Advantech and Stratus Partner for Always-on Solution to Ensure Production Continuity and Data Integrity
In order to address the challenges of modern manufacturing, Advantech and Stratus Technologies announced a partnership agreement to offer continuously available server solutions for industrial IoT and Industry 4.0. In industry, when a mission critical system fails or is interrupted, business operations are significantly impacted so it’s increasingly necessary to have “continuously available” systems as opposed to just “highly available” systems. The cost of downtimes can result not just in financial loss but also in long-term damage to your company’s reputation. By the time disaster recovery systems kick in, the damage has already been done—often irretrievably. All the sensors, controllers, and monitoring devices can’t wait while systems resume operation, so proactive risk avoidance systems with constant replication and protection against outages and physical failures are paramount. This is where “Always-on” server solutions fit the bill.
How Always-on Systems Work
“Always-on” refers to systems that are continuously available 99.999% of the time, so for example one application can live on two virtual machines. If one machine fails, the application continues to run on the other machine with no interruption or data loss. Or if a component fails on one machine, it’s duplicated with a healthy component from the second system and the I/O is automatically mirrored to the redundant server. Memory check-pointing ensures all “in-flight” transactions as well as data in the memory and cache are preserved—without machine restarts.
Fully Automated Factory
One of Advantech’s semiconductor customers built a fully automated factory in Tainan, Taiwan. The IIoT architecture was to be simple and fully automated, after analyzing data from their Manufacturing Execution System (MES), they were able to assign tasks to highly mobile robots for dynamic path planning using a digital map. To back all this up, they needed an “always on” server solution to provide continuous availability and virtualization, and control-system software that would seamlessly integrate into any IT environment as well as with their own legacy systems.
Keeping it Simple with an Eye on the Future
Building an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) infrastructure for your manufacturing business that integrates all systems is not for beginners. When merging legacy IT and OT systems into your IIoT infrastructure, simplicity is important. So choosing an “always on” solution that is simple to deploy and easy to operate and manage is the way to go, which means you can focus on making sure your factories are running at optimum performance. When done right, IIoT infrastructures can create enormous savings, better customer value, and offer real competitive advantages. This mutually beneficial partnership delivers customer value that’s not possible to achieve with partners just working alone.