Deploying iPhone and iPad Mobile Device Management

Deploying iPhone and iPad
Mobile Device Management
iOS supports Mobile Device Management (MDM), giving businesses the ability to
manage scaled deployments of iPhone and iPad across their organisations. These
MDM capabilities are built upon existing iOS technologies like Configuration Profiles,
Over-the-Air Enrolment and the Apple Push Notification service, and can be integrated
with in-house or third-party server solutions. This gives IT departments the ability to
securely enrol iPhone and iPad in an enterprise environment, wirelessly configure and
update settings, monitor compliance with corporate policies and even remotely wipe or
lock managed devices.
Managing iPhone and iPad
Management of iOS devices takes place via a connection to a Mobile Device
Management server. This server can be built in-house by IT or purchased from a
third-party solution provider. The device communicates with the server to see if there
are tasks pending and responds with the appropriate actions. These tasks can include
updating policies, providing requested device or network information, or removing
settings and data.
Most management functions are completed behind the scenes with no user
interaction required. For example, if an IT department updates its VPN infrastructure,
the MDM server can configure iPhone and iPad with new account information over
the air. The next time VPN is used by the employee, the appropriate configuration
is already in place, so the employee doesn’t need to call the help desk or manually
modify settings.
Apple Push
Notification Service
Third-Party MDM Server
MDM and the Apple Push Notification Service
When an MDM server wants to communicate with iPhone or iPad, a silent notification
is sent to the device via the Apple Push Notification service, prompting it to check
in with the server. The process of notifying the device does not send any proprietary
information to or from the Apple Push Notification service. The only task performed
by the push notification is to wake the device so it checks in with the MDM server.
All configuration information, settings and queries are sent directly from the server
to the iOS device over an encrypted SSL/TLS connection between the device and the
MDM server. iOS handles all MDM requests and actions in the background to limit the
impact on the user experience, including battery life, performance and reliability.
iOS and SCEP
iOS supports the Simple Certificate Enrolment
Protocol (SCEP). SCEP is an Internet draft in the
IETF, and is designed to provide a simplified
way of handling certificate distribution for
large-scale deployments. This enables over-theair enrolment of identity certificates to iPhone
and iPad that can be used for authentication to
corporate services.
In order for the push notification server to recognise commands from the MDM server,
a certificate must first be installed on the server. This certificate must be requested and
downloaded from the Apple Push Certificates Portal. Once the Apple Push Notification
certificate is uploaded into the MDM server, devices can begin to be enrolled. For more
information on requesting an Apple Push Notification certificate for MDM, visit
Apple Push Notification network setup
When MDM servers and iOS devices are behind a firewall, some network configuration
may need to take place in order for the MDM service to function properly. To send
notifications from an MDM server to Apple Push Notification service, TCP port 2195
needs to be open. To reach the feedback service, TCP port 2196 will need to be open
as well. For devices connecting to the push service over Wi-Fi, TCP port 5223 should
be open.
The IP address range for the push service is subject to change; the expectation is
that an MDM server will connect by hostname rather than by IP address. The push
service uses a load-balancing scheme that yields a different IP address for the same
hostname. This hostname is (and gateway.sandbox.push. for the development push notification environment). Additionally, the
entire address block is assigned to Apple so firewall rules can be established
to specify that range.
For more information, consult your MDM vendor or view Developer Technical
Note TN2265 in the iOS Developer Library at
Once the Mobile Device Management server and network are configured, the first
step in managing an iPhone or iPad is to enrol it with an MDM server. This creates
a relationship between the device and the server, allowing it to be managed on
demand without further user interaction.
This can be done by connecting iPhone or iPad to a computer via USB, but most
solutions deliver the enrolment profile wirelessly. Some MDM vendors use an app
to kick-start this process, others initiate enrolment by directing users to a web portal.
Each method has its benefits, and both are used to trigger the Over-the-Air Enrolment
process via Safari.
Enrolment process overview
The process of Over-the-Air Enrolment involves phases that are combined in an
automated workflow to provide the most scalable way to securely enrol devices
in an enterprise environment. These phases include:
1. User authentication
User authentication ensures that incoming enrolment requests are from authorised
users and that the user’s device information is captured prior to proceeding with
certificate enrolment. Administrators can prompt the user to begin the process of
enrolment via a web portal, email, SMS message or even an app.
2. Certificate enrolment
After the user is authenticated, iOS generates a certificate enrolment request
using the Simple Certificate Enrolment Protocol (SCEP). This enrolment request
communicates directly to the enterprise Certificate Authority (CA), and enables
iPhone and iPad to receive the identity certificate from the CA in response.
3. Device configuration
Once an identity certificate is installed, the device can receive encrypted
configuration information over the air. This information can only be installed on
the device it is intended for and contains the settings needed to connect to the
MDM server.
At the end of the enrolment process, the user will be presented with an installation
screen that describes what access rights the MDM server will have on the device.
By agreeing to the profile installation, the user’s device is automatically enrolled
without further interaction.
Once iPhone and iPad are enrolled as managed devices, they can be dynamically
configured with settings, queried for information or remotely wiped by the
MDM server.
To configure a device with accounts, policies and restrictions, the MDM server sends
files known as Configuration Profiles to the device that are installed automatically.
Configuration Profiles are XML files that contain settings that permit the device
to work with your enterprise systems, including account information, passcode
policies, restrictions and other device settings. When combined with the previously
discussed process of enrolment, device configuration provides IT with assurance
that only trusted users are accessing corporate services, and that their devices are
properly configured with established policies.
And because Configuration Profiles can be signed and encrypted, the settings
cannot be altered or shared with others.
Supported configurable settings
• Exchange ActiveSync
• IMAP/POP Email
• Wi-Fi
• CardDAV
• CalDAV
• Subscribed calendars
Passcode policies
• Require passcode on device
• Allow simple value
• Require alphanumeric value
• Minimum passcode length
• Minimum number of complex characters
• Maximum passcode age
• Time before auto-lock
• Passcode history
• Grace period for device lock
• Maximum number of failed attempts
Security and privacy
• Allow diagnostic data to be sent to Apple
• Allow user to accept untrusted certificates
• Force encrypted backups
Other settings
• Credentials
• Web clips
• SCEP settings
• APN settings
Device functionality
• Allow installing apps
• Allow Siri
• Allow use of camera
• Allow FaceTime
• Allow screen capture
• Allow automatic syncing while roaming
• Allow voice dialling
• Allow In-App Purchase
• Require store password for all purchases
• Allow multiplayer gaming
• Allow adding Game Center friends
• Allow use of YouTube
• Allow use of iTunes Store
• Allow use of Safari
• Set Safari security preferences
• Allow backup
• Allow document sync and key-value sync
• Allow Photo Stream
Content ratings
• Allow explicit music and podcasts
• Set ratings region
• Set allowed content ratings
Querying Devices
In addition to configuration, an MDM server has the ability to query devices for a
variety of information. This information can be used to ensure that devices continue to
comply with required policies.
Supported queries
Device information
• Unique Device Identifier (UDID)
• Device name
• iOS and build version
• Model name and number
• Serial number
• Capacity and space available
• Modem firmware
• Battery level
Network information
• Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi MAC addresses
• Current carrier network
• Subscriber carrier network
• Carrier settings version
• Phone number
• Data roaming setting (on/off)
Compliance and security information
• Configuration Profiles installed
• Certificates installed with expiry dates
• List all restrictions enforced
• Hardware encryption capability
• Passcode present
• Applications installed (app ID, name,
version, size and app data size)
• Provisioning Profiles installed with
expiry dates
With Mobile Device Management, there are a number of functions an MDM server
can perform on iOS devices. These tasks include installing and removing Configuration
and Provisioning Profiles, managing apps, ending the MDM relationship and remotely
wiping a device.
Managed settings
During the initial process of configuring a device, an MDM server pushes Configuration
Profiles to iPhone and iPad that are installed behind the scenes. Over time, the settings
and policies put in place at the time of enrolment may need to be updated or
changed. To make these changes, an MDM server can install new Configuration Profiles
and modify or remove existing profiles at any time. Additionally, context-specific
configurations may need to be installed on iOS devices, depending on a user’s location
or role in the organisation. As an example, if a user is travelling internationally, an MDM
server can require that mail accounts sync manually instead of automatically. An MDM
server can even remotely disable voice or data services in order to prevent a user from
incurring roaming fees from a wireless provider.
Managed apps
An MDM server can manage third-party apps from the App Store, as well as enterprise
in-house applications. The server can remove managed apps and their associated
data on demand or specify whether the apps are removed when the MDM profile is
removed. Additionally, the MDM server can prevent managed app data from being
backed up to iTunes and iCloud.
To install a managed app, the MDM server sends an installation command to the
user’s device. Managed apps require a user’s acceptance before they are installed.
When an MDM server requests the installation of a managed app from the App Store,
the app will be redeemed with the iTunes account that is used at the time the app
is installed. Paid apps will require the MDM server to send a Volume Purchasing
Programme (VPP) redemption code. For more information on VPP, visit
com/business/vpp/. Apps from the App Store cannot be installed on a user’s device
if the App Store has been disabled.
Removing or wiping devices
If a device is found to be out of policy, lost or stolen, or if an employee leaves the
company, an MDM server can take action to protect corporate information in a
number of ways.
An IT administrator can end the MDM relationship with a device by removing
the Configuration Profile that contains the MDM server information. In doing so,
all the accounts, settings and apps it was responsible for installing are removed.
Alternatively, IT can keep the MDM Configuration Profile in place and use MDM only
to remove the specific Configuration Profiles, Provisioning Profiles and managed
apps they want to delete. This approach keeps the device managed by MDM and
eliminates the need to re-enrol once it is back within policy.
Both methods give IT the ability to ensure information is only available to compliant
users and devices, and ensures corporate data is removed without interfering with a
user’s personal data such as music, photos or personal apps.
To permanently delete all media and data on the device and restore it to factory
settings, MDM can remotely wipe iPhone and iPad. If a user is still looking for the
device, IT can also choose to send a remote lock command to the device. This locks
the screen and requires the user’s passcode to unlock it.
If a user has simply forgotten the passcode, an MDM server can remove it from the
device and prompt the user to create a new one within 60 minutes.
Supported management commands
Managed settings
• Install Configuration Profile
• Remove Configuration Profile
• Data roaming
• Voice roaming (not available on all carriers)
Managed apps
• Install managed app
• Remove managed app
• List all managed apps
• Install Provisioning Profile
• Remove Provisioning Profile
Security commands
• Remote wipe
• Remote lock
• Clear passcode
Process Overview
This example depicts a basic deployment of a Mobile Device Management server.
Apple Push
Notification Service
Third-Party MDM Server
A Configuration Profile containing Mobile Device Management server information is sent to the device. The user is presented
with information about what will be managed and/or queried by the server.
The user installs the profile to opt in to the device being managed.
Device enrolment takes place as the profile is installed. The server validates the device and allows access.
The server sends a push notification prompting the device to check in for tasks or queries.
The device connects directly to the server over HTTPS. The server sends commands or requests information.
For more information on Mobile Device Management, visit
© 2011 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, FaceTime, iPad, iPhone, iTunes and Safari are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. iCloud and iTunes Store are
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companies. Product specifications are subject to change without notice. October 2011 L422501B
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