Virtualization and remote access help me stay productive

I’ve been on vacation for a couple of weeks. Vacation as in “not at home” where my lab resides. But, some things simply can’t wait and I can’t always predict what I’m going to need while I’m on the road. So, remote access to my lab becomes pretty key. I have a couple of different ways by which I can access my virtual lab, including:

  • When I need to do something quick, I fire up my account. I’ve installed the Logmein components on the Hyper-V server in my lab so I get immediate access to the Hyper-V Manager without needing to do much else.
  • VPN. I use DD-WRT on my home router and created a VPN service that I can use when necessary. For example, I do a lot of work for TrainSignal and need to be able to connect to my lab in a visually seamless way using RDP only so that I can record the screen with Camtasia. In these cases, I fire up the VPN connection and use RDP and it looks just like I’m sitting in my office at home.

On my Hyper-V server, I have plenty of storage and keep ISO’s close at hand so I can stand up a system quickly. When I need a new ISO, it’s a matter of firing up the download, disconnecting and later on reconnecting and making use of it to achieve whatever goal I have in mind.

  • Is any of this rocket science? Not really, but it’s nice that it’s become so easy to have a lab that works well and is very easily accessible.

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