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Rollout: Avocent's SonicAdmin

The Upshot

Avocent's SonicAdmin Pro lets administrators manage their Windows servers remotely using a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile smartphone or PDA.

Although not the first player to market with such a utility, Avocent brings big-name vendor credibility to this arena with a compelling product.

Avocent's SonicAdmin makes it possible to perform basic administration tasks anywhere. SonicAdmin gives administrators greater freedom while on call and greater flexibility while in the office. Not a replacement for conventional management programs, this application can nevertheless ease the burden for organizations with limited IT budgets where administrators can't be at their desk 24/7.

Avocent SonicAdmin

Stuck at the airport while you're on call, you receive the dreaded message: A server's flaking out and it needs attention now. Avocent's SonicAdmin can give you the access you need over your BlackBerry or Windows Mobile smartphone.

Several options, such as remote Secure Shell (SSH) and Microsoft Remote Desktop, exist for remote management. But each has problems when used on mobile platforms. SSH and telnet programs are great for managing Linux servers and infrastructure gear but are challenging to use with Windows servers. Remote Desktop manages Windows servers but the client included with Windows Mobile 5.0 doesn't handle high encryption and can be difficult to use on the small screen of a handheld device. SonicAdmin Pro's feature set addresses those concerns and is competitive with other remote solutions, such as Expand Beyond's PocketAdmin.

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