Under Remote maintenance is defined as the spatially separated access to IT systems for maintenance and repair purposes. In addition to telephone systems and industrial equipment and computer or server systems are maintained at a distance.
Vs. computer. Embedded Systems
Remote maintenance of computers wins the support of hardware and software become increasingly important. Due to increasing networking of computers over the Internet, the creation of corporate intranets and traditional telecommunication channels ( ISDN, telephone), the possibilities of direct support to expand the support. Not least because of the savings in travel costs and better use of resources (personnel and equipment ) can be used to reduce costs in company products for remote maintenance.
Remote maintenance programs allow the off-site service technician to perform directly on the serviceable computers actions. Keystrokes and mouse movements can be transferred. The service technicians can display output on your own screen. In the market, there are now about 200 products of different technological approaches and performance parameters.
Another frequently used option for remote maintenance, access to active network components for configuration or troubleshooting such as switches or routers. This access is done in most cases from the internal network, access from untrusted networks ( eg the Internet) should be restricted or prohibited.
In other embedded systems (eg, machines, machinery, elevators, heating systems, small devices ) shall apply to other requirements.
We can distinguish various methods of remote maintenance. In support of the further away located ligand user of the passive transfer mode is often used. In this case, the service technician can enter through the view of the remote screen support. Keyboard and mouse input can not be made. With the remote control being the service technician can also control the mouse and keyboard of the remote computer, and thus give the user direct support site. The active remote control is mostly used for troubleshooting.
Furthermore, a distinction must be remote maintenance of normal user- controlled devices, such as PCs, of pure embedded systems. The latter can be a mobile phone, but also, for example, a machine in an industrial company or an elevator in a building. Often for the maintenance of the latter devices is a direct connection between the device and remote maintenance system ( eg via modem / ISDN ) is used. The transition to IP-based remote maintenance systems here is a current challenge for the future.
Safety concerns always play a role in the decision to use remote control software. In addition to purely technical parameters organizational rules in the use of remote control software into considerations should be included. Remote maintenance does not last that a relationship of trust between the transmitter and receiver is necessary. Sensibly are contractual agreements that govern the remote maintenance.
The following security features are exemplary feasible and can be implemented depending on the security level and the sensitivity of the controlled computer:
- Help seeker has the remote maintenance of his computer expressly agree before connection
- Within the connection, a remote maintenance information is permanently displayed that can not be hidden
- The settings or configuration of the remote maintenance software used is locked and can only be changed by those who have to do with the remote maintenance process
- Of setting up the connection to the remote maintenance technician must authenticate
- Remote session is auditable logs ( text protocol)
- Remote session is recorded ( video report)
Data protection must be considered in each case, as already can get to the controlling technician to inspect the remote computer may confidential data. Computer crime and negligent handling of data can cause large damage. But remote maintenance and security must not contradict each other. Unique identification procedures, secure firewall settings, high encryption (256 -bit) and confidentiality agreements can ensure a high safety standard.
The latest technologies allow for the simultaneous use of chat, file transfer, Internet telephony and video surveillance of Internet sites and helpdesk. Such integrated Live Support System extends the power of support and leads processes related to a workflow together. Partial such online support systems can be connected with CRM systems and invited to request before the actual service data to the client and possibly over the network system data from the system. This results in significant benefits for the customer service because the support staff Additional information is available that can facilitate the support of the customers much.
This provides the user, in addition to a highly encrypted remote maintenance (256 bit), parallel communication paths are available, which provide the possibilities of support to a new level. As can be seen the account manager and / or heard ( voice / video over IP), creates a far more " humane " contact between the two sides, which puts the customer service representative in a position to give ( almost) as site support. However, since here also must have a software running on the client ( usually ActiveX or Java), certified software should be used for safety-related requirements.
Platform-independent software solutions enable remote administration of devices with different operating systems.
In connection with the conversion of obsolete remote maintenance systems Modem-/ISDN-Basis in the embedded space, eg for machines or elevators, IP- based remote management and a change of the underlying software platform of the client is often sought. One of the technologies, which in this case is used, OSGi and its TCP / IP - based remote management concept is. OSGi is the prerequisite of the control software - or runs parallel to this - and enables the connection of the remote management system. This change allowed ( as needed) the re-use of GSM-/UMTS- or ISDN connections, but facilitates the joint use of available IP infrastructure.
Another option is the cloud-based remote maintenance. In this cloud of the machine are collected and analyzed the data of the networked machines from commissioning. In case of failure the affected machine to the cloud, which is defective reports. Then can fix this problem at the damaged machine connected to the cloud remote maintenance technician.
Programs for unobserved remote control
A special case made programs for unobserved remote control of PC or servers. Here, it is usually necessary to install as Administrator on the computers to be controlled, appropriate software, which monitors network activities. When using such software should definitely be checked the security parameters, as the human control ceases.
Procurement and deployment
The choice of a remote control software should therefore not only the IT department is responsible. The inclusion of the Privacy Commissioner and, if the staff council should be mandatory. It should be the necessary level of encryption, access protection, the organizational security ( identifiability of the partner), and the reliability of the technical platform to be considered because of the potential damage in case of faulty software or insecure connections by brand damage or monetary liabilities can be very high.
Before using to clarifying questions:
- Enables software an encrypted transmission of data encryption is used?
- Settings must be changed at the firewall?
- Must support the authentication of the connection partner take place?
- Become a password or key numbers transported open?
- If the user of the serviceable equipment on the launch of remote maintenance and the impact of information and I have to agree the execution?
- Remains one software after closing the connection on my PC?
- If data are stored in the remote maintenance on other servers?
- Is the software certified?
- I know the service provider?
- How quickly the remote maintenance builds?
- Is the user access to only certain applications be delimited?
- How many different PC or server shall be cared for in the foreseeable future?
- How many PC or server to serve a maximum at the same time?
- How many licenses are required to provide the services you required?
- Are the licenses tied to the account manager page to specific PC or can they be used by different jobs?
- What are the installation costs (personnel costs) and other consequential costs?
- Are the licenses as a PC or server licenses or exclusively as an ASP licenses are available?
If a support system is built up, which for example via a live support system to organize the communication and organize the allocation of the supporter desk support, save error in appropriate databases and then also intended to bring together several specialists, it makes sense that to consider integration of the product. With a correspondingly high amount of use an integrated is preferable. From the error message until the Troubleshooting customer care system and without media breaks can occur. At the same time measures can be operated for error analysis, performance monitoring and billing.
A concrete needs analysis including investigation of organizational processes, technical parameters and legal frameworks can prevent bad investments. A high degree of independence of the software from the site and the unit of account manager as well as the number and location of the fernzuwartenden PC or server, with important benefits for larger numbers of customers.