Although the inclusion of Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services in Win2K Server products is a huge administrative boon, how do you remotely control machines that can't benefit from this inclusion, such as Win2K Professional systems, Windows NT 4.0 workstations and servers, and non-Windows systems? To remotely control these systems, you can use standard PC remote control packages, such as Symantec's pcAnywhere, Compaq's Carbon Copy, Netopia's Timbuktu, and Computer Associates' (CA's) ControlIT. Although you must buy these products, they offer sophisticated remote control, file transfer, and printing features.
Another alternative is notable not only for its features but also because it's free. AT&T Research (through AT&T Labs Cambridge) offers a product called Virtual Network Computing (VNC), which provides remote control capabilities for Windows, UNIX, and Macintosh clients. Although not as easy to set up and use as Terminal Services and many commercial third-party remote control packages, VNC provides excellent features and performance for an unbeatable price. This product lets you gain remote control of your entire network, including client workstations and legacy servers, without spending a dollar. If you decide to adopt VNC, you might also consider including it as a standard part of future workstation deployments (i.e., as part of standard disk or Microsoft Remote Installation Services—RIS—images). Using the WinINSTALL/Limited Edition (LE) utility that Microsoft includes on the Win2K Server CD-ROM, you can create an .msi installer package that you can subsequently deploy through Group Policy or third-party solutions. For more information about VNC, see "Related Articles in Previous Issues," page 50.