Case Study

A Shanghai Port Company

Modernizing critical monitoring systems for hazardous chemicals

Ports around the world manage and distribute flammable, explosive, toxic, and hazardous chemicals. In order to ensure the stability of these chemicals in storage tanks, ports and their customers require 24/7/365 monitoring systems that accurately record data and uniformly manage and monitor each site. A prominent Shanghai port company took steps to modernize this critical system at the edge of its operations.

This Shanghai port company, established in 2002, supports the construction, management, and operation of the chemical terminal in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Zone and its related storage and shipping facilities. The company provides chemical storage and transportation services in and out of the Shanghai Chemical Industry Zone and runs a bonded and registered warehouse operating with the approval of the Chinese authorities. The company unloads liquid chemicals ordered by customers—including Bayer, BASF, and BP—from ships into tanks and then barrels and delivers these chemicals according to the customers’ requirements.

The challenge

To safely manage all the chemicals being transported, stored, and transferred, the port company has many monitoring points. However, the original HMI/SCADA and historian software were deployed separately on multiple physical servers, making operation and maintenance difficult. To reduce costs and improve the management of these monitoring points, the company wanted to convert multiple physical servers into a single server through virtualization, while ensuring the reliability of this single server.

The solution

In order to meet the requirements of continuous availability, ease of use, and cost reduction, the Shanghai port company set out to evaluate downtime prevention solutions. The project designer selected the Stratus ftServer® computing platform because of its high reliability, ease of maintenance, and continuous operation in other chemical monitoring systems across the world.

Stratus provided a solution, in cooperation with the world’s largest industrial automation information solution provider, that helps simplify, protect and automate the port company’s monitoring system. The solution relies on the fault-tolerant Stratus ftServer with VMware®, moving the company’s original system onto an easy to deploy and manage as well as highly available platform. ftServer was selected to make up the core architecture of the control room, integrating the original physical system through simple virtualization using VMware for optimal efficiency. ftServer actively prevents downtime and data loss. It provides 99.9999% system availability without affecting system performance. If any component fails, the mirrored component continues to run without any system interruption. The automated software identification function can identify and correct component failures before they affect operations. In addition, ftServer enables IT staff to monitor system infrastructure on a single dashboard while automatically restarting applications to avoid any downtime or loss of operational data.

The results

Since the Shanghai port company began using the Stratus ftServer, they have experienced stable, reliable operation of the monitoring system with zero downtime and continuous, uninterrupted transmission and storage of data. With continuous system availability, ftServer is simple to maintain and operate, reducing unnecessary cluster software development costs. The hot-swappable modules, which enhance system availability, are easy to operate and the server capacity can be easily expanded to ensure the continued operation of the platform and applications. ftServer provides continuous operation and long-term value, maximizing return on investment and reducing costs for the company.

With continuous system availability, ftServer is simple to maintain and operate, reducing unnecessary cluster software development costs.

About Stratus

For leaders digitally transforming their operations in order to drive predictable, peak performance with minimal risk, Stratus ensures the continuous availability of business-critical applications by delivering zero-touch Edge Computing platforms that are simple to deploy and maintain, protected from interruptions and threats, and autonomous. For 40 years, we have provided reliable and redundant zero-touch computing, enabling global Fortune 500 companies and small-to-medium sized businesses to securely and remotely turn data into actionable intelligence at the Edge, cloud and data center— driving uptime and efficiency. For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter @StratusAlwaysOn and LinkedIn @StratusTechnologies.

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