Practical SQL Server
My Favorite Tool of 2012: Remote Desktop Manager

My Favorite Tool of 2012: Remote Desktop Manager

I’ve used gobs of tools this year. Too many to mention. Many of them just plain awesome. But one tool stands out above the rest – to the point where I just can not ‘shut up’ about how great it is.

Related: More Great Free Tools for .NET Developers and Review: SQL Source Control 2.2

Devolutions’ Remote Desktop Manager

Here’s what’s to love about Devolution’s Remote Desktop Manager:

  • Versatility. As a consultant I keep track of gobs of RDP ‘connections’ into various clients’ servers. (Some via VPN, others not). I also keep tabs on my own lab where I’ve got 20+ VMs for various purposes running on 2 different VMware hosts. Likewise, as a developer, I’ve got a number of different ‘subscriptions’ to cloud services, FTP locations, and a host of other ‘goodies’. Remote Desktop Manager is, quite literally, the ONE app that “rule[s] them all, and in the darkness bind[s] them”. It’s OBSCENELY versatile in terms of letting me manage not only scads of RDP connections (easily configured into WHATEVER folder/hierarchy I want), but also lets me keep tabs on my vSphere servers/hosts, Team Viewer Connections, Dropbox, Amazon S3, LogMeIn, AWS consoles, Azure consoles, and gobs of other crap. And it does it ALL from one simple, easy-to-use interface.
  • Awesomeness. As mentioned above, I spend gobs of time in RDP. To me though, one of the best things about Remote Desktop Manager, is that it gets rid of ALL of those stupid/lame ‘nag screens’ that you get when making ‘native’ RDP connections into a new server (such as “are you sure you want to connect to this server, it’s a different version than blah blah blah” and “No. are you REALLY sure – you said yes before, but the team that made the RDP client doesn’t know how to really allow user-input/feedback and wants to know if you’re REALLY sure” and so on) are just plain gone. That’s right. With Remote Desktop Manager, you get ALL the functionality and benefits of native RDP, but without the nag screens (if you don’t want them). To me, that’s priceless.
  • Portability. With the Enterprise version I can keep ALL of my settings, config details, connection details, credentials/etc. in a single file that can be easily backed up. Translation: when I repave my box (or move to another one)
  • Pricing. Considering how much I use it, how much time it saves on a daily basis, and how easy it makes managing everything – Remote Desktop Manager, for me, is dirt-cheap. Totally worth the price.
  • Responsiveness. Given that I use this app a dozen or more times most days, I’ve occasionally bumped into bugs or features that I’d like to have. Consequently, I’ve reached out to Devolutions a few times with bug/feature requests. And, the short story is: they’re obscenely responsive. In fact, just take a look at the Change History for this app – and you’ll see that they’re REGULARLY cranking out new features/additions and bug-fixes at a very regular/agile rate.

Of course, I don’t think this tool is for everyone. But, if you manage large numbers of Servers, VMs, and other ‘endpoints’ this tool is definitely worth a test-drive.

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