Video Tutorial: Securely View & Control USB Cameras with Cogent DataHub

Posted by Win Worrall on Apr 6, 2017 2:00:00 PM

With the release of Cogent DataHub Version 8, we have had a lot of interest in new USB camera support functionality. The following short video blog demonstrates step-by-step just how easy it is use the Cogent DataHub to establish a connection to a USB Camera and then securely tunnel that data to another computer and then create a DataHub WebView page that will allow you to view the camera image and control the camera remotely.
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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, Camera, DataHub, Video Tutorials

OPC Connectivity & Security Concerns in IT/OT Convergence

Posted by John Weber on Dec 20, 2016 2:00:00 PM

Complications of Domains, Workgroups, & Mixed Windows Versions & Solutions

In the Operations Technology or OT world that most of our users live in, it’s normal to have multiple versions of Windows and systems that may not always be setup consistently but we have to make it all work anyway.   Connecting OPC clients and servers when the Windows computers are not on the same version, not in an Active Directory or, using older terminology, a domain, and having everything work well takes skill, and keeping it secure involves a lot of details.

In this blog post, our team asked me to explore with you the details involved to assist you with better understanding Windows Security and to converse more productively with your IT Team.  I’ll also share how you can learn more about how to make things easier on yourself through the use of OPC UA or with Tunneling.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC Tunnel, DCOM, Security, IT/OT, DataHub

Does Your OPC Tunnel Give You Control Over Bandwidth?

Posted by Win Worrall on Dec 14, 2016 2:00:00 PM

It's common with OPC for users to not realize that it is the OPC client that typically defines how quickly the OPC server should poll or send requests to the underlying control devices and equipment the server is communicating with.

This blog post will discuss how important it is for an OPC tunneling solution to have some level of control over this frequency of polling in order to maximize efficient usage of your precious bandwidth.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC, DataHub

Is Your OPC Tunnel Compatible with Any OPC Application?

Posted by Win Worrall on Oct 18, 2016 2:00:00 PM

It's common in the automation space to just throw out the term "OPC" without any qualifiers when talking about what a software solution supports with respect to open connectivity to other software.  But what does "OPC" mean for your specific software solution?

This blog post will discuss how important it is to know what an OPC tunneling solution is actually compatible with when talking about "OPC" since not all tunneling solutions use the same methods.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC, DataHub

How Much Experience Does Your Tunneler Solution Have?

Posted by Win Worrall on Oct 4, 2016 2:00:00 PM

There’s nothing like knowing that you aren’t alone, and someone else has had the same problems or successes that you have in similar situations.  That's just as true in the industrial automation world as it is in life.

This blog post will discuss how the peace of mind garnered from case studies and real-world examples when choosing a tunneling solution can be a deciding factor.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC, Case Studies, DataHub

Can You Tunnel Remote Data From Many Locations?

Posted by Win Worrall on Sep 20, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Collecting data from multiple remote sites or aggregating, as it is generally referred to, is a big part of geographically distributed control operations.  Having a macro picture of your operations over all of your locations is key.

And efficient, reliable performance is always a concern.  This blog post will discuss performance as it relates to aggregating data from multiple remote sites using a tunneler solution and why it's important for tunneler solutions to support multiple tunnel connections in the same instance.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC, aggregation, DataHub

Can You Tunnel Remote Data Without Opening the Firewall?

Posted by Win Worrall on Sep 7, 2016 1:00:00 PM

The more regulated your industry, the more likely it is that you have a cybersecurity team that is extremely vigilant about gaps in security.  Traditionally, remote OPC tunneling has generally always required that network firewalls have at least one port open for data transfers to work successfully.

But what if you work in one of these highly regulated industries and your IT/cybersecurity department won't allow you to open any firewall ports for remote data sharing?

This blog post will discuss why it's important for a tunneler solution to support alternatives to the traditional methods of tunneling with open firewall ports to ensure network integrity.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC, Security, DataHub

Can Your OPC Tunnel Unlock All of Your Data Sources?

Posted by Win Worrall on Aug 23, 2016 12:39:14 PM

The word tunneling, when it comes to industrial automation and data, typically goes together with OPC.  OPC tunneling is generally the most common form of tunneling, but what if your data sources aren't OPC?

What if you have more than just OPC clients and servers in your architecture and those non-OPC data sources have vital information that needs to be collected and shared with your other systems?

This blog post will discuss why it's  important for a tunneler solution to support more than just OPC-capable data sources in a diverse control system.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC, DDE, ODBC, CSV, DataHub

Is Your OPC Tunnel up to OPC Spec?

Posted by Win Worrall on Aug 9, 2016 12:44:51 PM

The letters O - P - C get thrown around a lot these days in the context of the industrial automation industry.  But it's important to understand that OPC is not a one-size-fits-all standard.  There are different specifications under the OPC umbrella and it's not a safe assumption that they are all just compatible with each other because they typically are not.

This blog post will discuss how important it is to know which OPC specifications you have in use and whether the OPC tunneler solution you have or are considering can handle them all.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, OPC UA, OPC, DataHub

Connecting Windows to non-Windows in Your Control System

Posted by Win Worrall on Jul 26, 2016 10:37:59 AM

This is Part 10 of our “25 Things to Consider when Choosing an OPC Tunnel” series.  Are there ways to connect a Windows system to a non-Windows system with the Tunnel solution?

Since OPC was designed around DCOM, a Windows only technology, you simply do not find OPC Data Access Servers that are supported in a non-Windows environment.  Nonetheless, it's not unusual for control systems to have both Windows and non-Windows machines that need to share information.

This blog post will discuss how it can be possible to link Windows and non-Windows systems in your control systems.

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Topics: Device Integration, Tunneling, Linux, QNX, non-Windows, Windows, DataHub

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Working in industrial automation since 1996, the Software Toolbox team has seen a lot. The level of automation system sophistication of our integrators and users has evolved, each driven by the demands of their market and clients.  Everyone's learning continues as technological change accelerates.

This blog is about sharing from these journeys.  From tips on implementing software, successes our clients have experienced, or new ideas and things to consider in your journey, we'll be sharing them here.

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