How To Guy

Remote Desktop Manager: Centralize, Secure and Simplify Remote Connections

James finds a gem of a tool for remote administration.

I utilize various third-party applications to remotely access Secure Shell (SSH) and Windows Virtual Machine (VM) console access. Putty is my SSH tool of choice for remotely accessing the VMware ESXi command-line interface (ESXCLI). As for the Windows VMs, the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol (MSRDP) provides me a near-real-time, user-friendly console for remote connectivity.

It can be a real hassle to launch various applications for administering numerous hypervisors. So I decided to find out if there was an application that would allow me to access and manage any remote VM from a single pane of glass. After an extensive Web search, I discovered a product called Remote Desktop Manager (RDM) 10.1, from Devolutions. I downloaded a trial version and installed it on my administrator desktop.

I immediately put RDM to the test because I was in a situation where I had to remotely troubleshoot an ESXi host. In addition, I needed to confirm the host's issue was resolved and operable within the VMware vSphere client.

I launched the RDM SSH and VMware console sessions separately from within the application. RDM allowed me to remotely access and repair the ESXi host issue, confirm the results and save valuable time. I was able to complete all my remote tasks from the main RDM application window, shown in Figure 1.

[Click on image for larger view.] Figure 1. The main UI of Remote Desktop Manager. 

RDM integrates MSRDP, VPN, SSH, FTP, ICA and other remote connection types. I haven't successfully used or discovered a remote platform product to date that compares to it.

You can even launch encrypted remote console sessions within RDM. It enables your teams to share remote access to session settings, saving you time for other administrative tasks.

The Devolutions Web site has video tutorials, documentation, blogs and a forum that provides a one-stop source of support. Once you download and start using RDM, I'm confident you won't want to use any other centralized remote management solution.

About the Author

James Brown, vExpert, VCP, MCSE, is a senior virtualization engineer and CEO of Virtuxperts and VMware Users Group Leader in Las Vegas, NV. James' area of expertise includes virtualization, infrastructure and Windows systems.

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