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Home > Posts > Virtualization Goes Mainstream
April 18

Virtualization Goes Mainstream

Keywords: Virtualization, Servers, Operations Management.

Virtualization, a computing approach that decouples hardware and software, is rapidly gaining traction in the traditionally conservative automation and control industry. With its roots in the information technology (IT) world, virtualization was initially met with skepticism for industrial applications. But, this has changed "big time," largely driven by end user demands to reduce costs and make more efficient use of their existing computing resources.

Today, most major automation suppliers support virtualization in one form or another, predominantly for PC and/or server virtualization. With virtualization, a single computer can host multiple instances of the same or different software applications as if each was running in its own dedicated computer -- regardless of the specific operating systems employed. In this manner, much of the hardware simply goes away, offering significant benefits over the lifecycle of an automation system. These benefits include reduced hardware and associated support costs, reduced space requirements, reduced electricity requirements (both to operate the computers and for the associated HVAC), and increased scalability.

Since these the benefits clearly outweigh any perceived or actual risks associated with the technology, ARC Advisory Group believes that the trend will continue and, in fact, will accelerate as control system architectures evolve.

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ARC Advisory Group

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