First we thought of Apple has a hardware company, selling computers. Then it became a software company, with its operating system (which it licensed for a time to other hardware manufacturers), its office suite (ClarisWorks, AppleWorks, Pages/Numbers/Keynote) and its multimedia tools (iLife, Logic etc). It’s also a music retailer and with its App Stores become a software reseller.
How many of us think of Apple as a Cloud service vendor? It’s been a subtle change, but a significant one. iCloud with its Photostream sharing methods, document storage and sync capabilities and Backup and Restore functionalities all rely on devices being able to communicate with Apple.
In the home world, this all works easily. Fire up a device and it can communicate at will to the outside world, so all of these services work just as they do on the TV ad – take a photo on your iPhone, and it arrives on your iPad. People start to expect this to work at work and school as well.
It’s common for an organisation to have some form of filtering or management on internet access in place. Each organization will have different reasons, and different policies. These systems were frequently designed to cope with traditional internet access. http://abadsite.com is probably blocked, and if someone has a good reason to be visiting http://abadsite.com they’ll be a process they can follow to be granted access.
But what are the URLs for Apple’s services?
Fortunately there’s a simple solution if your organization comes across a problem with Apple’s cloud services.
Apple’s servers all sit in the same IP address range, 220.127.116.11/8. If you can convince the person looking after your proxy servers/firewall to allow any traffic out of your network to this address range without having to be authenticated, many of your headaches will go away.