Virtualization technologies now certified for high availability and disaster recovery

Invensys expands certification to include VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platforms.


Invensys Operations Management supports both the VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platforms to enable high availability, disaster recovery, and fault tolerance for supervisory control applications. Invensys Operations Management, a global provider of technology systems, software solutions, and consulting services to manufacturers and infrastructure industries, has expanded the range of certifications for its virtualization technology. The company characterizes this effort as a strategy to make 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 virtualization 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 virtualization from Microsoft, as well as the latest remote desktop services that are part of Windows Server 2008 R2. Now, after a rigorous validation period, our ArchestrA System Platform 2012 and Wonderware InTouch 2012 software are also certified for disaster recovery and high availability using VMware virtualization. All this is possible on commercial operating systems using off-the-shelf hardware, further reducing cost and easing implementation of mission-critical applications.”

Virtualization software, like that offered by Microsoft and VMware, transforms or “virtualizes” a computer’s hardware, e.g., the CPU, hard drive, and network controller, to create a virtual computer that can run its own operating system and applications just like a “real” computer. By sharing hardware resources with each other, multiple operating systems can run simultaneously on a single physical computer. And because it has the CPU, memory, and network devices of the “host,” a virtual machine is completely compatible with all standard operating systems, applications, and drivers. With virtualization, 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. And it’s all possible with commercial off-the-shelf hardware and operating systems.

“End users are rapidly deploying virtualization 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. “Virtualization technology also helps end users with system deployment of high-availability, disaster-recovery, and fault-tolerance solutions as it is used to get plants back up and running quickly 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.”

While the underlying technology is sophisticated, virtualization can deliver benefits that are much simpler to understand and achieve. By eliminating dependencies between physical hardware and software, customers have more choices to improve management of their applications, servers, and equipment. One of the many benefits is the ability to move virtual machines between host computers, which enables a variety of different 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.

“At OpsManage’11 last fall, we set up and demonstrated a scenario where an entire primary system in Florida failed over to a backup disaster recovery system in California,” Steidinger said. “Customers were impressed with the ease and speed with which the backup system took over control, using only commercial hardware. That’s the flexibility they are looking for to modernize and optimize their business. As the first industrial automation provider to be certified for high availability, disaster recovery and fault tolerance on the two major virtualization platforms, we look forward to continuing to offer the products our customers need to achieve the highest levels of compliance, collaboration and operational excellence.”

Watch an earlier video with Maryanne Steidinger.

Edited by Peter Welander,

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