With AirWatch 9.0.2 all Shared SaaS environments will have CDN integration enabled by default

Introduction

With AirWatch 9.0.2, the AirWatch Cloud Operations team will enable Cloud Delivery Network (CDN) integration by default for all Shared SaaS environments.  Enabling this integration allows for increased scalability and performance improvements when deploying large files, and particularly when deploying internal applications and software to devices.

As a requirement for environments utilizing CDN servers for file distribution, enrolled devices must have open access to the internet.  The CDN network has a distributed architecture around the globe, and AirWatch cannot guarantee that a specific file download to a device will come from any individual server.  The system is designed to increase the likelihood that a device will download a file from a server in a similar geographic location. 

What is a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

In AirWatch 8.4.1, the AirWatch Console is able to integrate with Content Delivery Network (CDN) servers to assist with the downloading of large files, in particular when deploying internal apps.  Normally, when an internal app is deployed to a device, the device downloads the app directly from the AirWatch servers.  However, in large environments, especially during large deployments of internal apps, this can lead to bandwidth issues and significant performance degradation.

By integrating an AirWatch environment with a CDN server, available bandwidth is greatly expanded and the risk of performance degradation due to file downloads is minimal. The process flow is as follows:

  1. An AirWatch environment enables the use of a CDN at an environment-wide level.
  2. Newly uploaded applications will be deployed using CDN.
  3. Whenever a device requests to download an internal app from AirWatch, the request is redirected to the CDN server.

CDN integration is a requirement for apps deployed through the Windows Business Store Portal (BSP).  With this system, you can purchase apps from the Microsoft app store and then distribute them to devices through AirWatch in the same manner that internal apps are distributed.  This process allows for CDN to be leveraged when deploying public apps to Windows devices.

Similarly, CDN integration can be effective in improving the performance of software distribution for Windows 10 devices.

 

Network requirements for SaaS environments

The Cloud Operations team is able to enable CDN for SaaS environments when necessary using an AirWatch-owned CDN account.  If CDN is enabled for a SaaS environment, then devices must be able to connect to the CDN servers to download internal applications through AirWatch.  Due to the distributed nature of the CDN architecture, companies must not block outbound traffic from enrolled devices in order for these downloads to complete successfully. If the AirWatch system is unable to connect to the Akamai CDN server, devices will be directed to download the app directly from AirWatch as it has done in previous versions. 

CDN for on-premise environments

On-premise environments on AirWatch 8.4.1 are able to be integrated with a CDN.  However, you must have access to a corporate CDN account to enable the configuration.  The process flow for downloads will remain the same, although the IP requirements may be different, depending on the CDN system you utilize.  We currently support integration only with Akamai CDN accounts.

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