The first new feature we are detailing in this article series is the Remote Administration in ORF 5.
This feature is pretty much what it sounds: in ORF 5, you can access and manage remote ORF installations with just one click – no more RDP, VNC or walking up to the server room. Sounds good?
There is also more to Remote Administration than just shaving off a couple of minutes here and there: the Remote Access communication foundation that enables this feature also opens up a way for remote ORF components to talk to each other. For instance, ORF 5’s Configuration Synchronization relies on this very same foundation and certain future developments are enabled by this.
A few basic facts:
- Remote Access can be enabled using the Administration Tool (disabled by default).
- All ORF management tools are supported (Administration Tool, Log Viewer and the Reporting Tool).
- Default connections can be configured (useful if you always work with the same server). Shortcuts can be created per management tool for multiple-server scenarios.
- ORF 5 Setup comes in two versions: a full setup and a freely distributable Management Tools-only setup.
Security and network facts (nobody likes opening ports in the firewall, right?):
- Accessing the service requires an administrator-configured password.
- The default communication port is TCP/6242 (can be changed per interface).
- Communication is HTTP-based – a slightly modified version of the SOAP protocol, typically used for Web Services.
- The password is never stored directly on the computer (only hash on the server, salted hash on the clients).
- Secured challenge-response authentication. No plain-text password is sent over the network. VPN can be employed for additional security.
- Service can be restricted to specific local interfaces/IPs.
- Access can be granted by client IP addresses.
- HTTP proxies are supported by the communication protocol.
And now a few screenshots.
What do you think? Will you use this feature? Got any questions? Feel free to comment.