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Staying Connected to Critical Systems

by Benchmark

Increasingly, modern businesses and organisations are utilising network infrastructure to create technology-based solutions. These not only protect their people, property and assets, but also offer operational efficiencies such as site management and business intelligence. Today’s data-centric landscape offers efficiencies and a return on investment to those who maximise the potential on offer from their technology investment, but in an increasingly data-driven world, those benefits can be lost if system connectivity is not ensured.

While it is true that advances in the world of communications have dramatically changed the potential on offer from business systems and solutions, the reality remains that as the dependence on data-driven services increases, so the risks associated with lost connectivity become more perilous. While communications downtime can be an inconvenience for some non-critical tasks, as businesses and organisations increase their use of data the range of functions which demand an ‘always-on’ approach increases.

Of course, the claim of a service being ‘always-on’ needs some clarification. Often used as a marketing term by the telecoms providers, ‘always-on’ doesn’t mean that the provided networks are fully redundant, robust and resilient. It usually only indicates the service does not need a connection process to access the network. As a result, businesses and organisations need to assess how acceptable a service outage would be when considering their connectivity needs. If – for example – a security system cannot function, it could have significant ramifications for the user.

If an alarm is generated, but the signal does not reach the ARC, effectively the system has failed, and the user’s investment is wasted. This explains why secure multi-path signalling with intelligent polling has been used by the security sector for many years. As such, secure signalling systems are proven in the field and have provided peerless support for many of the most high-profile sites.

However, the benefits of reliable connectivity, such as secure signalling, are not limited to alarm systems. If continuity of service is critical, then it makes sense to deploy the same approach for video systems, and even access control solutions. While remote technologies are being embraced due to cost efficiencies and enhanced management opportunities, what happens if an access control system cannot connect to a central or cloud-based server? Suddenly a business finds its workforce unable to enter buildings or move around a site.

It is also important to consider cloud-based or remote business services. These might be freezer monitoring in supermarkets, management of HVAC in server farms, process control in manufacturing facilities, flow data for traffic control systems, etc.. In such cases, a failure in connectivity cannot be considered as inconvenient; any lack of continuity due to communication failures is, quite simply, unthinkable.

Thankfully, the technologies and services developed for high risk security alarm applications can also be applied to video, access control, anti-theft fogging systems, plus a host of other building management systems. This is achieved using a secure router offering instant 4G connectivity, either as a main signalling path or as a back-up to a hard-wired connection.

CSL Router

CSL Router is a rapid connection, 4G-enabled router which can be used with a range of critical systems, including video, access control, building management, payment terminals, process control, etc.. The router can be supplied in single or dual-SIM options, allowing the most cost-effective option to be selected dependent upon a user’s needs.

Because both variants of the router use 4G data connectivity, this makes them ideal for sites where traditional broadband is unavailable, impractical or slow. They are also ideal or temporary applications where the installation of a hard-wired connection might be cost-prohibitive.

The dual-SIM option is supplied with two 4G WorldSIMs, one which is active and the second one for use as a standby option, offering redundancy should a failure occur. WorldSIMs can use any of the major providers’ networks, selecting the strongest signal to ensure connectivity is robust.

If the Router is being deployed to offer a backup to a hard-wired broadband service, a model with a single network SIM can be used to ensure the solution is cost-effective. The CSL Router can be configured to provide 4G connectivity if the existing broadband service has any issues.

CSL Routers are supplied with an appropriate monthly data bundle, enabling users to manage costs as they won’t receive unexpected usage charges.

CSL Router makes use of the company’s Gemini Global Platform. This provides secure, reliable and scalable connectivity for any device. The platform ensures critical alarms are always delivered, either to an ARC or to a control room if the system is self-monitored. Access to the system is simple as the Router makes use of a fixed IP address, reducing the need for IT configurations. Set-up is simple, as CSL Routers are supplied preconfigured and ready for use.


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