For monitoring sites outside your existing LAN, the NetGuardian 216T includes a T1 interface (FrameRelay or PPP). You can even deliver LAN to 7 other devices with the integrated hub. The 216T also supports LAN for an easy transition when your network expands.
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NetGuardian 216T Review
Hi, this is Carina. I'm here today with Andrew who's going to be telling us about the NetGuardian 216T. So, Andrew, tell us what the 216T is all about.
Hi, Carina. The NetGuardian 216T is a durable RTU with a twist - it can communicate over both standard LAN and T1. At DPS Telecom, we've been hearing from a lot of our clients that, even though getting LAN out to a site can be really expensive, T1's can be really cheap. We designed the NetGuardian 216T to take advantage of that by building a T1 interface directly into the unit. We support either FrameRelay or PPP.
So that means you can report alarms over T1 instead of LAN?
Of course, but the T1 interface also supports a lot of other things. There's the 7-port hub on the back, so you can deliver LAN to 7 other devices at the site. That's huge because it just about eliminates the need to buy a LAN transport card. Those can be really expensive. A lot of the time, that fact alone can justify the entire price of this unit.
And even if you bought one of those LAN cards, wouldn't you still have to buy a separate switch?
Yeah, that's right, and it probably wouldn't be DC-powered. To protect your uptime, you really need to go with DC power. Otherwise, your switch is going to go down with commercial AC. When that happens, even though your RTU is still running off your battery plant, who cares if it can't get through the switch to report alarms? It may as well be dead, too. With the integrated LAN hub, you won't ever have to worry about that problem.
What else can you send over the T1?
Well, you'll see here that you've got a terminal server port. There's also an option to get 5 of these ports. They would appear right here across the top. Whether you order 1 or 5, you use these ports to access legacy serial equipment remotely. In the old days, you'd have to drive out to the site with a laptop and connect directly to that equipment. Now, you can just plug it into the NetGuardian's serial port with a DB9-to-RJ45 cable and do the same thing from your desk, all handled remotely via T1.
You're talking a lot about using a T1. But what happens if my LAN expands out to that site? It seems like then I'd have to buy a whole new RTU, or at least keep paying for a T1 line I didn't really need anymore.
Well, that's the nice thing about the 216T. We've planned ahead for that situation by supporting LAN as well. Whenever that day comes, you'll just remove the cable from the T1 WAN jack, plug a LAN connection into the hub, and make a small change in the config software. Then you're running on LAN.
Okay. Now I want to make sure we cover everything. What about the nuts and bolts stuff? What kind of capacity does this NetGuardian model have?
We designed the 216T for medium-sized sites. It's got 16 discrete alarm inputs and 7 analog inputs (those 7 analogs break down into 4 general purposes you can use with any standard analog sensor, 1 temperature sensor, and 2 voltage sensors for monitoring battery levels). You're also going to get 2 control relays for remotely controlling equipment at the site. You can use those for just about anything. Finally, you've got the 32 ping alarms. These allow the NetGuardian to ping 32 different LAN devices at regular intervals and alert you if one of those devices isn't responding. All of these inputs can be reported back via email, pager, or SNMP.
What kind of SNMP, exactly? I know there are a couple versions.
Yeah, that's right. You basically have SNMPv1, v2c, and SNMPv3. The NetGuardian 216T supports v1 and v2c. If you need v3 support but don't need T1, you have other NetGuardian options like the NetGuardian 832A G5. It supports all 3 versions.
What about temperature? Weren't you telling me how the 216T survives the summer heat in Texas?
Yes, that's true. The first 216T deployment was in small equipment cabinets in Texas. They didn't have any climate control, so we had to make the 216T really tough. We gave it an industrial temperature rating from -22 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Those ratings are based on actual tests in our temperature chamber.
Is there anything else we should cover on the 216T?
Sure. I'll give you a quick tour of all the connectors. You've got the T1 WAN port and the 7-port hub here. This is the terminal server serial port, and up here is where the other 4 ports will go if you choose the 5-port option. This Amphenol handles the discretes, analogs, and controls. These are the 2 battery voltage analog inputs. These are the dual power inputs for extra reliability. These are -48 volts, but you can also order +24 volts. On the front we have bantam-jack T1 test ports, LED indicators, an optional LCD screen and speaker for local notifications, and the front craft port for initial configuration.
So if someone's watching this and the 216T looks like a good fit for their network, what's the next step? Should they call DPS? Go to the website?
Obviously you should give us a call if the 216T looks like a good fit for you. But it's also very possible you're watching and thinking about "that one feature" that would be perfect but isn't on the 216T yet.
What do you mean?
We do a ton of custom work, and there's generally no charge for it with an order of about a dozen units. Even that's covered by the 30-day money-back guarantee, so it's a big opportunity for people who can't find the exact product they're looking for; people who want a "perfect fit" solution. We do custom stuff all the time at DPS, so we accept a lot of the development risk. I've never heard from anyone who's returned one of our custom products, so it's really a no-brainer for us to offer that free development and the money-back guarantee. We don't want you to have any logical reason not to call DPS and discuss your project. This is actually how the NetGuardian 216T got started. It was a custom product designed specifically for one company that needed T1.
So whether the 216T looks like it's "just right" or maybe just "pretty close", the best thing to do is call?
That's right. The fastest; the easiest thing to do is call the DPS 1-800 number. Even if you need a totally different RTU than the one I showed you today, you should call. We've got lots of different products for all sorts of monitoring applications. The Sales Department is really knowledgeable, and they're right down the hall from Engineering anyway, so you're not going to be talking to an intern reading a script. I hate it when that happens to me. So the point is, call DPS, tell us what you need, and I think you'll be really impressed by what we can do.
Alright. You heard it here first, folks. The NetGuardian 216T with LAN and T1 support, plus perfect-fit customization to give you the exact product you need. Call DPS to learn more or visit www.DpsTele.com. Andrew, thanks so much for joining me today.
Oh, it's my pleasure.
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