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Offline Mark Halder  
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 15, 2015 2:07:00 PM(UTC)
Mark Halder

Rank: Administration

Joined: 10/2/2014(UTC)
Posts: 12

Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Question:
Our business involves the deployment of wireless mesh networks to extract sensor data from industrial plant and buildings.

In some cases we need to extract data from existing SCADA and BMS systems, to show the data alongside the data that we generate through our own mesh network.
We wish to create a live data feed from this system. Our options appear to be:

1. Create our own application that sits on their server and extracts the data from their BACnet network directly, sending it to our server.
2. Implement a BACnet OPC server to enable us to use our existing OPC data extraction application that extracts data from OPC servers, which we recently developed for another client (in development we gratefully used your OPC test server).
3. Persuade the client to install a web api that enables us to obtain data feeds remotely, thus avoiding need to place/maintain any of our code on their servers.

Speed and simplicity for implementation is of the essence, so we are interested in option 2 - and to this end I'd appreciate your advice on the suitability and ease of our client installing your OPC Server for BACnet.

Your general view would be welcomed, but in particular:

- How easy is it to install and configure such that tags relating to all BACnet devices are available? Typically how long would it take to install and have up, configured and running?
- How lightweight would it be in terms of demands placed on their server and network?
- What level of ongoing client input is needed to maintain it?
- Are there any other potential costs we would need to consider beyond your advertised price?


Answer:

The installation and configuration of the software is relatively easy. It uses the BACnet announcing and broadcasting features to discover all of the devices on the BACnet network. If you have a single BACnet network then this is all you need to do and then you can browse and add items from all of the devices. This can typically be installed and configured in 1 hour.
If you have multiple BACnet networks connected together with a BBMD then the configuration is a little more complex as you need to tell the OPC Server where this BBMD is located so that it can span both of the networks.
It is as lightweight as you want to make it. The OPC Server acts as a BACnet device on the BACnet network. This is very light as a BACnet network can have hundreads of devices online at the same time. The OPC Server will not start requesting any data unless you start requesting those tags. The more data that you request the more load you are going to put onto the network. I have seen customers request thousands of data points per second from the BACnet devices without any problems.
Any new devices that come online to the network that you want to get data from will need to be configured in your OPC Client. If you are not requesting new data points then there is virtually no maintenance of the system.
Support and product updates come with the product for the first 6 months. After that this comes with an annual fee of 20% of the product price.
thanks 1 user thanked Mark Halder for this useful post.
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