We loaded up a copy of Windows XP Professional today, and the first thing we needed to do was administer our Linux boxes. There are a lot of stand alone tools out there. For SSH, PuTTY works well. What is even better, though, is to use Cygwin. The Cygwin collection of utilities is very complete. Bash, ssh, etc. all act as they should. Cooler still is that you can run X windows on XP. See Cygwin/XFree86. Pretty cool. Here is a graphic of an Arkeia backup session running on X with XP.
For an easier to use and prettier desktop, Icewin works very well with Cygwin.
The rsync utility is particularly useful. It will replicate filesystems incrementally. For instance, if you make a symbolic link c –> c:/ and have a network connection (SMB) on m: with another symbolic link m –> m:/, you could replicate your Windows filesystem to another location via the command rsync -avz /c/ /m/backup/c. Subsequent replications will only sync the files that have changed.