Remote administration tools and your iPad: Best friends forever

The iTunes store is chock full of remote administration tools. Super-charge your iPad remote management capabilities with these apps, and you’ll be able to do more on the go.

The iPad is for more than just playing Fruit Ninja or catching up on the news with your morning coffee. With the

right apps, IT professionals can turn their iPads into extremely useful remote administration tools.

There are tons of iPad business apps available, including many remote administration tools geared towards the IT pro. Apps such as TeamViewer, the VMware vSphere Client for iPad and SSH Term Pro can transform the iPad from a personal productivity and entertainment device into a powerful enterprise utility. With these apps on the iPad, remote management tasks such as troubleshooting data center problems and logging on to users’ desktops for basic repairs are right at your fingertips.

iPad remote management apps

TeamViewer, one of the more popular remote administration tools, allows admins to access and control computers remotely, which is great for desktop troubleshooting and other common IT tasks. With the TeamViewer app, admins can connect to any computer that has the TeamViewer agent installed. Admins need only enter their TeamViewer ID and password on their iPad to connect, even if the computer is unattended. And the best part is that it's all free: The agent that runs on the server or desktop is free, and so is the TeamViewer mobile client for the iPad.

Another utility that turns iPads into valuable remote administration tools for the IT professional is the VMware vSphere Client for iPad. VSphere is the platform of choice for most companies that have implemented server virtualization, and the vSphere Client for iPad enables admins to perform some essential vSphere management tasks anywhere. Compared with the vSphere client on a desktop, the mobile app is a bit limited, but it does allow admins to perform system management tasks, such as restarting a virtual machine that has stopped.

There are also remote administration tools available to connect an iPad to any remote Linux or UNIX server that has a secure shell host (SSH) process running. SSH is the default method for remote access on Linux and UNIX, so the SSH Term Pro app gives IT pros the ability to manage users on computers running various open source operating systems. With this app, admins can also change configuration profiles, start or stop services and shut down the server.

Going beyond remote administration tools

If you’re an IT pro with an iPad, remote management apps are just one way the device can help you do your job better. For example, the iPad can also be a great replacement for paper when equipped with a PDF reader app. PDFReader Pro allows users to keep important system documentation on their iPads, making information accessible even offline.

The iPad’s native browser and email client can also help IT pros stay on top of problems and respond quickly. Mail allows for connectivity with any type of mail server, no matter if it's your corporate Exchange server, a Gmail server or any other type of mail server that uses POP or IMAP. The iPad is big enough for users to read and respond to messages easily (which isn't always the case on the smaller screens of smartphones), and it’s still small enough to take on the go.

There are many other IT utilities available for the iPad as well. Most of the major vendors in IT have realized that the iPad is an extremely popular device and have released tools that allow users to remain productive, no matter where they are.

This was first published in January 2012

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