Confidently rely on virtualization and Ethernet TCP/IP technologies
Industrial automation is in the midst of a paradigm shift with the growing adoption of both virtualization for applications and standard Ethernet for both supervisory and I/O control. Both are mature, proven technologies used widely on the enterprise side of the business. Adopting these technologies allows manufacturers in all industries to realize the same benefits of reduced downtime and management costs that drove enterprise IT to deploy them.
What’s the proof for both points?
Standard TCP/IP based networks are a part of day-to-day life for all major companies. According to VMware, 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 use their technologies to virtualize applications, including the 20 top pharmaceuticals, the top 15 energy companies, the top 10 airlines and 25/30 commercial banks. (Source: link) These companies trust Ethernet and virtualization to keep their business critical systems up and running at all times.
On the surface, industrial automation has a very different profile from enterprise IT, but at their core, automation applications and systems have very similar uptime requirements to the most critical of enterprise applications and we can benefit from the lessons learned by the use of these technologies on the enterprise side of the business.
Both virtualization and Ethernet TCP/IP technologies have been proven as robust enough to deploy for the most critical of enterprise, so we can confidently rely on them as automation solutions. The platforms are sufficiently resilient, fast and reliable to keep plant floor systems running, communicating and making products.