2 Replies Latest reply on Dec 18, 2017 9:20 PM by mmcdowell

    Should I install multiple PI AF servers for multiple manufacturing sites?


      I am installing PI AF and PI Data Archive on a new server for a manufacturing site that will be coming online next year. We already have a PI server in place in our primary manufacturing site and that system has been up and running for several years. As I have been going through the installation I keep wondering if it is correct to have a separate PI AF server and PI data archive at each location or if it is really better to have a single centralized PI server with interface nodes in each location collecting data and feeding it to the centralized PI server. All of our custom client applications at each site would have to connect back to the central PI server for the data they display. I don't know if that should be a deciding factor in determining whether or not to locate a PI server close to where the client apps are running.

        • Re: Should I install multiple PI AF servers for multiple manufacturing sites?

          Hi Michael,


          Thanks for reaching out to us on PI Square for advice.


          This is a tricky question, because the answer really depends on your organizations needs. The benefit to having a PI Data Archive and AF Server local to your plant is that you needn't worry about client connection times and latency. Additionally, your security model tends to be simpler rather than having to worry about making a number of identities for each plant. Lastly, depending on how heavily used the PI System is, the cost of having a large system can be prohibitively expensive if there's a high number of client connections. Which tends to be why for bigger/spread out organizations, there is a plant at each site.


          Conversely, for more modestly sized organizations (>100k tags, >50 users) and where the plants tend to be situated fairly close in proximity (a few miles) having a single PI Data Archive Collective and AF Server can make more sense.


          Anecdotally, I tend to see more of a Data Archive and AF Server per plant than a single one for an organization. Occasionally I'll see a single massive "corporate" server for aggregating data on reporting on different initiatives from plants and comparing plant production, but that usually has it's information received via a PI to PI interface from a site plant where it's being collected.


          Also, feel free to take a look at our online hardware sizing spreadsheet in case you haven't already. Unfortunately, in the end I can't tell you the amount of latency in client connections that is acceptable for your end users when determining if you can work with a single Data Archive for two locations. I can tell you its fairly typical to have a Data Archive at each plant site for your organization. Hope that helps.




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