Rockwell Automation supports virtualization with VMware ready software

VMware Ready products extend the life cycle of automation software and reduce the need to operate and maintain more CPUs than are necessary.

11/10/2009


Rockwell Automation announced its support for automation software virtualization based on solutions from Silicon Valley-based VMware at its annual Automation Fair conference in Anaheim, CA, this week. Software virtualization helps manufacturers build an infrastructure that better leverages resources and delivers high availability. VMware Ready products extend the life cycle of automation software and reduce the need to operate and maintain more CPUs than are necessary.

According to Ken Deken, vice president of portfolio management, Rockwell Automation will validate its Rockwell Software configuration, human machine interface, and information products such as the Rockwell Software RSLogix, FactoryTalk View, FactoryTalk Historian and Factorytalk VantagePoint software, in the VMware Ready program. Support for a virtual environment is based on the user's Rockwell Automation service agreement, as well as product documentation for the operating system running in the virtual environment.

"Today's x86 computer hardware is designed to run a single operating system environment - this 1:1 ratio results in most workstations being vastly underutilized," said Deken. "In fact, only 8 to 10 percent of a CPU is typically used. This means money is spent to purchase, operate and maintain more CPUs than are necessary, wasting valuable floor space, increasing energy consumption, and tying up spending capital." Virtualization fundamentally changes the way hardware resources are used.

Rockwell Automation Supports VMware graphic

kwell Automation

VMware's virtualization platform is called VMware vSphere . Virtualization works by inserting a thin layer of software called a "hypervisor" directly on the computer hardware or on a host operating system. This layer contains virtual machines that can be transparently allocated to hardware resources when and where they are needed. Multiple operating systems run concurrently in isolated virtual machines on a single physical computer and share hardware resources with each other.

By encapsulating an entire machine, including CPU, memory, operating system and network devices, a virtual machine is completely compatible with all standard x86 operating systems, applications and device drivers. Virtual machines can be run on any virtualization-enabled physical server, creating a pool of compute resourcethat helps ensure the end user's highest-priority applications will always have the resources they need without wasting money on excess hardware only needed for peak times.

Deken said virtualization technology also simplifies the distribution of bundled offers, such as the Rockwell Automation PlantPAx Process Automation System, and extends the life of software. Rather than upgrading software every two to three years or testing "old" Windows versions, virtualization technology helps enable end users to run the same software on a particular PC or operating system for more than 10 years.

According to Craig Resnick, research director for ARC Advisory Group, one of the primary issues that manufacturing end users continuously cite is the great disparity between the long product life cycle of their automation hardware vs. the short product life cycle of their automation software. "VMware Ready products extend the product life cycle of automation software, as well as help manufacturing end users fulfill their energy savings and sustainability objectives through the more efficient utilization of their automation infrastructure," said Resnick. "This results in improved key performance indicators (KPIs), a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), and a shorter return on investment (ROI)."

- Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk

See also:

Software Virtualization Environment Enhances Control

Podcast: Standards for software virtualization

MBT Executive Podcast : Virtualization: Your ticket to controlling IT operating costs

 

 





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.
Electric motor power measurement and analysis: Understand the basics to drive greater efficiency; Selecting the right control chart; Linear position sensors gain acceptance
Protecting standby generators for mission critical facilities; Selecting energy-efficient transformers; Integrating power monitoring systems; Mitigating harmonics in electrical systems

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.