Westinghouse Ovation NT vs Unix


Thread Starter

Chance Back

We currently have an Ovation system on the Unix platform. When this was installed the NT version was not mature enough to consider. We are installing a new DCS on a different unit and NT now seems to be a viable option, but there still seems to be limited info for comparison. Does anyone have any comparison of the two? Primarily is the NT version robust enough to run a power plant? Chance Back MP&W

Power Plant Engineer

Here are my observations and thoughts... Observations: 1) We upgraded the DCS on one of our Coal fired units to Ovation. At that time only Unix was available for the workstations. A year and a half later, we upgraded the sister unit at the same location to Ovation also. For the second upgrade both Unix and NT were available, but we stuck with Unix. The reason: one of the plant I&C techs swore by Unix and also swore that NT wasn't robust enough. 2) We installed two new DCS systems on two of our Gas fired units. We actually used Moore APACS for the Boiler Controls with Wonderware Intouch for the GUI, and we used GE Mark V for the Turbine Controls and Cimplicity for its GUI. On these systems all of the operator and engineering workstations were NT machines. I was the project manager on one of these installs, and I thought and still think that NT was robust enough. We never ever had a problem with the Operating system. Occasionally we would have problems with the PC itself, but never the operating system. Thoughts: 1) NT is robust enough for operator and enginering workstations at power plants. 2) The Control system is really the workhorse anyway, so it doesn't really matter what the heck the workstations are doing or running on. 3) If you do go with NT workstations, make sure you get fast PCs with lots of RAM...this isn't the place to cut dollars. 4) It usually pays to keep units at one location as identical as possible. 5) Go with whatever I&C and Operations is most Proficient at. If they are used to Unix, stay with Unix. If they are having problems with Unix, go to NT. That's all I have...Hope it helps.

Vic Ellescas

We use WDPF on Solaris/SUN platforms here for controls of 240khp motors , 500kcfpm Compressors , etc for the two most heavyly used windtunnels in the world. Maintenance is quite expensive but very, very robust and configurable. Westinghous WDPF System is mostly used on Nuclear Power plants . That's the only system that we never worried about Y2K bug last year. Vic Ellescas

Maurice Moshe

the battle of unix vs NT has become the main issue in control systems. mature or not is not the question..the main thing you need to consider is how the system configuration has been done to make an NT based system act like unix, which is does not.... i see the main issue being remote access, and this has only been addressed by the NT server, to allow terminal server functionality similar to unix x-terminal. has ovation done the nt solution based on nt ser or workstation??? Foxboro has chosen the golden path to allow both unix and NT solutions on the same network, gaining the best of both worlds...but you seem to be stuck with westinghouse!!!! for more info on NT vs Unix, look at articles in SunExpert magazine available on the web..
1) Foxboro declined to bid the aforementioned project. 2) Maturity and reliability of the system IS a major issue as we are running a power plant and this system is being installed on our flagship unit. Downtime is unacceptable, and a system that has been proven in the market is a must. Chance Back
> Have you seen the Microsoft ad for Windows 2000? You should see what they say about NT. Ovation is not available on Windows 2000. Generally speaking Westinghouse stays a generation or two behind on hardware and software to ensure reliabilty. Chance Back

Anthony Kerstens

Rather than leaving us in suspense, just tell us. Not all of us watch enough tv to catch all the microsoft ads. Anthony Kerstens P.Eng.

Blunier, Mark

> 1) Foxboro declined to bid the aforementioned project. Do you mean they wouldn't give you a hardware quote, or that they wouldn't give you a hardware and configuration quote? While Foxboro's own integrators might not be competive and thus decline to bid (no sense in wasting time doing a bid they won't win), system integrators that are very experienced with Foxboro installs are competive. Mark Blunier Any opinions expressed in this message are not necessarily those of the company.

Vic Ellescas

NT does not have a good support on Thin Client architecture (an old concept but becoming practical nowadays). With Unix you have the flexibility of a Xwindow servers etc. When I say UNIX, I mean to include its derivatives such BSD, Linux, SCO, Solaris, etc. Here at AMES Research, we're migrating to BSD and Linux thin client DCS architecture with Westinghouse, Allen Bradley, Mitsubishi, GE PLCs. And we use embedded PC's for controls and Linux RTOS, because R&D don't have the time and money to deal with licensing. And it's easy to write device driver in Unix than in NT. And we also use Apple Mac's for SCADA's and digital video,well for us here, and some PC's too for exiting Wonderware(Intouch). I don't know about other industries who're stuck with Windows. The main point is UNIX is more compliant with standards such as POSIX and TCPIP, Java, etc. For instance the database in a Unix system is much easier to port to other platform than windows. And NT is now I think Windows 2000, then 2001, then the Whistler? Vic Ellescas Sverdrup Technology