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Remote monitoring for distributed embedded networks

Posted: 13 Feb 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:remote monitoring  sensor networks  protocol-analysis 

In the "dumb" switches and routers of the past, hardware failures or software misconfigurations were difficult, if not impossible, to diagnose. The success of handheld physical-layer network probes from vendors such as Fluke was directly attributable to the lack of visibility into the problems plaguing network nodes.

In the industrial and consumer worlds, the term "remote monitoring" (RMON) might refer to distributed surveillance video networks, or distance-based control of HVAC and alarm systems for a smart home. Developers of embedded networks, however, have long relied on a different type of remote monitoring, one that is essential for detecting failed nodes from a central console. The protocols defined in such networks are of immediate relevance for ad hoc distributed networks of the future, not just in the LAN or WAN, but in virtually any type of industrial control network or wireless ad-hoc network, including the sensor networks at the heart of new distributed monitoring applications.

Challenges abound in visualizing a digitised data stream seen as test equipment companies try to combine protocol-analysis and oscilloscope features in common platforms, with embedded RMON support. Here's a viable option for improving visibility—embed scan circuitry in the CDR.

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