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Boss wants iPad2 instead Playbook - Need to show pros and cons

My boss has tablet fever and I've been telling him to wait for the BlackBerry Playbook, since we already have BlackBerry Professional Software for our BlackBerry phones.  The Playbook release date is probably next month, but he has asked me to give him a report of what it would cost to use the iPad2 instead.

We have a Windows Server 2003 network with XP client computers.  My boss has a Dell Vostro  laptop running XP, and we have a W2K3 terminal server and a Cisco ASA5505 "adaptive security appliance" / router which provides VPN access.  We do NOT have https access to Outlook, but we have the VPN and BlackBerrys. Outlook Web Access only works on the LAN with http.  We don't have a way into Exchange from the outside, so iPads and Androids can't read Exchange over the internet.  I looked into this before and concluded that I would need to set up https and a second IP address (and both of these have subscription costs).  I currently have only one outside IP address from our DSL provider, and it is used to access the Cisco ASA5505.  

Now, I need to provide a broad list of pros and cons for the iPad2 vs the Playbook, and an estimate of cost in purchases and time spent to make the iPad2 do what the Playbook would do.  

For example, Playbook can link to BlackBerry phones, but iPad2 will need a 3G/4G connection and a way into the server from outside, in order to access Exchange and the terminal server.

I know this is a broad topic, but any advice would be appreciated!

CSG
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CompScienceGrad
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CompScienceGrad
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7 Solutions
 
Casey HermanCommented:
ipads and andriods use active sync accessing the OWA website. It works fine that way.
If OWA works outside then you are good. You can turn off HTTPS (highly unrecommended) It is better to open up port 443 on the router. Are you running SBS?  if you have to you can setup the VPN connections on the ipad or the Andriod and it will work that way too.  wifi or cell access is needed but other than that either should work. The ipad / Android can also access contacts and calendars from this method.

Casey
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RobMobilityCommented:
Hi,

Though costly, you could use Good Mobile Messaging to provide email access for your Apple devices - works like BlackBerry so only outbound connection from server is required, not inbound.

www.good.com for more information.

Are you aware that a 4G playBook will be available from Verizon - this will remove the need for a separate phone for tethering purposes, but that may be too costly.

This gives a good overal comparison between the units:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/02/ipad-2-vs-motorola-xoom-vs-hp-touchpad-vs-blackberry-playbook/

Biggest differentiator is price - I believe the PlayBook will be $499.00 at launch vs over $700 (perhaps $800 for the right spec) for the Ipad2.

Regards,


RobMobility.
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RobMobilityCommented:
Hi,

Don't forget Flash support - Playbook does, Ipad2 doesn't.

Also the Ipad2 doesn't do 1080p videos from rear camera, only 720p - may not be an issue.

Regards,


RobMobility.
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CompScienceGradAuthor Commented:
Casey -  I can see I needed to provide more details.  I now recall that port 443 is already taken by the Cisco VPN. That was why I needed a second IP address.  We do not have access to OWA via https.  We only have *internal* http access to OWA on the LAN or across the VPN.  I did not open the http access to the internet since it isn't secure.  Also, I have  Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard, but not SBS.

RobMobility - Thanks for those important details. I will take a look at the Good Mobile Messaging solution.  
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nappy_dCommented:
So all you need to do is configure L2TP VPN for the iPad on your firewall. Now you've made your boss happy, his iPad can work with your internal only OWA mail access.
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CompScienceGradAuthor Commented:
nappy_d - I like that idea.  I had not considered VPN on the iPad.  I wonder how persistent this VPN connection can be on a 3G network...  I know my boss would tend to leave it on all day if he could.

Can anyone recommend a good remote desktop application for connecting to a W2K3 terminal server?
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nappy_dCommented:
you can use the Wyse Pocket cloud for the iPad.

You can use www.2x.com or www.citrix.com and look at XenApp.

As for the VPN timing out, if your boss respects security and the policies put in place, just show him how it works and let him know that the VPN will time out after x number of hours or minutes.

The VPN works just fine over 3G or 4G.
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DevendraNaiduCommented:
You can try using Remote Desktop from MochaSoft. They have a free version too.

http://www.mochasoft.dk/iphone_rdp.htm
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CompScienceGradAuthor Commented:
nappy_d - I just tried Wyse PocketCloud on my Android phone and it worked great.  The only problem I can forsee with remote desktop apps is that it's a little cumbersome to manage desktop apps using only a touch screen.

DevendraNaidu - That looks like a good option for remote access to a client workstation.  Unfortunately, they say that Windows 200X Servers are not supported...
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nappy_dCommented:
On smartphones, they are not the easiest to use.  ANY remote ctrl app is not easy t use.  You need ATLEAST an iPad or similar brand that has a larger screen.
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lrpageCommented:
I have the first generation Ipad.  I setup my asa5510 vpn to work on my ipad.  We do not have activesynch nor https for our OWA so I just use OWA right from safari after I vpn in.  We are migrating to Vmware view for our desktops and the new Vmware pcoip client works great.  
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RobMobilityCommented:
Hi,

Be aware that running a full blown VPN from a tablet will do the following:

1. Drain the battery - there is significantly more traffic going back and forth, especially when using RDP than with a push email solutions - therefore the radio is being used more intensively.
2. The encryption/decryption overhead will use processor resources and if using higher grades of encryption, could cause resource issues on the device.

Don't forget that a full version of documents to go is being bundled with the PlayBook - this means not only viewing but also creating Office documents - I believe this is an additional cost on the IPad?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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DevendraNaiduCommented:
Alternatively you can use iTap RDP. The site address is http://itap-mobile.com/itap-rdp On their website they confirm that Windows Server versions from 2K to 2K8 are supported. However I have not tested it since my requirement was met with the software from MochaSoft.
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CompScienceGradAuthor Commented:
Thanks to everyone for the awesome suggestions.  I think I have enough to get started in the tablet world.

CSG
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