Siemens Industry Automation & Drive Technologies (IA&DT) says that Service Pack 2 for Simatic WinCC Scada system Version 7 enables, among other things, client virtualisation via Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi 4.0, and it contains a driver for communication with Mitsubishi controllers via Ethernet. Windows 7 and Windows 2008 servers are also supported.
The virtualisation of clients is one of the central innovations of Service Pack 2 for Simatic WinCC Version 7. It enables several systems that would otherwise require separate hardware to be operated in parallel on one PC. Virtual WinCC clients can be connected with thin clients via an Ethernet network using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). Thin clients are rugged hardware terminals with a display and, thanks to their reduced equipment, they are significantly smaller, more cost-effective and less fault-prone than full industrial PCs, especially harsh environments. In production plants, thin clients provide users with visualisation and data input facilities for the virtual WinCC clients installed on a server located away from the field level.
Virtualisation technology has three central advantages: first, existing hardware resources are optimally utilised, thereby reducing procurement and operating costs, and further savings are available if companies take full advantage of think clients in the production environment; second, virtual clients can be easily and quickly backed up to increase availability; the third advantage is the simple migration of existing, completely configured systems to new hardware, making lengthy installations on the PC unnecessary.
After installing Service Pack 2, several WinCC clients can be installed and operated on one hardware platform via the two virtualisation applications Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi 4.0, depending on the hardware equipment of the server. With VMware ESXi 4.0, users can operate up to eight virtual clients with one PC in a configuration with 16GB of RAM, depending on the scope of the project.
Another new feature of Service Pack 2 is the 'Mitsubishi Ethernet' driver with two additional channel units for integrating Mitsubishi FX3U series and Q series PLCs via Ethernet networks. Communication with the controllers takes place via the MELSEC communication protocol (MC protocol).
WinCC V7 can also operate under Windows 7 and Windows 2008 Server following the installation of Service Pack 2. Further innovations Service Pack 2 include the addition of more graphics cards to the Split Screen Manager (Multi-VGA), and access to the User Account Control (UAC) safety concept on Windows7.
Service Pack 2 can be downloaded free from www.siemens.com/simatic-wincc, or it is available on request as a DVD.
For any further product information or literature requests contact +44 (0)845 7705070 or go to www.siemens.co.uk/automation.