Is Your Head In The Clouds?
Every day you hear things like “push your data into the cloud” or the newest functions of “cloud computing”. But what does this all mean? And what does it mean for utilities and facilities? Well, if you’re looking into Cloud SCADA, it can mean then difference between having to purchase and maintain software and hardware versus utilizing the internet and cloud computing platforms to serve as the framework for your SCADA system. That translates into time and money saved in the long run.
What is cloud SCADA?
Cloud SCADA uses the internet as the communications backbone for monitoring and controlling your control systems. Data from remote devices like programmable logic controllers (PLCs) is transmitted to secure servers running in the cloud that are hosting web based SCADA software. A custom SCADA application is created as an interface for remote users.
OpWorks is a great interface to tie together SCADA data from Cloud SCADA as well as other information from your facilities. Everything is web based so it is easily accessible from any mobile device or computer.
Is it secure?
Our technology team ensures that your data and systems are secure in several ways.
- Logging In: Each user has a unique username and password. Minimum password strength requirements are enforced.
- Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption: This encrypts all data passed between the SCADA server and the client device to keep the link private.
- Data and device routing: We use routing to specify which devices can communicate with each other and how they communicate. For example, the cellular modems that we configure can only communicate with computers within our corporate network or our cloud SCADA servers. A request for data from any other location is rejected.
Benefits of cloud SCADA technology
Some of the utilities that see the most benefit are utilities such as water and sewer districts, rural water systems, oil production facilities, and other operations where there are good number of assets spread out over extreme distances. Specific benefits include:
- Competitive cost of ownership.
- Use your existing control system components.
- No need to replace or use proprietary components.
- Rapid application deployment.
- No software or hardware to buy and keep up to date.
- No expensive telemetry hardware to install and maintain.
- Access to operations and data 24/7 from any internet-connected device.
- Use highly reliable cellular, land based Internet Service Providers or hybrid public/private telemetry systems.
- SCADA and network specialists monitoring the