We would like to set up an instance of Ignition on a cloud server, but we have some initial questions:
- You use Amazon EC2, do you like it?
- Which AMI do you use, and in retrospect would you stay with the same AMI, or choose a different one?
- Which is easier to use with Ignition - Linux or Windows?
- Will Amazon’s Micro instance work for a low-usage demo machine?
- If we want an application to use Ignition on a cloud server, for data only, no PLC interaction, which cloud offering would you suggest for higher speed rates and data/backup reliability?
- If we want to use Ignition locally, but use the store/forward to a DB in the cloud, which cloud offering would you suggest?
Not trying to pound you with a million questions, but the projects/applications we are involved in have more and more to do with data collection, and if we can develop a standardized setup for logging and storing the data without involving a ton of hardware, and still maintain reliability, data security, and backups, then I think we’ll have a winner.
We do use Amazon EC2 for our public website. We used to use it for our public demo but have recently moved that down to our server room because we wanted more control over the hardware. Amazon EC2 is great but is a little expensive for a faster machine. To use Ignition in Amazon EC2 you can only really use a large or x-large instance which is around $4000-$5000 a year per instance. It was cheaper for us to buy a server and run it locally.
With that said, we keep our website in the cloud for the uptime. The reason people really like Amazon EC2 is because they don’t have to worry about the hardware or have to rely on a local internet connection. Amazon maintains that and guarantees a certain uptime.
To answer your question, yes we do like Amazon EC2. We use an Ubuntu server AMI and are really happy with it. I wouldn’t choose a different one. I recommend using a Linux AMI over a Windows one strictly because of the cost. It is pretty expensive to run a powerful instance on Windows. However, if you are not familiar with a Linux server and commands, Windows can be a better fit. I happen to like Linux and am very familiar with Linux commands. For me, it is really easy to SSH into my Linux machine in the cloud.
I don’t think the Micro instance will work for a demo machine. The problem is memory. We used a small instance originally for our demo machine in the cloud and quickly ran out of memory. Ignition likes to use a full GB of memory. We had to set our demo machine to a large instance and it worked well but was expensive to keep running.
Amazon EC2 would be a good fit for you to run a database application on. We had our CRM system (done in Ignition) in the cloud for a while but ran into a few latency issues for large amounts of data transfers so we moved it in house. You can store the database in Amazon’s elastic block storage which is fast and easy to backup. They also have facilities to move the backup to S3 (file server) which is reliable and fast as well.
They now have a new service called RDS which is a relational database server. I haven’t played with it but have heard great things about it. They make it really easy to backup and it is reliable. I don’t know if you have connect to RDS from Ignition as a database but if you could it would be a good solution to the store and forward into the cloud.
Long story short, Amazon’s cloud services are great but you have to weigh the pros and cons of using them. You have to take into consideration uptime and cost of running the server in the cloud per year. Hope this helps you get started.
@Travis - is it not possible for them to keep the EC2 instance off most of the time, then “activate” it online when they wish to run the demo?
Has anyone tried cheap VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting? It looks like you can get a reasonably powerful VM in the $20-90/mo. range. Quick Googling yields many options. The first link looks cool since you can try it for a week for $2. That seems much more appropriate for an Ignition demo machine.
accuwebhosting.com/windows-v … sting.html
hyper-v-mart.com/hyper-v-hos … cials.aspx
[quote=“nathan”]@Travis - is it not possible for them to keep the EC2 instance off most of the time, then “activate” it online when they wish to run the demo?[/quote]Yes, that is possible and it will keep the cost down significantly. We just need ours running all the time.
Right - hosting a public web site is a bit different than a private Ignition demo machine. I’d like to try out a VPS service for this kind of application.
Travis and Nathan,
Thank you a million times over for your informative, in depth explanation of your cloud experience. It really sheds some light on what we are getting into, and it changed some pre-conceived notions we had about using a cloud server. Taking your information into account, we are going to try a few cloud applications, but approach thier configurations differently than we had originally planned. Instead, we’ll start with just a cloud DB. We’ll send feedback as to what does/doesn’t work from our experiences when try a few things inhouse (before subjecting customers to them).
I’ve been using Somee for a few months now, Windows server.
I’m no technical PC guru so cant give you any info of use but I’ve had no issues what so ever. From memory I’m paying about 70$ per month and running Ignition and MYSQL on the same server.
If we out grow it I will expand but for the time being its working. I only have 5 clients connected using the perspective app, about 5 devices connected using MQTT and 5 transactions groups so I would say Im a very light user. No PLC or machine control, this is data acquisition and analytics only.
Edited : Didn’t realize this post was 7 years old