Better together: Fail-proof your automation platform with Stratus
In today’s digital age, companies face immense pressure to be more productive and achieve maximum operational efficiency. Fortunately, they can leverage digital tools and solutions to help them level-up and deliver better results.
However, deploying a variety of these solutions, often without synchronizing them, might not provide optimal results.
As automation systems become more powerful, they also become increasingly intertwined and more complex to manage, maintain, and operate.
For businesses that have deployed automation solutions to perform mission-critical tasks, continuous availability of services is paramount, and even a minor interruption might severely impact productivity and company performance.
Ensure continuous availability with virtualization and edge computing
The truth is, no one solution or vendor would be able to address all the challenges and needs of the connected modern industrial environment, which is perhaps why some forward-thinking companies, such as Massachusetts-based Stratus, partners with other vendors to enhance its offerings and ultimately serve its customers better.
Stratus’ flagship product, ftServer, seamlessly integrates key technologies of virtualization, continuous availability, and fault tolerance into a single solution that is ideal for industrial automation operating environments.
Companies such as Columbia Pipeline Group, which work with Rockwell Automation and use solutions such as FactoryTalk, ThinManager, and PlantPAx Process Automation Systems, partner with Stratus to maintain 99.9999 percent uptime while ensuring operational simplicity.
Having a continuously available server platform such as ftServer is critical for industrial automation companies that are running multiple virtual machines on a single physical host, as hardware failures can potentially have a broader impact on them, as opposed to the 1:1 server-to-application model.
As a result of combining Rockwell Automation solutions with redundant platforms from Stratus, the Columbia Pipeline Group was able to create efficiencies worth US$2.3 million in just their first year and achieve an overall system-wide availability level of more than 99.5 percent.
In addition to being fail-proof and straightforward, ftServer is the most cost-effective solution to maintain a continuously available processing environment for virtualized applications.
The drive for enhanced efficiency also has led to automation applications being deployed at locations with little to no IT resources at all, such as on the manufacturing line or plant floor.
The sheer size and growth of the data from these technologies meanwhile have driven the need for new edge computing infrastructure, such as the Stratus ztC Edge – a zero-touch, fully virtualized and self-protecting computing platform, specially designed for industrial edge environments.
Organizations working with Rockwell Automation’s ThinManager invest in ftServer or ztC Edge solutions from Stratus to ensure engineers can control and secure the platform in a way that’s scalable and sustainable.
The solution is easily set up, configured, and managed, and comes with user-friendly tools, as well as redundant, hot-swappable nodes that automatically verify compatibility and synchronize themselves.
Deploy flexible, yet robust edge computing with Stratus
“The ftServer has an exceedingly high stable operation rate and the occurrence of downtime itself can be prevented. It doesn’t need to stop running when maintenance is being performed and recovery operations are easy. Most of all, we can avoid impacting our business,” Tomoe Dairy Processing Co CEO Toshiyuki Nakata said, describing why the company decided to choose to work with Stratus.
Of course, Tomoe runs an automation software solution provided by another of Stratus’ strategic technology partners — AVEVA — whose product InTouch Edge can be tailored to match the specific requirement of different enterprises and deployed anywhere.
AVEVA’s powerful platform, when combined with Stratus’ ftServer or ztC Edge, results in a comprehensive and robust solution that can be rapidly deployed, and easily maintained & updated.
These unprecedented levels of flexibility will, without a doubt, make life easier for OT teams and line managers tasked with managing mission-critical edge applications.
Additionally, with the increasing prevalence of IoT and Industry 4.0 applications in the industrial sector, InTouch Edge running on Stratus solutions could also be used to collect and analyze essential data from various assets and production lines.
This feature allows the OT team to capture real-time analytics and aggregate, filter, and normalize data before it’s transmitted to the cloud for further analysis.
In short, industrial enterprises are really starting to embrace and adopt automation platforms to meet the increased productivity and efficiency demands in the highly-competitive age of digital transformation.
But automation platform providers understand that software alone is not sufficient to support the level of performance required, and when it comes to customers’ business-critical applications, they cannot afford to have unplanned downtime or failure.
By partnering with Stratus, they can combine their platform with the operationally simple, continuously available and fault-tolerant, ftServer and ztC Edge, and use the best industrial automation solutions there are on the market.
To learn how Stratus can help simplify your connected enterprise through edge computing, get in touch with the company now.
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