Most of system and network administrators or troubleshooters probably already know the Remote Desktop Manager (RDM) from Devolutions. RDM is a centralized tool for all your remote connections, passwords and credentials in one unique management platform. Before we jump into the tool, let’s have a look at the features it has to offer.
- Connection integration including RDP, VNC, FTP, VPN, Web, SSH and more.
- Secure, organize and store sensitive data.
- Information centralization.
- Share sessions and work as a team.
- Manageable user security rights.
- Connection logging.
- Simplify user queries.
- Streamline support task.
These are just the major features of RDM. For a full features list and all available add-ons, visit RDM website.
As you can see, RDM has extensive features, way too much to fit it in one review. So, in this post we will have a look at the RDM from a vSphere administrator perspective. In my home lab, I have multiple sub-labs configured for different VMware products (vSphere, SRM, vCloud Director etc). Let’s have a look how to organize the remote connections to all components running within my labs with RDM.
Create Group Structure
First, let’s create a group structure that reflects my view in the vCenter Server.
- Open RDM and select Sessions on the Navigation pane left.
- Click Add Group/Folder, provide a name and click OK. Here is an example of my folder structure.
Start adding connections like RDP, SSH etc.
Add RDP to a Windows Machine
- Right-click a folder or group and select Add -> Add Session (or press CTRL+N).
- Enter a name for the connection, login credentials and provide FQDN or IP address of the machine.
- Configure the display or local resources as you would normally do on a RDP session.
- Alternatively, you can add extra information about the connection or set up a VPN before connecting to the machine.
- Click OK to save the connection settings and if you want to connect to your machine, click Open Session.
Add a connection to vCenter Server via the Web Client
- Right-click the group or folder, select New Entry (or press the INSERT key) and in the Add new entry window, select Web Browser located under Remote Connections in the Session group.
- Next, provide the URL to the vCenter Server Web Client (for example: https://10.10.10.13:9443/vsphere-client) and click OK.
- Click Open Session to open the vSphere Web Client and log in with your credentials.
Add SSH connection to your ESXi host
Make sure you enable SSH on the host before connecting.
- Once again, right-click the group or folder and select New Entry. Select Telnet, SSH, RAW, rLogin and click OK.
- Provide a name, host FQDN or IP address and login credentials. Click OK to save the connection.
- Open the connection, accept the certificate warning and you will be logged in to the ESXi shell.
The connection configurations described above are just examples. I strongly suggest you download the 30-day free trial and give it a go on your environment. The RDM has a lot of features that will make your life as vSphere admin much easier. I have been using RDM for some time now in my lab and I absolutely love it. It is easy to use and it has a lot of very useful features. I would recommend RDM to anyone who manages medium to large infrastructures.
More good news is that you can get a free one-year license for RDM from Devolutions when you are a vExpert. All you have to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a link to your VMTN profile.
After reading the first few lines, I really understand why I like RDM so much! Structures! It makes it so easy to create trees of sessions, with inheritances, batch edit, user settings, etc. The Free version works well, and the Enterprise version is killer!!!
Hmm… I wonder if they have PowerCLI integration yet.
Good question, I will ask the Engineers.
According to Devolutions, the PowerCLI is already in there.