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Building Operating Management

Understanding Benefits of Virtualization in World of BAS



Part 3 of a 4-part article on FMs staying up with BAS options to ensure their buildings are '2025-ready'


By Thomas Grimard and Kieran Long   Building Automation

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Know the 3 Technologies Reshaping BASPt. 2: Wireless Options Becoming More Prevalent with BASPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Big Data Helping BAS Operate at Peak Performance
Understanding Benefits of Virtualization in World of BAS

Virtualization is another technology that — along with cloud services — is helping change the world of BAS. Virtualization offers great flexibility and convenience. It allows the “backroom” server equipment to live in the virtual ether so it can be moved from one piece of physical equipment to another seamlessly, without impacting the services being provided. This is especially helpful when conducting maintenance on the platform hardware, keeping uptime to a maximum. Virtualization also offers multiple layers of security. The virtual server will have its own end-point security program (at the server machine layer) while the virtual environment itself will have a security program at the server management layer; combined, they make a formidably secure environment for BAS services and applications to operate in.

Virtualization can also be extended to the operator monitoring and management PCs and terminals, affording them the same security benefits and convenience of management as the servers. As these “PCs” are virtual, they effectively stay online even if the local operator machines are power cycled. This allows the virtual machines to operate in the background and be assessed from multiple locations, keeping the same steady state.

Virtualization is a very convenient method for relocating the BAS backroom environment to the cloud. Advantages include having the BAS equipment reside in a highly reliable and physically secure location with ready access to applications through a controlled process. Most cloud service providers offer 24-hour managed and monitored services, outsourcing the burden of round-the-clock monitoring.


posted on 1/29/2016

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