Dynamic device groups
Dynamic groups automatically keep changing their member devices based on certain specified conditions. In dynamic grouping, devices move in and out of the group during the periodic group sync, whereas custom groups maintain devices as a fixed list. The sufficiency of minimal manual effort makes dynamic grouping more desirable than manual grouping.
Create dynamic device groups
To create a new dynamic device group,
- Log in to your Hexnode UEM portal.
- Go to Manage > Device Groups > New Dynamic Group.
- Add the Group Name and Description.
- Configure the required criteria to create a dynamic device group. The available filters are:
- Choose Geofences/Location filters: Select one or more locations (fences) already created under Admin > Geofencing to group devices based on their locations. Or, you can use the +Create New Geofences button to add new geofences instantly. The Include filter allows you to enforce policies or restrictions on devices present in the specified regions. On the other hand, the Exclude filter enables you to apply policies to a group of devices, excluding those located in the selected locations.
- Choose Condition filters: Use the condition filters to specify the criteria required for grouping devices. You can add multiple conditions to filter out the required devices. Any devices satisfying the defined criteria will be automatically added to the corresponding dynamic device group.
- Add Exceptions: Any conditions mentioned here will exclude the devices satisfying these conditions from the device group.
- Click on the Preview button to view the list of devices that matches the criteria.
- Click Save Group to save the group details.
Condition & Exception Filters
Hexnode provides a wide range of filters for tailoring your Dynamic groups to meet specific requirements. To configure each condition or exception, you need to set up the fields like Column group, Column, Comparator, and Filter value.
The Select column group lists the primary category used for filtering. Once you select the column group, the corresponding sub-categories within that main category will be displayed under the Select column drop down list box from which you have to select one.
The available column groups and the columns available corresponding to each of them are listed as follows,
|Hexnode MDM app (iOS & Android)||
After choosing the desired sub-category under Select column, you have to choose the comparator. Comparator availability changes based on the column selected. For example, if Battery level (%) is the chosen column, the available comparators are Greater than, Less than, Equal to, and Not equal to.
Once you have selected the comparator, you must enter the value that needs to be compared in the Filter field. In the image above, the provided value for the filter is the integer 50. Hence, the condition is to check for devices whose battery percentage is greater than 50%. In certain instances, predefined values will be provided in the Filter field for you to select from. For example, if you choose “Ownership” as the column, you will be presented with value options such as Personal, Corporate, and Others in the Filter field.
To add multiple conditions or exceptions to a dynamic device group, you can utilize the ‘+’ option provided after each condition/exception. Similarly, if you wish to remove a condition/exception, you can click on the ‘-‘ option located next to the ‘+’ option.
Additionally, when dealing with multiple conditions or exceptions, there are two comparator options available: AND and OR. These options are positioned to the left of two consecutive conditions or exceptions following the preceding initial one.
By selecting AND, devices are required to meet the criteria specified by all the filters. In contrast, opting for OR means that if devices satisfy at least one of the criteria from the filters, they will be added to the dynamic device group.
Viewing the details of a dynamic device group
Once you have created the dynamic device group, it gets listed among the device groups in the Manage tab. The Group Type of a dynamic group will be displayed with the tag – Dynamic. Selecting the group displays all the information regarding the group, including the total number of devices, non-compliant devices, policies associated with the group, last sync time, compliant devices, etc. The Devices sub-tab lists all the devices belonging to the group along with their specifications.
Edit dynamic device groups
With dynamic grouping, you can create rules to determine group membership based on specified business criteria. When you have set up criteria for grouping, the members are evaluated periodically. The devices are added or removed from the dynamic groups as they satisfy the requirements for the group. Thus, the conditions or exceptions specified in the group primarily determine its members. Depending on the organizational needs, you can review the membership rule from time to time.
To edit a dynamic group:
- Navigate to Manage > Device Groups.
- Choose the dynamic group from the list.
- Go to Criteria.
- Modify condition filters, exceptions or location filters.
- Click on Save Group.
Hexnode processes the dynamic group rules periodically. Thus, the devices are auto-synced with the portal when they meet the specified conditions for the group. And the policies associated with the group are applied accordingly.
You can get a quick overview of the policies associated with the dynamic group by navigating to the Policy sub-tab. If the policy is already created, you can easily associate it from the Policy sub-tab by clicking on Associate policy. After choosing the policy, you can click on Associate to apply the policy with the device group.
Perform group management functions on dynamic device groups
Hexnode permits you to perform group management functions on device groups. Group management functions mainly include remote actions that enable device administrators to send instantaneous commands on device groups. Device groups facilitate easy device management.
Fetching the location of dynamic device groups
Suppose the location tracking policy is associated with the member devices or with the custom device group as a whole. In that case, the complete list of locations traversed by the member devices will be listed on the Locations sub-tab.
Delete dynamic groups
While enabling organizations to create groups of dynamic membership, Hexnode also permits you to delete them if they are no longer required.
To delete a dynamic group:
- Navigate to Manage > Device Groups.
- Select the group.
- Go to Actions.
- Select Delete Group from the list.
Listed below are some of the use cases of dynamic device groups.
1. Grouping based on Compliance info
Here, all the inactive devices located within San Francisco get grouped. Remedial actions like Disenroll can then be performed on the group to remove all such devices in one go.
2. Grouping based on the device Operating System
Imagine a scenario in which you want to send a broadcast message or lock all the devices except the ones running Android 8. These condition filters group all the Android devices not running Android 8, located in all regions excluding Wyoming. A kiosk policy can then be assigned to the group to make sure all such devices remain locked down. Also, you can notify users by sending a broadcast message to the group.
3. Grouping based on the Ownership of the device
Some organizations allow users to bring their own devices (BYOD). In such cases, less-restrictive policies are typically applied to personal devices. Hexnode makes it pretty simple to create a dynamic group with device ownership set to personal, eliminating the need for manually identifying personal devices and then grouping them.
Automate device management using dynamic device groups
Hexnode UEM allows you to automate device management by applying auto-sync to the dynamic device groups at regular time intervals.
The auto-sync interval depends upon the pricing plan you have subscribed for:
- Pro: auto-syncs every 4 hours.
- Enterprise: auto-syncs every 1 hour.
- Ultimate: auto-syncs every 15 minutes.
- Ultra: auto-syncs every 5 minutes.
Apart from the auto-sync, Hexnode provides options for manual synchronization also.
- Go to Manage > Device Groups.
- Click Actions > Sync Dynamic Groups to manually sync all the dynamic groups.
- Go to Manage > Device Groups > Select the required Device Group.
- Click Actions.
- Click on Sync Now to manually sync the selected device group.