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A pair of Dell VRTXs can house two unique DeltaV systems using virtualization technology.

A VRTX is a Dell PowerEdge chassis with all the components for a DeltaV system.

You don’t have to worry about a single point of failure.

I will explain how the VRTX and virtualization actually increases DeltaV availability, reliability and service ability.

If you want to know more, call 704-375-4464 or request more information on VRTX and virtualization for DeltaV.

VRTX with Virtualization Hardware Overview

Looking at the front of a VRTX in figure 1, you can see it can have up to 4 blade servers. Plus, it can hold enough hard drives for 40 virtual machines.

Front view of VRTX Chassis with Blades and Shared Network Storage

Figure 1: VRTX Chassis Front Overview

On the back of the VRTX there are 40 network ports, as seen in figure 2.

Of the 40 network ports, 8 are on a shared switch so all 4 blade servers have access to these network ports. The other 32 network ports are separated so that each blade server has 8 ports with no other blade server having direct access.

Back view of VRTX Chassis Figure 2: VRTX Chassis Back Overview

Figure 3 shows an example of a network layout of a VRTX with two DeltaV systems.

Network Overview

Network Overview

Figure 3: Network Layout of VRTX with two (2) DeltaV Systems

Both blades in slot1 in Figure 3 are domain controllers for the cluster in this example. Don’t confuse the domain controllers for the cluster domain and the domain controllers for the DeltaV domain.

The domain controllers for DeltaV are virtual machines with the primary domain controller being the Proplus while the alternate controller can be any other server class operating system or application station. If more virtual machines are needed than what 3 host blades can support, blade 1 can be a host blade as well. If this is the case, the cluster domain controllers will be external servers and not blade servers.

The domain controllers for the 2 VRTXs have control of the cluster domain.

The cluster domain houses the control for the host blades and the failover strategies for the virtual machines via DeltaV Virtual Studio application.

You can use thin clients for remote connections. Figure 4 shows an example of a thin client without the display.

DeltaV VRTX Thin Client

Figure 4: Thin Client 

DeltaV and VRTX/Virtualization Networking

When you use a set of VRTXs, you will need a few new networks.
All networks are shared so networking is the challenging part of implementing VRTXs.

You should install a pair of VRTXs in separate buildings to prevent geographic outages.

Having each VRTX in a separate building, protects you against loss of power.
It does require additional networks between buildings. This configuration allows a single VRTX to run both systems in case there is a complete failure in one VRTX.

When combining two DeltaV systems, the same rules apply for networking. Each DeltaV system requires a DeltaV Primary and the DeltaV Secondary network.

Replication and Failover using VRTX with Virtualization

Some of the key benefits of going to virtualization are replication and failover. Replication occurs between two clusters and in this example is between the VRTXs. Replication is a snapshot image of a virtual machine copied to another cluster so in the event that the primary cluster failures the replica machine can spin up and take the place of the original virtual machine. Once you repair the primary cluster, you can return it to service.

Failover occurs between two or more hosts within a single cluster. In the event a host has a failure, its virtual machines will spin up automatically on another host inside the same cluster.

What are the results of using DeltaV on VRTX with virtualization?

  1. Upon installation of VRTXs, the plant can expect an increase in availability, reliability and service ability.
  2. Replication and failover strategies help increase uptime and reliability. The VRTX chassis allows for regular hardware maintenance without plant outages. You can move virtual machines from host to host live, without shutting down the process. This makes hardware maintenance easier and reduces or eliminates any downtime.
  3. Typically upgrades will cost less. With VRTXs in place, in most cases no computer hardware needs replacing.
  4. Expansions are also simpler. With the help of DeltaV Virtual Studio, new workstations can be “spun up” (created) in as little as 15 minutes. No more staging is required. Just add another thin client.

If you want to know more, call 704-375-4464 or request more information on VRTX and virtualization for DeltaV.