Friday, 8 March 2013

Introducing the best remote connection manager: mRemoteNG

I had to reimage my laptop again this week and I thought I had backed everything I needed up before I reimaged it, alas I hadn't. I forgot to backup the connections file for mRemoteNG.

I really like mRemoteNG, it is my one stop shop for remote connections, as it does pretty much every time of connection I might wish to use: RDP, SSH, VNC and more.

The key feature(s), for me, of mRemoteNG is in how it allows to classify connections in many ways to avoid working in the wrong server:

  1. Servers can be grouped in directories, which allows the separation of applications in directories, so that for instance you could put all the connections to your servers for a CRM application in one directory called CRM inside the production directory.
  2. Servers can appear in different tabs (Panels in mRemoteNG parlance). This feature is really useful as it allows to separate environments into different tabs, so that I'm not accidentally working in Prod when I think I'm working in dev or test.
  3. Connections are named. Prepending all your connection names with a suitable prefix will help to ensure that you are working where you think you are.
An example of how things might look like in mRemoteNG, I just created a few at random server connections for the purposes of this post. 

The production servers are on their own tab, Prod, which is separated from the Dev tab, which contains the Dev servers.

The Connections and Config windows can be unpinned so that the full screen is devoted to the remote connection, which is really useful for graphical connections and it also allows Full screen if needed.

Another good feature is that the connections can be exported with or without password, which means that it is really easy to give a new employee an export of all the servers they need to use by simply exporting the connections file without passwords.

If you need to connect to many different servers and you want to be able to quickly change between them, mRemoteNG is a really good solution. The only downside I see is that it has been coded in VB.NET and I don't like VB.NET :).

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