We often have customers, coming in via various channels, that end up trying one of our products and deciding to purchase what they've tried. That makes us really happy, but during the purchasing process, they may ask a question or two that makes us realize that they would be better served by one of our other products, or a combination of them.
Devolutions Server (DVLS) is probably the product that is most often involved in the confusion. It is in fact a specialized data source that must be used by the Desktop client (Remote Desktop Manager). The confusion is understandable because when you ask for a trial of DVLS, you get keys for both the desktop client, and obviously also a key for DVLS. People install and play around with Remote Desktop Manager (RDM), never realizing that they haven’t even seen the server part.
Let’s try to clarify where these products shine, and how to determine what you need.
Advanced Data Source
RDM obviously needs a data source to store your information. To get a true team-oriented platform you need to use an Advanced Data source. This allows features like: Security groups, User Permissions, Advanced Logging, User Specific Settings and the Private Vault. The Advanced Data sources we currently support are MsSql Server/SQL Azure, MySQL, MariaDB, Devolutions Cloud and Devolutions Server.
Out of that list, two data sources enable special features that are unique to them:
- MS SQL Server : allows using Domain credentials to log on the data source, this is also known as Integrated Security. Allows for Single Sign On (SSO)
- DVLS : allows for management of users by Active Directory group membership. Meaning that after you’ve configured the RDM security groups and permissions, you can simply assign users in an AD group in order for that user to obtain access to the system. We have called this Active Directory Integration.
How to Choose
So for a team to collaborate and to have a rich security system and full logging, you only need Remote Desktop Manager Enterprise Edition and an Advanced Data source! No need for DVLS for most of our features!
DVLS was created for two specific scenarios. The AD Integration show above, and to offer a middle layer between the client and the database. This layer is mostly a concern for larger organizations that must meet architectural requirements for platforms that they use, or any organization that needs to expose the system directly on the internet. On top of that, DVLS helps reduce database server loads because it acts as a cache for your information.Databases should not be publically available. Even if you have strong encryption and passwords used are really complex, Denial Of Service (DOS) attacks are extremely easy to orchestrate. Many tools exist to handle attacks, but most often they are geared towards web sites rather then specific services like MS SQL instances.
Even though we always recommend using encrypted communication with the database, web applications like DVLS can be protected even more by using commercial and even open sources solutions.
So we hope this has been informative and helped you understand what DVLS is for. Please drop us a line if you need more information. Contact info is here
The Devolutions team.