Managing M2M Applications

Smart power grids, intelligent buildings, pipeline controllers, medical imaging, and as many other Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications as a rapidly expanding industry can imagine are changing the world for the better by delivering cost savings, energy efficiency, safety and convenience. 

Along with the opportunities M2M presents, comes a vast and growing highly-distributed communications and control infrastructure.  Estimates for the number of intelligent, connected, distributed and non-traditional devices in place already today routinely exceed 200 million with forecasts for the future in the billions. This infrastructure needs to be implemented, managed, maintained and ultimately integrated with the existing management processes and tools of central IT organizations.

Uplogix local managers are the management machines
for machine-to-machine systems

Local Management is the practice of implementing management functionality in the same location as the devices being managed by connecting directly via a console port in a manner independent of any network. Uplogix has been a leader in the Local Management of M2M systems since 2005.  Whether your M2M infrastructure uses IP M2M Gateways and Zigbee, SCADA RTUs/PLCs and Modbus, wireless LAN, cellular, satellite, plain old telephone or some combination of the above, you need Uplogix Local Management to ensure availability and to keep operational expenses under control. 

There are many challenges unique to M2M infrastructure that Uplogix Local Management addresses thoroughly and cost effectively.

  • Most infrastructure components such as M2M gateways, firewalls, RTUs, PLCs , communications gear and even standard networking gear like routers and switches is highly distributed and remote, making on-site repairs, changes and upgrades expensive and sometimes dangerous. 
  • Often, M2M communication channels such as satellite or SMS cellular are optimized for low bandwidth, power and cost.  This channel often lacks the bandwidth for the remote performance of management tasks.
  • A single remote infrastructure element such as an M2M gateway or RTU can control hundreds of devices, making downtime expensive and extremely impactful.
  • Some of the most valuable M2M applications are mission critical where lives may depend on proper functionality which leads to stringent availability requirements.
  • Especially in SCADA applications, infrastructure components may not be IP addressable and lack SNMP MIBs making them invisible to, and incompatible with existing centralized management tools.
  • Some M2M devices and strategies require “local intelligence” that allows for some level of decision making independent of central control. 

With Uplogix Local M2M Management you can manage critical M2M infrastructure components like M2M IP to ZigBee and other gateways, routers, switches, firewalls, RTUs, PLCs, satellite communications gear, and in some cases the components of intelligent devices themselves:

  • Connect directly to managed devices via the console port
  • Enhance security by locking down remote and on-site administrative access using fine grained roles. Preserve AAA and complete audit of all administrative actions regardless of network state.
  • Track and automate remote configuration changes to infrastructure components with a fail-safed system that includes automated Surgical Rollback™
  • Monitor state and performance of infrastructure components intensively without network impact. Send device status data to SNMP monitoring systems even when the devices themselves are not IP addressable and lack MIBs.
  • Automate support.  Detect problems and take a sequence of automated recovery steps when issues occur, dramatically reducing mean time to recovery (MTTR)
  • Establish a secure out-of-band on-demand connection via POTs, cellular or satellite when human intervention is required.  Dial-in or -out based on a rule or upon receipt of an SMS message.
  • Add intelligence to your system improving its capabilities with flexible rules based automation.  Improve device autonomy (e.g. circuit switch based on cost, time and location, reorient satellite dishes on moving vessels based on GPS coordinates, power down and back up based on rules) to most optimally meet your unique requirements.

Uplogix Local M2M Management for SCADA/Modbus

Remote SCADA Management

Manage RTU, satellite controller, firewall and other infrastructure

  • Access (on-demand high bandwidth OOB)
  • Secure administration
  • Upgrades and changes including initial deployment
  • Automated L1 support
  • Local monitoring

Integrate with SNMP monitoring

Direct or virtually connect to and manage PLCs & RS-232 devices
 

Uplogix Local M2M Management for Advanced Intelligent Devices

Remote SCADA Management

Manage network and system components with direct or virtual RS-232 connection

  • Access (on-demand high bandwidth OOB)
  • Secure administration upgrades and changes including initial deployment
  • Automated L1 support
  • Local monitoring

Rules (cost/ performance/ availability) based circuit switching (POTS, Cellular)
 

Uplogix Local M2M Management for IP/Zigbee

Remote SCADA Management

Manage M2M Gateway via direct RS-232 connection

  • Access (on-demand high bandwidth OOB)
  • Secure administration
  • Upgrades and changes including initial deployment
  • Automated L1 support
  • Local monitoring

Rules (cost/ performance/ availability) based cellular circuit switching
 

 

 

 

 

 

As you rely on the router to carry branch services, you’ll need an out-of-band solution that can help configure, back up, and reboot the device... For more advanced needs, Uplogix takes it one step further with its products, which provide standardized procedures for OS upgrades and patches, modifying configuration elements, and password updates and recovery — in essence building “best-practices-in-a-box” with scripts that automate branch management tasks.”

— Rob Whitley,
Forrester Research