HOUSTON — Honeywell has launched the newest Experion Virtualization Solutions package, the industry's first turnkey blade solution that is optimized for virtualization and the needs of the process control industry, enabling offshore oil and gas, refining and petrochemical customers to increase operations availability and reduce the total cost of ownership of their control system.
By applying virtualization to industrial control systems—a concept first introduced by Honeywell in 2010—processing plants and refineries can simplify their computing environments, streamline maintenance and reliability, and reduce the amount of hardware space needed at facilities such as floating offshore oil rigs, where space is at a premium.
Virtualization is a major productivity and efficiency tool for commercial and industrial operations. Process controls typically require separate servers to support different applications, requiring additional space, hardware and significant maintenance costs. Virtualization allows a single server to simultaneously run multiple operating systems and applications, insulating the operating systems from hardware changes, improving overall server utilization, simplifying maintenance and reducing costs.
The newest member of the Experion Virtualization family, called the Premium Platform, is based on blade server technology. It provides an alternate offering for the ultimate in lifecycle and availability features being demanded by the process industry. The Premium Platform reduces setup time by 90%, generates 40% more energy savings, has 22% greater density than alternative virtualized server platforms and allows recovery from a processor failure in minutes.
"Customers are demanding higher availability from their virtual environments," said Jason Urso, vice president of technology, Honeywell Process Solutions. "Virtualization solutions using blade servers offer that extra layer of reliability, but it's about more than just reducing downtime: Virtualization simplifies operations and allows manufacturers to modernize their facilities and turn them into true business assets."
The new Premium Platform leverages blade server technology from IBM. Honeywell chose the IBM BladeCenter S to power the new Premium Platform offering because of its highly integrated design especially in the area of storage, and its focus on markets where simplicity is critical. IBM's long-term support, along with its significant worldwide support infrastructure and the maturity of this platform were considerations in the decision.