8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 14, 2010 2:30 AM by jlakumb

    AF server - Min hardware specs

    bhiggin2

      This may be a very basic question but are there any minimum hardware specifications that need to be met prior to installing AF.

       

      Thanks

       

      Barry

       

       

        • Re: AF server - Min hardware specs

          Those would be which of Microsoft SQL Server (AF is a service that runs on top of Microsoft SQL Server). Unless you have a multi-million AF element implementation (and even then...), a regular off-the-shelf server-class machine would do it.

           

          Over 100,000 elements you should probably consider a 64-bit version of SQL Server. Express and 32-bit versions of SQL Server are limited to 1CPU/1GB of RAM and 2GB of RAM, respectively.

            • Re: AF server - Min hardware specs
              PDVPlewa

              And this is the crux with AF!

               

              I need  a second server beyond the PI server and also a software which is not PI with it's ease of use (and may be taking other IT departments into the boat). A Module Database with a bit more performance would have been fine ...

               

              And what about HA and SQL Server?

                • Re: AF server - Min hardware specs
                  bhiggin2

                  Jost Plewa

                  And this is the crux with AF!

                   

                  I need  a second server beyond the PI server and also a software which is not PI with it's ease of use (and may be taking other IT departments into the boat). A Module Database with a bit more performance would have been fine ...

                   

                  And what about HA and SQL Server?

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  Jost

                   

                  I'm not sure if I am reading you right, but you don't actually need a seperate server for AF unless you have a very, very large number of elements.

                   

                  Barry

                    • Re: AF server - Min hardware specs

                      Jost Plewa

                      I need  a second server beyond the PI server
                      Barry is right: you do not necessarily need a separate server for AF... it all depends on the overall performance of your machine, the number of PI Points and AF Elements you have, how many connections (e.g. users, PI Interfaces), etc.

                       

                      If you do not need an incredibly large AF implementation, you can probably start with Microsoft SQL Server Express Edition right on the PI Server and go from there. Nothing prevents you from upgrading to a bigger version of SQL Server at a later time, or even moving the AF Server and its database(s) over to another machine altogether.

                       

                      Jost Plewa

                      and also a software which is not PI with it's ease of use
                      What do you mean by "ease of use"? We'd be happy to hear your questions or concerns, so that we can address/alleviate these.

                       

                      Jost Plewa

                      And what about HA and SQL Server?
                      Can you please clarify your question or concern here? Is it about throwing additional pieces of hardware in the picture? If that's the case, then keep in mind HA is a choice; it's an option that brings significant benefits but also has some ramifications (e.g. additional hardware, increased complexity). But at the end of the day, it's probably all good if your company decides they do need HA for AF.

                       

                       

                       

                      As a side note, I would encourage you to engage with our regular Technical Support team for future Installation/Configuration/Specifications questions - they have access to additional resources, whereas vCampus is really focusing on programming and integration topics.

                       

                      Hope this helps!

                        • Re: AF server - Min hardware specs
                          obermec

                          I think what Jost means is, that PI no longer appears as an independent system, which involves all it needs.
                          The seperate SQL server is an additional component which needs special handling and skills.
                          In many companies, the IT department provides services - in this case hosting the SQL server - which
                          brings in additional dependencies from third parties.
                          I'am a little concerned about this issue either.

                          Christian

                          • Re: AF server - Min hardware specs
                            PDVPlewa

                            Sorry for the late answer, but I spend two weeks on an island, far away from every PI system!

                             

                            Steve Pilon

                            What do you mean by "ease of use"?
                            I started with PI in 1998. There are about 40 PI systems now (including two collectives) from 1k to 250k tags and the only angry topic was convincing OPC servers to talk with our OPC interface. You don't even sit down to install a PI server ... Engineering PI with SMT, SMT3 and SDK is fun compared to other systems!

                             

                            Steve Pilon

                            keep in mind HA is a choice
                            In some cases HA is mandatory. We have a collective with the servers separated by 80km and a river. A single SQL server would be a single point of failure which could crash every AF base display and application.

                             

                            Steve Pilon

                            vCampus is really focusing on programming and integration topics
                            Yes. I posted this topic here because I understand vCampus as a platform to discuss those things and make OSI aware of some topics which could possibly be out of sight.

                             

                            Steve Pilon

                            engage with our regular Technical Support team
                            I'm well known there, ask the guys in Altenstadt!

                             

                             

                              • Re: AF server - Min hardware specs
                                jlakumb

                                Yes, I have heard this comment before "A Module Database with a bit more performance would have been fine ...".  Sure, it might solve the immediate pain point for some.  But what does it mean to improve performance?  Do we need to support searching across the MDB for a specific module, alias, or property?  Do we need to allow for separate views of the asset model (e.g. browse a tree view of all assets vs. find all assets of specific type anywhere in the tree)?  Do we need to support bulk queries or scale up to support a large number of modules (millions)?  When we listened to customers, we heard that all of these factors are important and they want us to help solve these difficult issues.

                                 

                                That said, what about the additional value AF brings to the table like templates, units of measure, formulas, data references, etc? Out of all of these, template support really makes the asset model a more manageable part of the PI System.  We could not have added any of this functionality without the capabilities that AF and SQL Server offer.

                                 

                                Furthermore, with PI Server 2010 we now have an infrastructure we can build more useful and valuable products on - we already offer PI Notifications, and we are working on Event Frames.  There will definitely be more to come (think analytics)...

                                 

                                Perhaps most relevant to the vCampus group are the new applications which are now possible using combination of PI and AF.  I am sure there are folks out there who tried and struggled with MDB who are happy to have a rich metadata storage.

                                 

                                Ok, I hope I have convinced at least a few of you that there are truly great things coming with PI Server 2010 and beyond.  This release is about having "One Server", i.e. bringing together the best parts of the PI infrastructure into one system.

                                 

                                Perfect, I just killed two birds with one stone by writing the intro to my UC presentation. ;-)

                                 

                                By the way, we realize we also "handcuffed" customers with the way we licensed MDB.  We are looking into removing these restrictions and really making AF available.  Speaking of available, AF 2.1 already supports HA (in case you were curious).

                                 

                                Regards,

                                 

                                Jay Lakumb

                                 

                                PM, PI Server