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As companies expand their industrial networks, they are always looking for innovative ways to cut costs and streamline their operations. One exciting avenue they are exploring involves the virtualisation of network environments. This approach holds a lot of promise as it can help reduce the need for costly hardware and infrastructure while improving the integration of SCADA software into existing virtualised IT infrastructure.
However, this approach is not without its unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges is monitoring and analysing real-time data from virtualised SCADA networks and ensuring 100% visibility of the virtualised SCADA network traffic. But with the right tools and expertise, these challenges can be overcome, and organisations can reap the benefits of virtualisation while enhancing their network security and performance.
The increasing hardware and software infrastructure complexity is causing several challenges in network designs. With multiple servers handling tasks such as Manufacturing Execution System (MES) data, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and SCADA platform, the IT infrastructure is becoming more intricate. The integration also involves servers like WSUS, Domain Controller (DC), and Active Directory (AD), each running different operating systems. MES runs on Windows Server 2003, ERP runs on Windows Server 2008, and the SCADA solution runs on Linux.
However, having such a complex infrastructure poses a significant risk, especially in the case of server failure. A power supply or CPU failure on one server could trigger a cascading effect, leading to the failure of other applications, data loss, and, ultimately, the entire IT infrastructure's functionality. This could cause significant business setbacks, leading to wasted time and resources.
Therefore, companies must take appropriate measures to prevent such scenarios and minimize the risks associated with hardware and software infrastructure complexity. By doing so, they can.
In the world of industrial automation, having access to real-time data is critical. SCADA Virtualisation offers a solution by consolidating all servers and applications onto a single physical server through a virtual environment. To ensure network continuity and process availability while enhancing plant efficiency and reducing network complexity, a comprehensive network virtualisation strategy is essential. This strategy includes elements such as network visibility, infrastructure, redundancy, and disaster recovery.
Network visibility is a vital component of a successful network virtualisation strategy. For optimised security and performance, it is essential to have complete visibility into network traffic in both virtual and physical environments. Achieving this visibility starts with the packet. By implementing a network visibility fabric that includes network TAPs and packet brokers, complete network visibility and link optimisation can be achieved. This will reduce network complexity, enable smoother infrastructure upgrades, facilitate traffic growth, and improve the effectiveness of SCADA tool performance.
Experience an unparalleled leap in SCADA substation technology with the integration of Garland Prisms traffic mirroring. When paired with substation server hypervisors, not only is the notorious data blind spot a thing of the past, but the SCADA platform and all connected systems gain unprecedented access and visibility. Imagine a world where your virtual packet traffic is effortlessly blended with physical layer network TAPs and packet brokers – offering you a seamless, complete end-to-end visibility fabric.
Why Choose Garland Prisms for Your SCADA Deployment?
Discover the future of SCADA substation deployment today. Experience complete end-to-end visibility, fortified security, and unmatched versatility with Garland Prisms. Transform your network management and embrace the next level of operational efficiency.
Optimising substation firewalls is a common challenge in utilities. However, updates can cause operational blind spots and delays. The solution to this problem is an external Bypass TAP. It allows for inline lifecycle management and sandbox firewall deployments, making it easier to transition to out-of-band for updates, patch installations, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
By doing this, it optimises and validates processes before seamlessly integrating back in line while maintaining network availability. Plus, the bypass TAP and firewall can be remotely managed, automating the workflow and saving time and effort. Ultimately, this results in a more secure and reliable substation that can operate with confidence.
Here are some key benefits to consider: