For what you're looking for, I believe you'll be happy with either the 'Putty-tunnel-manager' ('PTM'?) project or 'Putty Tray' solutions. The two get their sessions from Putty, though you can move/copy the sessions to PTM as oppose to putty tray which uses putty all the way. Only PTM will allow you to stop and start a tunnel session from the taskbar... Putty tray will allow you to start it only. I've used Tunnelier, but it doesn't seem to be what you're looking for since I couldn't find an easy way of creating taskbar items(sessions).
I like Putty Tray better because I like having access to a terminal window/session when I load a tunnel (makes me feel more powerful by having access to Putty's configuration as oppose to the limited settings offered in PTM)... but maybe you want this as a solution for end-users, so with PTM you only create your tunnel (no terminal window opens). The nice thing about this is that if you left-click on the icon it shows you your opened sessions. A minus for PTM, it gave me a UI programming error when trying to call the taskbar when the settings page was in the background... looks like a bug.
All in all, that's my assessment for the already posted solutions.
I'd like to add another solution I found though it might be a little more bloated than putty and the above solutions. In any case, I thought it was a worthy mention since it's free and pretty full-featured:
Free for home and education
This features page is pretty informative, so I won't rewrite it here. I found this client to be pretty full-feature which was something I was looking for, specially for the Tabs and easy launching of sessions/tunnels through the taskbar. Here's a couple of highlighted features listed on the site:
- Using full screen view to use your entire monitor as a terminal
- Using Compose bar to send a string to multiple servers at once.
- Using tunneling bar for real time channel monitoring (SSH)
- Using Dynamic Port Forwarding with Tunneling bar (SSH)
- Using local shell interface to control Xshell
The application sessions are text-based and saved to the user's profile which could be easily scripted '\Application Data\NetSarang\Xshell\Sessions\Links'
The application comes with Xactivator.exe (276KB) which is the taskbar app that can be launched at startup, finds the sessions and allows you quick launch for them... unfortunately, it does not provide a disconnect in the taskbar.
- Microsoft Windows 98/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista
- Microsoft Windows Terminal Server
- Citrix MetaFrame for Windows