10
Aug
sysadminmug_thumb
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

In the final installment of the SysAdmin Series, I’m going to cover some tools to access a remote system’s desktop using VNC (Virtual Network Computing) clients.

I’ll admit that as a sysadmin, I don’t personally have a lot of use for VNC as almost all of the systems I need to access remotely are text-only systems, and I use a simple SSH client for that work. However, I know some sysadmins who rely on VNC clients to do some work on graphical interfaces when being at a terminal isn’t possible.

18
Jun
sysadminmug_thumb
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

This SysAdmin Series article will cover four of my favorite tools as a sysadmin: two for analyzing network information, and one each for doing DNS lookups and Whois lookups on domain names. As with most apps I cover in my SysAdmin Series articles, I need to fully uninstall the app and wipe all prior data before demonstrating it here for you to protect my employer in case there’s any sensitive information lurking about.

16
Jun
sysadminmug_thumb
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

First off, my apologies for the late posting in the SysAdmin series (or very early since tomorrow is Thursday). I had to deal with a double HDD failure on my home PC this weekend which ate up 14+ waking hours between Saturday night and all day Sunday, which would have been my prime writing time. Then the third HDD in that system crashed Monday evening, egad, what are the odds. I digress…

I've been looking for an easy way recently to manage configuration files for remote servers without having to deal with subversion, and even looked at some sort of file sync with Evernote/Dropbox via Android using an FTP client, but neither Evernote or Dropbox give you easy access to files on your SD storage when you download files.

10
Jun
sysadminmug_thumb
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

A good diagnostic tool for any sysadmin is a port scanner to ensure a firewall is working as intended to open or close ports. When you want a quick and dirty scanning tool, there are some great free apps in the Market to do the trick. A quick search in the Market shows two apps which seem to be popular: OscanO and Port Scandroid.

Port Scandroid

This free app in the Market was written by Rich Jones of NewFreedomApps, found at http://www.thenewfreedom.net/ and the app is described by the author like this:

Port Scandroid is a port scanner for Android.

06
Jun
sysadminmug_thumb
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Nagios is by far one of the best solutions for monitoring just about everything on a server, and it’s excellent API system means that anything it doesn’t include out of the box can be written in just about any programming language as long as the program output conforms to their standard. I’ve personally written dozens of modules for micro-managing network interfaces, disk IO and so on. I’ve even heard of elaborate schemes of detecting when system load is too high on web servers and launching more Amazon EC2 instances, or checking when load is low enough to terminate EC2 instances, all fully automated.

03
Jun
Decaf by 9Apps
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Welcome back to the SysAdmin Series, where we pick apart another app geared towards system administration. My apologies for missing Sunday’s post, a family emergency kept me offline most of the weekend.

One of the very first apps I installed on my Nexus One when it arrived in February, was Decaf by 9Apps; it was also the first paid app I bought for my Nexus One. They’ve played with their pricing scheme over time – I bought the app for 4.99 Euros mid-February, they raised the price to 9.99 Euros a month later, then up to 24.99 Euros a few weeks ago, before settling on the current 19.99 Euros price.

27
May
sysadmin-mug
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Welcome to the new SysAdmin Series, where we will cover apps and other tips and tricks for using your Android device to help you get the job done and stay on top of things in the realm of system administration.

Probably the foremost tool for any sysadmin is a good SSH client. My favorite so far is ConnectBot, by Kenny Root and Jeffrey Sharkey. At the time of this writing, this free, lean, simple SSH client is at version 1.6.2, weighs in at 352KB and has had more than 250,000 downloads and enjoys a 5-star rating from over 10,000 users, and describes itself as such in the Android Market:

ConnectBot is a powerful open-soure Secure Shell (SSH) client.

26
May
sysadmin-mug

As a System Administrator (sysadmin), the first class of applications I look for whenever I buy a new smartphone are those which can help me do my job when I’m not sitting at a computer, or at least keep an eye on things.

tux

I had started working on an article about sysadmin apps, but as I began writing, the article grew too long to be practical, so we decided today to split it into pieces, and publish it as a series of articles, featuring one application, or creative way to use an Android-powered device which can make the life of a System Administrator a little easier.