Radmin Gets 64-bit Windows Support
Published: November 14, 2007
by Alex Woodie
Famatech, the Russian software company behind the popular Remote Administrator (Radmin) remote control, recently launched a new release that supports 64-bit versions of Windows. Now, systems administrators and operators don't need to be physically present at their 64-bit Windows servers and workstations to access and control them, if they have Radmin 3.1.
Radmin was created in 1999 by Dmitri Znosko, the CEO of Famatech, who co-founded the company with Dmitri Kourashev. The product's goal was simple: allow people to view the display of a Windows computer and control its mouse and keyboard input from a remote computer connected via TCP/IP. Since then, Radmin has been installed on millions of Windows PCs and servers, providing an element of geographical freedom for legions of systems administrators, telecommuters, students, and small business owners, and making Znosko and Kourashev young millionaires, one $49 license at a time (or sometimes in leaps and bounds when bulk packages were purchased).
While the goal of Radmin is pretty straightforward, the technology inside the product is a bit more complicated. To relay the graphical screen updates from the computer that's to be controlled (where Radmin Server resides) to the computer that will be doing the controlling (where Radmin Viewer resides), Famatech implemented the Mirror Driver (sometimes called the Video Hook Driver) that Microsoft built into Windows, which it says reduces performance impact compared to other remote access or emulation methods. In Radmin version 3, which Famatech unveiled earlier this year, the company introduced something it calls DirectScreenTransfer to further reduce the impact Radmin has on the host CPU.
Radmin gives users a number of capabilities beyond just screens of remote computers and gaining mouse and keyboard control over them. The utility also supports file transfers, text and voice chats, Telnet, and gives users the capability to shut down or restart remote computers. The product also includes several security features, including support for Windows security, Kerberos authentication, and 256-bit AES encryption for all data streams.
According to Nicholas Yevglevski, director of Famatech's North American operations, three features have contributed greatly to Radmin's success. First, its small footprint keeps its impact on the host machine and the network to a minimum. Multiple authentication methods and encryption of datastreams helps keep Radmin from becoming a weak link in an organization's or individual's security posture. Finally, at $49 per host for a lifetime license, Radmin is eminently affordable, he says.
Yevglevski, who works out of Famatech's office in Boca Raton, Florida, says sales of Radmin have doubled or tripled since the Florida office was opened in early 2006. In a crowded market that includes innumerable offerings, including Symantec's PC Anywhere, NetOp's Remote Control, Citrix's GoToMyPC, as well as products fromNetSupport, RemotePC, and RealVNC, Radmin has managed to stand out, Yevglevski says.
"We're taking a lot of market share from Symantec because we provide very robust, rich functionality," Yevglevski says. "We provide much better value. Users who are used to subscription-based services ask us, 'Is that $49 per month?' It's $49 onetime, for a lifetime license. Typically, subscription products are $30 to $40 per month."
But there are also a number of free, open source products, such as those from TightVNC Software, UltraVNC, and others. Why would a user pay for proprietary remote control software when they can get open source software for free? According to Yevglevski, users do so at their own risk. "People are dissatisfied due to lack of security [in open source software]," he says. "And most open source applications require a lot of resources, CPU, bandwidth, and memory. We cover those bases very well."
Customers wanting to run remote control software on Windows Vista machines have another reason to choose Radmin, Yevglevski says. Famatech developed Radmin version 3.0 to work with Vista's new user account control (UAC) security features, thereby eliminating a number of potentially confusing pop-up security windows when a user loads and runs Radmin on the box.
Similarly, while supporting 64-bit versions of Windows with Radmin was "not an easy task," it was worth it to go through all of Microsoft's certification programs to prove that Radmin 3.1 supports those environments. "We're in full compliance with Microsoft regulations when it comes to running on Microsoft operating systems," Yevglevski says. "We're the first company with a digital certificate for Vista and 64-bit support."
Demand for a 64-bit version of Radmin was surprisingly high, according to Yevglevski. "I've had several hundred e-mails in last several months" from users requesting 64-bit support, he says. While 64-bit applications are not in widespread use in Windows environments yet, there are some mission critical 64-bit applications that corporations need access to, particularly database servers and some Web servers, he says.
"To support them effectively, you need a remote control tool, otherwise you basically have to come to them in a physical proximity and that's the only way you can support them," Yevglevski says. "So if you have a co-location center, it becomes very challenging for you to do that unless you have a remote control tool."
Radmin 3.1 is available now. For more information and free trial downloads, visit www.famatech.com.
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