What is secure remote web server access?

Why is a web server relevant for IoT edge devices?"

In many industrial IoT settings there are machines or controllers that run some kind of application that needs to be configured or displays status information through a web server. A typical example of such a web server application is the configuration panel of a standard Wifi router or an HVAC system. It is very convenient if these devices can be controlled and configured remotely in a secure way.

A typical challenge is that these devices are behind a firewall which makes it difficult to configure them remotely. Sometimes companies still send service technicians to fix problems on site. This is expensive, time consuming and not scalable. With qbee we provide a built-in and secure VPN out of the box. This can route any remote web page being served by the edge device to a mapped port on localhost on your local desktop sitting anywhere in the world. On your local machine you start qbee-connect and then select which end-point and which port should be mapped to your local machine. See this pratical example of remote web server access.

qbee-remote-access-node-red

This way the remote web server acts and behaves as if it is on the local machine. Think of it as a Teamviewer for web pages. If full dekstop access is needed qbee can be turned into a Teamviewer alternative through a VNC client. Please see more about VNC here. All this runs with the inherent security layer that the qbee VPN provides.

A schematic drawing of how this looks like can be seen here:

qbee-diagram-remote-web-server-access

qbee can also make other devices remotely available acting as a proxy

Let's assume that an old machine that has no cloud based connection is part of a factory floor and offers a UI on port 80 (http). Putting in a qbee enabled device into the local network allows to enable this device to be remotely accessible using qbee as a proxy doing ssh port forwarding. Please see more about ssh port forwarding here.

But this is not all. A qbee edge device can also act as a gateway and forward information from other devices acting as a proxy. This way devices that never were envisioned to have remote connectivity can still be accessed in a secure and reliable way.

Below is a diagram in which a remote user accesses the web application of "machine 1" through the qbee device acting as gateway.

qbee-diagram-remote-web-server-proxy