Many companies around the world are actively using devices in various locations to monitor their networks, infrastructure, and equipment. In order for these devices to perform the tasks they were intended for, they must be able to communicate with each other, as well as with technicians. One of the more common methods most people come up with is to send data across the internet via cellular data connections. This idea can create a hole in a firewall that would make most IT professionals cringe.
In order for the RTU to send alarms to the Master Station, or for any service-checks performed from a central location, a message is typically sent across a Local Area Network. The more expansive networking needs become, the more complicated solutions can get as well. Once communications are sent outside of the LAN, most firewalls must be adapted to allow a free flow of data back and forth. Even though somewhat necessary for monitoring purposes, it creates a large vulnerability in the network by allowing an easy point-of-access for malicious attacks. Another option that several firms have started to explore is the transmission of alarms via cellular service on a CDMA-based network.
Either by direct communications via data connections, or through quick SMS notifications triggered by the RTU alarm, the ability to connect your RTUs through a common and relatively secure method allows the network monitoring to continue unhindered in the event of a LAN failure, across large distances, and also allows a more efficient response to alarms.
The ability of an RTU to send communications back to the Master Station, or directly to a technician, via text message allows for a much more efficient response depending on which alarm is being triggered and for what reasons.
One final point of interest is that 5 of the 7 major cellular service companies in North America use CDMA technology in their networks, this means that you have even more capabilities in terms of which providers you can use in order to transmit your network security correspondence.
In order to find out if CDMA-compatible RTUs are the solution to your network monitoring needs, please contact your equipment vendor for more information.