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By Hanleigh Daniels 1 August 2013

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When it comes to the prevalent enterprise phenomenon known as bring your own device (BYOD), Western Digital’s (WD’s) My Passport Enterprise can become a critical tool, since it allows  temporary staff to use their own notebooks, whilst the company retains control of its sensitive data.  

The My Passport Enterprise HDD has been specifically designed to support Windows To Go, allowing IT technicians to install a Windows 8 workspace on it. Your company’s IT department will need to have Windows 8 Enterprise edition as well as a Windows Companion Subscription License, to be able to get a fully functioning Windows 8 environment running on the HDD.

Secure and portable Windows 8 experience

Once Windows 8 has been set up and configured on the drive, any user can plug it into their own notebook to boot into Windows 8 from the My Passport Enterprise. The installation and configuration process is very technical and nowhere near as simple as upgrading your PC to Windows 8, so it is best left to an IT technician.

WD’s My Passport Enterprise portable drive will appear as the PC’s Local Disk (C:) drive, with 456 GB of space free available (Windows 8 lays claim to the rest). For security purposes, the notebook’s own internal HDD remains inaccessible and invisible.

Users only have access to the Windows 8 applications and features that the IT department has pre-configures on the drive. As example, users will only be able to insert a flash drive if this is allowed by the BYOD policy set by the company. This means sensitive corporate info remains safe on corporate owned devices.  

We found that the initial boot up into Windows 8 took a long time as Windows 8 first needed to check the specifications of our HP ProBook notebook and install all the required drivers. Thereafter though, the boot time goes down from well over 5 minutes to just 27 seconds from startup to ready to work.

Temporary staff can just hand-in the My Passport Enterprise portable HDD at the end of the day, and will be able to normally boot into their PC’s operating system with absolutely no effect on their personal info that is stored on their device.

If they were using an available PC at work, the fruit of their labour will also only be stored on the Enterprise HDD, with the PC they borrowed for the day remaining unaffected.  

More user scenarios and features

Other usage scenarios include mobile staff and road warriors. They will be able to work on virtually any PC at home, at work, or any other venue via the My Passport Enterprise HDD and always have access to their corporate apps and data. Or, if a work PC crashes, simply plug the My Passport Enterprise HDD into another.

The drive is compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connections and offers quick data transfer speeds of up to three times faster than USB 2.0 when connected to a USB 3.0 port. An additional security feature is that the Windows 8 work environment freezes when a user disconnects the My Passport Enterprise, and will only resume upon reconnection of the drive.

Western Digital, portable hard-drive, external storage, BYOD, HDD, USB 3.0, WD My Passport HDD range, WD My Passport Enterprise HDD

WD's My Passport Enterprise offers transfer speeds up to three times faster than USB 2.0 when connected to a USB 3.0 port. 

To the point

WD’s My Passport Enterprise HDD is a highly portable storage solutions that offers plenty of powerful features that will keep employees connected and productive when mobile thanks to its Windows To Go support. All that functionality does carry an equally potent RRP though of R1 600. Only companies in which data access needs to be limited and where BYOD is prevalent need to consider purchasing a WD My Passport Enterprise HDD.   

Pros:

Potent Windows To Go functionality on offer.

Fast transfer speeds when plugged into a USB 3.0 port.

Portable drive.

Cons:

Serves a niece market segment.

Expensive for a USB 3.0 drive with 500 GB space.

PROS
Potent Windows To Go functionality on offer; fast transfer speeds when plugged into a USB 3.0 port; and portable drive.
CONS
Serves a niece market segment; expensive for a USB 3.0 drive with 500 GB space.
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