iPad Mini rules for IT

I recently had a flight to Idaho for work and had the fortune to fly with an Airline that came equipped with in flight WiFi, though I sometimes ask myself, “why isn’t every airline equipped with that nowadays?”  So naturally having interwebs on a flight It was important that I took take advantage of it and logged into my home network to work on my servers.   I could have used my laptop but why would I want to drag out a device that once the drive starts spinning the battery starts draining.  Fortunately being the geek I am, I have found all the appropriate apps that gave me the same capability with my iPad mini that I have with my laptop with 1/2 the energy burn that my laptop does.

Using my IPSEC connection profile on the iPad mini, I connected to my configured Cisco ASA at home which authenticates with my Active Directory accounts in order to log into my network securely from 39,000 feet.   The fun now begins.

I fired up a couple of my useful apps to SSH and to RDP to servers in my network.  The first app is my SSH client for the Apple iOS device called Prompt.  This app is amazing as most importantly it’s one of the few apps that captures the TAB key for Linux auto complete, has an ESC icon for vi exiting and also captures the history for quick command reference.  On top of that it uses my favorite green on black terminal screen view.

Just seeing a Linux terminal on my iPad alone just makes me squee with joy, but the fact it is so functional on an iPad to the point that it even rivals that of any terminal app on a desktop just makes me pleased for the usefulness that iPads can give to the IT industry.  Prompt for iOSUsing the amazing airplane WiFi connection I had to my home network over VPN, I was able to make changes to the MySQL db and add new WordPress websites to my Apache web server config as well as modify regex that’s used to filer mail on my mailserver. Life couldn’t get any cooler than that at that moment. Even caught the attention of the unfortunate middle seat person on the plane that was forced to be interested in my work or the sleeping/drooling person on the other side.

From this application I went to my RDP application to make changes to my Active Directory server; specifically my DNS server so I could add my new web server ‘A’ record entry into the tables. I have tried numerous RDP clients for iPad and honestly the one that has work the best, and rightfully so, was the one produced by Microsoft.  RD client by far is the best one for functionality.  Your hand gestures across the iPad screen controls where the mouse location and a simple tap becomes the left click.  The right click is a 2 finger tap.  Pretty intuitive.

Combining the two applications together really unlocks the IT power of an iPad in my world.  Since I also have Verizon service on it, I’m not limited to being around a WiFi hot spot which is even more ideal to my need to access my home network.

I have looked into the Dell Tablet with the built in Verizon card, which runs of Windows 8.1 and may still consider it, however the iPad seems to more and more meet my needs for IT and even for flying (which I will post about the apps I use for flying at a later date).  Because of how much I depend on my iPad mini, I may look to move to the full size iPad come next generation to get a bigger screen for my network enjoyment, but until then I must say well done to Apple and the app creators for great IT tools.  Just with a few simple apps and a great mini device you have definitely met daily home IT needs.