SolarWinds DameWare Remote Support 12

Not the best designed central console, but it’s affordable and easy to deploy

  • Good pricing structure; Simple deployment;
  • Includes redundant tools; Creates heaps of unneccesary tabs;

DameWare Remote Support is one of the few solutions that can do most of its work without an agent installed on each desktop. It integrates with Active Directory and provides plenty of tools for administering domain objects: containers, groups and users.

However, it does rely on an agent installed on the target system when using the Mini Remote Control utility, through which you can connect to a system from almost anywhere. This can be loaded only for the duration of the support session and, when you finish, it removes itself. Otherwise, basic remote control is achieved using Remote Desktop Protocol.

The Mini Remote Control utility can be accessed from the main Remote Support interface or loaded as a separate application. We found iteasy to use for our Windows systems.

We tested the standalone version, but DameWare also offers a Central Server edition for larger, distributed businesses. Both are good value, with licensing based on the number of remote support technicians andnot the systems being supported.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

When first opened, the Remote Support console checks the network and presents a list of detected domains and workgroups in a tree structure, which placed the servers and workstations on our test setup in separate, easy-to-access groups.

Selecting a system opens a complete overview of its hard disks, with graphs of free and used space, a table displaying more detail, and direct access to Windows' optionto restore previous versions.

The console displays the selected system's event logs and running processes, and if the remote Registry service isn't running, it will start it for you. We could then remotely view and edit its Registry, and reboot or shut down the system.

We loaded a command-line prompt, event viewer and performance monitor for the remote system from the System Tools section. Rather annoyingly, every tool selected adds a quick-access tab at the top of the central window, which doesn't close down when you select another.

It's all too easy to end up with ten or 20 tabs loaded without realising it. And some of the options hint at DameWare's age, such as when it tries to load vintage apps such as NTBackup and the Windows NT User Manager.

DameWare doesn't perform an inventory on your remote systems and store the information, although it will scan each system's properties to show details of its CPU, memory, graphics and so on. We could also view all installed software, but each time this was selected, the console queried the remote system to pull in a list. This could then be exported as a CSV file.

Advertisement - Article continues below

You'll only need to use the DameWare Remote Support Service agent to access a small number of features, including the remote command viewer and console, plus the system reboot and shutdown commands. When we selected these, DameWare offered to load the service on the target system for us.

DameWare can connect to Macs using the VNC service, and we had no problems with our MacBook Pro running OS X El Capitan. You'll need to edit its screen-sharing options to allow VNC viewers to connect to the system.

For large networks, the Remote Support console will look busy and it includes a few redundant tools. That said, its agentless architecture makes it easy to deploy, and basing prices on the number of technicians make it good value.


For large networks, the Remote Support console will look busy and it includes a few redundant tools. That said, its agentless architecture makes it easy to deploy, and basing prices on the number of technicians make it good value.

Console: Windows 7/Server 2008 upwards

Clients: Windows Vista/Server 2008 upwards

Linux and OSX (VNC enabled) 

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020