Cloud Service to host Ignition Server Pros & Cons

Greetings,

I would love to hear from my fellow Ignition community member his/her feedback on the pros and cons of using cloud service to host Ignition.

My current application consists of 60 Production Lines starting with 180000 tags along with MES applications, SCADA, HMI, Historian, and others…
Any feedback is much appreciated.

Thank you!
Sam

Here is the section of the manual where cloud hosting is discussed - perhaps some of it will be useful for you!
https://docs.inductiveautomation.com/display/DOC79/Cloud+Based+Architecture

Thank you but I was hoping for more info on the pros and cons.

I would suggest, first you discuss with Ubuntu canonical and Redhat on this matter. Both can help you to setup a pilot on your private or public cloud and evaluate the pros and cons.

Pros and cons are pretty easy:

Pro:

  • Centralised management for multiple plants (and only one license)

  • Generally more professional support available to set up and maintain the server

Cons:

  • You depend on a lot more networking infrastructure: not everything is in control of you and your client. But also various ISPs. If the internet connection at the site goes down, a backup server on another cloud doesn’t help.

  • Security is a bigger concern, though you should also have a good security when working on a local network

  • Internet connections that can handle the required amount of traffic might be expensive.

For us, Ignition is too important. We depend on it for communication between different parts of the plant (even towards 3rd parties). So we generally don’t trust networks that are completely outside our control.

2 Likes

Thanks for all your feedbacks.

I think, the power of cloud is too big for SCADA to resist any more. Industry 4.0 needs Machine learning and AI. SIEMENS, Rockwell, Schneider and other automation product manufacturers need cloud because the traditional automation business is heading towards stagnation. Cheaper PLCs, RTUs, SCADA and cheaper manpower from third world countries are flooding the market. Every one is fighting for a share of the same pie. Supply exceeds demand. Google, Facebook and Twitter are rewriting the destiny of automation business.

I know one automation company, managing more than 25 airports from their remote office in Europe. They don’t have a single PLC/SCADA programmer on site. They have a 24x7 support team in Europe, developing, uploading, updating and maintaining their PLCs and SCADA stations remotely via VPN. They can watch the plant remotely from cameras. They have less than 5, all rounder “3 in 1” technicians (Electrical+Mechanical+Instrumentation) on site per 12 hours shift, who don’t have any job most of the times because the system uptime is 99.9% to 100% daily. They have even a maintenance wiki on cloud with plant drawings and possible best solutions with a video library for almost every failure.

All systems have redundancy and they have official “predictive maintenance” schedule. I have seen their technicians replacing even properly working sensors, motors and other critical spare parts, sending it for service because they have completed their run hours. The airport manager proudly says “Before we use to have around 60 people working. With this new system, we have only 15 people working. We got our ROI in less than 18 months and we are very happy”.

Watch the ICC 2017 Keynote:
https://icc.inductiveautomation.com/

What next for Ignition?:
Listen to the “Ignition onboard” business model by Travis Cox. Ignition can not wait any more for SI’s to get educated, convince the decision maker and win a job. Instead, Ignition will come onboard and give a proposition to the SI’s which will empower them to convince the decision makers and win the job. The proposition will include:

  1. Tiered tag licensing price.
  2. Pre-installed/Embedded/pre-configured high availability Ignition servers.
  3. Remote “Engineering + Commissioning + 24x7 support + annual maintenance”.
  4. TCO - Total cost of ownership (almost 50% cheaper than the closest competitor)
  5. ROI - Return of investment
  6. Revenue generation opportunities for infrastructure projects.

The SI contractor needs to have just a couple of low cost multitasking technicians on site to install and interact with Ignition team. This will enable the SI to compete better, make money and sleep peacefully because IA is taking full responsibility of remote project engineering and commissioning for half of the price. Henceforth, he need not have to recruit expensive, indispensable SCADA gurus who will never be able to complete 10% of the project any way. Who else knows Ignition better than the manufacturer?. Which decision maker can Ignore this offer?. Why NOT?.