07 October 2010

Getting hold of another PC

Being able to access servers and PCs from where-ever you are can be a great bonus if you happen to be at all mobile in your job or don’t happen to live in your office. If you travel between locations then getting on any PC and being able to work on one somewhere else can save time and money, being able to get onto a work computer from your home PC can be a (personal) life saver.

Up until recently I have used Remote Desktop Connection found in Start | Programs | Accessories and have successfully entered an IP address or server name and worked on a desktop hosted on the remote computer. All of your familiar Windows environment is around you – mapped drives, printers, desktop, My document etc etc. Having a window open for each remote ‘session’ made working on multiple servers possible and with two monitors it was pretty efficient. Now, however, it has just become several hundred percent easier. I have found Remote Desktop connection Manager, downloadable (for free) from here: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4603c621-6de7-4ccb-9f51-d53dc7e48047&displaylang=en. Downloading the 789kb file and going through the 5 clicks to install it is a very short journey to remote session clarity.

RDM_01_thumb.pngOnce installed you get to create Groups and then, inside those groups, servers. The one thing to note is that a server can only feature in one group, but groups can feature inside other groups.






Now the hierarchy that you create can share settings, such as usernames, passwords etc This means that when your domain password changes you only need to change it once for the uppermost group and then which ever server you select will connect using those settings.

You can choose for a server to ‘opt out’ of this inheritance and use different credentials if you want it to.



Connecting to a server, once you have the parent settings configured is a simple double click, either on the node or in the grid view on the right.





… and at the end of the day, you can clear up all of your connections in one go simply by selecting the parent node and either disconnecting or logging off the whole group.




Remote control was never so easy.

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Jonathan Allen has been a SQL Server DBA since 1999, most enjoying performance tuning and development but also working with SSIS, SSRS to provide suitable business solutions. He is SQLSouthWest PASS Chapter Leader, blogs for Simple Talk, is a forum moderator at ask.sqlservercentral.com and is on Twitter. If you would like to find your nearest user group or just want to say hello then he would love to get an email from you.

View all articles by Jonathan Allen