Remote diagnostics refers to the ability to evaluate the current status of electronic equipment from a remote location. The process involves the establishment of some type of wired or wireless communication between the two points in order for the remote analysis to take place. Along with confirming that the equipment is working at optimal efficiency, remote diagnostics can also identify issues that are inhibiting the efficiency of the equipment, and sometimes even resolve those issues during the running of the diagnostics.
The process of remote diagnostics can be used in a number of situations. In many cases, information technology professionals will utilize this method to assess the overall integrity of a system network, including the performance level of individual workstations connected to that system. For example, an IT professional based at a corporate office can establish a connection with a remote location of the business, and run diagnostics to determine if their servers, desktops, and other devices that allow them to exchange data with the server at the home office are working properly. In the event that something is not functioning as it should, the professional can either take steps to resolve the problem during the diagnostic session, or alert someone locally and thus expedite the repair.
Remote diagnostics are not just about maintenance and troubleshooting on networks. The same approach can be used to assess the efficiency of equipment on specific devices, such as aircraft. By establishing a wireless link to the operational systems on the aircraft, it is possible to ensure that navigation equipment and other key components are working properly. The diagnostics can also reveal if there is any sign of tampering or interference with the systems, making it possible to correct the issue before a life-threatening situation emerges.
Telephone systems can also be checked and sometimes repaired, with the use of remote diagnostics. In this scenario, the manufacturer may be able to establish a link with a phone system, such as the private branch exchange, or PBX, equipment used in many offices. This private phone switch allows for easy routing of phone calls to various lines within the office system, and may develop service issues like poor sound quality on one or more of the lines. The manufacturer can run testing on each function of the system, and determine what is causing the malfunction. If the origin is a minor situation that may require nothing more than resetting certain functions to a default mode, this can often be accomplished during the course of the diagnostics. At the very least, the testing can identify if a component is in need of replacement, and allow the technician conducting the diagnostics to make arrangements for personnel to visit the site and make the physical repair that is needed.
As technology and communication methods continue to evolve, remote diagnostics is likely to play a greater role in both the monitoring and troubleshooting efforts required for most types of electronic equipment. Since remote analysis and remote problem solving mean that personnel do not have to be co-located with the equipment, it is possible to effectively manage electronic components and networks with a smaller work force, thus saving a great deal of money over the course of a year. The remote approach can also allow users of the equipment to have access to expertise that may or may not be readily available within the local area.