Faster remote assistance service with our Next Generation RAPID platform
At Thermo Fisher Scientific, we strive to continuously improve the service experience for our customers, and remote assistance service options have become a crucial tool in our service delivery options.
Our RAPID (Remote Access Program for Interactive Diagnostics) remote screen-sharing platform is one way we have been able to quickly diagnose and repair issues, as well as assist our customers. RAPID allows you to receive support from Thermo Fisher Scientific service staff and application specialists through a secured VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
To provide our customers with a far better remote assistance service, whereby we can assist even very remote customers, we are updating our RAPID servers and platform. In this way, we can serve our customers faster and better with fewer onsite visits!
Moving to cloud-based servers for better service
The first step to improved RAPID service is moving to cloud-based servers. This move will set the stage for better performance of the RAPID tool and improved remote assistance. This update will be automatic and there should be minimal action needed on your part.
After March 9, 2022, you will be redirected to the new RAPID VPN servers while establishing a RAPID connection. This connection will be established with your current RAPID account. Also, a new RAPID portal will be available, accessible at RAPID FEI or RAPID Thermofisher with your current credentials.
Note that the VPN servers in the cloud have dynamic IP addresses. For now, the new IP addresses in the table below can be used for configuring your firewall. These IP addresses may change in the future. Thermo Fisher will work on making the IP addresses of the VPN servers in the cloud static.
Where possible, you can also use domain names for configuring your firewall. In that case, a change in IP address has no impact.
Note that the China server will remain unchanged with regard to both its IP address as well as its domain name configuration.
|VPN Server||Old IP address||New IP address||Domain name to be used|
|Europe||126.96.36.199||188.8.131.52 OR 184.108.40.206 OR 220.127.116.11||vpn-euw1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-nl.fei.com|
|Japan||18.104.22.168||22.214.171.124 OR 126.96.36.199||vpn-apne1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-jp.fei.com|
|USA-West||188.8.131.52||184.108.40.206 OR 220.127.116.11||vpn-usw1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-us.fei.com|
|USA-East||—||18.104.22.168 OR 22.214.171.124 OR 126.96.36.199||vpn-use1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-us.fei.com|
The RAPID client software also uses the following URLs with associated IP addresses and needs to be opened in a customer firewall:
- URLs: rapid.thermofisher.com, or rapidapi.rapid.thermofisher.com, or rapid.fei.com
- IP addresses: 188.8.131.52, or 184.108.40.206, or 220.127.116.11
For customers in China, RAPID client software uses these URLs for client software configuration updates.
- URL: rapid.thermofisher.cn
- IP address: 18.104.22.168
Some customers may experience two RAPID connection issues. Please provide this information to your IT department to minimize the risk of these issues.
|If you have the IP addresses for current RAPID VPN servers configured in your firewall, RAPID connection will not work after redirection.||You can no longer configure fixed IP addresses for the RAPID VPN servers as they will have a dynamic IP address. However, you can use their domain names instead.|
|If you use an older Connection Wizard 3.x version, you will experience a RAPID connection time-out (termination) after 1 hour of an active RAPID connection.||Contact MSD RAPID Support for RAPID Connection Wizard 4.0.6|
When you log in, the portal will look slightly different. This new portal improves security and adds password reset functionality.
If you do have issues when logging in and using the portal, please contact MSD RAPID Support.
Updated RAPID Connection Wizard after May 16, 2022
The second stage of updates will be a new RAPID Connection Wizard with integrated TeamViewer. This upgrade is a total end-to-end solution that offers:
- Faster connection speed
- Superior video technology
- Improved security
- Support for both the microscope controller and the support PC
This improved remote assistance service solution will allow us to troubleshoot issues more quickly and better support your goals, resulting in higher availability of your equipment and fewer onsite visits. Our trained service staff can perform the following actions:
- Take over your instrument screen remotely to provide the required support
- Run service test software and diagnostics on your instruments
- Optimize instrument performance
- Check and modify your instrument settings
- Patch and upgrade software
- View instrument images
This upgrade will require installing a new RAPID Connection Wizard, which will be available May 16, 2022. This installation must be guided by your Field Service Engineer at your customer location or remotely. After May 16, contact your normal sales or service representative or fill out our service request form to schedule a time to complete this upgrade.
IT requirements for RAPID Connection Wizard upgrade
To prepare for the new RAPID Connection Wizard, please work with your IT department on the following steps prior to May 16, 2022:
Connect the instrument to the internet (high-speed internet connection is required).
Open port 1194 and/or port 443 in the firewall to allow outbound connection to the RAPID Secure Servers via either UDP or TCP; UDP is strongly recommended as it gives the best performance.
Allow communication with one or more RAPID Secure Servers.
Microscope PC (MPC) and Support PC (SPC) must have Windows 7 or Windows 10, for new RAPID Connection Wizard 4.0.16 to be installed
For more details on the RAPID platform and cybersecurity and technical requirements, please read the white papers linked below.
For technical questions and assistance about RAPID, contact us at MSD RAPID support.
New to RAPID?
If you have not registered for our RAPID remote platform, or have declined it in the past and would like to install this updated version, please fill out the registration form and our service team will help you set up the RAPID platform.
Frequently Asked Questions about RAPID from Thermo Fisher Scientific
What does RAPID cost?
RAPID is available at no additional cost to customers whose RAPID-enabled Customer Instruments are covered by an eligible Thermo Fisher Scientific service contract or new system warranty.
How does the RSE control the instrument?
Once you have initiated a RAPID support session, the Remote Service Engineer (RSE) controls the Customer Instrument using the screen-sharing application directly via the VPN connection to the RAPID Secure Server.
Why not use an alternative tool for remote support?
Only RAPID supports the use of many auxiliary controls like the Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) hand panels. The authentication of instrument user and service staff and application specialists via RAPID ensures that only authorized Thermo Fisher Scientific personnel can participate in a RAPID support session with the instrument user.
Why is the use of port 1194 and/or 443 required?
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has registered port 1194 and/or 443 for use by VPN. Because RAPID relies on a VPN connection to the RAPID Secure Server, it is a requirement that the Customer IT network allows outbound connections (UDP or TCP) over port 1194 and/or 443.
Do I need a Support PC?
For security reasons, it is not recommended to have a direct internet connection on a Microscope Controller since it doesn’t have an antivirus program, nor a firewall installed. Therefore, a Support PC is recommended to be the bridge between the MPC and the customer network for any instrument that does not have the latest Managed Router+Switch combination. The Support PC has fewer restrictions than the Microscope Controller (Microscope PC): it can run the latest antivirus program and firewall versions and can be used for customer-specific IT protocols, such as automatic upgrades to operating systems or installing Windows Service Packs. A Support PC can also provide additional data storage.
You can purchase a Support PC at minimal expense from Thermo Fisher Scientific or directly from your preferred local PC vendor. Refer to Table 1 for the Support PC requirements. Contact your local Thermo Fisher Scientific Account Manager for more information on Support PC hardware or software upgrade needs.
Note: Any customer who has a Support PC running Windows XP or lower must replace or update this PC to Windows 10. Windows 7 is not advised but is compatible with RAPID 4.0.16.
|Support PC recommended requirements|
|Processor||1 GHz or higher|
|RAM||512 MB or higher|
|Hard Drive||10 GB or higher|
|Operating System||Windows 10|
How will RAPID impact my current firewall?
Your network firewall needs to be opened to allow outbound UDP or TCP traffic on port 1194 and/or 443. The cloud-based VPN server will have dynamic IP addresses. Therefore, providing IP addresses for the VPN servers for possible firewall configuration is not possible.
Customers who require to have specific exceptions in their institution network or firewall for RAPID need to use the following info about RAPID:
|VPN Server||Domain names|
|Europe||vpn-euw1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-eng-nl.fei.com|
|Japan||vpn-apne1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-eng-jp.fei.com|
|USA-West||vpn-usw1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-eng-us.fei.com|
|USA-East||vpn-use1.rapid.thermofisher.com OR rapidvpn-us.fei.com|
In addition, RAPID uses the following URL’s: rapid.thermofisher.com, or rapidapi.rapid.thermofisher.com, or rapid.fei.com
For customers in China only: rapid.thermofisher.cn
Can I use my corporate VPN instead of Thermo Fisher Scientific VPN?
No, only the Thermo Fisher Scientific VPN is set up to run through the RAPID Secure Server and offers the Thermo Fisher Scientific security features.
You always have the option to set up your own remote access to instruments for other purposes, but this will not be supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific. Thermo Fisher Scientific does not recommend (or in several cases allow) you to install your own software on the Microscope Controller.
How do I decide which RAPID Secure Server to use?
Connecting to the RAPID Secure Server that is in the same geographic area as your instrument will provide the best performance. Other more remote VPN servers can be used as a backup option, but they may not perform as well.