Rockwell Automation has introduced its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering to address these challenges. A secure and robust network infrastructure is essential to improving overall competitiveness in a Connected Enterprise. But designing, deploying and maintaining this infrastructure can be complex and time consuming for many companies, and is often too costly for their capital budgets.
IaaS reduces the burden of network deployments by combining pre-engineered network solutions, on-site configuration and 24/7 remote monitoring into a single five year contract. The result is simplified ordering and commissioning upfront, and can help improve network reliability long term. The service can also ease budgetary strains by shifting networking costs from a capital expense to an operating expense.
All aspects of IaaS are aligned to the Converged Plantwide Ethernet (CPwE) reference architectures developed by Rockwell Automation and Cisco. Leveraging technologies and architectures, companies can optimise their network infrastructure’s performance, efficiency and up-time, as well as address security risks.
“Companies of all sizes are eager to digitally transform their operations in a Connected Enterprise, but many are limited in their ability to connect their infrastructure,” said Sherman Joshua, Connected Services Portfolio Manager, Rockwell Automation. “Often, a combination of time, talent and budgetary constraints hold them back. IaaS helps relieve these pressures by combining turnkey networking solutions with our highest level of support.”
IaaS is offered with two Rockwell Automation pre-engineered network solutions, including the Industrial Data Centre (IDC) and the Industrial Network Distribution Solution (INDS). These solutions are designed for industrial use and incorporate technologies from Rockwell Automation Strategic Alliance partners Cisco, Panduit and Microsoft.
The IDC provides all the hardware and software needed to transition to a virtualised environment, and is designed to deliver high availability and fault tolerance. The INDS is a network distribution package that helps end users achieve secure, high capacity connectivity between the control room and throughout the plant floor.
Under an IaaS contract, Rockwell Automation will size, assemble and test the infrastructure, including configuration and on-site deployment at the customer’s facility.
Contracts include 24/7 remote monitoring of critical system parameters to help prevent outages and failures, as well as proactive system maintenance and checks to improve reliability.
Support response is guaranteed within ten minutes, but actual response times average three minutes.