull them onto their units as required.

As we begin to transfer against Controlled Apple IDs, we will be able to be leaning extra on non-compulsory installs via Self Carrier. It is because Controlled Apple IDs can’t purchase apps immediately, so the entirety has to come back during the MDM.

This in reality supplies an extra get advantages in that you’ll deploy apps with any age score. In the past, we had allowed scholars unfastened get entry to to the App Retailer, matter to a 12+ age score. This posed an issue when positive apps we needed to deploy have been rated 17+, akin to Amazon Workspaces. By means of the similar token, there have been some apps that we surely did not need that have been rated under 12+ (Hello, Snapchat!) Now, with Software Project and Controlled Apple IDs, we will be able to deploy handiest the apps we would like irrespective of age score.

Every other query, regardless that, is whether or not you even actually want Controlled Apple IDs. So far as I will see, you handiest actually get two advantages from having a Controlled Apple ID over simply, smartly, no longer having an Apple ID in any respect.

At first, you’ll subscribe to iTunes U classes. That is clearly essential for secondary faculties however a lot much less necessary for number one faculties.

Secondly, you get iCloud garage for backup and different makes use of. At the moment, Controlled Apple IDs are nonetheless restricted to the similar relatively stingy 5GB that client Apple IDs are restricted to. In an international the place Google are throwing limitless unfastened garage at faculties, that is beginning to really feel like an actual pinch. In a Shared iPad international the place you might be anticipating so that you could offload a pupil’s whole knowledge load to iCloud, I will’t see how 5GB is sustainable.

Nonetheless, if you happen to don’t seem to be the use of Shared iPad and you’ve got sufficient enjoy to understand that catastrophic screw ups are very uncommon, possibly you don’t want iCloud garage.

Nonetheless, those are early days in our redeployment. There may be surely extra paintings to do!

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