Managing Windows Servers with Terminal Services

Another point to consider: If you are administering a server from one network to another (i.e. you’re at home trying to connect to a server at work over the internet), make sure you take into consideration any firewalls in your path, and have the appropriate ports opened and configured for such a connection. Terminal Services uses Port 3389 by default, but can be changed for strengthened security. Finally, not all applications will function properly when working through a terminal connection. An example of this that comes from my workplace is using APC’s PowerChute Plus to check my Symmetra Power Array status on a remote server. Over the terminal session, the remote server cannot establish a connection over the required Comm Port that links the UPS to the server. I have to actually run the app from the server locally, and cannot perform this administrative task remotely. Mind you, this has been the only application I’ve had trouble with so far.

So once everything is said and done, what exactly could you do with this cool remote admin feature? Well here are some real life examples of what I use Terminal Services Remote Administration for:

  • Check, schedule, modify, and run Tape Backup Jobs on remote backup servers
    Run Scripts and Utilities
  • Update Virus Scanning & Definition Files, even run scans on local and remote drives
  • Daily Maintenance Tasks
  • Application Upgrades/Maintenance
  • File Maintenance, including permission changes, moves, deletions, etc.
  • OS Patching + Updating
  • Shutdown or Reboot Servers
  • Pretty much anything that doesn’t involve physical hardware work!

So there you have it, a simple, cheap, and effective way to securely administer your Win 2K servers over a multitude of clients and devices. Have fun!