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From cloud management to remote tech support to database administration, these apps have your IT needs covered
12 Android apps to help keep your IT shop humming
Thanks to the ever-expanding trove of Android apps for IT admins, you no longer need to jump out of bed for late-night trips to the office to fix stalled servers, troubleshoot a cloud app, or help your boss’s boss find the earnings report that he accidentally put in the wrong folder. Following is a dozen samples of Android applications geared toward helping IT admins monitor, manage, and maintain critical hardware, database, applications, and services.
Though not the best-designed app out there, the AWS Console for Android is still useful for IT admins who rely on the cloud service and can’t always be at their desk. It lets you view and manage existing EC2 instances and CloudWatch alarms, look at your total service charges, and access AWS Service Health status. Other features include the ability to stop or reboot EC2 instances and change regions to view your resources worldwide.
Celica Database lets you read and write to your desktop-side database over 3G, GPRS, EDGE, or Wi-Fi. Add, edit, or delete data on your phone or tablet, and the changes synch up with the database immediately. It lets you apply SQL select queries and filters, as well as sort fields. Data is secured with 128-bit AES encryption. Supported databases include Microsoft Access, Excel, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, FoxPro, dBase, R:BASE, Sybase, and any ODBC-compliant database.
A companion to CopperEgg’s monitoring service, this app lets admins call up critical website- and server-performance information in real time. Features include the ability to view system metrics like CPU usage, memory, and disk IO; website health, uptime, and response time; and historical graphs of system performance. Admins can also set up push alert notifications, which beats waiting to hear a phone call from a user that something’s not working.
This bundle o’ administration tools for remote servers lets you configure and maintain your UNIX/Linux servers. It delivers a personalized Terminal emulator for direct interaction with servers, letting you pull stats on vitals, mounted file systems, memory, process, and such. There’s a module for reading logs, and another for generating graphs on CPU and RAM usage. You can also receive notifications when others log into the server.
Fing -- a play on "ping" -- has almost every common network quick test you could want. Features include network discovery capabilities, TCP port scanning, DNS lookup, MAC address and vendor gathering, and the ability to launch third-party apps for a host of protocols, including SSH, Telnet, FTP, and SAMBA.
If you use your Android device as a mobile lifeline to your organization’s systems, you don’t want to risk a drained battery. The JuiceDefender Battery Saver from Latedroid is an easy-to-configure app that helps extend the battery life of your Android device by managing the most battery-draining components and apps. Choose a profile (balanced, aggressive, or extreme savings) and let JuiceDefender use the best battery-saving options for your device.
PC Monitor is a securely encrypted mobile application for monitoring and managing computers, applications, and servers. The feature list is expansive: You can track hardware uptime and dig into metrics like CPU usage, available memory, and system temperature. You also can track service responsive, send commands start or stop processes or log off users, and too much more to list here. There are optional server modules for Exchange, Active Directory, Hyper-V, VMware, and IIS.
PocketCloud Remote RDP / VNC
This application from Wyse lets you access files and run apps via remote Windows and Mac machines and promises speedy performance on WiFi, 3G, and 4G. Beyond providing 24-7 access to important files on your machines, it’s also handy for giving remote support to end users. Connection options include RDP, VNC, and Auto-Discovery via Google. The Pro version offers support for multiple PCs, includes 256-bit NLA/TLS encryption, and supports VMWare View and Microsoft RD Gateway.
This app serves up access to MS SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Sybase ASE database environments, letting you run queries, view data, make updates and schema changes, and otherwise execute database commands. Among its features, you can create SQL statements using templates and save them for repeated execution.
When you don't have an SSL-VPN or IPSec VPN already set up, SSH tunnels will do the job -- and they just work. SSH Tunnel allows you to tunnel just about any app to your destination, such as a Linux machine at work. You could point your app at 127.0.0.1 port 12000 and pop out from the Linux box to hit your IIS-based WebDAV server at 10.51.0.200 on port 80, for example. Unlocking advanced features requires root access.
SysMonitor for SAP
SysMonitor for SAP lets you monitor important data on your SAP systems from the convenience of your Android device. You can view all users connected to your SAP system and corresponding connection details, such as transaction, terminal, and connection time. You also can check out which jobs are running or in the queue. Finally, you can track what dumps have occurred and when.
Xtralogic Remote Desktop Client
This handy tool uses Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol to securely connect to any Windows computer, take control of the mouse and keyboard, and see exactly what’s happing on the system’s screen. It’s useful not only for accessing your own files, apps, and email when you’re away from your desk, but also for remote desktop support for users. Out of the box, it supports most versions of Windows – including Windows 8 – though not the Home editions.