Tech Support Corner: Virtualization Best Practices for TOP Server for Wonderware

Posted by Kevin O'Connor on Apr 18, 2019 2:00:00 PM

If you're familiar with the term high availability, then you're also more than likely at least aware of virtualization environments such as VMWare and Hyper-V.  As computer hardware specifications have grown exponentially over the years, virtualization is more and more becoming the norm for hosting of automation control systems.

A common question that our support engineers at Software Toolbox receive from new and veteran TOP Server for Wonderware users alike is whether TOP Server supports virtual environments, which ones and what are the best practices.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this blog post covers best practices with respect to using TOP Server for Wonderware in virtualization environments such as VMWare and Hyper-V.

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Topics: Wonderware, Technical Support, Troubleshooting, Automation 101

Tech Support Corner: "It has to work, I can ping it, right?"

Posted by Marc Holbach on Apr 4, 2019 2:00:00 PM

As you are probably aware, the Ping command is one of the most widely used diagnostics tool when troubleshooting communication issues on Ethernet networks. I would accredit this popularity to the fact that everyone knows how to use the command, it's extremely simple to execute, and the results are not really open to interpretation (i.e. it either works or it doesn’t); or are they?

When troubleshooting communication issues, the most common line we hear when something isn’t working is “but I can ping it” as if this alone should serve as definitive proof that everything is working as expected and the communications server is choosing to not communicate.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this blog post covers some common misconceptions about the Ping command, particularly how it can be used efficiently, and when it may not be the best tool for the task, as well as, better alternatives to Ping that actually provide actionable data.

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Topics: Wonderware, Technical Support, Troubleshooting, Automation 101

Tech Support Corner: Using Wireshark as a Supplemental Troubleshooting Tool

Posted by Kevin O'Connor on Feb 7, 2019 10:22:24 AM

You may or may not be aware that our technical support team at Software Toolbox maintains, updates and adds new content to an extensive knowledge base built from answers to all of your questions from over the years.  We like to frequently review which of our knowledge base articles have been used the most to see what users like you need help with and what is most relevant.

Continuing our Tech Support Corner blog series, this blog post covers the why's and how's of using the popular and powerful network analysis tool called Wireshark as an additional tool in your troubleshooting arsenal.

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Topics: Wonderware, Technical Support, OPC UA, Troubleshooting, Automation 101, TOP Server

Did You Know? Monitoring OmniServer Polling Statistics

Posted by Marc Holbach on Jun 22, 2017 2:00:00 PM

A common question I run into when talking to OmniServer users is "How can I gain more visibility into what is going on with my OmniServer."  After all, a primary concept for an OPC Server is to be invisible – to be a transparent converter between the protocol used by a device, and that used by your SCADA or HMI (i.e. OPC, Wonderware SuiteLink, etc.).

While there are a number of answers to how you can be more aware of what is going on with your system, this fourth post in our "OmniServer Did You Know?" blog series focuses on the importance of system tags, and specifically how they can be used in the OmniServer to query the health of the server as a whole, as well as individual device connections.

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Topics: Wonderware, Device Integration, Protocols, Troubleshooting, OmniServer, OmniServer Did You Know

Industrial Communications Protocols Matter: Focus on Troubleshooting

Posted by Marc Holbach on Feb 9, 2017 2:00:00 PM

At its core, a communication protocol is just the ‘language’ that devices speak, right? Just a collection of rules that govern how components of a system are going to interact with each other, and what the capabilities of the system might look like.

In this post, I will discuss why you should bother learning anything about communication protocols in the first place. I will discuss the value of knowing what a communication standard is and why some people (myself included) commit so much time to learning them.

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Topics: Device Integration, Protocols, Troubleshooting

Minimize Downtime with TOP Server Troubleshooting Tools

Posted by Lauren Conrad on Jul 19, 2016 12:33:10 PM

In this blog, we will cover the built-in startup and testing features included in the TOP Server including a video link to see these tools in action.

These tools include a sample OPC client that can help with quickly testing connectivity to your devices, as well as device-to-server level and server-to-client level communication diagnostics. The user interface displays important informational messages, as well as communication warnings and errors. Also available is extensive and easy to navigate help documentation.

We’ll briefly discuss each of these tools and take a look at a video which walks us through the use of each of these tools and points us to further troubleshooting resources at Software Toolbox.

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Topics: Wonderware, Technical Support, Troubleshooting

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