TOP Server 5.6 introduces media-level redundancy functionality for increased device availability in mission-critical situations or when the utmost reliability is essential. There are two basic types of redundancy available. Communications Path Redundancy (CPR) involves establishing redundant physical connections to the same device, such as having both an Ethernet and serial connection to the same device. Device Pair Redundancy (DPR) involves having two identical devices running the same logic, allowing failover in the event that one of the devices becomes disabled. Both types of redundancy can be used in conjunction to provide the greatest level of reliability.
“Media-Level Redundancy is functionality that many users consider vital to the success of their operations,” said Kevin Rutherford, brand manager at Software Toolbox. “In critical operational situations where downtime means massive losses for a company, maintaining operations consistently is crucial to success. Enabling redundancy at multiple levels increases the probability that a device failure will not cripple business as usual while that device issue is resolved.”
The 5.6 release also includes the addition of new device-level scan rate modes, allowing greater control of the frequency with which your devices are being polled. By default, TOP Server 5.6 will respect the scan rate specified by the client application. Two new modes are also available to override the client scan rate. The first option specifies a scan rate floor which restricts TOP Server to polling no faster than the specified floor. The second option fixes the scan rate at a specified level. This is extremely useful in situations where you need to restrict the frequency of polls to your field devices.
TOP Server 5.6 also introduces the first phase of the Weatherford 8500 Serial driver, for connectivity to Weatherford rod pump controllers, which are widely used in the oil and gas industry. Additional device model support will be added in the second phase for the driver, to be released later this year in TOP Server V5.7.
With TOP Server 5.6, Software Toolbox maintains its continuous improvement vision through new OPC DA ProgID Redirect functionality. This feature allows you to map any OPC ProgID to TOP Server V5.6 for use in your OPC DA Client applications, increasing client flexibility. In addition, the V5.6 release now includes full support for the Hyper-V virtualization.
Additional improvements in TOP Server Version 5.6 include:
TOP Server 5.6 will be available for download or as an upgrade during the week of July 21, 2011 for users with active support and maintenance contracts at http://www.toolboxopc.com.