Virtualization is transforming the IT landscape and is fundamentally changing the way people utilize technology. Building an effective Virtual IT environment will minimize hardware cost and downtime for disaster recovery while maintaining optimum application performance.
Summa has embraced Virtualization and has applied this technology for many of our clients. We believe our application of the virtualized environment for SCADA not only gives our clients peace of mind when it comes to hardware cost savings and disaster recovery, we have also addressed data backup concerns by integrating an independent data backup system to the virtualized SCADA environment.
Data logging and reporting is a critical component of municipal SCADA systems as this is a Compliance requirement for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC). To secure Data for this critical function, Summa believes minimizing data loss and having data backup and disaster recovery system is essential to all municipal SCADA systems.
An automatic gap recovery system should be implemented to minimize gaps of no data in the reports generated by the reporting system due to data loss during a loss of communications from a remote facility to the Historian server or when the main SCADA servers are down for maintenance. To implement this system, the remote facility PLC should be configured to reserve a portion of its memory to act as a temporary data storage device to provide data backup should the facility lose communication with the Historian server. After communications is restored to the Historian server, the data that is stored in the PLC would be used to automatically populate the server with the missing data.
A Backup system is recommended to be able to quickly restore a failed server and to minimize stored data loss. The backup system will be configured to save all data and virtual server images at scheduled intervals. This data would be stored on a network attached storage (NAS) unit that is independent of the servers. In the event a server fails, the virtual server images may be installed on a new server and the system would be quickly and easily placed back into service. All stored data would then be loaded onto the virtual servers to complete the recovery.