Remote Service and Access Tools

Motivation

Service and maintenance expenses constitute significant part of overall system life cycle costs. Site visits by service engineers are expensive and time consuming. Remote Service solutions are intended to maintain system with minimal number of site visits - keeping down costs, down time and improving customer satisfaction.

Description

Elbrus Remote Service Engine allows remote access to your system at customer location. The basic solution takes advantage of the fact that most firewalls are transparent to e-mail communication. Simple service communication protocol is implemented on top of e-mail messages. For this purpose special e-mail client and service commands processor are installed on the system. The e-mail client should be configured according to standard e-mail configuration at user site. A special e- mail address should be assigned to each system. The e-mail client supports both e-mails receiving (POP3 and IMAP protocols) and sending (SMTP protocol).

When the client is running, it periodically checks the e-mail server for messages. All received messages are parsed by the service commands processor. Each received message should contain a supported service request in the subject field. All the responses to the requests will be sent only to specific (one or more) Technical Support Center e-mail addresses, which will be specified during e-mail client configuration.

To protect against viruses the e-mail client only uses the basic e-mail protocol and never executes attachments or scripts of any kind.

E-mail-based Remote Service engine supports 3 modes of operation:

  • User initiated sending of problem reports and specific data/log files to remote service center
  • Automatic periodic reporting of system status to Technical Support Center (optionally with alerts based on predictive system analysis)
  • Operations initiated by Technical Support Center (like request for problem report, log/data files, remote diagnostics execution, software update with patches and virus definitions, etc.)

The engine provides full customer control of each remote action type: blocking/acknowledgement/no restrictions.

All service requests, operator confirmations and responses are logged into the remote service log file.

Web based application for service center manages all the problem reports/statistics/alerts reported by remote systems and provides convenient access from different computers on intranet or VPN.

Optional data encryption and verification is supported. Predictive Remote Service allows future problem detection and preventive maintenance reducing system down time and service costs.

Remote Service Engine may be configured to use other internet protocols instead of e-mail - FTP, HTTP, SSH, SFTP, etc.

Applications and integration with other tools

Elbrus Remote Service Engine provides remote access to system log files.

It can run TCC automatic test scenarios on the system from Remote Service Center - including System Integrity.

It supports both remote initiation of problem report generation by Bugrep and sending report to Remote Service Center - where it can be analyzed with Bugview, System Monitor and System Integrity test.

The engine supports Predictive Remote Service based on Log Analyzer.

It supports remote access to Log Book.

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