IPC System Life Cycle Management

Hardware and Software Maintenance

Computer Virtualization

A Brückner film stretching line is built to last for decades. But what about the line’s “brains”, the hardware and software which form the basis of its sophisticated process control system? Due the developments within their industry, these components, such as servers, PC work stations and versions of operating systems and application software, show a shorter life cycle than other parts of the machine.

 

Any software installation can be saved as a backup and then restored later on compatible hardware. But this is the key point: after only a few years it is common for newly acquired hardware to be not 100% compatible anymore, so that simply restoring a backup will not work. If this is the case, then a complete manual re-installation from scratch is the only way to solve the problem.

 

However, as soon as the operating system originally supplied fails to run on newer hardware (usually because drivers are missing), you will have to consider other solutions. This is the situation where the concept of “computer virtualization” appears on the scene.

The original software installation – operating system and application – is wrapped into an additional virtualization software layer called a “Hypervisor”. This Hypervisor presents a standard set of hardware components to the installed operating system and will remain more consistent over time.

 

Such a Hypervisor forms part of the newly supplied hardware and it has become the standard foundation for upgrades of the Integrated Process Control (IPC) system. This state-of-the-art technology secures your investment in an IPC upgrade, since migration of a virtualized system to new hardware in the future will be much easier and the life cycle of such a system installation is extended considerably.

Brückner Servtec offers the following services related to virtualization technology

  • Virtualization of existing server and workstation installations
    Adaption and re-installation of an existing installation on new hardware in a virtual environment.

  • Server consolidation
    Replacement of multiple hardware-based servers with virtual servers on a single new hardware platform with Hypervisor.

  • Workstation consolidation
    Replacement of multiple distributed PC installations with so-called “Thin Clients”.
    The original PC application will be hosted on the central virtual server environment.

  • Site-wide consolidation
    The control systems of several production lines at one site share one common virtual server platform, as shown in the graphic below. The great advantage of this approach is that it permits the centralized administration and maintenance of the IT infrastructure of the production line. The variety of installed hardware is reduced and the life cycle management is simplified.

Do you want to learn more?

Please contact your Regional Service Manager or send an email to upgrading@brueckner.com for more information about computer virtualization.