Data Center / Cloud

Remotely Operating Systems and Applications at the Edge

A recent poll during the Edge Computing 101 webinar revealed that many IT professionals interested in edge AI are still just learning the basics about the technology and considerations for production deployments.

One key consideration for production edge AI is how administrators will manage ongoing maintenance for applications and systems post-deployment, sometimes referred to as Day-2 operations. Remote management is critical functionality that enables you to easily manage dozens or even thousands of remote sites.

Remote management is essential for edge AI

The process for bringing an edge AI proof of concept (POC) into a production environment at-scale requires that you have full access to both edge systems and applications at distributed locations.

Without complete and painless access, the ability to progress and scale quickly is limited by the time it takes to manually troubleshoot issues at the remote edge site. That process can be quite time-consuming and expensive as installing and scaling new technology always presents unpredictable issues. 

Traditional VPN connections lack security

After setup, you want to deploy and scale new applications on existing hardware, update existing applications, troubleshoot bugs, and validate new configurations. Having remote management capabilities that are secure is critical, as production deployments contain important data and insights that you will want to keep safe. 

But the traditional process of accessing machines and systems through VPN is not secure enough for the changing security landscape that edge deployments present.

First, most VPN connections do not have the ability to set time limits or restrictions. Administrators could (and often do) forget to close out a VPN session, leaving an avenue open for malicious actors.

Second, VPN connections do not easily provide the access controls needed for securely deploying and managing edge AI given the number of different partners, vendors, contractors, and other actors that might need access to parts of the deployment solution. 

To successfully operate edge deployments, you need remote management features with advanced functionality and security like just-in-time (JIT) access, clearly defined access controls, and timed sessions. 

To ensure this functionality, NVIDIA Fleet Command has two features to provide full remote management of both systems and applications. 

Remote system access

Remote console on Fleet Command provides secure, remote access to systems at the edge without needing physical access to the system or the network. You can view system information or data, navigate directories, view logs, and more.

Having an on-demand remote console eliminates the need for additional ports and traditional VPN connections and provides peace of mind. You’ll know that you can troubleshoot and remediate unexpected problems at remote edge locations. 

Another unique aspect of the remote console on Fleet Command is concurrent remote access to multiple edge nodes in an organization. To ensure the highest security across nodes, Fleet Command infrastructure isolates each of the open nodes in separate sessions and ensures that any issues on one system do not affect other systems. 

Remote application access

In addition to system-level access, you also have access to the applications. Fleet Command remote application access allows for web-based access to applications running on remote edge systems, eliminating the need for manual connection to the system and network through VPN to where applications are running.

Remote application access gives you visibility to the application services, providing full access to all features and functionality of the web applications running on the edge devices. Using remote application access, you can remotely access the application UI and configure applications, ensure that applications are running successfully, and troubleshoot any issues without compromising the security posture of your edge deployments. 

For added security, remote application access also features a configurable time allowance that automatically ends remote access sessions. This greatly simplifies resource management and frees up available remote sessions for other services.

Like remote console, Fleet Command remote application access enables multiple sessions to be open at the same time, so that multiple users from multiple locations can operate simultaneously. 

Secure remote management

A key aspect of remote management on Fleet Command is the security benefits of using these features. Access controls on remote console and remote application access mean that you can grant role-based usage capabilities to partners, customers, contractors, and others, ensuring limited exposure to the solution and network. 

Additionally, both features provide just-in-time (JIT) security, so sessions and privileges are granted by administrators and are time-limited. Time-limited sessions eliminate the possibility of perpetually open VPN sessions that provide backdoor access for malicious actors. 

Get started with remote management

Organizations are increasingly adopting edge AI solutions to power innovative new use cases. With any new technology, new approaches must ensure optimum functionality and safety, especially for production solutions dealing with critical or sensitive data. 

Remote management with Fleet Command provides everything you need to fully access edge systems and applications. It provides a layer of security that traditional VPN connections lack. 

To walk through the entire process of using remote console and remote application access on Fleet Command, see the following video. 

Video 1. How to Use Remote Management on Fleet Command

Try Fleet Command yourself with NVIDIA LaunchPad, a free program that provides short-term access to a large catalog of hands-on labs. You can walk through the entire flow for deploying and managing applications on Fleet Command, including using remote management and other key features. Get started now

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