Monitor and Maintain your Remote M2M Devices

So you've decided to take the plunge and go for a M2M solution for your devices. You've carefully selected which cellular providerand the M2M devices that will interface the cellular network and your end device. The next step is to select which management tool you want to manage this new fleet of devices that are now on your network. Selecting a good management software will increase yourROI and are incredibly valuable in very large networks. We recommend a network management software for any situation where there are a large number of nodes on a network. This will simplify management by allowing you to quickly resolve issues with active monitoring and alarms. Some tools will even allow you to visualize your network and provide naming schemes to easily differentiate devices within the same location. Calling devices "Node1" and "node2" usually causes a lot of confusion.

In remote locations you don't have the luxury of just walking up to the device to obtain device status or performing a restart. A good management software can perform a variety of options such as restarting the device, upgrading the firmware, polling statistics and etc. The management options available to you depends on your M2M device so this is another critical part that should be researched before selecting a device. Here are 3 management options you can choose from.

  • SNMP Tools
  • Remote Manager Software
  • Cloud Based Solution

 

SNMP Tools

SNMP is the best option for users that already have existing networks utilizing SNMP traps. These traps sends messages between the network to communicate between the SNMP enabled device and the M2M end device. Depending on the version of SNMP, you have a variety of features ranging from monitoring the up and down status of your device, read statistics of the device and do remote configurations. For new installations we recommend using a software UI as this simplifies the process and reduces setup time. Since SNMP is based on a SNMP is based on a IEEE standard it can be used across manufacturers if the protocol is followed.

 

Remote Manager Software

M2M_Remote-Manager_MapYour other option is to install a software based remote manager. The software is included with the device you purchase and is installed on a local PC. The software is normally limited to performing firmware upgrades or get a status update on devices. Unfortunately the software only works when the software is turned on on the local machine so it is not ideal for situations where active monitoring is required.

 

 

Cloud Based Solution

We highly recommend users to a cloud based solution since it offers the best ROI and offers the most functionality. A cloud-based solution is capable of performing all actions available on remote managers as well as any SNMP functionality. A cloud based solution is always on and is actively monitoring your device remotely and can notify you when issues occur. Manufacturers are moving towards cloud based solutions and they are constantly being updated to provide the latest features.

 

Cloud software is also easily scalable and can easily manage additional devices as your network grows. While no two cloud software are the same. Here is an example of Digi Device Cloud (Etherios) and the benefits of using cloud based software verse Digi's Remote Manager.

 

Feature

Cloud Based

Remote Locally Hosted

Hosting

Device Cloud Device Manager is hosted on the Device Cloud; a highly scalable, on-demand, commercial cloud;

Remote Manager must be self-hosted in a Windows environment. The use of Citrix and terminal services can enable multiple users simultaneous remote access. Remote Manager is an application not a service;

Connectivity

Remote devices establish a TCP connection to the device cloud;

Remote Manager connects to the remote devices using telnet/ssh and ftp/sftp;

Integration

Device Cloud Device Manager can be used in conjunction with external applications via Device Cloud APIs (Application Programming Interface);

No integration with third party systems is possible.

Access

Any device with internet access and can load web pages;

Only on the local device. Software must either be installed on multiple machines; or device must be mobile or remote connect to device installed with software;

Site Specific Settings for Devices

Site-specific settings can be automated through the creation of scripts;

Support for managing site specific settings en-mass is built in;

Scalable

Unlimited devices;

Thousands;

Auditing

All activity is logged;

Activity only logged in the M2M device;

Reliability

24/7 Operations team.

In house technical team required to host software.

 

Conclusion

While we recommend cloud based solutions to all our customers it all depends on your network and how you want it setup. If you have a single device with the only user being you, then a software based management software is more than sufficient. SNMP is also useful if your network has this already enabled which will reduce the need for additional training for either cloud based or remote software. But with users with large networks, then cloud based software will simplify setup and management in the future. Can you imagine updating each M2M device remotely one by one. With a cloud based solution a mass update can have your entire network updated with a click of a mouse.

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