Data Center Supports Continuous Improvement Through SCADA Synchronization
Vantage Data Centers – 2023 Firebrand Award Winner5 min video / 3 minute read
Vantage Data Centers’ goal for this project was to design and deploy an Ignition Perspective system for multiple data centers across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), used for both system control and monitoring, as well as supporting operational excellence and continuous improvement.
With Vantage Data Centers' targets for rapid expansion in the EMEA region, they were challenged with “industrializing” SCADA deployments, namely building a framework and approach to deploying thousands of devices in short development and commissioning windows, all without compromising quality or ease of use.
The challenges Vantage Data Centers faced were all derived from the scale of the project:
- How to build and configure this many tags and devices?
- How to display thousands of different devices?
- How to ensure the system is vendor and communication protocol agnostic?
- How to create the above without compromising consistency and quality?
- How to achieve this in the time frames required?
- How to maintain a system so huge?
Vantage Data Centers focused on five critical areas while creating their Ignition solution.
To solve the issue of building tags and devices on a large scale, Vantage Data Centers developed a number of engineering tools. This allowed the deployment of tags and devices to remote I/O gateways from the project's frontend, leveraging the redundant hub & spoke architecture and gateway network. These are fully configured, including the driver configurations.
Vantage Data Centers coined the phrase “universal pop-up” for the one pop-up they use for all devices. This pop-up evaluates the data structure of the UDT instance and displays the tag data accordingly. It is fully automated, works with any industrial protocols, and incorporates a number of features, including integrated trending, alarming, maintenance, and commissioning. This tag-centric approach to building graphical elements allows for high-speed deployment with excellent quality and consistency.
The operators and wider team use displays ranging from large wall-mounted monitors to tablets. Leveraging their library of icons, Vantage Data Centers is able to display each device in a simple format, with configuration of the template as simple as the UDT definition path. This allows for standardization across multiple-sized UIs throughout the region.
A modern, high-performance layout enables operators to access any device within four clicks. With a simple eight-color pallet, it is easy to identify issues with equipment.
Three layers of gateways have been deployed: I/O gateways collecting data from devices, frontend gateways where users interact with the data, and the regional management layer. Using the Enterprise Administration Module, Vantage Data Centers is able to monitor the health of all the systems from a single location, perform remote revision-controlled changes to projects and trend data, and monitor KPIs from anywhere in EMEA.
Since migrating to the Ignition Perspective system in 2022, Vantage Data Centers has reduced their development and deployment cycle from a few months to a few weeks. Commissioning of the new projects is now simpler while error and rework rates have been significantly reduced. Additionally, situational awareness has been dramatically improved by the end users.
Using the EAM to interconnect sites for “big picture” data, Vantage Data Centers is now able to extrapolate trends to continually improve the systems and processes. On a less macro scale, operations teams also greatly appreciated the ability to save trends by the user.
Deploy Date: August 2023
Tags: 5,327,138 and counting
Clients: 165 (approximately)
Devices used: 21,098 Modbus, PLCs, BACnet (all brands)
Architectures used: Redundant Hub & Spoke with I/O aggregators and EAM. (87 Agents in production)
Databases used: 20 Microsoft SQLServer Clusters.
Historical data logged: 1,847,330
Created By: Vantage Data Centers
Vantage Data Centers powers, cools, protects, and connects the technology of the world’s well-known hyperscalers, cloud providers, and large enterprises. Developing and operating across five continents in North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific, Vantage has evolved data center design in innovative ways to deliver dramatic gains in reliability, efficiency, and sustainability in flexible environments that can scale as quickly as the market demands.