Support Apple Classroom without Opening the Network for Peer to Peer Traffic
When it was released Spring 2016, we were really concerned about how to support Apple Classroom without opening the network for Peer to Peer (P2P) traffic. P2P networking is typically blocked in enterprise networks as it is
a standard means to distribute Bots, Spywares, Adware, Trojans, Rootkits, Worms and other types of malwares. (Symantec) It is estimated that 60% – 80% of the traffic for any given ISP is P2P traffic. Given the fact that it is easy to change the port for these applications, they are very difficult to block. Modern firewalls use application filtering, which can block P2P traffic more effectively.
Testing Apple Classroom
When testing it on our network, we found that having P2P blocked, also blocked Apple Classroom. Opening P2P allowed it to work again. So we contacted Apple. After a bit of checking on their end, we tried keeping P2P blocked, but opening port 3283. The hard part is making sure that policy is enforced over blocking P2P traffic. It seemed to do the trick. Apple Classroom works just fine.
Find out More
To find out more about Supporting Apple Classroom, check out these articles from Apple.com. https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT206151 and
Apple devices are becoming easier to manage and deploy. To find out more, download the Education Deployment Guide iBook from Apple. https://itunes.com/iosedudeployment.
To use Apple Classroom, iPads must be supervised. This can be done via configurator 2 or through an MDM solution tied to the Device Enrollment Program. Find out more at http://deploy.apple.com.
Apple Education Support Portal
Apple has really beefed up its enterprise support documentation. The Education Support Portal is a necessary primer for any school district considering a 1:1. Kudos to Apple for organizing all these support documents into one easy location! You can access the support portal by clicking on the following link: https://www.apple.com/support/education