Well, i do not think there is a golden bullet.
Some companies like Shell are consolidating into a single PI server for all facilities on a single continent, where others just don't have reasons to do so.
First i'd have a look at what you gain and what you need to achieve that gain?
Can you share information better across facilities? Is using a single PI server the best way to achieve that? Upload data to a corporate PI server (e.g. using PI Cloud Connect) for enterprise reporting?
So look at the function of the system, and then the requirements should become more clear.
Thanks for your response. I wish there was a golden bullet, but I realize that there's not. One thing I've realized, everyone says that they want data. But, when you pin them down with the question of "what exact data do you want to see?", they can't even tell you. Of all the data we provide probably only 10% of it is being used. Managers sit in meetings and say that we need to have more collaboration, and we need to be sharing and comparing more data across facilities. Before we can do that, all of the plants are going to have to be onboard and a lot of stars are going to have to align. It would have to be a very coordinated effort. Some facilities do not keep their PI system up to date. We have a few that have not upgraded to PI 2010.
At this point I don't really know what kind of gain that we are looking to achieve. In some ways, anything would be better than what we are doing now. I guess I am looking for the structure that has the most potential gain for company and the one with the clearest route. Sometimes easier is better.
So, at this point, I am looking for someone's opinion that knows and has seen a lot more in the PI World than I have. Comparing two systems, one with multiple servers and one with a single server, can you share information better across facilites using a single PI Server? What kind of latency/performance difference is there? I know there is no clear answer that works for all, but has there been any analysis on this topic, and if so, what were the findings.