Remote access from your mobile phone can be a wonderful tool. Working in IT usually means schedules are not a guaranteed 8-5 or 7-4. Just when it appears everything is working and you get half way home, the phone rings and there is a problem. Often this means that whoever is encountering the problem has to wait for the on-call person to make it home or drive back to work. With today's technology though why should you have to wait? If you have a current smart phone you may be able to take care of the problem from where you are right then. The iPhone for instance has some very powerful tools for dealing with network problems remotely.
Cisco VPN Client
First of all, the iPhone has a built in Cisco VPN client. If a company runs Cisco equipment they can connect directly to their firewall via IPSec vpn. It also allows for L2TP and PPTP vpn connections as well. The advantage to this capability is all of the traffic is encrypted and the connections are very reliable. Over 3G the connections are also very fast and lag is minimal. Configuration on the Cisco devices is also pretty straightforward and simple, and as you can see from the screen shot there are several possible layers of security.
Once connected via vpn, there are some great apps that will allow many tasks to be completed directly from the phone. One such app is iSSH. Using iSSH any Cisco IOS device can be managed, as well as Linux, Unix, and Windows servers, via VNC or command line. It also saves all of your devices and monitors them, showing you which devices are up and which devices are having trouble.
For managing windows servers, WinAdmin is an easy, fast rdp app. WinAdmin uses the same card based interface as Safari. It is clean stable and gets the job done. Just enter your server information and it saves it to your host list. Next time you open it simply tap the server you need and in seconds you are logged in.