Case Study

Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant

Chinese water treatment facility protects its critical SCADA applications against downtime and data loss with the Stratus® ftServer® system

Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant, which has a designed capacity of 600,000 m3/d, is the largest waterworks in Zhejiang Province. In production since June 2000, this modern environmental water treatment facility leverages the most advanced technology and equipment to support filtration methods and meet stringent government standards for water purity. The quality of the plant’s treated output meets—or exceeds—the criteria for Class-A water set forth in the 2000 Technological Progress Plan of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. In 2016, the turbidity of finished water was 0.3 NTU on average— and often below 0.1 NTU. The plant employs a staff of 60 employees, 30 of whom are operators working in various shifts on the 24/7/365 production line.

The challenge

As a leading water treatment enterprise, Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant is committed to providing innovative, intelligent water treatment solutions and services to achieve the sustainable utilization of water resources. As part of its ongoing effort to meet established water purity standards, the company relies on automated systems to control and monitor its state-of-the-art water treatment equipment. This includes a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system that collects and monitors real-time data; controls water treatment processes; enables operator interaction with equipment via a human machine interface; and records events in a database for detailed reporting and analysis.

For many years, the company was running its SCADA applications on a standalone physical server. Performance data analysis revealed that processing of multi-task requests was consuming limited memory resources, thereby causing the server to run at high load for long periods of time. These conditions not only accelerated aging of the server equipment, but they also slowed business processing response times within the plant. In addition, the standalone server provided a single point of failure for the SCADA system, increasing the risk of critical data loss due to unplanned downtime. 

To address these challenges and minimize risk of data loss, Hangzhou Jixi Water Plant decided to move to a virtualized application environment on a continuous availability platform that would keep its SCADA systems up and running 24/7/365.

The solution

After evaluating a number of high availability solutions, Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant decided to deploy two Stratus® ftServer® 4800 systems—one for the SCADA applications and one for the database—in its facility control center. The ftServer solution— complete with hardware, software, and services—provided the ideal platform for consolidating the plant’s physical server infrastructure and ensuring the availability of its virtualized applications.

Leveraging state-of-the art Intel® Xeon® processor technology, ftServer provides continuous application availability with advanced lockstep technology and real-time management and monitoring. The ftServer system is made up of two identical customer replaceable units—each with its own processors, memory, and storage. Redundant field-programmable gate arrays, data paths, and lockstep firmware provide the processor synchronization, data replication, and logic needed to ensure always-on control and monitoring. Because the system keeps operating—even in the event of hardware failure—both committed and in-flight data are protected against loss or corruption.

The ftServer platform delivers maximum reliability of the company’s virtualized SCADA applications—without requiring software modifications or failover scripts. The physical resources of the ftServer are abstracted into logical resources, enabling many applications to run in isolated virtual machines on a single server. All the virtual machines share the server’s CPU, memory, disk, I/O, and other resources, enabling easy system management and fast adaptation to changing business requirements.

Operational simplicity was also a key consideration for selecting a best-fit continuous availability platform. Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant chose the ftServer system because it is easy to deploy, manage, and service. Self-monitoring hardware, automated parts replacement, and customer-replaceable subsystems save time and effort for the plant’s busy control center staff.

“Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant is committed to maintaining our position as a leading environmental water treatment enterprise through continuous innovation and strategic use of advanced technology. By supporting continuous availability and reliable performance of our virtualized SCADA applications, the Stratus ftServer system is enabling our company to achieve best-in-class water quality, plant productivity, and cost-efficiency. It is a proven platform that combines unparalleled downtime prevention with operational simplicity and low total cost of ownership for optimal value.”
Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant

The results

Since deploying the ftServer system in August 2017 Hangzhou Jiuxi Water Plant has realized significant operational efficiency gains. In addition to preventing unplanned downtime, ftServer has increased SCADA application performance, reliability, and data stability. The platform’s seamless virtualization support has enabled the company to improve its system infrastructure, reduce energy consumption, and save valuable space within its control center environment.

The ftServer is also delivering rapid time to value to support the company’s financial goals. The turnkey solution’s ease of deployment, simplified management, and downtime prevention capabilities contribute to a low total cost of ownership while maximizing SCADA application performance and availability.

About Stratus Technologies

Stratus takes the complexity out of keeping business critical applications running 24/7/365. Stratus’ technologies proactively prevent instances of unplanned downtime both in the data center and at the edge, and our services ensure any issues are addressed before customers need to. Global Fortune 500 companies and small medium sized businesses in a wide range of industries across the globe have been relying on Stratus for operationally simple, continuous availability for more than 35 years.

For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter @StratusAlwaysOn.

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