The industrial control systems used to drive production equipment in factories and plants are a formidable barrier to modernization and flexibility. Many of those in use today were installed more than 20 years ago and are now becoming outdated, presenting major business challenges.
While this infrastructure has provided a stable platform for control systems for many years, it lacks flexibility, requires costly manual maintenance, and does not easily allow process information to be exported and analyzed. Virtualization overcomes the limitations of legacy control systems infrastructure and provides the foundation for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Control functions that were previously deployed across the network as dedicated hardware appliances can be virtualized and consolidated onto commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers, which not only leverages the most advanced silicon technology but also reduces capital expenditure, lowers operating costs, reduces risk, and improves ability to manage change and implement continuous improvement.
Additionally, real-time capability and small footprint are critically important requirements for ICS. NodeWeaver’s unique combination of features makes it ideally suited as an infrastructure platform for Industrial Control Systems:
- NodeWeaver is software only and runs on virtually any x86-based hardware, including fanless, ruggedized, industrial systems specifically engineered for harsh environments
- It’s lightweight codebase means that it can run on small devices and SoC’s like Intel’s Atom, so it doesn’t require rackmounted servers (and all the infrastructure required to support those)
- Hardware can be optimized and right-sized based on deployment requirements
- Reliability and autonomic management
- Create highly resilient clusters with as few as 2 nodes
- NodeWeaver's autonomic features enable simple, scale-out expansion, load-balancing across the cluster, and fix errors without manual intervention.
- Cost Savings
- Low, per-node pricing with all features included
- Soft-real time capabilities enable you to achieve real-time functionality with standard OS’s, thus eliminating the need for specialized operating systems and hardware.
One of the leading providers of solutions for large-scale industrial laundry systems has been a NodeWeaver customer for over 2 years. They control and monitor all processes, provide predictive analytics, as well as automated deployment and management of all systems.
With no IT staff at these locations, system resiliency and the ability to autonomically address failures and maintain uptime is crucial. Additionally, the environments in these locations are characterized by high temperatures and humidity, thus requiring fanless, ruggedized hardware that can withstand these conditions.
NodeWeaver’s software-only approach provided the flexibility to choose the hardware necessary for the application, and its lightweight codebase enables it to run on smaller devices that competing solutions simply can’t support, equating to an unmatched combination of reliability, flexibility, and time to value