There has been much controversy over Windows 8 with the replacement of the Start Menu--especially in regards for use by business or productivity users. But you might as well get the most out of the new metro-style Start Screen if you’ve upgraded.
Here we’ll discover some apps you might find useful as an IT or networking professional that you can run on your Windows 8 PC, laptop, or even your tablet running Windows 8 RT.
This app display your local and Internet (WAN) IP address on the live title. Plus you can open the app to view further network information: host name, profile name, connection type, authentication, encryption, subnet mask, IPv6 address, and connectivity status (local and/or Internet access).
IP Subnet Calculator
Lets you calculate network addresses and subnets. Input the IP address, adjust the Subnet Mask via a slider control and it displays Subnet Bits, Host Bits, Max Subnets, and Max Hosts. It also shows the Subnet (Network) and Broadcast addresses and the host range.
If you use the Rackspace Cloud, this app lets you control and manage your Cloud Servers and Cloud Files. You can perform the basic functions for your Cloud Servers: reboot, rename, resize, rebuild, create, or delete Cloud Servers, and manage backup schedules. You can also ping IP addresses to your Cloud Servers from multiple locations around the world. For Cloud Files, you can control CDN settings and create, delete, modify containers. You can also create, download, or open the files to your device. You can also manage your Load Balancers: view, create, update, and delete Cloud Load Balancers and add or remove nodes to Cloud Load Balancers.
The app also supports a passcode lock to protect the app and your cloud services and even wipes the app's data after ten failed login attempts.
Lets you remotely monitor and manage computers and servers that you’ve installed their agent software onto. You can monitor computer resources like network performance, IIS, Exchange, Active Directory, and Hyper-V. You can also run tasks, execute commands in a terminal, manage running processes and services, check and apply updates, restart, shut down and wake your computers. It supports notifications and customized alerts.
Their free service supports up to 5 computers with no subscription payment required and no time limitation.
Simple Network Tools
This app doesn’t provide any live title display, but when you open it you’ll find some useful tools: What’s My IP to view your Internet (WAN) IP address, Lookup to get basic ownership details of an IP or domain, DNS Records to retrieve the DNS server addresses and records of an IP or domain, Ping to check an IP or domain’s status, and Trace to check the server path and latency of an IP or domain.
This Microsoft app provides a simple RDP client while still supporting RemoteApp connections and Remote Desktop Gateways. Although they still include the original client desktop program, this provides remote desktop connections in the metro-style interface.
If you use TeamViewer for remote desktoping, this app lets you access remote machines with their Partner ID or you can log into your account to view your list of computers. Though this app doesn’t support incoming or VPN connections (you still must install the desktop application for those), it does support encrypted remote desktop connections to Windows, Mac, or Linux machines, with reboot and multi-monitor support.
Let’s you test the connection quality between your computer/device and servers on the local network or the Internet. Instead of sending ICMP packets that are typically blocked by firewalls, it establishes a TCP/IP connection and works on both IPv4 and IPv6 networks. It can help you measure packet loss percentages and round-trip times. It supports simultaneous pinging of multiple hosts and displays data in nice visual manner
This app lets you control and monitor a UPnP capable router, displaying details like up- and download speed, connection statistics and status, IP-addresses, and device details. It also offers quick access to the router's configuration interface. Plus the app can help with configuring your router or troubleshooting your internet connection.
This app allows you to wake-up remote PCs that are compatible with Wake-On-Lan or Wake-On-Wan. You can save remote PC details (MAC address and IP or hostname) and quickly send the “magic” packet in the future.
Provides a full FTP client with the usual functionality: download, upload, create, rename, and moving files. Plus you can also modify their access permissions.
This apps lets you manage your Hyper-V server's virtual machines, provided you have their service component installed on your Hyper-V server machine (Windows 8 or Windows Server). You can view server status and amount of memory free. You can view screenshots of virtual machines and start, pause, and save them. The app supports multiple servers and Active Directory domains.
Lets you view MySQL 5.x databases, displaying a list of tables with a Modern UI style. It uses Secure Password Authentication over TCP/IP protocol to connect to MySQL databases via the Intranet or Internet. A future release will add new features for MySQL query data.
We reviewed over a dozen apps you can use in the new Windows 8 metro-style interface. As the Windows Store ages we’ll likely see even more apps useful for IT and networking professionals. Though you can find similar desktop applications for most of these apps that offer great functionality, these are great if you prefer the new interface or when you’re using Windows 8 RT tablets and devices.