Relay servers act as a content distribution node that provides help in bandwidth and data utilization control. Relay servers act as a proxy between the AirWatch server and the rugged device for product provisioning.

Relay Server Basics

This proxy basically serves as an FTP/FTPS/SFTP server that distributes products to the device for download and installation. Using relay servers allows the product to distribute to all devices without consuming all of the bandwidth to the main/central MDM server.

Relay servers are required for Motorola Rapid Deployment Barcode Enrollment. Otherwise Relay servers are optional, but recommended, for pushing products to downloaded apps and content – as opposed to downloading directly from the AirWatch server. Relay servers also add redundancy through the fallback feature. If a device's relay server is down, the device falls back to the next relay server in the hierarchy system until it finds a working server or connects to the AirWatch server. If you are not using a relay server, the device downloads apps and content directly from the AirWatch server.


Relay servers, both push and pull configurations, fallback to the next available relay server in its hierarchy and continue to fall back until the device finds a suitable server or reaches AirWatch. This ensures devices with products provisioned to them have access to their content.

Source Server vs Relay Server

A source server is the original location of the data, usually a database or content repository. Once the data is downloaded from the source server to the AirWatch Console, it is then transferred to the relay server. The data is then downloaded from the relay server to devices.

Configure a Relay Server

Configure an FTP, FTPS, or SFTP file server to integrate with AirWatch as a relay server. For more information, see Configure a Relay Server.

Pull Relay Server Configuration

Relay servers either push or pull content based on the configuration. A pull relay server pulls content from AirWatch based on certain variables established in the server configuration. A push server pushes content from AirWatch to devices whenever it is published. For more information on installing a pull server, see Pull Service Based Relay Server Configuration.

Bulk Importing

The Relay Server Import feature loads relay servers into the system in bulk. This feature simplifies the configuration of multiple relay servers. For more information, see Import Relay Servers in Bulk.

Remote Viewing of Files on a Relay Server

After configuring a relay server and assigning products to use the relay server, you can view the files hosted on the server. For more information, see Remote Viewing Files on Relay Server.

Relay Server Management

Maintaining Relay Servers keeps your products running smoothly so your devices remain up to date. AirWatch offers several tools to ensure your relay servers work as intended. For more information, see Relay Server Management.