Sunday, July 25, 2010

IPad works as a Systems Administrator Tool

By: David Merrell
Last couple weeks I have been traveling back and forth to a client. During my trips I sat in the airport for several hours being bored and really did not want to break out the big 17 inch, 5 Pound laptop to get ahead of some work for a project I was working on. So I was needing something to help to accomplish this while waiting for my plane. The project I was working on was a XenDesktop, XenApp POC for a university in north Texas. My boss has an IPAD and was showing off the Citrix Receiver and Citrix Dazzle a few weeks earlier. I started thinking it would be nice to have a light weight easy to use tool to help me instead of the laptop. Next trip to Texas I picked up a 64 Gb IPAD. The sales guy was asking what I was going to use it for, I told him business mainly and of course he tried to sell me the 3G version. I figured I have an awesome HTC Touch Pro 2, Windows Mobile phone which acts as a wireless access point, so didn't need the 3G charge. Here is the scenario that I used the IPad as an administrator tool: I was able to remote into all the infrastructure servers using for the environment finish configuration using Desktop Connect. I was able to use the Citrix Receiver to connect to a published Citrix XenCenter to administer the XenServers. The Citrix Receiver also allowed me to test the published XenApp applications and desktops; it also allowed me to test the XenDestops. The IPad and the listed apps below is a great set of tools to allow me to provide better support to our customers and be more efficient on the projects I work on.

Here is a list of the apps and descriptions, I installed and use just for the purposes:



Desktop Connect

Desktop Connect is a fast, full-featured desktop viewer, optimized specifically for the IPad. View and control Windows, Mac OSX and Linux computers as if you were sitting in front of them, or observe others as if you were watching over their shoulder.

Desktop Connect is one of the best remote applications I have installed. As a systems administrator the RDP connection was easy to configure and use. The speed of the app is very efficient.

LogMeIn Ignition

One click on your iPad lets you remotely access one or more computers anywhere, anytime.

LogMeIn is a client based app that allows access to systems that may not have the ability to RDP or restricted by firewalls, I mainly use this app for my home network. This app provides another layer of security, it also was easy to setup and configure.

Citrix Receiver

Citrix Receiver for IPad is the perfect business solution for secure access to virtual desktops, applications and data.

As a Systems Engineer that works with XenDesktop, XenApp and XenServer setting up an administration group of apps and XenDesktop to support an environment the Citrix Receiver makes it easier to connect to tools such as the Citrix admin consoles.


Vtrace is a visual traceroute application that shows a list of the networks serves from your machine to a target ip address or hostname on a google map.

This application is a great visual traceroute program, it works well as a network troubleshooting app.

DNS Lookup Tool

DNS lookup tool to find A records, MX records, Name Servers and reverse DNS records for IP addresses and domains.

The description pretty much says it all. At the time of writing this article, this is only an IPhone up but works well with the IPad.


FreePing is an ICMP Ping Application. It is designed to have a simple and intuitive user experience.

Again pretty much works as the description says, it also is only for the IPhone at the time of the writing.

Mocha Telnet Lite

Mocha Telnet provides access to servers via Telnet

This is a good tool to telnet to ports on servers to make sure all the necessary ports are accessible.


This App helps you administrate common tasks on virtual machines running on a Citrix XenServer.

The main functions of this app allow you to Boot, Shutdown, Suspend, Rest and Turn off virtual machines. This is a handy tool if you do not have access to the XenServer console.

1 comment:

  1. Another great app (But with a cost) is Mobile Admin. I can do almost anything Windows related through it, only minus is the hefty price tag.


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