THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY THE TECH TARGET TEAM IN PARTNERSHIP WITH DEVOLUTIONS.
Remote desktop management and support solutions are firmly cemented into the foundation of just about every IT infrastructure, and with good reason. For systems administrators and other IT professionals, these solutions are key to providing high-level support to desktop users who have come to expect ultra-high levels of service regardless of their location. And in today’s increasingly decentralized organizations, those locations can be just about anywhere.
Make no mistake: There is a wide variety of tools that enable sysadmins to take control of remote desktops for updates, troubleshooting, patch management, password management and a host of other vital services.
Many of these solutions started out similarly, which is to say as free downloads or trial offers. But over time, many of these solutions—particularly those targeting small and medium-sized businesses—have become bloated with new features, often with hefty price tags and beefier footprints. A solution that used to take just seconds for a remote user to download can now take up to half a minute in some cases. What’s worse, a lot of the new features that cause this solution bloat and price escalation are of little or no use to sysadmins simply trying to install a patch or security update. It’s like a diner on a diet having to pay for a pricey, calorie-rich dessert that is neither wanted nor needed but included in the cost of the meal.
Other problems have evolved as remote desktop solutions have changed. Many of them target specific environments, such as Microsoft, Apple or Linux, and they can serve these platforms well. But when the solutions try to work across different platforms, there are issues. For example, APIs may no longer work properly, ease of use can plummet, and headaches associated with maintaining the solutions escalate. Not only that, but many of these solutions provide poor support or no support at all for this variety of platforms.
A STITCH IN TIME FROM WAYK NOW
Now, relief has arrived for sysadmins in the form of Wayk Now, a remote desktop/remote support tool from Devolutions designed to mitigate the growing number of shortcomings of conventional remote desktop management solutions. Above all else, Wayk Now is a highly flexible, versatile and lightweight remote desktop access solution with ease of use that reduces implementation time while augmenting security.
What’s more, Wayk Now is a very affordable solution for SMBs that is positioned to strike a delicate balance between cost, functionality, desired feature set, optimal user experience and efficiency. Specifically, when integrated with Devolutions Remote Desktop Manager, Wayk Now enables easy management as opposed to bloated solutions on the market as well as scalability and greatly enhanced efficiency via a single, unique platform for all remote sessions.
ANSWERING THE SYSADMIN’S WISH LIST
Wayk Now delivers on virtually every important requirement sysadmins have long demanded, including the following:
• On-demand sessions enabling connectivity to any remote computer within a specific local-area network or over the Internet
• Simplicity and security that overcome most common usability problems found in most other remote support tools
• Enterprise-ready features that integrate directly to facilitate troubleshooting and expedite problem resolution
• Remote control allowing sysadmins to speedily gain access and control of a remote computer or enabling the user to quickly yield control to someone else for immediate assistance
• Access control restricting access to specified resources shared by the server
• Remote execution allowing sysadmins to execute multiple commands and scripts—such as batch script, PowerShell and many others—on a remote computer
• Cross-platform security that works on all major operating systems with the same rich feature set regardless of OS
• Ultra-lightweight package that ensures smooth and easy installation via a small download, fully usable without installation or elevated permissions
• Secure access guaranteed by strong TLS 1.2 encryption that includes certificate validation
• File transfer that enables the sending or receiving of files between computers, and the transfer of multiple files from both the sysadmin and user simultaneously
• Multiple-monitor management allowing sysadmins to easily switch among multiple monitors connected to remote desktops
• Clipboard sharing enabling copying and pasting of anything between local and remote applications using clipboard interoperability
In sum, Wayk Now represents a great leap forward in remote desktop management, particularly when it comes to resolving the many issues surrounding support of multiple systems and multiple operating systems with uniform, easy-to-use features. Pricing is equally flexible and agreeable, with per-user models available as well as site licensing packages. Click here to get started on new horizons for efficient, intelligent and comprehensive remote desktop management and support.
Marc-Andre Moreau is the product manager and product architect at Devolutions for the Wayk Now solution. He joined Devolutions after several years as an expert developer and architect at various open source and RDP projects. He is the founder of the FreeRDP project.
Q: What do you feel is most compelling about Wayk Now from the perspective of system administrators?
Marc-Andre: System administrators have to deal with a wide variety of remote desktop solutions with unequal feature sets. You may use Microsoft RDP for Windows and Apple Remote Desktop for macOS. Each does the job very well for its target platform but not across platforms. Unlike other remote desktop management solutions, Wayk offers a uniform feature set on all platforms. This means system administrators have to deploy only a single remote desktop solution to cover all of their systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. We believe this is the way forward, since this is the only way to offer exactly what our customers want, instead of trying to force third-party products into doing things they were not specifically designed for.
Q: What have you and your team done to ensure that integration of the solution into most environments is relatively seamless?
Marc-Andre: We determined early on in the product development that Wayk should be offered as a self-contained program requiring no external dependencies or administrative rights to minimally function. For instance, our self-contained Windows executable is less than 2 MB in size and contains both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Wayk Now. This prevents the common mistake of downloading the wrong executable for your processor architecture, and the extremely small executable size makes the average download time virtually instant. Of course, we offer installer packages in addition to the lightweight version of the product, for permanent installation and advanced features, such that you get the best of both worlds depending on your use case.
Q: That was quite a feat of software engineering, wasn’t it?
Marc-Andre: Quite so. We found the vast majority of download sizes of most products to be around 10 MBs. If you want to connect with someone and the program is 25 MBs, that is 25 seconds to download. That is getting in the way of the critical path to use your program. We do it with 2 MBs, and we identified this as being very important to our customers. The feedback we have gotten to date bears this out, too.
Q: How has your extensive experience in open source solutions been brought to bear on developing Wayk?
Marc-Andre: Having founded the FreeRDP project eight years ago, I earned plenty of valuable knowledge on how to make a good remote desktop product. In many ways, FreeRDP can be seen as the draft of Wayk Now, giving us the opportunity not only to start with a fresh source code base, but also with our own protocol design. The Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol is great, but it has been primarily designed with Windows in mind. With our own protocol, we can break free from the Microsoft RDP limitations and correctly cover specific cases for platforms other than Windows. In addition to this, source code portability heavily relies on the Windows Portable Runtime (WinPR), a component of the FreeRDP project that implements the Win32 API for all platforms.
Q: Anything you’d like to say regarding the overall security features of Wayk Now?
Marc-Andre: With a proprietary solution, you’d just have to trust us. Because with this solution both users are in front of their machines, there is no need for complex passwords. We use TLS 1.2 (Transport Layer Security protocol) and also made sure that secure validation is properly implemented. That is, you can properly validate a certificate. That certificate is visible now, but we are working to effectively hide it and we’ll be the only solution that does so. All underlying protocols in this solution are extremely robust.