Thursday, April 15, 2010

iPad as mobile admin

As I tried to type a bash command on my iPod, I dreamed to do it from a larger keyboard. After I rotated the iPod to landscape, I wished for a larger screen. Then, I got an iPad.

Remote administration is a big part of my job. Being able to be in two places at one time is not physically possible, without VNC! Be it SSH, ARD, VNC, or RDP, I longed for a device that could help. A laptop is great, but can be too big of a tool for the job, when the job is just to restart a service.

Last night I got a call about the web server being down. Thinking about, now. Anyway, our mysql server wasn't responding, which is a bad thing. Hopping on my iPad, I opened the iSSH app and tried to ping the mysql server. No go there, the host was down. The mysql server is hosted on the VM server, stop, Jump Desktop. Jump Desktop allows me to RDP into the windows servers. After adding the vm server, I tried to connect!

So I could lie to you, tell you how I restarted the vm, and the mysql server came back up, and I was a big hero (Imagine me as Clark Griswold on cover of national lampoons vacation).

It didn't happen that way. I was literally standing in my living room with kids hanging off my legs, iPad in my hand (much like the tennis racket of Clark's). However, I could not reach the VM server. I later found out it was scheduled maintenance that took the VM server offline. I expect my next remote administration job to have a better end!

So if anyone else is interested in remote administration from the iPad, here are the apps I am using:

iSSH - SSH and VNC
$9.99 -
Jump Desktop - RDP
$9.99 -
Server Admin Remote - OS X server status (allows for turning services off and on)
$11.99 -

I feel I should at least write a few lines about Server Admin Remote. It's very pretty, it shows the same types of things as Server Admin on my Mac does. I can turn services off and on. I can't configure them though. That's a bummer, but understandable. Does a nice job of showing graphs too.


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