EcoStruxure™ Geo SCADA Expert

Software for telemetry and remote SCADA applications - Free Trial
Published by Schneider Electric

Features

  • Scalable architecture
  • Integrated SCADA functions
  • Built-in telemetry functions
  • Business & IT integration
  • Enhanced security
  • Reliable operations

Scalable architecture

Geo SCADA Expert is an integrated SCADA software suite and comprises these components; the Geo SCADA server, a windows client named ‘ViewX’, a web client named ‘Virtual ViewX’ and a mobile device client named ‘Geo SCADA Mobile’. The server performs all the active functions of the SCADA system including the device communications, real-time database, alarm processor, historian, calculations, redundancy, reporting and web services. The client applications function as the HMI and are connected to the server in a client-server architecture using a TCP/IP network. The Virtual ViewX and Mobile clients are supported from an integrated web server.

For high reliability systems, Geo SCADA Expert can be configured in a multitude of redundancy options including dual, triple, disaster recover (DR) sites and remote performance servers for local access. Even LAN/WAN links and connections to remote controller can be configured for redundant paths.

Geo SCADA graphic displays are managed by the server and cached for high performance on clients. The native format for graphics is vector based for performance and pan/zoom capabilities.
Geo SCADA components:
  • - Geo SCADA Expert Server (point based)

    - ViewX windows client (operator station, supports multi-screen)

    - Virtual ViewX web client (browser user)

    - Geo SCADA Mobile client (android and iOS app)

The server manages the complete system:
  • - Communication drivers

    - Alarm and event journal

    - Historic archive (historian)

    - Configuration database

    - Redundancy
Scalable architecture

Integrated SCADA functions

SCADA is an integral component to any customer’s operations and therefore the information needs to be shared across the business or enterprise.
Web server:
  • Local and Remote Web Access

    What better way than to offer a web-based solution with no need to install any software on the user’s computer? Geo SCADA Expert offers a built-in web server and every graphics page that is developed is automatically available in the web browser. This can be restricted to view-only but can be full control according to the user security permissions.

    The web client supports:

    - Real-time graphics

    - Control and set-point changes

    - Alarm acknowledgement

    - Trend chart displays

    - Execute and display reports

    If users wish to access the SCADA system remotely then the Geo SCADA Expert web server can be configured securely using secure sockets (SSL) technology.

Reporting:
  • No SCADA package is complete without providing reporting capabilities but the reports that users need are so varied. Geo SCADA offers several options: Geo SCADA Expert has a rich suite of industry standard open interfaces such as ODBC, OLE-DB and OPC which can be used by any third-party reporting package or Microsoft Office.

    For more complex reporting where the SCADA system needs to export reports based on periodic time schedules, such as first thing in the morning before the shift starts, and the output format needs to be a .pdf file and emailed to a group of users then the integrated Crystal Reports functionality is ideal. In Geo SCADA Expert, you build the Crystal Report template and tie it to a scheduler object all without writing code or script. This reduces engineering effort and makes it easy to understand and maintain. Geo SCADA can also be linked to Dream Report which provides a host of simply configured SCADA-specific reporting features.

Alarm redirection:
  • It is normal to expect that SCADA/HMI software includes some form of alarm monitoring, and Geo SCADA Expert provides advanced alarm features for large system monitoring and control, i.e. many servers and workstations with thousands of controllers. In these systems there may be a considerable number of active alarms, with configurable priority system. There are many ways to filter alarms such as on database hierarchy, area of interest, severity, geo location and alarm category.

    Alarm features are an attribute of point, device or other objects object. When you configure a point, you specify the alarm limits, severity level, associated help page, time (persistence) threshold, etc. When you save the point configuration, the server immediately monitors the alarm conditions and reports status.

  • When an alarm occurs, it can be observed in many places:

    - Full alarm page

    - Alarm banner (either top or bottom of display)

    - Graphic display by highlighting point value

    - Embedded list

    - Redirected to SMS text message on cell phone

    - Redirected to email message

    The redirection capability is an advanced feature and built into the server at no extra cost. It is ideal for unmanned SCADA monitoring as it alerts the right person when a critical event occurs.

Built-in telemetry functions

It is often a challenge to connect your SCADA host to the controllers and this is because there are many vendors, protocols and communication options.
Polling engine and protocol drivers
  • Geo SCADA Expert includes integrated drivers for industry standard protocols such as Modbus, DNP3, IEC870, OPC and MQTT at no additional cost and has created drivers for 3rd party devices from market leaders of proprietary controllers.

    Telemetry applications generally use open standards such as Modbus, DNP3 and IEC870 because they are spread out over a wide area and are designed for intermittent communications. Geo SCADA Expert leverages the full potential of these protocols, including features such as synchronizing RTU real-time clocks, uploading event data or data log files and backfilling this automatically into the Geo SCADA historian, providing communication statistics and alarms, etc.

  • When it comes to the factory floor or plant, the PLC is most common and there are many brands and communication options available. Geo SCADA Expert supports devices from Siemens, Allen-Bradley and others.

    The Oil & Gas industry has many proprietary protocols in-use and has the added complexity of EFM data from gas flow computers. Geo SCADA Expert is integrated with Autosol software and can access any of the points or parameters in these RTUs and flow computers.

Supported PLCs/RTUs and devices
  • - Kingfisher RTU

    - NTMon

    - ODBC

    - Lufkin

    - Modbus serial/TCP/UDP RTU & ASCII

    - Modbus Client and Server driver

    - OPC-DA client

    - DNP3 serial/TCP/UDP

    - DNP3 Client and Server driver

    - Allen Bradley DF1

    - Siemens S7 PLC

    - IEC60870 serial and IP

    - ICMP

    - SNMP

    - MQTT (JSON)

    - Ethernet/IP

Business & IT integration

Geo SCADA Expert is an open SCADA platform with many options for integration with business systems.
Integration with business systems
  • Navigation between applications in Geo SCADA Expert graphics you can hyperlink to another application, either within the Geo SCADA UI or outside it. This is ideal for navigating between GIS, asset management software and SCADA.

    Geo SCADA Expert’s real-time database, alarm/event journal and historian are all accessible using standard SQL and ODBC technology. A 3rd party database such as SQL Server, Oracle, etc., can use stored procedures to periodically query the Geo SCADA Expert server for any data needed. Conversely, Geo SCADA Expert can ‘push’ data out to third party databases based on operator command, trigger event or periodic via schedule object.

  • For OEM partners and system integrators that want to migrate configuration from legacy SCADA or bulk configure, the OLE Automation interface and .NET interfaces are ideal solutions. Systems may use the Bill of Materials spreadsheet and an Excel macro to fully configure the ClearSCADA database in a matter of minutes. The system integrator may develop an application that ‘reads’ the configuration files for an existing SCADA product and then through the interfaces may create the objects in Geo SCADA Expert for migration.

Business & IT integration

Enhanced security

SCADA security has ever increasing media attention due to cyber-attacks on infrastructure assets such as water and energy. So how can the SCADA platform support this? Geo SCADA includes security at many levels. User and group privileges are fine-grained giving administrators control over actions by specific SCADA operation and by asset grouping and function. Encryption and TLS certificates are built into Geo SCADA server and client communications.
Remote user access
  • If you need to provide remote access to users, then you may wish to deploy a Geo SCADA Expert Performance Server in the DMZ which is synchronized to the primary server using unidirectional communications. This Performance Server (with DMZ option enabled) is now ‘read-only’ access irrespective whether the user has higher level security on their permission profile.

    Naturally, any and all access attempts are recorded in the Geo SCADA Expert event journal as are configuration edits, control, and alarm acknowledgements so you can run periodic reports to monitor and report this activity. As an extra precaution, perhaps for critical control actions, you can force the operator to re-enter their password and add a comment to ensure proper warning before action is taken.

    Geo SCADA Expert Security is optionally integrated with Microsoft Active Directory and LDAP, enabling access to be controlled with enterprise tools.

Reliable operations

SCADA system viability is based on providing reliable and secure data across reliable infrastructure. Geo SCADA Expert specifically addresses challenges relating to geographically dispersed assets communicating over disparate media.
Critical infrastructure:
  • Minimizing the effects of equipment failure and reduced system performance on critical SCADA infrastructure is an important component in maintaining overall reliability. The geographic dispersal of redundant infrastructure such as servers and workstations, as well as providing multiple communication paths are two techniques that can be used to ensure business continuity.

Reliability:
  • Geo SCADA Expert contributes to overall system reliability with:

    - Built-in support for up to 3, self-managed redundant servers for field communications and polling.

    - Standby Server that can be located at a remote location, providing service during a disaster recovery scenario. Traffic on WAN link is Report-by-Exception which reduces the quantity of messages sent during times of increased network traffic and reduced performance.

    - Client workstations that connect to any/all servers in the redundancy set and automatically switch under server failure.

    - Support for dual LAN and WAN connections between servers.

    - Secure protocols offering reliable communication over WAN networks.
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