Data Historian Infrastructure Monitoring

Omicron offers Productivity ​Solutions for the Complex World of OSIsoft PI​.

Companies quickly become dependent upon the tremendous benefits OSIsoft PI® provides Operations Management. They want it to operate constantly without failure. Yet like all things created by humans, bad things can happen. Omicron works with its clients to set up PI to be as resilient as possible, given the client’s needs.

Essentially, Omicron sets up OSIsoft PI to monitor its own health and the health of its environment. For clients with only a few servers, this may be as simple as making the most of PI as a diagnostic tool for both PI and its environment. For other clients that may have dozens or hundreds of PI servers, Omicron creates capabilities that go far beyond OSIsoft’s Managed PI service. Two common abilities Omicron develops for its clients are alerting Operations about deteriorating environmental conditions and automatically configuring PI and interfaces for new and upgraded servers.

For many years, Omicron has helped its customers use PI as a tool to accomplish a number of different, but very much related, goals:

  1. Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM), including monitoring for bottlenecks, stale signals, underutilization and emerging failure modes (see Omicron Analyses Data Center Performance with PI)
  2. Product Production Management for both processes and batches, monitoring product quality and production efficiency and output, even across facilities (see Comparing Facilities Using PI Data)
  3. Production Facility Infrastructure Management, monitoring energy utilization and the status of production line equipment and sensors for predictive maintenance (see Monitoring Unmanned Facilities)

Some measure of Data Historian Infrastructure Monitoring (DHIM) inevitably is implemented in each of the above scenarios, but Omicron is often asked to pay special attention to OSIsoft PI.

Level 1 – Quickly Diagnosing Failures

Even in companies with only a few PI servers, Omicron can economically configure PI to monitor the condition of the PI servers and their supporting software applications, including Windows, AF, SQL Server, SharePoint and IIS.

Similar to DCIM applications, a few PITags can be used for each application and equipment to monitor the basics and display the results on a dashboard for each app. Thus, if an abnormal shutdown of PI or another app occurs, an operator can quickly determine which other applications might be affected. Armed with the dashboard information, diagnosing the issue and developing a corrective action plan can take much less time.

Level 2 – Automatically Identifying Deteriorating Conditions

Automatically identifying deteriorating operational conditions is a priority for most of the utilities, oil producers, pharmaceutical and chemical firms for which Omicron works. The same is true for monitoring multiple PI servers, especially when the servers are remote.

For companies with a few dozen PI servers, the ability to quickly and efficiently diagnose an issue is not enough. After all, what happens when two or more issues occur simultaneously, especially where PI is critical to the operations? Such companies are best served by setting up control limits for PI and its supporting applications to notify responsible parties of the emerging issues.

A simple example for DCIM and DHIM is tracking the amount of free space available for each application’s log files. Abnormal CPU utilization and high server temperatures may require the use of statistical quality control algorthms and an escalation ladder for notifications. Such emerging issues can then be addressed before they impact production.

Level 3 – Automatic Configuration

One of the truths about any large network is that change is constant. New data center sites are added while old sites are upgraded with newer servers that have newer operating systems and application software. It is a struggle to maintain compatibility at each site and across the netweork.

Companies with fifty or more PI servers benefit greatly from having standard monitoring configurations for PI and its supporting applications. Making that happen and staying current with new application releases and capabilities throughout the network can be difficult. OSIsoft’s managed PI service can help the client stay current with PI, but that does not help deal with all the supporting software such as SQL Server, IIS and Windows. For clients at this level, Omicron helps establish standard monitoring configurations that include the enhanced capabilities of new application releases. When this is combined with Omicron’s Smart-Configuration facilities, effectively and uniformly managing massive PI networks with predictive diagnostics becomes a reality.

Omicron Makes It Happen

Omicron has enabled clients to enjoy all three levels of both Data Center and Data Historian Infrastructure Monitoring. Creating applications of this sophistication requires a closely-knit team that is proficient in PI, SQL Server, Windows, .net programming and user interface technologies.  Our extensive knowledge of OSIsoft PI enables us to create a custom application for you that reflects the latest in OSIsoft technology.

Omicron’s clients depend on us to reduce complexity, slash operating efforts, improve reliability and enhance reporting. With our experienced PI, SharePoint and .net team, Omicron creates custom .net applications to extend the capabilities of the software packages we serve, fill in the gaps between vendor offerings, and make our clients’ operations more efficient and reliable.

Call us at (609) 678-0110 to discuss your OSIsoft PI, SharePoint and custom application needs.

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