iPad haters need to run for cover. Asustek reportedly blames the iPad (which is selling millions of units) for gutting netbook sales, so much so that Asustech (manufacturer of popular netbooks and components) lowered its Q3 sales projections. I predict the iPad will go down as the netbook killer. Debate it all you want, but iPads are proving incredibly potent devices.
I no longer carry my laptop, so capable is the iPad. Simple apps, such as Desktop Connect, make it easy to employ RDP using Apple's tablet. And with Desktop Connect, it's easy to securely and remotely administer Windows servers using their own built-in RDP technology. But enterprise administrators can also use LogMeIn Ignition to connect to Windows client machines (as well as Macs running LogMeIn).
Many IT professionals, consultants included, leverage LogMeIn Free, Professional and Rescue to remotely troubleshoot or repair workstations. With LogMeIn Ignition, iPad users can connect to any of those LogMeIn-enabled devices. For those enterprise administrators and technicians that haven't or can't enable routers to pass port 3389 traffic, and for those technicians that prefer the simplicity of LogMeIn for remote administration, LogMeIn Ignition provides iPad users with a simple and reliable utility for securely troubleshooting or accessing remote Windows systems.
How well does LogMeIn Ignition work? Put it this way. I haven't traveled without a laptop, not even for an overnight stay, in ten years. With some 4,000 clients on our register, it's hard to even travel. But in late June my family hit the beach. I didn't take a laptop; I took my iPad. Sure enough, I soon needed to look up critical documentation for a client. Normally that would require booting up the laptop, locating the information and firing it through. Within moments, using LogMeIn Ignition, I was securely connected to my remote workstation. I located and cut-and-pasted the necessary information into an email message and passed it on. Problem solved. Most interesting? The entire episode lasted longer than it takes for a laptop computer to even boot up.
Think about that. It's pretty compelling.
I purchased an iPad solely so that I could try it out-write about it, maybe read a few books on it. But thanks to LogMeIn Ignition, I no longer even need a laptop in the field. In addition to being able to connect to my desktop workstation, thereby eliminating the need to even synchronize files with a laptop, I can connect to numerous client systems in the field. Enterprise administrators can leverage the iPad/LogMeIn Ignition combination in the same way.
For less than thirty bucks, LogMeIn Ignition makes it easy to take an iPad and use it to remotely fix numerous issues on Windows workstations. Besides providing remote access to Windows clients (and servers, for that matter), I've used LogMeIn Ignition to troubleshoot e-mail connection issues and address printing problems. Support professionals and administrators also can easily use the application to create new user accounts, mitigate malware, view error messages users' describe, stop or restart services, view Windows' Application and System error logs, check on antivirus and backup operations, confirm disk space and perform countless other tasks.
Best of all, it's easy to use. Intuitive and simple, LogMeIn's earned a reputation, including within enterprise environments, for building applications that work. LogMeIn Ignition is just such a tool, one that makes it easy for enterprise administrators to turn their iPads into a potent troubleshooting and repair device.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.