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How to get the most out of Remote.It for cloud

July 6, 2022

Working with cloud services has enabled a lot of businesses to build their application starting with lower fees and scaling the computing power only when needed. This allows companies to have multiple cloud computers around the world making their services accessible, fast, and reliable.

However, when the number of devices increases, it becomes difficult to manage. Add to this, networks, security, and geo-localization, and the pain of managing your cloud services increases, mostly if you are a developer.

Fortunately, Remote.It reduces the friction involved when connecting to your cloud devices and services. It’s a tool that puts you as a developer indirect control of the connectivity of your devices/services regardless of the network or the location.

And there are definitely a lot of ways you can get the most out of Remote.It.

Let’s discuss this in this article.

1 – Use the API

If you have special needs or you are looking to build something upon Remote.It, you can easily integrate the REST API or the GraphQL API. Using the API along with your account key credentials, you can:

  • Access data about your devices and services (name, status, etc) to monitor their location or monitoring uptime.
  • Access data about the events occurring on your devices or services for debugging or security reviews.
  • Manage your access keys to keep them rotated and safe from misuse
  • Create on-demand connections to your remote, cloud, or office devices as a service for your support teams, engineers, or customers.

As you can see, the Remote.it API provides a great way to build or better connectivity into your applications or projects.

To learn more about how to integrate the API, you can read the API documentation.

2 – Replace AWS IAM

When working with cloud services, for example, AWS, you rely on their IAM (Identity and access management) service to set permissions on access for cloud resources, policies, or create accounts with the right accesses. Even if it’s true that this feature helps with managing access and permissions for your cloud services, it can quickly be overwhelming with the number of devices or services increasing.  

It even becomes an issue when you want temporary access to a service or a device for one of your developers or team members.

Remote.It simplifies these steps while allowing you to configure access and permissions with just the email of the user you are looking to add to your services. And as an alternative to IAM, here are some advantages of using Remote.It with AWS:

  • Control Use Access at the service level
  • Eliminate IP accessibility
  • Protect your network from the Internet discovery (No port opened then no scanning)
  • Onboard and offboard users under minutes just using their email address

You can learn more about Remote.it as an alternative to AWS IAM in this article on the Remote.it blog.

3 – Share your devices

As stated timidly in the last point, you can easily add a new user to access one of your devices just by using their email address. You can then choose which services the user can access.

You can also remove the access from users or modify the permission for running scripts.

4 – Setup a jump box server with Remote.It

What is a jump server?

Also known as a jump host or jump box. A jump box server is a device or instance on a network used to access a device or services in a separate security zone. To make it simple, it acts as a bridge between two different networks.

For example, in AWS you can’t install Remote.It directly on DynamoDB or RDS. But if you have an instance on the same VPC, you can set up a service on an instance that points to the domain name of the database service. You do this by updating the service host address of a new service (defaults to localhost).

For cloud resources such as a database hosted in Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or Microsoft Azure, a jump server is an intermediary network device which allows users to access private resources.  With Remote.It, users are not required to open ports or cofigure port forwarding rules. All resources in the cloud remain on private IP addresses. By not having a public IP address and port, Remote.It removes significant attack surface areas for hackers to scan your resources and exploit known vulnerabilities.

And with the simple process of installing Remote.it on a machine, you can quickly set up a jump server. Find more details about it here.

Is there a difference between a jump server and bastion host?

While the function and use case of both a jump server and bastion host are the same - connecting users to resources remotely. The key difference is a bastion host is a device that sits outside the security zone. Firewalls and security appliances are technically outside your security zone so those are bastion hosts.  But in general bastion hosts are servers such as DNS, FTP, or VPN. A jump server connects two security zones. The common purpose is to have a gateway allowing access to a resources within the security zone from the DMZ. This is often setup to ensure that only one known entrance to a specific server is enabled and that server is kept up to date and it's purpose is solely to allow connections to specific resources.

5 – Use the Mobile Application

Remote.It provides a mobile application available on iOS and Android devices. Using the mobile application, you can communicate with other devices without open ports — even when IP addresses are unavailable. You can manage device sharing, search for your devices, add services to a device, and share your devices to another remote.it users, right at your fingertips.

You can also monitor your devices or services by using the Feed feature to get a summary of the activity of your devices or by setting up webhooks or customizing notifications so you can know when a device goes offline for example.

You can also initiate connections on-demand whatever the network. Connect via SSH to your devices without open ports — wherever you are.

6 – Organize your services and devices

If you have many devices or services, you surely want to have them organized so you can search and access them quicker. You can group them by categories A, B, or C. Depending on your needs, it can help you with sorting and grouping your devices while searching or looking to execute scripts.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve learned how you can get the most out of Remote.it for your cloud devices or services. If you are a developer not looking to get hand dirty with managing networks and Identity and Access Management of your cloud services, having Remote.it will save you a lot of time and pain.

And with the organization feature which allows you to give access to users to all of your devices that exist now and in the future, you can speed up new user onboarding and manage and share services or devices effectively.

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