Sun Shared Shell - A Cool Diagnostic Tool

[Updated 2010.10.12 with new URL]

As part of helping a customer out recently on an escalation, the SSE on the case suggested using Sun Shared Shell, a tool that allows you to see and optionally control a remote system. It supports SSH and Telnet.

This tool was instrumental in increasing my understanding of what was going on with the customer's system, and removed the need to wait for output via emails or just trying to understand things over the phone. The owner of the session, usually the customer, has the option of allowing you to enter commands (without hitting 'Return'), or even allowing the 'Return' as well. It also has logging and chatting capabilities.

When first logging in, it allows you to be the owner of the shell and share that with other participants, or to view someone else's shell session.

Once logged in, you have a terminal window, the people present on the connection, and a chat window. The icon before the name/email address shows whether you have view, type, or full control (the keyboard will also have a down-arrow with it).

Oh, and I forgot about the feature to scribble on the screen. I used that to diagram out an idea I had to solve a zone networking issue, and it helped the others understand what I was proposing a lot quicker!

In the spirit of 'asking for what you want instead of complaining about what you don't have', I submitted a few suggestions, and the owner(s) quickly responded with clarifications.

I see this as a great tool to help future cases where a shared view of operations will improve understanding or service delivery! Thanks to those who created and maintain it! Steffen

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