Protect your Investment with the JCS Production System Software Assurance Service

Can you afford unexpected production downtime or performance degradation from the servers and controllers in charge of running your plant process? Of course not! That can be a plant’s worst nightmare. Any inopportune disruption of plant critical operations results in additional costs, time, and above all - lost revenue. That’s why JCS offers the Production System Software Assurance Service – a twelve-month service plan that provides production system software support and a monthly client/server/controller health check for the plant end-user’s process and control system application.

Plant IT departments need a way to monitor if servers, computers, and devices are online or offline but often lack the resources to routinely oversee the resource usage of plant production computers and devices. This is where the JCS Production System Software Assurance Service complements existing IT procedures to further protect the plant’s assets in charge of running the process. Another major benefit of system software monitoring is continual system benchmarking to identify areas for increasing system performance and for early detection of system anomalies.

In several instances recently, a JCS production system software assurance health check yielded valuable feedback to the process plant. After a brief plant power outage, a JCS engineer identified that control and I/O data collection had not resumed. Immediately, the plant was notified, and data collection restarted, minimizing the resultant time frame of critical data loss. In another case, the end-user transferred virtualized servers to a new hypervisor host server. During a system server health check, the JCS engineer found that the hypervisor host server was lacking a permanent license. Had this discovery not been made, eventually the process control application servers would have ceased to function once the trial license expired. Due to the JCS system software assurance health checks, the system anomalies detected were immediately corrected avoiding significant data loss and plant downtime.

The JCS Production System Software Assurance Service 12-month plan includes software support contracts for maintenance and upgrade eligibility of plant production servers, client computers, HMIs, and process controllers. The monitoring of software along with a monthly health check of hardware and software performance are a big part of this product. Each month a JCS engineer gathers, evaluates, and reviews the system health data and information gathered by the systems. The data and information gathered from the servers include the following and more:

  • Server CPU, memory and disk space usage;
  • Server error logs for critical control points;
  • Database growth and capacity,
  • Controller CPU, communication and I/O memory usage;
  • Control and I/O data collection;
  • Trend data, and graphic representation of these.

After the collation and analysis of all system software health data, a monthly summary report is generated indicating the state of system components and alerting the plant if any conditions require immediate action or maintenance. Depending on the plant’s installed production system, additional service options can be added to the software assurance plan such as: redundant server 24x7 monitoring, VPN support, preventative services entailing process controller program backups, HMI software backups or application database backups. The JCS Production System Software Assurance Service is easily customizable to provide the best service by experienced JCS engineers.

Don’t wait till you experience production server or controller downtime. Ensure the performance of your production system and identify potential issues before they occur. Contact JCS today to find out how the JCS Production System Software Assurance Service can protect your Investment.

 Health check report

An extract from the monthly health check report.

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About the author

With nearly 20 years of experience in systems and software engineering, Roberta joined JCS in 2016 as a Software Engineer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master’s in Computer Science from RIT. Roberta has strong analytical and problem-solving skills that facilitate on-time solutions on her team.

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