Hey let me look at that for ya!
June 10, 2011 9:18 AM   Subscribe

Windows Server 2008: Tech support advice needed! What are the options for helpdesk staff to remotely control client computers? Details inside.

I am Global Strategy and Governance manager and therefore really have no clue when it comes to IT operations. Our infrastructure is based on Server 2008 R2 and everything works as it should --- users can connect to the server, shares work, GP policies are in effect, Exchange 2010 SP1 runs awesome.

What I don't understand is that we need to invest money to be able for support teams to remote access client computers (all Win 7 Pro) when handling tickets. I thought it was just an admin clicks on a computer to remote access, takes over the screen and helps the user.

New Operations Manager seems to love investing in technology, but I just don't see that we need extra servers for this, etc....Our infrastructure should be robust enough.
is the business forced to invest more money just to have the latest and greatest?

Are we missing 3rd party software components? I am asking the hivemind because I have a hunch (that could be entirely wrong).
posted by Funmonkey1 to Technology (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
LogMeIn is a 3rd party option. I use it for about 55 people and I love it. The free version is more than enough for me, but there is a paid version that is more expensive for more features. There's also the built-in Remote Desktop that just has to be configured for use from group policy, but works (with some narrower limitations). RDP or LogMeIn would be more than enough for remote support (which is what I use it for) and both are free. There are "enterprise" options (Citrix, etc) that you may require for encryption reasons, but it depends on your environment.
posted by msbutah at 9:48 AM on June 10, 2011

PS I should mention that LogMeIn is encrypted end to end. Its just the question of handing that traffic off to a third party versus keeping it all in house. For you (multiple users, no endpoint setup, etc) the LogMeIn Rescue or Pro may be more applicable for your needs. As a one person shop I find the free version more than capable.
posted by msbutah at 9:51 AM on June 10, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks gents. Sites have no issues with speed. Thanks for the help.

The other part of the question is if we stick with it in-house there are there additional servers required or is it just a connection speed issue?
posted by Funmonkey1 at 10:09 AM on June 10, 2011

I'm a huge fan of Remote Control by IntelliAdmin. No new servers needed, no big installation needed, and it ties in really nicely with an existing AD environment.

Of courses, there's always something like this.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:25 AM on June 10, 2011

You are probably looking for Windows Remote Assistance. This feature is built into Windows 7 and allows the user to send a help request to another user. The latter person can then see and manipulate the screen of the person who asked for help. It doesn't require any additional gear.
posted by fireoyster at 10:31 AM on June 10, 2011

Since you're running a domain, you simply need to turn on a Group Policy that enables Remote Desktop/Assistance. If you're to invest in anything, put your money towards a configuration manager such as SCCM, where the console would allow easy access to remote tools from your techs to your clients. Like Exchange, there will be a learning curve for SCCM. There's plenty of 3rd party alternatives however if you're not too invested in Microsoft technologies. Kaseya, for example, offers a robust management product as well.

The benefit of SCCM for the environment I'm in is the integration possibilities (ForeFront, WSUS, etc) as well as the side perk that we get discounts on Microsoft products due to our agreement.

But if you're solely looking for just remote control. Windows 7 has that all built in already, there's no reason to really even look at a 3rd party solution (VNC, logmein, etc), other than to make the process for easier for offsite clients.
posted by samsara at 10:36 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks again for the info --- it is truly appreciated. Further answers or information is appreciated!
posted by Funmonkey1 at 11:02 AM on June 10, 2011

There should be no reason to invest in anything, *just* to be able to remote control desktops through Windows server. Enable remote assistance, and off you go.

If they want to install SMS to perform other system management things, that might require some investments, but the technical people should be able to offer some kind of justification. IE: "Task X currently takes Y hours to complete, and it will take less time with New Technology, leading to a break-even point of 8 months."
posted by gjc at 4:40 PM on June 10, 2011

Just throwing out another product if you have lots of people on remote, disparate networks out of your control: bomgar.com
posted by bhance at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2011

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