A while back, I decided to do an experiment on BYOD -- here are my results:
- jbuffs-byod-experiment-part-1-of-4-acquisition-challenges/index.html">JBuff's BYOD experiment – part 1, Acquisition Challenges
- JBuff’s BYOD experiment – part 2, Getting Started
- jbuffs-byod-experiment-part-3-of-4-corporate-expectations/index.html">JBuff’s BYOD experiment – part 3, Corporate Expectations
- JBuff’s BYOD experiment – part 4, video excerpt from BYOD seminar
JBuff’s BYOD Experiment – part 2, Getting Started with Data
So, I brought home my shiny new Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, in part for my BYOD experiment and in part because my laptop was on the fritz – so I wanted to see how much of a laptop displacement it might be.
I was really amazed at how easy set-up was – even without an IT guy or an expert from my local consumer store (jbuffs-byod-experiment-part-1-of-4-acquisition-challenges/index.html" target="_blank" title="JBuff's BYOD Experiment - part 1, Acquisition">see earlier blog). In fact, within two hours, I was fully configured. WI-FI was quick, and then stuff was easy:
I have three e-mail boxes, for work (IT-managed Exchange), for Scout volunteering (hosted e-mail), and personal correspondence (Hotmail).
My whole world is organized through Microsoft OneNote, on my work laptop, my personal netbook and my mobile device – so was very pleased (and impressed) that Microsoft released OneNote apps for both Android and iOS that still utilize SkyDrive as a shared cloud-based repository.
I do a lot of collaboration on projects, so I have been using DropBox for a while – which of course has an Android client.
Unbeknownst to the tablet/ereader expert from Best Buy who sold me the tablet, Barnes and Noble has a nook app for Android – so I left my Nook at home.
And then I dropped my favorite music and some movies on it – and was ready for my next business trip.
Here is my point – almost everything (besides music and video) was already cloud-based, so when I moved from my old device to a new device, there wasn’t the typical “data migration.” In fact, there was no “restore” or “move” or “copy” at all. I installed my various cloud-based client applications, authenticated and it synchronized.
Synchronized vs. Restored
I live and preach in a data protection world, and in data centers with applications and workloads, recovery is about restoration to a known good restore point. But endpoint devices aren’t usually as concerned with previous points in time (except to roll back a bad patch). Instead, endpoint devices and their users are primarily concerned with either single-file restoration from an overwrite or corruption, or a resumption of productivity due to a new device or refreshed OS device. So, the best recovery action arguably is ‘sync’ … or more specifically, ‘re-sync’.
Now, that is not to say that Android doesn’t ever need ‘backup’ – but I was impressed to see that when the tablet first powered up, it asked if I had a gMail account to store my tablet’s configuration to. Underneath was an option where, if I had already been backing up, it would have restored my configuration preferences to this new device. I’ll have to try that some time, just for fun (before I need it).
Why this matters
When considering your endpoint protection strategy, you need to understand where your data’s primary repository is.
For e-mail, your data is primarily on the mail server – not your device.
For collaborated files (e.g., DropBox or Box), your data is primarily in the cloud repository – not your device.
For OneNote, your data is primarily on Skydrive.
For Nook or Kindle, your data is primarily on the cloud provider.
For some of your corporate files, your data may primarily be on a file server within your data center.
For all of those offerings, you likely won’t be backing up or restoring – you’ll be synchronizing or re-synchronizing.
Putting it all together
Arguably most tablets are ‘consumption’ devices over ‘creation’ – meaning that they are ideal for viewing or re-using (consuming) content that was originally created on another device, like a desktop or laptop, with a keyboard and mouse. Consumption devices, by definition, sync from another device anyway – and therefore likely only need backup of its configuration and UI preferences.
For creation devices, I was surprised to discover how little of my data was not already synchronized to one cloud service or another. In fact, in my particular case, my home directory synchronizes with a file server and almost all of my client-specific stuff is either in my directories or an online file sharing service – again, no backup required, just sync. Essentially, all I need backups for (even with my mobile creation devices) is the configuration and the OS/app volume – in case of a bad patch or a failing hard disk.
Your perspective might be different. If so, I’d like to hear about it – so please comment below.