By Jeff Kataoka
Global industries are going through a major transformation as a result of both digital transformation and the never ceasing need to become more cost efficient. New factories are being built in Asia, Europe, and Latin America as developing countries strive to grow their industrial infrastructure. As they do that, these countries are using new technologies to establish their manufacturing prowess. Even in U.S., manufacturing has started to return as it becomes more economically feasible to build at home. All of this is raising the global competition in manufacturing higher. Factories need to be more efficient and cost-effective. The digital transformation is happening immediately starting with the factory floor and workload consolidation using software virtualization is a major driver.
Workload consolidation is not a new concept. It has been a part of the IT infrastructure for almost 20 years as hypervisor and virtualization technologies came to market back in the late 1990’s. IT has been using virtualization to consolidate enterprise application workloads previously run on various or even specialized hardware platforms on to fewer servers allowing applications to be spun-up and shutdown dynamically in an on-demand environment. This has resulted in the lower IT costs, more efficient operations and better access to data that has enabled current trends towards cloud computing.
Many of the factories of the world are still using single separate physical compute platforms to individually run each of their legacy factory automation machines. Virtualization and workload consolidation was not needed in the previous economic environment, but the competition has grown and the need for change has arrived. To continue to be competitive, workload consolidation in the factory needs to become a reality.
A recent use case, WORKLOAD CONSOLIDATION IN THE FACTORY FOR INDUSTRIAL CONTROL, outlines how virtualization technology and workload consolidation can be utilized for industrial control systems in the factory. Read the use case to learn about workload consolidation in the factory and how Wind River can offer a solution.