The PI System has been expanded to support High Availability (HA) via a limited form of server and interface redundancy. Additionally, the PI system is one that is easily virtualized via VMWare’s ESX cluster product. Corning has installed a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to collect process and product data in a Life Sciences manufacturing application, and uses OSIsoft PI as both a process historian and a SCADA interface to heterogeneous process equipment. Availability of the MES and PI system are paramount to allow timely collection of required product data and support manufacturing operations where downtime has an immediate, negative, and quantified financial impact.
A quick review of availability options and limitations of both an ESX cluster and PI HA will be presented. Ultimately, Corning chose to use both PI HA, and VMWare ESX clustering technologies to ensure operational uptime and increase system availability. The considerations that lead to this decision and tradeoffs of using PI HA and VMWare ESX will be reviewed and the final system architecture and several “watch outs” will be discussed. Finally, several real-life failover scenarios will be presented to illustrate the complementary nature of PI HA and VMWare clusters, as well as an example of how this system has recently helped prevent an unplanned outage from effecting plant floor operations. Future needs around both PI HA and VMWare will be discussed to help further eliminate single points of failure going forward.
Mr. Acciai graduated from Grove City College in 1985 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and later earned a M.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. He has worked in various roles within Corning Inc. since 1985 including controls engineering, process engineering, and an IT team leader for Corning's Environmental Technologies division located in Blacksburg, VA. His current role is that of an IMS architect for manufacturing systems in use across the company. He has worked closely with OSIsoft systems over the past ten years and is credited with installing the first PI-HA server and piloting the use of PI-ACE within Corning.