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RTU Evaluation Guide: 3 Steps to Selecting the Right RTU for Your Remote Sites

Selecting the right RTU for your remote sites can be overwhelming. When you're trying to find the right balance of capacity, interface, and features - how do you know what you really want?

Before you decide on an RTU, you should consider its short-term and long-term effect on your network monitoring strategy. You want an RTU that will both immediately improve your network visibility and support your overall upgrade plan to support your future monitoring goals.

Here are the 3 crucial factors that can help you make a well-informed buying decision:

1. Take an Inventory of Your Current Network Monitoring Equipment

You may think that adding new RTUs requires a completely new alarm monitoring system, but that's not necessarily true. Before you shop around, take an inventory of your current network monitoring equipment. You want to select an RTU that meets your current requirements and is compatible with your existing network transports.

Here's some questions that will help you start your network monitoring inventory:

  1. How many remote sites need to be monitored?
  2. What is the protocol and transport of the RTUs you're currently using?
  3. How many alarm points (discrete inputs) do you need to monitor at each site?
  4. What dedicated facilities do you already have in place to transport RTU data?

2. Decide What Features You Need to Support Your Anticipated Growth

Before you select a remote, think about what your ultimate goals are for your network monitoring. What alarm capacity do you need to support your future network growth? What great features do you really want your alarm system to support?

Here are some questions that will help you form your future network monitoring plans:

  1. How many alarm points will your network alarm system monitor in the next 5-10 years?
  2. What alarm monitoring features will you need - discrete alarms, analog alarms, controls, serial ports, local visibility?
  3. What kind of data transport do you want to use, now and in the future - overhead channels, DS0 (56K) circuits, X.25 network, terminal servers, LAN/WAN, other?
  4. What protocols will your remotes use? Are you planning to shift your monitoring to a standard protocol like SNMP?
  5. Do you want to receive alarm notifications via email or pager?

3. Select an RTU for both Your Immediate and Future Needs

Once you've defined your current and long-term network monitoring goals, choose an RTU that meets your present needs and will expand to meet your future needs.

Remote Alarm Block 176N

Remote Alarm Block 176N
The Remote Alarm Block 176N offers cost-effective, high density alarm reporting

For instance, if your network presently requires or will require high-density alarm coverage, your most cost-effective remote is the Remote Alarm Block 176N. Here are some of the features that make the RAB 176N ideal for dense alarm collection:

  • 176 alarm inputs, 4 control relays
  • Supports any SNMP manager or the T/Mon Remote Alarm Monitoring System
  • Supports LAN, RS-232, or RS-485 interfaces
  • Easy alarm termination right to the unit - saves space and eliminates need for cross connects
  • Mount on an MDF or wall: compact design frees space for revenue generating equipment
  • Selectable alarm qualification times separate nuisances from emergencies
  • Easy logic card replacement without having to disconnect wire wrap dressing
  • Free Windows-based configuration and monitoring utility included

NetGuardian 832A

NetGuardian 832A G5
The NetGuardian 832A offers expandable alarm capacity and versatile functionality.

If you want enough alarm capacity now and future expansion options, the versatile NetGuardian 832A is ideal for networks with an anticipated growth plan:

  • 32 discrete alarms, 32 ping alarms, 8 analog alarms, 8 controls, and 8 serial ports
  • Expandable to 80, 128, or 176 discrete alarms with the NetGuardian Expansion
  • Supports any SNMP manager or T/Mon
  • Monitor alarms without a master: supports built-in Web browser interface, plus pager and email alarm notifications
  • 8 serial ports provide multiple user LAN-based reach through access to PBXs, switches, and any other device with a craft port or serial only interface. (Similar to terminal server functionality)
  • Internal modem supports alternate dial-up reporting path in case of LAN failure
  • Free Windows-based utility for off-site editing and remote provisioning via LAN
  • Optional integrated temperature sensor.
  • Optional NetGuardian SiteCAM provides Web-based video surveillance of remote sites
  • Optional hinged back panel accessories provide alternatives for wiring your alarm points. Wire wrap, screw-lug terminations, and punch block are some of the wiring options available.
  • Multi-layer, multi-user, multi-privilege security system.

NetGuardian 216

NetGuardian 216 G3 Rack Mount
The NetGuardian 216 G3 provides space-saving light capacity alarm monitoring

If you have smaller sites that don't require an expensive, heavy-duty RTU, the NetGuardian 216 provides advanced network reliability management in a compact, affordable format, utilizing your existing IP network for data transport.

  • 16 discrete alarms, 2-8 analog inputs, 2 controls, and 1 terminal server port
  • LAN transport
  • Supports SNMP, TL1, and T/Mon
  • Compact rack-mount form factor saves space for revenue-generating equipment
  • Free Windows-based configuration and monitoring utility included
  • For versatile SNMP Remote with FrameRelay or PPP over T1 Support, check out the NetGuardian 216 T
  • For a LAN-based, fiber-supported RTU, check out the NetGuardian 216 F

NetGuardian 480

NetGuardian 480
The NetGuardian 480 is a cost-effective, high-density alarm collector for SNMP or TL1.

If you have large sites that need dense alarm coverage, but you don't need all the features of the NetGuardian 832A, the NetGuardian 480 provides a cost-effective, solution for SNMP or TL1:

  • 80 discrete alarms, 4 controls
  • 4 Front panel LEDs give immediate local visibility of alarm state and network status.
  • User-defined alarm qualification times allow you to clearly distinguish momentary status changes from serious problems.
  • An internal real-time clock creates accurate time-date stamps for SNMP traps and TL1 messages.
  • LAN transport
  • Supports SNMP, TL1, and T/Mon
  • Free Windows-based configuration and monitoring utility included

AlphaMax 82A and 82S

AlphaMax Compact Dial-Up Remote Telemetry Unit
The AlphaMax is a compact dial-up remote that reports directly to your pager.

If you need to install network monitoring in small, distant, or out-of-the-way places, the AlphaMax provides alarm monitoring anywhere you need it:

  • 8 discrete alarms, 2 control relays
  • Reports directly to any pager
  • DTMF control lets you ack alarms with just a phone call
  • Uses AC or DC power - plus optional UPS block provides 3 hours of backup battery power.
  • Supports both alphanumeric and numeric pagers for notification of alarms
  • The 82S and 82S High Speed offer a craft port interface, allowing the units to become a virtual channel for obtaining ASCII data from an external device like a PABX. The AlphaMax can also be used to monitor PCOM and HARRIS radio alarms and provide remote configuration.

All DPS Remotes Backed by Free Lifetime Firmware Upgrades, Technical Support and No-Risk Money-Back Guarantee

The Remote Alarm Block 176N, the NetGuardian 832A, the NetGuardian 216, and the NetGuardian 480 are just four examples of DPS Telecom's full line of RTUs for every monitoring need. All DPS remotes are supported by two year hardware warranties, DPS Telecom technical support, and free lifetime firmware upgrades - plus they're guaranteed by our risk-free, money-back guarantee. Test an evaluation unit in your network for 30 days, and if you're not completely satisfied, return it for a full refund.

Additional information on selecting an RTU can be found in our RTU Tutorial.

Learn More About Your RTU Options

Get the facts before you buy an RTU. Attend a free Web seminar on how to select the right RTU. An Application Engineer will help you determine what RTU will meet your present and long-term network monitoring needs. There's no obligation to buy - no high-pressure salesman - just useful information on your RTU choices.

Register here for your free Web seminar on RTU selection
or call 1-800-693-0351 for details

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