Having trouble with your server room? Try these free tools.
Microsoft’s Windows Server has been a commonplace of most companies’ IT infrastructure for years, but it’s not cheap keeping all that kit running.
Thankfully, Microsoft and a bunch of other companies have released plenty of free tools to help IT departments manage their server room properly.
Here are some of our favourites.
Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT)
RSAT is the perfect set of tools for any IT manager hoping to look after their server environment while sat in front of their desktop.
With RSAT, you’ve got Role Administration Tools and Feature Administration Tools.
The former includes Hyper-V Manager, an easy way to manage your Hyper-V on a remote system’s server, while the latter enables failover management.
Remote Desktop Manager
Remote desktop management is a very convenient way of managing your server room, but it can lead your PC getting clogged with various connections, each one adding to the confusion with its own settings and authentication.
Devolutions’ Remote Desktop Manager allows you to keep your passwords, credentials and remote connections all in one place.
SMB specialist Spiceworks is a popular tool among its target market, and covers inventory management, change management, virtualisation management and monitoring as well as IT helpdesk support.
The company says it’s able to make the product free because IT vendors offer their own products inside the tool, but
SQL Server Migration Assistant
Anyone hoping to bring their databases into SQL can use Microsoft’s migration assistants. They work for both MySQL and Access, and the MySQL assistant will help migrations of MySQL 4.1 and above to SQL 2005/2008/2008 R2 and SQL Azure.
The same applies for Access, which also lets you carry on using Access as your front-end interface thanks to the nifty trick of putting links from Access tables to SQL Server tables.
Active Directory Explorer
AD Explorer is a great way to view and edit your AD database, saving snapshots offline and saving advanced searches. You get the option to view objects’ properties without having to open up dialogue boxes and modify permissions.
ManageEngine Desktop Central 8
Software deployment, patch management, remote desktop control and mobile device management are all supported by Desktop Central 8. On top of that, you can also manage USB devices, and it offers remote desktop control.
The free edition will benefit SMBs and can be used to manage 25 desktops and two mobile devices.