Honeywell introduces turnkey Experion Virtualisation system on blade serversHoneywell has launched the newest Experion Virtualisation Solutions package, industry’s first turnkey blade solution. It’s optimised for virtualisation and 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, saving them millions of dollars annually.By applying virtualisation 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.Virtualisation 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. Virtualisation allows a single server to simultaneously run multiple operating systems and applications, insulating the operating systems from hardware changes, improving overall server utilisation, simplifying maintenance and reducing costs.The newest member of the Experion Virtualisation 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 set-up time by 90 per cent, generates 40 per cent more energy savings, has 22 per cent greater density than alternative virtualised 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 – Technology, Honeywell Process Solutions. “Virtualisation 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 modernise 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 its decision.Experion PKS is Honeywell’s flagship process control and automation system used by process manufacturers around the world. It redefined industrial automation as the first enterprise-wide distributed control system designed to unify people with process, business requirements and asset management. This approach improves process visibility and safety by enabling facilities to consolidate plant equipment controls while eliminating integration problems. The open control platform can be easily maintained and upgraded if necessary.