Tablets

IT Manager: An IT dashboard for the iPad

Take a look at IT Manager, a server administration manager that's ideal for the iPad.

IT Manager is an app that offers IT managers another option for using an iPad as an administration tool for local network or web services. It's a subscription-based app with a wide selection of network and web services admin tools.

The growth of tablets and mobile apps in IT management means 24/7 operations go on, regardless of whether staff are working in a data center cage, a user's desk, or responding to an outage after hours.

I spent some time recently using a trial of IT Manager on my iPad, and I found a lot to like in this app.

Features

The IT Manager app includes server, web services, and other management tools in a single user interface. It even provides a Google Apps Management tool without a subscription. The other management tools it offers are available by a weekly/monthly/or yearly subscription. During the trial period, or once you purchase a subscription, you have the option to add only the tools you want to use with the app.

Google Apps

While Google Apps has a capable web management interface, IT Manager provides full administrative access over a Google Apps for Business domain, including:

  • Manage users -- create users, reset passwords, and edit user accounts
  • Create and manage groups
  • Manage domain settings
  • View usage graphs
  • View details of audit logs

This tool is ideal for admins during a Google Apps implementation, because they can change settings and resolve various issues while working face to face with users without having to bother with PC access to their Google Apps administrator account.

Figure A shows an example of the email usage view. Figure A

You can view Google Apps email usage for a user.

Amazon Web Services

The management of Amazon Web Services can also be consolidated within the IT Manager app, including:

  • Start, stop, reboot, and terminate EC2 Services
  • Manage S3 Services -- manage buckets and files
  • Manage Elastic Beanstalk Services -- manage environments, rebuild, terminate, and view logs
After adding the Amazon Web Services management tool, you have the option to login to your AWS account using web access or entering the keys manually. Figure B shows the setup dialog. Figure B

Login to AWS from IT Manager.

Traditional tools: Telnet & SSH

IT Manager also includes Telnet & SSH, two IT management tools that never go out of style. With IT Manager, you can perform the following:

  • Connect to UNIX servers and control the servers using appropriate sys admin credentials
  • Connect to and control routers, switches, and other network elements
  • Emulate VT100 and XTerm terminals
Figure C shows the setup dialog for an SSH session. Figure C

Setup an SSH session from IT Manager.
Figure D shows the setup dialog for a Telnet session. Figure D

Setup a Telnet session from IT Manager.

VNC, RDP, and Apple Remote Desktop

The App Store is full of remote access tools, but IT Manager lets you consolidate VNC, RDP, and Apple Remote Desktop in one app if you select the services as part of your app subscription. Figure E shows the VNC session setup dialog. Figure E

Setup a VNC session in IT Manager.
Figure F shows the setup screen for Apple Remote Desktop. Figure F

Setup Apple Remote Desktop in IT Manager.

Windows administration

With IT Manager, you can also administer Windows servers on your network. IT Manager lets you:

  • Create a Remote Desktop Connection to perform tasks
  • Start and Stop Windows Services
  • Shutdown or reboot Windows computers
Figure G shows the Windows Administration screen. Figure G

Windows Administration in IT Manager.

Network Tools

IT Manager has other free network tools on board, such as:

  • Ping complete with graph and statistics
  • Traceroute with live trace of multiple routes
  • DNS Lookup, including dig and nslookup
  • Whois Search for performing whois queries against domains
Figure H shows the Ping tool in action. Figure H

Ping tool in IT Manager.

Settings

When you tap on Settings from the bottom menu of IT Manager, you'll see the option to buy a subscription (by week/month/year) or request more time to trial the app. You can also access the app's audit log, which can be useful if you run into any connectivity issues with the app.

Another settings option lets you lock the app using a Passcode or a Pattern Lock. If you set a Pattern Lock instead of a Passcode, you need to trace the pattern you set to open IT Manager. Figure I shows the Pattern Lock as it appears in IT Manager. Figure I

Pattern Lock in IT Manager.

Additional services

The app includes a management tool for the Blackberry Enterprise Service.

At time of publication, Smarter Apps, the app's developer, is looking to bring new services to the app, including:

  • Active Directory
  • VMWare
  • IP Scanner
  • Port scanner

The app also has a feedback form so that you can submit ideas for new services that you would like to see added to the app, and the developer does seem responsive to customer feedback.

Conclusion

IT Manager is a flexible and handy app that I recommend checking out if you're a data center or network administrator who is seeking a consolidated set of tools for the iPad.

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

1 comments
sysadmn
sysadmn

From the iTunes store description: "Annual subscriptions are just $99 USD per year". Not bad for a work tool, a bit pricey for home use?

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