I just wanted to see anybody’s thoughts on this.
My company utilizes HMIs in our OEM systems. The HMI is a large touchscreen attached to an Industrial PC with Ignition installed. We want to be able to deploy Ignition quickly on these HMIs. My thoughts are this:
Windows 10 VM with everything installed and configured the way we want it.
Win 10 VM is installed onto Industrial PC running Win 10 Pro w/ Hyper-V.
Reasoning - VM can be modified without affecting underlying Win10 Hyper-V manager. No need to install programs, configure settings, etc. If the VM gets trashed, we can roll-back to prior versions.
We can remote connect to the base OS and make changes to the VM without affecting their run-time (much).
Cons - Windows on Windows…
- Powershell scripts that install all programs (Ignition etc.) and configurations onto the Win 10 based Industrial PC.
- Doable, but we have quite a few programs/configurations that this would be complicated.
- Also, if the customer ends up trashing the base OS, then we would probably have to send them a new hard drive (easier than flying someone out to India, China, Azerbaijan, etc.) and that downtime would be horrid.
What we used to do
- Clone the drive from a “golden image” and update Windows licensing. However, industrial PCs would be problematic to get hard drives in/out to clone and add more headaches.
I have also looked into Docker, Linux VMs, and other things, but most of our customers use Windows (not by choice but by lowest common denominator). Why I’m thinking about doing the former Win10 VM in Win10 Pro, is that we can control our VM and iteratively develop it and simply copy/paste that VM on the Industrial PC without much problem. Also, when we eventually get to a cloud-based solution, then simply hosting/porting these Win10 VMs will be fairly straightforward.
I am sure there are lot of questions that you may have like, “Why are you doing it that way?”, so I will attempt to answer those if you do ask them. I’m just trying to get a feel for other OEM’s as to how they are deploying fairly complicated HMI’s without a server attached.