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16 essential Android apps for IT pros

By Eric Geier, Network World
September 19, 2011 06:09 AM ET

Network World - There are hundreds of thousands of Android apps, including many that are useful for IT professionals on the job. These apps can help connect to servers, monitor computers, access databases, analyze the airwaves, scan networks, and serve as a reference. Here are 16 of these apps, most of them free.

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MORE ANDROID: An expert guide

ConnectBot (Free)

If you work with Unix-based servers or other network components that support SSH/Telnet connections, you can use this open source client to remotely connect. No need to get on the desktop or boot up your laptop. You can perform admin, maintenance, or troubleshooting tasks via command-line. Additionally, it supports local connections, so you can access the command-line of your Android.

ConnectBot supports generating and importing SSH keys. You can pan between multiple simultaneous connections and copy/paste between them or other applications. It keeps a history of previous sessions so you don't have to keep inputting the host address. Even better, you can create shortcuts to frequent hosts on your Android desktop.

AndFTP (Free or $5.59)

You can use this FTP/SFTP/FTPS client to download/upload files or perform administrative tasks from your Android. It features resume support and enables the basic admin tasks: renaming, deleting, updating permissions, and running custom commands. You can also send files via email, messaging, Bluetooth, and via other apps. The Pro version adds support for secure copy protocol (SCP) connections and enables remote/local folder synchronization.

Linux Monitor ($2.61)

If you work with Linux servers you can use this simple monitoring app to remotely keep an eye on the vitals: CPU load, RAM and disk usage, and network/port activity. View stats represented in numbers or via progress bars. Though you can monitor multiple Linux machines, you can't monitor or view them simultaneously. You must manually change the monitoring address to switch between them.

The remote Linux machine(s) must be running the Apache web server with PHP, and you must upload a simple PHP script. You can download a sample version to get a feel for the app.

Server Monitor (Free)

This simple monitoring app can alert you if a server or a certain component/port of it goes down. This is great if you don't already have a monitoring/alert system put into place or you'd like redundancy. It supports TCP connections as well as SSH tunnels. You add a server hostname or IP address and then you can optionally add specific components or ports to monitor, including SSH over SSH. You can define the polling frequency and toggle sound and/or vibrate alerts. You can set the service to start up automatically during boot or enable manual control.

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httpmon (Free)

This is another monitoring app, but designed specifically for HTTP servers. You can customize a request URL and check with simple pings or with customizable conditions: the response code or time and header or content contains using substrings, wildcards, or regular expressions. You can also set the desired User Agent used for all the requests, the connection timeout, and the read timeout. On failures, it can notify, flash, alert, and vibrate your phone and/or send SMS messages to others.

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