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You might be lucky enough to be able to conveniently and efficiently connect everything together on a LAN. Most people don't have that luxury. You will likely have a need to connect via existing communications networks at some point.
The general answer most people come up with is to send data across the internet. This idea can cause your average network security professional to cringe. The thought of creating a hole in a firewall in order for the RTU to send alarms can be frightening. This is needed for the Master Station to communicate with any network elements.
The next option that a few firms have started to explore is the transmission of alarms over cellular networks.There are drawbacks to sending transmissions across the internet utilizing this method. These are:
The answer to all these issues? Texting.
A text message can be sent from one device to any number of receivers depending on what needs to be done.
The ability to connect your RTUs through cellular service allows the network monitoring to continue unhindered. Even if LAN fails, your system will switch over to cellular as a backup. It also allows a more efficient response to alarms. The ability to send communications directly to a technician via text message (SMS) allows for a much more efficient response. This can be a vital time savings, depending on which alarm is being tripped and when.
The overall cost of expanding a Local Area Network to include new RTUs or monitoring stations can be quite expensive. But when compared to the price of a basic text message, in many instances, the choice can be very simple.
For more information on these devices, your first step should be to get in touch with an expert. You need to learn more about your network security options.