You can start SQL Server Configuration Manager locally to connect to a remote SQL Server using the registered server list in SSMS.

If you right-click on a Server in SSMS 2012 you can only connect to a SQL Server 2012 instance.

To remotely connect to any SQL Server simply run one of the following:-

SQL 2008
SQLServerManager10.msc /32 /COMPUTER:Your Server Name here
 
SQL 2012
SQLServerManager11.msc /32 /COMPUTER:Your Server Name here
 
Or you can use this Powershell script which checks using WMI what SQL namespaces are installed and then launches the appropriate version of the configuration manager...
 
 
View source
  1. param (
  2. [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)][string]$serverName
  3. )
  4. function FindTheSQLNameSpace() {
  5.   return (Get-WMIObject -ComputerName $serverName -NameSpace root\Microsoft\SQLServer -Class "__NAMESPACE" `
  6.                 -Filter "__RELPATH Like '%ComputerManagement%'" | Sort-Object -Property "Name" -Descending | Select Name -First 1);
  7. }
  8. $nameSpace = (FindTheSQLNameSpace $serverName);
  9. $cmd="";
  10. switch ($nameSpace.Name)
  11. {
  12.     "ComputerManagement11" {$cmd = "SQLServerManager11.msc"}
  13.     "ComputerManagement10" {$cmd = "SQLServerManager10.msc"}
  14.     default {$cmd = "SQLServerManager.msc"}
  15. }
  16. $cmd += " /32 /COMPUTER:$($serverName)";
  17. Invoke-Expression "& $($cmd)";
  18.  

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