Thousands Of Downloads For The Cost Of One: The Power Of Relay Servers

Relay servers bannner

One of the defining features of mobile device management (MDM) – content pushing- is a data-draining liability. But with relay servers, it doesn’t have to be.

MDM technology is a breakthrough because it lets you manage devices remotely. Still, there is a problem: the more you manage devices remotely, the more data your devices have to consume.

Why is this true? If MDMs ask devices to download an app or content from the cloud, and each device separately downloads it from the cloud, this requires an enormous amount of data. If you rely on mobile data, you’ll face huge bills at the end of every month. Even if you have Wi-Fi, this will clog up your bandwidth and throttle Internet speeds.

Don’t worry. Implementing a relay server resolves the bandwidth problem while keeping everything good about MDM technology intact. The best way to understand what a relay server is, is to understand what a relay server does.

What Does a Relay Server Do?

A relay server works as a kind of cache between a central MDM console and enterprise devices.

Normally, admins that want devices to download something need to go through this process:

  1. On the central console, admins create a policy that tells devices to do something (42Gears calls them jobs).
  2. Via the Internet, the MDM console sends the job to every target device. This triggers each device to download specific data (a file, an app, or something else) from the cloud.

Whether you have a dozen devices or ten thousand, asking them all to download something at the same time isn’t an efficient way to manage devices.

Now let’s see what happens when you add a relay server to this process.

  1. On the central console, admins create a policy that tells devices to do something (42Gears calls them jobs).
  2. Via the Internet, the MDM console sends the job to every target device. This triggers each device to request specific data from the relay server.
  3. The relay server then downloads the requested data and stores it locally. Whenever devices need to download data, they don’t need to download it from the cloud. They can access it on the relay server using local LAN. 
This changes everything- now, you only have to download data once (on the relay server), and every device can retrieve it from there.

How Do I Implement A Relay Server?

You won’t need to look far afield for a way to integrate a relay server with an MDM solution.

SureMDM by 42Gears (that’s us!) makes it easy to set up a relay server on your premises for Android phones and tablets. You can even choose what happens if your relay server temporarily goes down- should devices download directly from the cloud, or wait until the relay server is back online? It’s up to you.

Iluustration-relay-server

Recap and Next Steps

To review- relay servers let you send any kind of content to many devices from a local cache. This is important for two big reasons:

  1. You can save on data costs and bandwidth by reducing the number of downloads from the cloud.
  2. Download speeds will go up because device-to-relay-server communication is faster than device-to-cloud communication. 

You can start saving time and money right away as soon as you implement a relay server. In fact, you can get started today.

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