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Good Remote Site Management Protects Your Network From Threats

By Andrew Erickson

May 13, 2023

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For managing complex telecommunications networks, ensuring constant network uptime is a top priority. In this digital age, even minor disruptions can lead to significant losses in revenue and customer trust. As has been the case since the earliest days of fire alarms, telephones, and radio communications, lives literally depend on the reliability of telecom systems.

Telecom systems, in turn, rely on a network a far-flung remote sites. To ensure that these remote sites remain up and running, telecom providers are using increasingly sophisticated Remote Site Management (RSM) solutions. With RSM, telecom providers can monitor and manage their remote sites remotely - making sure they're online 7x24x365. This can be done from a single location.

What are the Different Elements of Remote Site Management Systems?

Remote site management plays a crucial role in achieving the elusive goal of 100% uptime. This takes several forms.

Let's walk through several different types of remote monitoring, using DPS Telecom equipment as indicative examples that reflect the broader marketplace pretty well:

  • RTUs
  • Central Alarm Master Stations
  • Door Access Control Systems
  • PDUs (Remote Power Switches)

NetGuardian RTUs: Your Eyes and Ears on the Ground

NetGuardian Remote Telemetry Units (RTUs) act as the eyes and ears of your network, monitoring both equipment performance and environmental conditions at remote sites. They offer real-time updates and alerts, so you can swiftly respond to potential issues before they escalate.

RTUs are how data gets collected from devices at a remote site when those devices aren't capable of reporting alarms themselves. This includes sensors for things like temperature, humidity, and water on the floor.

T/Mon Master Station: Centralizing Network Oversight

With alarms streaming in from multiple sources, it can be challenging to keep track of everything. DPS Telecom's T/Mon Alarm Management System centralizes all alarms onto one platform, providing you with a holistic view of your network's health. This comprehensive oversight enables you to identify and address issues swiftly, protecting network uptime.

I always tell my clients that a central master station really starts to become a necessity when you have 10 or more remote sites. RTUs with built-in web interfaces like the NetGuardians discussed above do a pretty good job until you hit that number.

Beyond about 10 RTUs, you really need something to bring alarms onto one screen. That's the role that a central master station like T/Mon will perform for you.

Building Access System: Securing Your Network Against Physical Threats

Physical security of your remote sites is as crucial as network security. What good is remote monitoring if just anyone can walk into your site door(s)? Even in more mundane scenarios, having an entry/exit log for each location helps you reconstruct what may have gone wrong after a legitimate but costly error by someone.

The DPS Building Access System provides secure, keyless entry to your sites, preventing unauthorized access and potential damage to your network infrastructure. You can manage your sites using keycodes and keycards. This allows for dynamic changes to who can access what sites. You also get full logging.

Remote Power Switches: Power Cycling and Remote Reboot at Your Fingertips

Having the ability to remotely control power to your equipment can be a lifesaver to avoid network disruptions.

DPS Telecom's remote power switches (also commonly known as "Power Distribution Units" or "PDUs") allow you to reboot equipment, turn off unnecessary devices, and manage power distribution from your office, ensuring that your network stays up and running.

Think of PDUs as "smart power strips" to conceptualize what they do. You're distributing power to your devices while simultaneously getting control and some monitoring over them. In fact, one DPS PDU is known as the "Smart Fuse Panel" to reflect its role in replacing a typical fuse panel.

You Must Choose a Great Manufacturer of Remote Site Management Equipment

Choosing a reliable manufacturer for your remote site management equipment is a critical decision that has far-reaching implications for the success and efficiency of your network operations. Here are some reasons why this choice is so important:

  1. Quality and Durability: High-quality and durable equipment can withstand the demanding conditions of remote site operations. A reliable manufacturer ensures their devices are robust and resilient, capable of performing optimally even under challenging circumstances (ex. extreme weather events). Look for proven solutions that have seen hundreds or thousands of real-world deployments in your industry.
  2. Advanced Features: Reliable manufacturers incorporate advanced and innovative features in their equipment. This enhances your ability to monitor and control your network remotely, providing superior functionality and ease of use. This can include an intuitive UI, new communication standards, and new security encryption.
  3. Technical Support: Top-tier manufacturers offer comprehensive technical support, which is essential in quickly resolving any issues that might arise, helping to maintain your network's uptime. You should have to reach for your credit card when you're reaching for the phone.
  4. Custom Solutions: Every network is unique and may require customized solutions. A reliable manufacturer should have the ability to provide tailored solutions that meet your specific network needs. At DPS, we built our large product catalog almost entirely by responding to specific projects. Any equipment designs we create become available for off-the-shelf ordering later.
  5. Integration with Existing Systems: It's crucial to select equipment that can seamlessly integrate with your existing network infrastructure, whether it's modern or legacy. A good manufacturer designs their devices with this integration in mind. Customization (discussed above) is how you bridge the gap when something isn't available from the existing product catalog.
  6. Cost-Effectiveness: While the initial investment in equipment may be significant, choosing a reliable manufacturer can result in long-term cost savings. This is due to the durability, performance, and maintenance support they provide, which collectively reduce the total cost of ownership. You should always consider the total cost of ownership. You work for a significant organization. Your users deserve top-notch protection.
  7. Security: Dependable manufacturers ensure their equipment adheres to the all relevant security standards. What you need can vary wildly depending on your industry and your company policies. Confirm that your manufacturer supports that security standards you require before ordering anything.

Talk to DPS Today about Remote Site Management

The DPS Engineering Team is always available to you when you need to learn about anything related to remote site management.

If you call in and speak to me or anyone else, we'll always work through what you're trying to accomplish. I can usually relate what you're experiencing to specific client stories from my prior work.

To speak with an engineer now, call 1-800-693-0351 or email sales@dpstele.com

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Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson

Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 17 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and opt...