Another Great Tool!
If you manage lots of Windows servers like I do, then you’ve doubtless found Microsoft’s very nice “Remote Desktops” utility. This one isn’t the built-in “Remote Desktop Connection” tool which allows you to connect to one server at a time. No, this one has a little more smarts, and will save multiple server definitions and let you connect to lots of servers and toggle between them. It’s a nice little life-simplifier.
Until, that is, you get more than about 5 servers in it. The problem is that the list of servers can’t be sorted or grouped in any way, so you wind up with this hodgepodge list of servers that inevitably you have to scan down to find the server you want to connect to. Admittedly, a minor annoyance, but c’mon! Why can’t this tree view work like tree views do elsewhere in Windows?
Apparently, there’s no easy way to re-sort the list. (Conceivably, there’s no way at all to re-sort the list, but I quit looking when I determined it couldn’t be done easily!)
Then I found the wonderful freeware visionapp Remote Desktop viewer. Same kind of layout — servers in a panel on the left side, remote desktop display on the right — but, oh, how much better this one is!
You maintain Credentials separately from servers, so it’s easy to mass update a password if it changes across multiple servers. Then create Connections and tie them to Credentials. The cool thing is that you can also Group your connections (COLO Clients, Our Servers, Client Servers, Local Servers, etc) and specify that they should be sorted alphabetically if you wish. Like Microsoft’s tool, you can specify whether to connect to the server console or not.
This is everything that Microsoft’s Remote Desktops should have been.
I note that visionapp also has a commercial version called visionapp Remote Desktop 2008. Probably worth a look-see if you manage hundreds of servers. Runs about $70.