MSP or Mobility Services Platform is a mobile device management (MDM) system for initial configuration (staging), remote software installation and update (provisioning) and the monitoring and management (control) of mobile devices. MSP is designed primarily for MDM of Zebra (Motorola Solutions, Symbol) devices running Windows CE, Windows Mobile (Windows Embedded Handheld), and Enterprise Android operating systems. Windows-based desktops and servers can be managed by MSP, too. MSP was originally written by Motorola programmers, but in 2013 it was sold, including the programmers team, to AirWatch/VMware. They integrated the most important MSP features into the AirWatch MDM. The MSP is not being developed any more.
What is unique about MSP?
- In Zebra (Motorola, Symbol) mobile devices is MSP support preinstalled in the factory settings (Rapid Deployment Client, MSP Agent, AirBEAM Client), so the initial setup of the units can be performed easily.
- MSP is a system devised by the technically-minded people for technical-minded people. It can be tailored for various needs of the end users. Additional features can be developed as needed.
- MSP is an ideal solution for software distribution and remote OS update (OEM OS Update) on Zebra (Motorola, Symbol) mobile devices.
How does MSP work?
- On the server computer running Microsoft Windows Server a set of MSP services needs to be installed.
- Data are stored using Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SQL Express.
- For the software distribution and communication with mobile units are used Relay Server(s) (FTP or Secure FTP servers). MSP Server pushes software packages addressed for mobile units onto the Relay Server(s). Mobile units report their status through Relay Server(s) back to MSP server.
- On the mobile unit a client software called MSP Agent must be running to perform data exchange with the Relay Server.
- The condition for the proper communication between a mobile unit and a Relay Server is a Layer 3 WLAN or WWAN connectivity.
- The administrator configures MSP through a web interface. All commonly used browsers are supported.
What is needed for MSP to run?
- Physical or virtual server with Windows Server 2008 R2 that meets the minimum system requirements.
- Microsoft SQL Database: if you do not require the functionality of Data Collection & Analysis, SQL Express is sufficient. If you need to collect and analyze data from the mobile units you have to use the full version of Microsoft SQL (Standard or Enterprise). SQL versions 2005, 2008 and 2012 are supported.
- MSP Licenses: Each mobile unit requires one MSP license. Licenses are not tied to the mobile units hardware. Once a device releases the license it may be used on some other mobile unit.
- At least one Relay Server, FTP or Secure FTP. A Relay Server can be installed on the same machine as the MSP or anywhere else within the company.
- MSP implementation. As a result of an implementation you'll get a system that can be practically used in a production environment of your enterprise.