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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Centralized Management of iPads

yubb writes: I work with many school districts where Windows is only server and desktop OS in sight. We build networks this way so we have a centralized place for deploying apps, applying security policies and for ease of management.

With the release of the iPad, everyone suddenly realized that they needed tablets. With this "realization" comes another layer of management. I just lost all of the tools I had previously used to manage the network and its devices. There is LDAP integration for iPad, but it seems limited to mail/contacts. Without LDAP integration I lose the ability to easily give users access to their network shares and other network resources.

Another major hurdle is authenticating the iPad users with our content filter so they get the same policies as they're accustomed to on their desktop. Our content filter utilizes Active Directory and since the iPads don't login to AD, they don't get the right filtering policy.

The administrators in the school districts seem set on the iPad and not really open to any alternatives like the Archos netbook/tablet: http://www.archos.com/products/nb/archos_9/index.html?country=us&lang=en Although they claim that they want to explore the iPad because it will revolutionize education, not being open to other options seems to indicate otherwise. It seems Apple's slick advertising and the public wanting the next new thing is playing a part here as well. But for something to be able to work well for the end user it needs to be easily manageable from the IT staff side, which is why I would prefer a Windows-based tablet (remember, we're an all-Windows network).

Is there anything I can do to alleviate this management nightmare? My belief is that a Windows-based tablet is the best answer; however, I'm not so sure I'll be able to convince the decision-makers of that.
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Ask Slashdot: Centralized Management of iPads

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