Virtualisation technologies now support high availability and disaster recovery

07 February 2012

Invensys Operations Management has expanded its certification for virtualisation technology, making it the first industrial automation provider to be certified for high availability, disaster recovery and fault tolerance in supervisory control applications leveraging both the VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualisation platforms.

The company’s ArchestrA System Platform 2012 and Wonderware InTouch 2012 software are now certified for the latest VMware solutions, including VMware vSphere version 5.0 and ESXi version 5.0 for mission-critical applications.

“Historically, high-availability and disaster-recovery solutions in supervisory control systems were expensive to implement, not only because of hardware and software costs, but also because of additional administrative burdens,” said Maryanne Steidinger, director of product marketing, Invensys Operations Management. “Along with many other benefits, when ArchestrA System Platform 2012 and InTouch 2012 software are deployed, they support high-availability and disaster-recovery implementations using Windows Server Hyper-V virtualisation from Microsoft, as well as the latest remote desktop services that are part of Windows Server 2008 R2, Following a rigorous validation period, the ArchestrA System Platform 2012 and Wonderware InTouch 2012 software are also certified for disaster recovery and high availability using VMware virtualisation. All this is possible on commercial operating systems using off-the-shelf hardware, further reducing cost and easing implementation of mission-critical applications.”

Virtualisation software transforms or ‘virtualises’ a computer’s hardware to create a virtual computer that can run its own operating system and applications like a real computer. By sharing hardware resources, multiple operating systems can run simultaneously on a single physical computer. Because it has the CPU, memory and network devices of the ‘host,’ a virtual machine is compatible with all standard operating systems, applications and drivers. With virtualisation, users can safely run several operating systems and applications at the same time on a single computer, with each having access to the resources it needs when it needs them. This is all said to be possible using commercial off-the-shelf hardware and operating systems.

“End users are rapidly deploying virtualisation solutions to reduce the number of physical servers needed for their plants in order to lower their hardware costs, IT costs and energy bills,” said Craig Resnick, vice president, ARC Advisory Group. “Virtualisation technology also helps end users with system deployment of high-availability, disaster-recovery and fault-tolerance solutions as it is used to quickly get plants back up and running when computers fail, regardless of location. Invensys Operations Management’s certification for both VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V ensures that its customers are covered and protected regardless of their choice of platform.”

Virtualisation can deliver benefits that are simple to understand and achieve. By eliminating dependencies between the physical hardware and the software, users have more choices to better manage their applications, servers and equipment. One of the benefits is the ability to move virtual machines between host computers, enabling a variety of fail-safe scenarios to be implemented – each providing options for different levels of redundancy that make systems more resilient, less prone to equipment failure, less prone to site failure and simpler to upgrade.

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