Unified Computing System Virtualization

Unified Computing System Virtualization

  • System Virtualization

Customer: Pharmaceutical customer

Project Type: Hardware and software design for a high-availability, virtualized computing system

Technical Specs: Over 200 virtual computer sessions run concurrently on the Cisco UCS system

Project Scope: The virtualization portion of the project included creating and deploying approximately 160 Virtual Machine (VM) sessions into a Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). The VM sessions were built using the latest versions of FactoryTalk software. Included in the migration was a separation of the FT Directories along plant area boundaries. This allows for development and upgrade activities to occur during rolling shutdown windows and allow proper life-cycle management. The separation of plant areas required a common directory for application management as well as a new historian strategy requiring individual historians per plant area.

An updated Historian solution was designed to direct critical data to dedicated historians based on data security requirements. This capability does not exist in the historian software, requiring a robust and easy to manage means of selective data collection. Matrix Technologies was successful in developing a reliable, robust, and easily maintained solution which resulted in two additional FT Directories.

Engineering Challenges: Startup of the project was scheduled over a short three-week outage, where all computers and 55 process PLCs were either replaced or upgraded.

Products and Technologies Used: Rockwell Automation ControlLogix and FTView Software was installed on a Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).  There were 55 PLCs and over 200 virtual machines (VM) installed.

Project Outcome: The upgraded system is now properly segmented to allow for selective plant shutdowns and upgrades without affecting other areas of the facility.  A training system was also included, so that new software can be tested and simulated before going live.