With the implementation of Windows 7, Microsoft has released its latest Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 and for the first time, I can imagine turning to Microsoft for remote management instead of all my favorite third-party tools.
Seriously -- since I began my IT career I have been in search of tools to manage admin tasks more efficiently. Whenever I needed to manage my Windows servers or to handle administration tasks from my desktop, I have traditionally looked to third-party tools like Hyena, NETIQ, DGard Network Manager, and SPICEWORKS. Of course, Microsoft has provided admin packs to install on the desktop but they were quite lacking and often only handled a few of the administrative tasks.
When I found myself in situations where spending or implementing open source just did not play into the plan....remote desktop connections always saved the day. And Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7 is looking pretty good. It allows you to manage Windows Server 2008 R2 roles and features (it also allows to manage core servers remotely). The toolset provides some support for Windows Server 2008 (pre-R2) and Windows Server 2003 (will not support the core installation of Server 2003).
Some of the management tools include:
Active Directory (all the AD management tools are included)
But it goes a bit further offering access to:
File Services Managements
AD certificate services
I have to say, for the first time ever, I am pretty impressed with the number of tasks that can be taken care of with the remote administrative tools pack as well as the speed at which they launched and ran (even when I had multiple tools running at once). You will need to have Windows 7 Enterprise, Professional, or Ultimate editions to install the remote server administrative tools. But if you are running in a network you need one of these versions anyway.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that the tool is free and you do not need to run in a remote session to manage your servers. Check out the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7, I don't think you'll be disappointed!
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Ron Barrett has been a technology professional for over a decade, working for several major financial firms and dotcoms. Barrett is a specialist in network infrastructure, security and IT management Ron is also the author of several books including: Office Communications Server 2007 R2: How-To , Windows Server 2008: How-To and The Administrator’s Guide to Microsoft Office 2007 Servers. Ron has been a co-author or technical editor for several other books on Windows administration. Along with book writing, Ron has contributed to several industry magazines such as Redmond, Datamation and Windows IT Pro. Beyond writing, Ron has spoken at several technology conferences for CPAmerica, AICPA and TECHMENTOR.