Selecting a PC for SCADA Systems


I have been working on SCADA for quite some time, and i find that the machine running the SCADA tends to get slower with time. But when i restart the machine, the SCADA works faster. But i cannot ask my client to keep restarting the machine since he wants the SCADA to run 27*7 365 days. Sometimes i find that SCADA does not even respond to a button click and sometimes it gets hung.

What is it that makes the systems slower? what do i do to overcome this problem. am i selecting the wrong system or do i have to stop some process that runs in the background?

please suggest.

<b>Moderator's Note:</b> I think this is a typo and it should say 24*7.
if you are describing a custom built system, you need a system description to have any feedback, things like number of processors, memory sizes, operating system, hard drive access and capacity, redundancy options, etc., etc.

Don't believe it is a simple answer.
>>he wants the SCADA to run 27*7 365 days
>I though MY clients had high expectations!

I laughed so hard at that that I choked and spit out my coffee which ruined my nice white office work shirt. But it's so funny that I don't mind.

I'm thinking of getting a tee shirt with that silk screened on it.
Thanks @Moderator... you are right. it was just a typo. I had meant 24*7 and not 27*7.

><b>Moderator's Note:</b> I think this is a typo and it should say 24*7.

James Ingraham

What SCADA software and version? What operating system? I happen to be aware of a bug in an old version of Ignition, for example, that has since been fixed. With more information we may be able to help you more.

-James Ingraham
Sage Automation, Inc.

Slowdown of computers after some time is common but lockup of the computer points at a software glitch or configuration error. Therefore please check the SCADA vendor for:

1) SCADA software patches

2) approved OS related updates

And these also might help:
3) Scan local hard disks for any virus related activity

4) weekly logoff/logon might be A good idea

5) check hard disk space (min. 15% free is a rule of thumb)

6) check hard disk for Bad sectors

And finally when specifying SCADA PC hardware check the vendor documents. And always choose high grade computers (Intel i7 Class CPU, solid state Disks, RAID1 if availability is important).

Let us know.
As others have mentioned, adding details of the system may be crucial for an accurate response. I have seen multiple causes for this issue.

Assuming you are talking about a Windows PC you can get a general clue by opening Windows Task Manager and looking at two columns;

First, sort by memory and see which application is using LOTS of memory. What you describe is very typical of gradually running out of memory. This can be caused by many poorly designed applications via "memory leak". If you have time, watch this value over the course of two hours. If it gradually gains in value, you know the offending application and you can go to that application's vendor and ask for assistance.

You can also look at the "Disk" activity. If you are running low on memory, disk activity will be high as data is being constantly swapped out of memory to disk. By "high" I mean 80-100%

I once had a problem that I absolutely could not sort out. I had to write a script that would reboot the machine at midnight and automatically start-up the SCADA system. Not a hack I'm proud of :(
Thanks for the reply.

As you said that you had to reboot your system to make your SCADA run properly. I am also able to run my SCADA application normally if i restart my PC. But i am trying to find out if there could be any solution or anyway to avoid this and keep the system running efficiently without having to reboot. My present applications are not critical, but i have some clients who wants their system to work efficiently without having to reboot the system. Will using a server machine solve this problem? I have heard people running their applications on the servers without having to reboot their system for months. Will this pose any unseen problems?