Organize You, Your Team and Your Connections

Posted: June 19, 2013 in Product Review

The IT world is changing… I know it is hard to believe, but the fact of the matter is that technology is changing. Years ago, I had a set number of SQL Servers, and over the course of a year, I may install new ones, or remove some old ones. Today with development strategies, virtual technologies, quickly changing operating systems and many editions of software. Server installs occur more often making our environments more dynamic. This can cause a number of pure overhead issues when trying to manage these. Think about the last time you joined a company or an organization. When you did a server inventory, was it based off server name, IP addresses (how about a partial IP, like 11.2) or maybe even a common reference name? When you asked for the primary server, were you instructed to connect to the Production Cluster? Try to connect to that via RDP. It might work, but chances are it doesn’t, you need more information.

About a year ago I decided I was going to start using a tool called Remote Desktop Manager. My goal at the time was to find a robust tool that I could use to keep all my connections organized. I was surprised when I looked at the website, there were a lot of features that I never thought I would use. (Here is a review I did on the product, and a quick tip on using the data grid to get a quick report) Today a year or so later, I am still only using a few features of the tool, however my most recent adjustment has made a big difference to the team I work on.

I installed the central repository for the tool, and configured it so everyone on my team could use it.

The benefit?

Well directly it is still the same for me, I look for the tool to organize my RDP connections. However, now I can share those connections that I have created with the rest of the team that I work on. In addition they share their connections with me. So when a new server is turned up for whatever reason, the individual on our team that builds the OS can add a connection into the Remote Desktop database, and it will then be on my list as well. So when I am told, “Hey, connect to the DEV 12 machine and validate the SQL Install”, I can just look in my Remote Desktop Manager and see the connection grouped with the other Dev machines. If we stay on top of it, we can even search for these machines using the search tool bar option.

So I hate to admit it, but when I am working I really am not a big fan of trying to learn a tool that is supposed to help me do my job more efficient. I would rather be reading up on new SQL Server stuff. I was concerned about how long this was going to take to set up and configure. Well the end result, it did not take me long. I would be surprised that if I had been 100% focused on just setting the tool up, if it took a whole hour. Once you get the installer, there is a pretty easy to complete standard install. Once I completed that, I followed the Menu down the file list and found the data sources. All this work is being done on the server you want to hold your repository.

You will see in this image below, there is a grayed our option to create the database, and it did just what I wanted it to. There is not a whole lot more to it.

However, the real power here comes in when you connect to the data source, and start adding user accounts found under the administrative menu. Once I added everyone on my team to use it, all that needed to be done was to install the tool on their machines and change the data source to the database I had just configured.

I love it when I am organized. Remote Desktop Manager does exactly that. Now it helps me help my team stay organized just as well. So when I am on call, and I receive a call that is requesting I reboot a server I had never been on before I am not wasting time, trying to get all the specifics to connect, I look in the shared connections and all the info is there that I need.

This is a review for a product, however I have not been paid for this product review.

  1. […] management and increase productivity. Read Chris’ insightful and interesting Case Study here. But most of it, we had an amazing time meeting fellow RDMers and IT pros from all over the world […]

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