Administer remotely from your Java-enabled browser

One of the most frustrating challenges that systems administrators face is managing Windows NT servers efficiently and cheaply from a variety of locations. Thanks to Binary Research International's RemotelyAnywhere 2.33, you don't have to worry about expensive telephone bills or poor line connections. If you have an Internet connection and a Java-enabled Web browser, RemotelyAnywhere lets you perform administrative tasks from anywhere in the world.

RemotelyAnywhere runs as an NT service and consumes less than 1MB of hard disk space. The product lets you remotely access and control NT servers and workstations via TCP/IP, and doesn't require special client software. You achieve remote access via a LAN or the Internet. RemotelyAnywhere lets you start and stop services and drivers, edit the Registry, browse event logs, download and upload files, and monitor server performance data.

The product's simple installation, which follows typical NT installation methods (e.g., intuitive wizards), took less than 2 minutes. The main RemotelyAnywhere window offers an administrative menu and basic information such as the server's name, current authentication method, and OS version.

I clicked Services to view and manage the services on the remote server, as Screen 1 shows. I could schedule services and modify user accounts and passwords. I was so impressed with the fluidity of navigation through the various menus that I could imagine using RemotelyAnywhere on my local server. I could access almost all the administrative applets from one console. If RemotelyAnywhere included access to NT's Server Manager, I'd have all the administration tools I need.

Security can be a problem with remote control programs. RemotelyAnywhere uses NT LAN Manager (NTLM) at the server level and requires the program's first user to have administrator privileges. To add other users and assign user or group permissions, simply click Configuration, Permissions.

Because you use RemotelyAnywhere via the Internet, you need to encrypt your transmissions. The software includes a utility that lets you set up Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) support. Setting up SSL includes creating a Certificate Authority (CA), creating an SSL certificate, and restarting RemotelyAnywhere to reload the new certificate. After you install the certificate, you're set up for secure connections. You can also install the SSL certificate in your browser; this method suppresses the Unknown Certificate Authority pop-up message that appears every time you make a secure connection with RemotelyAnywhere.

I set up an SSL certificate, replaced the http:// in the browser with https://, and pressed Enter. I logged on via RemotelyAnywhere's authentication screen. I scrolled the Info page and noted that the authentication method had changed to Secure, which showed that I'd established security at the transport level and NTLM authentication at the server level.

RemotelyAnywhere was so intuitive that I didn't need the documentation. However, the accompanying startup guide is packed with information (e.g., tips about locking down security), and the online Help provides similarly robust content. To test the product's technical support, I contacted Binary Research four times and received a response within 30 minutes each time.

This product has a few competitors, most notably Seattle Lab's RemoteNT. The products are similarly priced, but RemotelyAnywhere offers unlimited client access, consumes fewer system resources, features a smaller GUI, and doesn't require special client software. Save your company the frustration and cost of remote administration by downloading an evaluation copy of RemotelyAnywhere from the company's Web site today.

RemotelyAnywhere 2.33
Contact: Binary Research International * 888-446-7898
Web: http://www.binaryresearch.net
Price: Starts at $99 for a single-user license
System Requirements: x86 processor or better, Windows NT 4.0 or NT 3.51, 16MB of RAM, 1MB of hard disk space, Java-enabled Web browser