To remotely access
your network, I would recommend something with a level of security built in, such as Remote Desktop (assuming your using windows machines). LogMeIn (I don't mean the Hamachi one here) is also encrypted for security, and the free version is quite good. LogMeIn Hamachi looks interesting but I haven't tried it myself. VNC is great for casual use but you need to also employ some security strategy with it if you use it over WAN.
your network remotely, (that is, using a centrally managed console using SMTP to check the statuses of your network nodes) to check things like harddrive capacity, memory usage etc etc I would recommend trying something like OpManager
. This particular piece of software has a freeware version, and although a bit cumbersome to set up it seems to work OK. I use it in conjunction with Blat to email me when trouble happens (although it also has email capability if you happen to have SNMP running on your network). I did have a list of a few Linux based monitors but have since misplaced it
Of course, as nigglesnush85
have implied, you will absolutely need to be able to access
your network remotely in order to effectively manage