Wednesday 14 May 2014

Early detection of network faults!

Siemens is offering a host of new functions for the quick and easy location of faults in automation networks with an update of its Sinema server software.

A prerequisite of efficient fault localisation is that the status of the devices in the network is always indicated correctly and clearly. A change of status can have many different causes that are recorded and stored in the form of events. Using Service Pack SP1 of Sinema Server, it is now possible to assemble any number of such events in groups and configure their influence like ‘OK’, ‘Warning’, ‘Error’ or ‘Failure’ on the indicated device states . Among other things, this offers the user the opportunity of defining new diagnostic events of a Simatic PLC, for example. Furthermore, this means that a tool can be used to detect and indicate application- specific events, in addition to the diagnosis of the SNMP network alone, before they cause problems.

This update means that Sinema Server has also been expanded to include the diagnosis of "dropped frames". This refers to device interfaces at which frames are lost. In addition to the device lists, any information on interfaces can now be displayed in tabular form. This extends and simplifies the opportunities when evaluating and documenting port connections or port statistics data. In addition, port-dependent diagnostic settings can be carried out more easily in these tables.

Furthermore, the recognition of the network topology has been optimized so that it is even possible to recognize connections between devices that themselves contain only incomplete information, or none at all, about their immediate neighbours.

Moreover, thanks to new profiles, it is now possible in the course of the update to automatically diagnose additional devices, such as the Scalance W network products, in accordance with the 802.11n standard.

The central monitoring of the several Sinema servers has been supplemented with a trend and alarm function to ensure that no important event is lost, even in large networks. This and other functions help to monitor the dynamic behavior of networks with a central software system on a standardized, user-friendly and consistent basis.

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