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3 Keys to Reliable Offshore Platform Communications

Securing and streamlining remote access of servers for a safer working environment.

Offshore platform communication to onshore facilities has traditionally been limited. It mostly happened through day-to-day reporting and maybe there was a two-way radio for emergencies. This meant that offshore workers were mostly cut off from communicating, and all necessary personnel needed to be present on the platform, making for a hazardous situation.

Luckily today, technology has evolved so much that these situations are unthinkable and ATEN is proud to be part of this evolution. Especially since offshore drilling will power the world for the mid- to long-term future as operators continue to make multi-billion dollar investments in FPSO projects. Communication is reliable and fast, making offshore platforms a much safer place to work. That is, if you even need to be present at all.

Some common pain points in off-shore server management include:

  • Cost – Full-time onsite IT personnel for server rooms may be cost-prohibitive.
  • Distance – With a wide distribution of server sites over large distances, it may be impractical to staff them all.
  • Large Numbers of Different Devices – In addition to servers, there may be large number of other unmanned remote devices such as network switches and UPS.
  • Security – It can pose a security risk to have access software/drivers installed on remote servers/installations.
  • Limited Access – Access may be limited to reduce the possibility of human error or environmental contamination.

When it comes to monitoring and operating offshore platforms, ATEN provides solutions that offer:

  • Remote Monitoring – To enable constant monitoring of industrial processes from control rooms and remote workstations.
  • Secure Access – To selectively monitor attached process servers efficiently while maintaining high network security.
  • Expandability – To increase the scope of maintenance and control operations by adding further surveillance workstations in the future.

To fulfill these needs, ATEN offers high connection flexibility. Supported by ATEN KVM over IP Matrix Systems, control room operators can access and maintain multiple servers while individual workstations can directly and securely monitor specific servers for targeted control requirements.

ATEN’s Solutions for Monitoring and Operating Offshore Platforms

Owing to the extremely high cost of employing offshore personnel and a strictly limited number of people allowed on a platform due to safety regulations, multiple industrial process computers have to be accessible from a server room in an onshore facility. At the same time, these computers have to be accessible from several separate control rooms in different locations around the production facilities.

In order to achieve this, a device such as the KE6940 Dual View Extender is needed. This extender allows access to a computer over IP, making it possible to gain full control over a computer located on an offshore platform from the safety of a control room. It supports dual console operation, allowing you to control your system from both the transmitter’s and the receiver’s end. As a Matrix Extender, it also makes it possible to connect multiple computers in various configurations: one-to-one (Extender mode), one-to-many (Splitter mode), many-to-one (Switch mode), or many-to-many (Matrix mode).

The KE6940 extender is also a top choice for security reasons. AES 128-bit encryption ensures data transmission is secure. As an added layer of security, the KE6940 extender supports remote user authentication, giving you visibility of all active users. And for ultimate piece of mind, it’s possible to isolate individual extender units from the larger network via a dedicated LAN port.

CCKM: Our KE management software

Reliability is a key factor in the management of offshore platforms. Therefore, we also offer a secure and failproof software solution. ATEN’s KE Matrix Management Software is used to centralize the control and management of KE series devices with a user-friendly, web-based GUI. It provides reliable data transmission through built-in redundancy factors, including automated database backup of primary and secondary servers and devices in addition to real-time database updating. Redundancy ensures that if any server hosting the KE Matrix Management Software goes down, the system will remain functioning, since a redundant secondary server maintains all the required services until the primary server comes back up.

The software is also capable of providing advanced features for username and password authentication, user authorization and auto-detection of all devices. Making sure no one gets unauthorized access to your hardware.

Of course, the KE Matrix Management Software offers more than just reliability. It also provides quick and easy control tools to configure KE devices. Users will get a multitude of advanced features, including multi-displays, video grouping, fast switching, profile broadcasting, and media playback scheduling.

Comprehensive Management and Support with ATEN

ATEN KVM over IP solutions allow operators to monitor and access multiple servers remotely at any time and from anywhere. Especially suitable for the management of data centers or branch office servers, ATEN solutions are also equally suited to the task of remotely managing server rooms or IT installations that may be unmanned, staffed only part-time, widely distributed, or have limited access for a variety of reasons. ATEN provides a full range of remote management and support solutions for use in any unmanned, widely distributed or limited-access facility that needs to be monitored. These are specifically focused on IT environments that require a complete remote support solution, including BIOS-level KVM over IP access and power management, to compensate for personnel limitations while maintaining the highest levels of security, such as unmanned server rooms and edge data centers containing mission-critical equipment, utilities centers that are widely distributed in distant locations, or fab clean rooms where environmental contamination is a huge risk.

ATEN Solutions for Offshore Platforms

ATEN specializes in varied, secure solutions to digitize offshore platforms operations and meet the needs of integrators and end users. These include:

  • KE Matrix Management Software that provides IT administrators with tools to centralize the control and management of KE series devices in their IT environment with a user-friendly, web-based GUI.
  • IP-based DVI KVM Extenders that allow access to a computer system from a remote USB console (USB keyboard, USB mouse, DVI monitor) anywhere over an intranet.
  • Security features for extra protection, supporting AES 128-bit encryption for secured data transmission, while RADIUS, LDAP, AD or remote user authentication provides added layer of connection security.

Want to learn more about our hardware and software solutions for offshore platform applications? Get in touch with an ATEN expert.

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 About ATEN

ATEN International Co., Ltd. (TWSE: 6277), established in 1979, is the leading provider of AV/IT connectivity and management solutions. Offering integrated KVM, professional AV, SOHO, and intelligent power solutions, ATEN products connect, manage, and optimize AV/IT equipment in corporate, government, education, broadcasting and media, and transportation environments. ATEN has 630+ issued international patents and a global R&D team that produces a constant stream of innovative solutions, resulting in a comprehensive portfolio of products available worldwide.

Headquartered in Taiwan, ATEN International Co., Ltd. has grown to include subsidiaries and regional offices in China, Japan, South Korea, Belgium, Australia, the U.S., the U.K., Turkey, Poland, India, and Romania – with R&D centers in Taiwan, China, and Canada.