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Anytime, Anywhere Troubleshooting with MobiServer

Anytime, Anywhere Troubleshooting with MobiServer

A cool, mobile gadget for network admins

I worked for an ISP. We were on one of the top floors. The servers were several floors below. This meant that when you got the call that there was a server problem, you often had to get up and ride the elevator down to check the machine. There was lost time waiting on a rebooted server. Then you checked everything again, called the customer, and could finally get back to your other duties. If instead of working for an ISP, you are overseeing several networks spread across the city, you have more traveling to do. Since you are responsible for all computers on the network, it doesn't have to be the server that puts you in your car and on your way.

Now imagine this scenario. You're on the golf course trying to squeeze in 18 holes. You get a trouble call. This time, however, you use the same WAP-enabled phone you got the trouble call on to surf to a Wireless Markup Language (WML) page hosted on the company's Web server. You log in and right there on the golf course you begin to troubleshoot the network. Through the menus served to your WAP-enabled phone (or any WAP-enabled device), you fix the problem without leaving the green. You call the client or your boss to say, "Problem solved!" You continue golfing with friends and potential clients whom you've just impressed with this newfound, remote network wizardry.

You've just used MobiServer from Northern Parklife. Northern Parklife, a private developer of systems administration software for Windows NT and 2000 networks, brings us a complement of remote network troubleshooting utilities in this one Web server­based solution. The newly released package's utilities menu is written in WML and delivered via WAP. Logging in with a user name and password with MobiServer's public/private encryption ensures secure remote network administration. MobiServer generates a log file detailing all remote connections and the specific administrative activities of each person logged in, with specific times.

Northern Parklife's MobiServer was designed to achieve the same goals as all their administration software. It saves time, offers a higher quality of administrative control, is easily installed, and makes administration easier. It's reliable and limits end-user support problems as well. MobiServer can be accessed remotely on most famous-maker WAP-enabled phones (i.e., Nokia, Motorola, and Sony-Ericsson). It also works with some PalmPilots and with any computer with a WML browser. MobiServer is available now through retailers in 86 countries including the U.S.

With MobiServer you can surf in and perform an array of tasks. You can browse the network and select a computer to work on. You can ping that computer, view system information, and check log files. You can view processes and kill them. You can bring up performance data. You can examine installed services, ending or initiating them. You can change service startup settings. You can browse files, manage accounts, and pop up communications on a user's display. Rebooting remotely with MobiServer is slick and smooth.

MobiServer is a Web application on the Web server, consisting of a DLL written in C++ and WML pages for serving to the mobile phone. The MobiServer configuration tool is run directly on the Web server to set preferences for your network. The WAP menu you interact with is big enough for easy viewing, yet concise and streamlined. Navigation is highly uncomplicated while immediately useful.

Northern Parklife, Inc., privately held, is established in pleasing major players worldwide with Windows system administration solutions. Through a distribution footprint mirroring Microsoft's, I believe they are about to make a lot of clients, old and new, very happy with MobiServer.

NORTHERN Parklife, Inc.

5201 West Kennedy Blvd.,
Suite #930 € Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: (813) 639-0767
Fax: (813) 639-0757
Web Site: www.northern.net/mobiserver

$995 for a single server install. License supports 10 computers. Platform: MobiServer is a Web service in WML accessed via WAP that runs on your Windows-based Web server (Windows NT with Service Pack 5, Windows 2000, or Windows XP). IIS 4 or higher is recommended. MobiServer is compatible with Apache, Roxen, and some other Web servers.

More Stories By Robert Diamond

Robert Diamond is the founder and editor-in-chief of BroadwayWorld.com, the premiere theater site on the net now receiving over 100,000 unique visitors a day. He is also the owner of Wisdom Digital Media - a leading designer of entertainment and technology web sites. He is also the lead producer on BroadwayWorld.com's consistently sold-out Joe's Pub concert series, and Standing Ovations benefit concerts. Diamond was also named one of the "Top thirty magazine industry executives under the age of 30" by Folio magazine. Robert holds a BS degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University. Visit his blog at www.robertdiamond.com.

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