iPad useful to an IT professional?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by someguy, May 25, 2010.

  1. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #1
    Hey all,

    I am writing up a brief proposal to hopefully convince my employer to purchase an iPad for me. :cool:

    The primary reason for wanting one (aside from the pure awesomeness) is that I can do most of what I do from home in the evening using a combination of VPN and VNC access. This way, I would almost always be available without having to keep my MacBook Pro on me at all times.

    This may or may not be reason enough to convince them, so I was wondering what other techy things are people doing with iPads? Keep in mind I work a lot with network management, file and web servers, desktop support (Windows and Mac), and basically anything else that comes up from time to time.
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    You're trying to get your employer to spend money on something you don't really need for a set of tasks that is better completed on existing equipment? Hrm....
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #3
    + iPad would mainly be used for everything else but working, mainly email etc personal things ;)

    iPad is nice and simple but I doubt you're used for something like that. If current equipment is good, no need for new
     
  4. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Just get an Air then. Thats what I eneded up doing. Remote Desktop Connect and ARD all day.
     
  5. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    Current equipment is good, and I could certainly do without an iPad, but we may be buying a few to pass around and I'd like to call dibs on one or two for the IT department. :)

    I would imagine that with a little creativity, quite a bit could be done remotely from this device given the size of the display and that I'd be able to connect to the local network over 3G.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    If you can get your employer to pay them, why not? :p I can imagine how well e.g. TeamViewer would run on iPad let alone some real VNC tools. It's always good to keep up with technology and maybe the iPad will be more handy than we think
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #7
    If you can't think of any ways in which the iPad would actually help you with your job, I don't know how any of us will be able to. This isn't exactly illuminating:

     
  8. wickets macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I am using ITap RDP to log on to our office Windows Server 2003 to check on Goldmine and company email. This was the first program that I saw that worked with Windows Server 2003. Easier on laptop but battery life is much better and a lot easier to carry than MBP.
     
  9. ReallyOldGuy macrumors regular

    ReallyOldGuy

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    #9
    if you are or will be using Citrix the ipad will do it all. I found this app looking for home use but is way over kill but, my wife showed it to her IT department and they put it up for the whole company and now only her ipad goes on the road
     
  10. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    TeamViewer looks great! I'll have to look more into it. Thanks!

    Right, portability is a huge plus for the iPad, and I hear the battery life is exceptional as well. I can't tell you how often I need a laptop with an internet connection, just for a moment, to do something work related while I'm out and about.

    We use several Citrix products, what are you referring to specifically? :)
     
  11. nws0291 macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    If you use XenApp and XenDesktop with Access Gateway the ipad is the perfect thin client on the go. I can stream all my apps from anywhere. I can even stream full Windows 7 desktops to my ipad anywhere. It's got an integrated GotoMeeting client as well.

    Here is a quick little video but download the app for free and try the demo.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsUabpULkWA
     
  12. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    I'll definitely have to check this out. We use a few other products like XenServer, XenCenter, and a few more. :)
     
  13. nefan65 macrumors 65816

    nefan65

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    #13
    Wish I had one for the same reasons. I'm contemplating it now, but will purchase my own. The idea of not having to take out a laptop, or something else to do some quick things. Or have it while traveling would be great. Plus the ability to read a book, cruise the Web, or check mail.

    I look at it as an additional piece of equipment though, not a replacement...
     
  14. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    I look at it as an alternative piece of equipment, for use when it is far less practical to lug around a laptop, as well as tether to a 3G device, just to perform a simple, yet important task.

    If an iPad could replace a MacBook Pro, the MacBook Pro wouldn't cost 3x as much. :)
     
  15. dtlee1974 macrumors regular

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    #15
    I'm a Network/System admin and here's what I do with my ipad:

    1. VPN and RDP into any Windows system in my environment. I use Desktop Connect and love it. Business advantage: Mobility. As light as it is, I can take my iPad places and at times I would not want to take my laptop. Also, it is faster to whip out and use than a laptop and doesn't take a desk or chair to use. A good example is when I'm working in the second building on our campus and some user fatfingers their password and locks themselves out. I can whip out my iPad and RDP into my workstation to reset their password before I could even think about getting my laptop out and connected.

    2. I can SSH into our Linux boxes and Cisco routers from anywhere. I was traveling yesterday and fixed a router issue from a roadside rest area in the middle of nowhere in Iowa.

    3. Vendor docs. I set up a Dropbox account and started dumping *all* my vendor docs into it. I have probably 100,000 pages of Symantec, Dell, Equallogic and Cisco docs sitting in a spot that I can access them from anywhere on my iPad or a PC. Need a doc? Use Goodreader to grab it from Dropbox and open it up from anywhere. This is a PDF heavy industry and the iPad is a great PDF reader.

    4. Help desk - We use Spiceworks for our help desk and it works really nice on mobile safari. I can read and respond to tickets from anywhere.

    5. Meeting documents - Around here people like to dump documents on you before meetings so you can "follow along." Instead of printing them out, I take them on my iPad. It is neater and saves ink and paper.

    I'd be curious to hear what other people use their iPad for in the IT industry.
     
  16. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    Excellent post! This is exactly the type of information I am looking for. All of the above applies to what I do (do we work at the same place? :eek::p ).

    I'd love to hear more from other iPad users!
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #17
    what a great thread :D

    i am also attempting to justify my purchases, and even though im not *yet* a network admin (hopes are aimed high) - i would love to use the ipad as my computer companion! cant wait for mine (credit card got charged the other day).

    thanks very much for that justification dt - ill be checking out all those things you mentioned.

    what is the BEST RDP program out there for the ipad?
     
  18. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #18
    I personally don't see myself using one for work (or at home for that matter). As a touch typist, I like the tactile feedback from a real keyboard. I don't like the virtual keyboard on my phone or my iPod Touch. I do find some of those uses intriguing, though. How does the RDP into a Windows machine work? How does the touch interface compare to a real mouse? SSH into a router should be a snap, since it is all CLI. I also find the Dropbox idea amazing. I never even thought about that.

    We currently have a couple of Kindles that we use to store regulations and such on. Those are handy when we are at a remote unit doing inspections and such. No need to drag around the 50lb backpack for that. I could see the iPad replacing that, but it would be an expensive replacement for that. Of course, since the last word we got from higher up was "No iPads on the network", I don't see that happening anytime soon.
     
  19. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #19
    steve: RDP would work how it does with other computers i guess. launch the app - login - away it goes. i am not sure how each app handles resolutions though, im sure you could scale or have a real life representation of the screen depending on your needs.

    im very eager to hear though :D
     
  20. dtlee1974 macrumors regular

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    RDP handles resolutions differently than VNC does. With VNC you get the resolution that the desktop is set at, with RDP the resolution and bit depth is set by the client when it connects. I just use the default that Desktop Connect uses which is 1024x768 I think. You can pinch/spread to zoom in and out if necessary but I haven't found it to be very much. I think you can also change the resolution it connects at but I'm not sure why you would really.

    The mouse actually treats the screen like a touchpad. You don't necessarily click where you want to click on the screen but rather move the mouse using the screen. It takes a bit of getting used to. But, I've found it to be pretty nice after giving it some time because you aren't covering up what you're trying to click on with your finger. To right click you simply click with two fingers.

    Don't get me wrong, I would not want to work all day on my iPad but for situations where I have to be away from my desk (or even outside the building I work in) I would much rather carry it than a laptop. I wouldn't want to write code on it or compose a lengthy email, but for quick fixes it is awesome.

    Dofot: Desktop Connect is the only RDP program I've tried. I bought it first and it worked well so I haven't put money down on the others but I would love to hear some comparisons if anyone has used more than one.
     
  21. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #21
    thanks for that! great to know. do you access from internal or external locations? what is the performance like?

    unfortunately i dont have any RDP machines atm - just use OSX + VNC etc, so i guess my experiences will be a bit "dumbed down" with regards to automatic scaling etc.

    thanks for the input :D
     
  22. dtlee1974 macrumors regular

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    #22
    I use it from outside the network over 3G with a VPN tunnel or from home on wifi with a VPN. We do not have wireless at the office. It really works great even over 3g. Also of interest to you perhaps, the same app works as a VNC client as well as RDP so it will work with your Mac too. It isn't quite as smooth as RDP, but it does work. There are times I want to get at the console session on a server and VNC is the easiest way.

    Anyway, this has been a good topic. It is nice to see how other people are using their iPads for work (or want to!)
     
  23. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #23
    thats awsome to hear dt! can i ask how much this app costs? (am at work now). unfortuntately i have ordered the wifi model, and am now kicking myself for not getting the 3G with the information you have just given me. even as we speak i am VNC'd into my home computers doing uni work etc. having the ability to do so from my ipad would have been amazing!

    i can tether from my nokia phone to iPad - but its ~40KB/s download speed is a tad slow.

    thanks so much for the input.
     
  24. dtlee1974 macrumors regular

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    #24
    It is $11.99 on the US app store right now. Noticed you're in Australia so I'm not sure how that will convert. Goodreader is another must and it is $2 if I remember right.

    As for the 3g vs. Wifi...it all depends on where you live. I'm in St. Paul, MN and ATT service here is surprisingly good. Also I don't have Wifi at work, so it was pretty much get 3g or not use it at work. If you live where WiFi is ubiquitous I wouldn't worry too much.
     
  25. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #25
    ill have a check when i get home :) that seems a decent price - seeing as though i was going to pay $30 for logmein.com!! :eek:

    3G (NextG) in our area is amazing reception. i could have gone with another carrier for the same price but 2x the data (2GB for Aus$20) but their reception is no where near as good.. i just couldnt justify it.

    i think (hope/pray) that im happy with the WiFi :D
     

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