In today’s world, it isn’t always practical or possible to be on site to troubleshoot every network issue that pops up. Whether you’re under mandatory stay-at-home orders because of a global pandemic, in the middle of a surprise snowstorm, or sleeping cozy in your bed 60 miles away, being able to access remotely the network would make your life infinitely easier. With Auvik’s remote management features, it’s possible.
Remote management with Auvik
Auvik has three features to help you remotely manage your network devices: the in-app terminal, remote tunnelling, and the remote browser. All three features allow you to remotely connect to a device in Auvik’s inventory using the Auvik collector as a man-in-the-middle.
- The terminal allows you to SSH or Telnet to a device through Auvik’s web interface instead of using a separate application like PuTTY over a VPN tunnel (or other means to connect remotely).
- The remote browser allows you to connect to the web interface of a device in Auvik’s inventory using HTTP or HTTPS as if you were local to the device.
- The Auvik tunnel allows a specific port on a device to be accessed remotely. It uses the collector to establish a tunnel between the device you’re using and the remote device. The tunnel gives you flexibility: Any network protocol can be piped through the tunnel, so it allows remote access to any service using a network port.
There are many benefits to using Auvik’s remote management features. These are the biggest three.
1) Reduce truck rolls
If you’re managing networks across multiple sites, a truck roll will cost you money for both travel and labor expenses (and your tech won’t be fixing any network issues while he or she is travelling to the site). If your site is on the other side of the country and you don’t have any team members based in the area, then it’s even more expensive and complicated to go on site to fix an issue.
Even when your site is local, when an emergency occurs in the middle of the night and you’re on call, fixing the network issue from home and immediately going back to bed is a lot more attractive than a site visit.
With Auvik’s remote management features, you can work on the issue as soon as you’re alerted without adding commute time to the time of resolving the issue. And you can be back in bed before the sheets get cold.
2) Protect your workers from unnecessary risk
Even at the best of times, going on site isn’t always possible. There’s inclement weather, competing priorities, and tons of other scenarios that can get in the way. During COVID-19, it’s even harder to be on site, and so the importance of remote access has increased exponentially.
For a network engineer, it’s significantly easier to work from home when you can easily access all of the network devices you’re responsible for managing. With Auvik, you can manage any device on the network from any web browser, making being at the office unnecessary.
3) Boost your network security
One of the biggest benefits of using Auvik’s remote management features is boosting your network’s security.
First, you can use the features to limit access to network devices. With Auvik, you can provide your techs with user accounts, which they can use to access the devices by remote management. When a tech leaves your organization, you no longer need to remove them as a user from every device (or change the password on every device). If Auvik’s remote management is the only means used to access the network devices you manage, then you can control access to the devices easily.
Second, you can remotely access devices without opening your firewall to risk. When you open ports on a firewall to allow remote access to your devices, you increase your attack surface by exposing your devices to the public internet. But because the Auvik collector initiates an outbound connection to the cloud, you don’t have to open ports on your firewall to access your devices remotely.
Third, you can use Auvik’s remote management features to maintain convenient access to a hardened network. You may have considered air gapping your management VLANs (making the management VLAN unrouteable), but haven’t because it’s inconvenient to directly connect to the management VLAN to access devices in the subnet.
You can have the best of both worlds by using the Auvik collector as a jumpbox. In this scenario, the Auvik collector has multiple NICs with one residing in the management VLAN and the other(s) in routed subnets with access to the internet. Through this, the potential attack surface has greatly decreased on the LAN and it’s still convenient for you to access the devices on the management VLAN. It’s a win-win.
Read more: Five security best practices for network devices.
4) Bonus! Up your nerd level
I found a great program called Frotz, which can interpret classic Infocom text adventures on modern machines. Even better, Activision has made the first three Zork games free to download.
So I installed Frotz on a Linux server in my lab and modified the bash settings so it automatically loads Zork using Frotz. Consequently, whenever a SSH session is made, Zork automatically loads. Now you can use the remote terminal in Auvik to connect to the Linux server from anywhere and play Zork. You’ll likely be eaten by a grue, but don’t let that stop you.
To test Auvik’s remote management features for yourself, sign up for a free 14-day trial and get full access to your network from the comfort of your desk.