My young company is growing -- we'll soon have a live site to be monitored.

In the past, I've always had a phone or two that was passed around to whoever was on call.. Nagios sends its emails there, staff have the number, etc. I've used Blackberry Curves, which were great at email, but not so hot for remote administration.

I'm considering iPhones, Blackberries and HTC/Google phones. I'm located in Canada, and would likely go with Rogers (no flame wars here please.. in my specific area they are the least worst, in my experience).

What do you guys use/recommend for an on call phone?

6 Answers 6


I can't speak on the whole Canada thing, but I have been very happy with my iPhone. I am able to ssh and remote desktop from it, plus all the other normal advantages of a smart phone.


I really like the Google G1 phone. I believe they're coming out with a new version though in about a month.

Nice phone, can SSH, Jabber client, integrated into Gmail, contacts, calendar, etc.

I put a bigger battery in mine and turned everything ON.

I've have to say its probably the best phone I've had to date.

Looks like its available in Canada (on Rogers) too!



Consider using Pagers instead for notifications, and a separate USB wireless modem for remote administration. Pagers tend to work in places the phones don't, and having a dedicated modem will likely make life easier in terms of getting it to work with various PCs.


I would go with a phone that can be tethered to a netbook (or small laptop) and then pass around both the phone and the computer. Remote administration from ANY phone is a nightmare.

Edit: The other benefit here is you can use your VPN software and any third party tools you would normally use in the office, and will probably get a ton more work done.


Go with an something flashy, but pocket-friendly, so people are happy to carry it wherever they are. An iPhone would be an excellent choice today.

Otherwise, a solid workhorse with a keyboard, like a G1 or a Nokia N97, will allow easy SSH access with a hard keyboard and a good sized screen. Like Keith says, you can't beat a real PC for this though.


iPhone OS 3.0 can be tethered to a PC/Mac now to use internet-on-the-go, however RDP applications for it are fairly expensive (Around 20 bucks). So if you're managing Windows servers it might get annoying. If you're administering Linux servers with SSH it might be easier.

  • Uuh, why the downvote? If you're going to downvote how about leaving a note to say why? Jul 22, 2009 at 21:52

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