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9/21/2011
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Run Your Data Center From An iPhone

Startup Tellago Studios lets IT managers control servers from iPhones, Androids, or Windows Phones, through a cloud link.

Top 20 Top Add-Ons For Microsoft SharePoint
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Will IT managers soon be running their largest servers in the data center from a smartphone? Tellago Studios thinks they will.

The Boca Raton, Fla., firm has produced Moesion, a system that allows IT managers to run some of their largest Microsoft servers from an iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone. Moesion is a contraction of mobile and vision (pronounced mo-shun); it lets IT managers roam while continuing to see such data center systems as Windows Server, SharePoint, SQL Server, IIS Web server, and BizTalk integration server.

Moesion places an agent on each target server, which provides access to the management capabilities built into the server. The agent is capable of receiving a tablet or smartphone query about a server and responding by supplying information to a Tellago website. From there it is relayed to an HTML5-based browser on the IT manager's mobile device. HTML5 is built into Explorer 8 and 9 and recent versions of Firefox, Apple Safari, and Google Chrome. With HTML5, a barchart or other graphic device showing usage of CPU or memory could be dynamically updated to a monitoring device.

[Ever wonder about the wisdom of allowing personal mobile devices into the workplace? See Allowing Personal Devices: A Faustian Bargain.]

Normally such communications need to take place over a VPN or encrypted link between the remote IT manager and the data center. Jesus Rodriguez, Tellago Studios CEO and co-founder, said the company "has been obsessive about security" and encrypts the information in transit, storing no server data on its website, other than a log of the commands issued through its Moesion system. The command log produces an audit trail, a log of events that are being executed on servers in a data center, showing what remote device took what action at what time, he said.

"We are not storing any of your server's sensitive data," he said in an interview.

The service also works for monitoring workloads in Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud service, as well as on-premises Microsoft servers.

The initial version of Moesion is focused on the Windows platform to the exclusion of others, and its roadmap calls for expanding its reach to Microsoft Exchange Server. Another roadmap priority is allowing the remote management of VMware virtual machines as well as physical servers and adding management of workloads in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

Moesion consists of a series of apps, each extracting a type of data from a Microsoft server to make it available to a mobile device. Data that can be extracted, for example, might include the server event log, the file system being used, SQL Server Management Studio information, server users, server groups, devices being used on the server, and disk in use.

Rodriguez said an IT manager trying to remotely manage a website would touch an icon representing the website server on his phone or tablet, which would prompt it to show the IIS management console displayed in HTML5. The manager could browse the applications on the site and restart one that had unexpectedly stalled, he said.

Although the early focus is Microsoft, Tellago Studios wants to add Oracle database systems and Rackspace cloud workloads in the future, as well as Amazon and VMware virtual machines, Rodriguez said.

Moesion has been tested with six beta customers and was shown recently as part of presentations on Windows management tools at Microsoft's Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office, said Elizabeth Redding, Tellago president, in an interview. It was announced as available in a preview version Monday; 24 hours later Tellago had 200 requests to participate, she said.

The Moesion system not only deals with the command interfaces of Microsoft servers but also allows IT administrators to upload their management scripts into Moesion "and facilitate the automation of certain management tasks from a mobile device," said Rodriguez. "You could upload a script that installs a specific piece of software, such as a Java Virtual Machine, and execute it directly from your smartphone," he said.

Moesion is priced at $30 a month per managed server, or $850 a month for one to 50 servers in its enterprise edition. More information is available at this announcement blog, or in this roadmap of product plans.

SaaS productivity apps are good to go--if you can get past security and data ownership concerns. Read all about it in the new, all-digital issue of InformationWeek SMB. Download it now. (Free with registration.)

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