Monday, August 13, 2012

Minimize the Risk of Unscheduled Downtime with Kepware

Posted by Erik Dellinger

True Downtime Cost (TDC) varies considerably from company to company because there are so many variables that affect the bottom line: your industry, what you produce, your employee count, and so forth. In fact, one Automation.com survey puts TDC between $1 and $100,000,000 for companies with 0-300 employees in industries like automotive, food/beverage, injection molding, machinery, metal products, and paper.

While it is often hard to get a handle on actual downtime costs, one thing is certain: it is best to avoid downtime (especially of the unscheduled kind) in the first place. A common strategy that can help businesses reduce unexpected outages is building redundancy into systems and applications.

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In our world of connectivity and communications, implementing redundancy solutions minimizes the risk of unscheduled downtime and protects manufacturers from potential disasters through effective recovery mechanisms.

Kepware’s approach to solving this challenging but critical topic has been outlined in an August 16, 2012 whitepaper by Craig Resnick from the ARC Advisory Group entitled “Kepware’s Redundancy Solutions That Minimize Risk of Unscheduled Downtime.

The whitepaper highlights Kepware’s standalone RedundancyMaster application, which sits between an OPC client and redundant OPC servers. Resnick notes, “It manages the failover on behalf of the client application and can monitor the loss of communications or the quality of an item/tag due to any number of failures between the client and the device.”

From the outset, the main objective of RedundancyMaster was to increase the reliability and availability of OPC data by allowing multiple OPC Servers to be configured into redundant pairs. Each redundant pair seamlessly appears as a single OPC Server to any OPC Client application, making it easy to set up and manage.

To read more about RedundancyMaster and how it can be added to an existing server/client application without any reconfiguration, visit the RedundancyMaster web page.

The ARC whitepaper also highlights the free/built-in redundancy capabilities of both KEPServerEX and LinkMaster. KEPServerEX incorporates device level and communications path based redundancy, which establishes multiple network connections to a single device or a pairing of redundant devices. LinkMaster has the capability to monitor and failover between primary and secondary LinkMaster applications.

Download the ARC Whitepaper