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Let's talk about C-more Remote Access (aka C-more Console)

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  • Let's talk about C-more Remote Access (aka C-more Console)

    Remote Access is a critical feature for SCADA systems. It can save thousands of dollars per year in on-site technicians and travel costs.

    Unfortunately, C-more Remote Access over the internet sucks (and that's being polite). In central California, most of our customers have internet connections with no more than 5 Mb/s upload speed. This isn't a problem in itself, it's fast enough for Team Viewer, LogMeIn, RealVNC, RDP, GoToMeeting, or pretty much any other remote viewing protocol. The problem is that C-more panels want to use ALL of the bandwidth.

    Here is an example of one of our common screens reaching 19.1 Mb/s on the LAN. Why, with default settings (60% graphic quality) would I ever need 19 Megabits of data per second? That's over 2 MegaBYTES. I just want to see the current screen image, I don't want to transfer DSLR photos. Somehow worse, is that reducing this value has no apparent benefit. I'm currently looking at "1% Graphic Quality", and sure it looks like crap, but it's still using 10 Mb/s. Why?

    It seems that this egregious use of bandwidth comes down to polling. There are two settings in the Setup under "Updating interval":
    Screen (ms)
    Object (ms)

    Screen seems to do jack squat. I can set it to 2 (ms) or 20000, and it does the same thing. No visual difference, no control difference, no bandwidth difference. Unless I'm mistaken and it has some very specific usage, it's broken.

    Object, however, does seem to have a usage. Lower values keep my Mb/s at a sickeningly high level and causes anxiety. Higher values cause delays in when the panel updates on the Console (remote access) side and make you question whether you pressed the button or not. This is somewhat expected. Sadly, once the Object poll time comes back around, it still tries to pull that massive image over the wire. Were this an internet connection, I'd run the risk of hitting the timeout.

    Ah, the timeout. This is the value that I have to raise in order to use the Remote Access feature at most facilities. The default 3000ms is enough to connect and look at some screens for up to a minute before getting kicked. I've learned to copy/paste the password to get back in as quick as possible.

    Screens with less information update faster, so it's possible that some of you aren't seeing the issues that the rest of us are. Or, you are unknowingly spoiled by amazing internet connections. I know there are people who have issues with this feature. Voice your struggle here.