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Microsoft promotes remote network mgmt.

May 21, 20033 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Sonic Mobility's SonicAdmin bundled with Windows Server 2003 Mobile Admin Pack

Usually when I see a press release datelined from Calgary it’s got something to do with either a rodeo (the Stampede) or a hockey team (the Flames); rarely is it about networking. But there is one company on the Canadian prairie that has graced the pages of this newsletter before. In “Sun, sea and network management” (see link below) I talked about Sonic Mobility’s SonicAdmin product, which allows you to administer a Windows 2000 network remotely, using only a RIM Blackberry, HP iPaq, or (if you must) a laptop or notebook computer.

The list of things you can do remotely with a handheld device is truly impressive. This allows you to get away from the office – far away – yet still be able to fix problems should they occur. That certainly beats spending your vacation in the back yard, “just in case” the new system (and isn’t there always a “new system”?) should have a problem.

But now you don’t have to take just my word for it – Microsoft has come out and endorsed SonicAdmin. Not only endorsed it, but included it as the lynchpin of its Windows Server 2003 Mobile Admin Pack.

The Mobile Admin Pack is a Windows Server 2003 promotional bundle that will soon be available to select Microsoft customers in the U.S. It will include a Dell Axim X5 300 MHz Pocket PC, a D-Link Wireless 2.4 GHz Compact Flash Adapter for PDAs, and the Sonic Mobility 2.8 Microsoft Mobile Admin Pack. While this package could be valued at almost $1,000, a select group of quick responding customers can get it for $159. It will be available to the first 1,000 “Microsoft U.S. Medium Business” customers that have acquired Windows Server 2003 on a Microsoft Volume License and have applied to Microsoft for the bundle.

Now as we saw in the last issue, I’m not bright enough to figure out all of Microsoft’s licensing programs. I’m not sure what a “U.S. Medium Business” might be. But hopefully if your enterprise is one then you are aware of the fact. If you’re in doubt, call your Microsoft representative.

But even if you don’t qualify for this offer, you can still get a copy of SonicAdmin and use it on whichever handheld platform you prefer (the smaller the better, I think – takes up less space in a beach bag).

Maybe we can talk Sonic Mobility into sponsoring a contest in which network managers would send in photos showing them administering networks from remote locations (tops of mountains, deserts, beaches). First prize, of course, would have to be a trip to an even more remote location.

But even if you never leave the office, you can still use SonicAdmin from any location on your enterprise campus to immediately service any problem that might arise. That’s mundane, not as much fun but does help you to get the job done with a minimum of fuss.