In Pictures: 5 great Android apps for Cloud admins

Install one of these five apps on your Android phone or tablet, and you can manage your cloud infrastructure from anyplace where you can access the Internet.

  • If you administer cloud servers or services, such as those from Amazon Web Services or Rackspace, you might be relieved to learn that you don't need access to a notebook or desktop PC to perform routine administrative tasks. Install one of these five apps on your Android phone or tablet, and you can manage your cloud infrastructure from anyplace where you can access the Internet. The first three apps are compatible with AWS, the fourth can be used with Rackspace, and the fifth is a Secure Shell client that's compatible with any cloud host.

  • AWS Console AWS Console is a free Android app that provides a simple administrative interface to the following Amazon Web Services: Elastic Cloud Computer (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), Simple Notification Service (SNS), Relational Database Services (RDS), Route 53 (Amazon's Domain Name System Web service) and CloudFront (Amazon's Web-hosting service). The app lets you perform most of the basic instance tasks available from the official AWS Management Console website. Though it lacks graphics and has a plain look and feel, it remains relatively user friendly and serves its purpose. Since this app doesn't provide password protection, I strongly advise you enable the native Android lock screen PIN, password, or pattern on your device.

  • Android AWS Manager Another free Android app (currently in beta), Android AWS Manager provides an interface to the EC2, RDS and Route 53 AWS services. Though designed primarily for phones, it also works on tablets. Android AWS Manager supports fewer AWS services than AWS Console does, and it delivers less functionality for the services it does support (it won't allow you to create instances on Amazon's EC2, for instance). On the other hand, unlike AWS Console, Android AWS Manager supports Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), and you can switch between AWS regions while you're logged in. This program is also not password-protected on its own, so you should enable the native Android lock screen PIN, password, or pattern.

  • Decaf Amazon EC2 Client This Android app enables you to manage and monitor your Amazon EC2 infrastructure from either a smartphone or a tablet; it is available for purchase from the Google Play app store for $14.16. This app justifies its price tag with features missing from its no-cost competitors. And unlike the free apps covered earlier, Decaf Amazon EC2 Client is password-protectable. Decaf Amazon EC2 app provides a user friendly interface for managing basic AWS services. You can use it to handle most of the same tasks that you can perform using the official AWS Management Console website. There is no support, however, for managing EC2 components such as load balancers or network interfaces.

  • Rackspace Rackspace developed this free Android app to enable its customers to manage their Rackspace cloud servers, files, and load balancers. It supports multiple accounts for U.S., UK, and custom API endpoints. You can perform all of the basic cloud server tasks, such as creating, renaming, deleting, resizing, and rebooting instances. You can also ping cloud servers, manage backup schedules, and change root passwords. For your Cloud Files you can view and create containers, upload text files, and download and preview files. This Rackspace app also offers password protection, to deter unauthorized access to your Rackspace cloud services.

  • ConnectBot ConnectBot is a free, open-source, Secure Shell client for Android that can be used to administer any Linux or Unix-based cloud machine from the Command Line Interface. It also supports Telnet and local (Android device) connections. ConnectBot supports simultaneous SSH sessions, secure tunnels, and copy/paste operations between other Android apps. It supports popular emulation modes, Terminal bell alerts, and it has an adjustable scroll-back size. ConnectBot can be integrated with Decaf Amazon EC2, providing the ability to connect to your instances via SSH directly from a shortcut within Decaf.

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