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uptown47
October 17th, 2011, 06:16 AM
Hi all,

I've just been working on a fault and had to change the software on an old S5 PLC. I've then had to go and update the software on 2 other laptops which our sparkys use.

It got me thinking on whether it would be possible to fit a local iCloud-type solution that all the PLC laptops could communicate with and could be used to store all the software for the plant.

Has anyone got any experience of this or any ideas on how this could be implemented ?

Thoughts / comments etc on this??

Cheers

uptown ;-)

curlyandshemp
October 17th, 2011, 07:28 AM
Hi all,

I've just been working on a fault and had to change the software on an old S5 PLC. I've then had to go and update the software on 2 other laptops which our sparkys use.

It got me thinking on whether it would be possible to fit a local iCloud-type solution that all the PLC laptops could communicate with and could be used to store all the software for the plant.

Has anyone got any experience of this or any ideas on how this could be implemented ?

Thoughts / comments etc on this??

Cheers

uptown ;-)

We use DropBox to sync all projects and docementation with each other.
And its free for 2Gbyte storage.

www.dropbox.com (http://www.dropbox.com)

uptown47
October 17th, 2011, 08:22 AM
curlyandshemp, thanks for that. I've used dropbox before but you have to be connected to the net to get at the dropbox and the programming laptops aren't allowed on the internet.

I was thinking more of a 'standalone' solution. Like a NAS or something similar that the laptops could wirelessly connect to and use it to access (and save) the software from anywhere in the factory.

I'm not sure how I would propogate the wireless network though or what I would use as a NAS. I'm not sure if a Linkstation or something similar would do?

It just seems that in this modern 'connected' world we live in there must be a solution to this issue that's more robust and efficient than saving everything to USB sticks.

???

curlyandshemp
October 17th, 2011, 08:36 AM
curlyandshemp, thanks for that. I've used dropbox before but you have to be connected to the net to get at the dropbox and the programming laptops aren't allowed on the internet.

I was thinking more of a 'standalone' solution. Like a NAS or something similar that the laptops could wirelessly connect to and use it to access (and save) the software from anywhere in the factory.

I'm not sure how I would propogate the wireless network though or what I would use as a NAS. I'm not sure if a Linkstation or something similar would do?

It just seems that in this modern 'connected' world we live in there must be a solution to this issue that's more robust and efficient than saving everything to USB sticks.

???

Got that.

I recall Windows95 had Briefcase. Yo could sync files with your laptop and a network drive.
Sounds as if you need a modern version of that.

uptown47
October 17th, 2011, 08:37 AM
Yep, you're right mate. Definitely something along those lines but wireless and industrial.... ;-)

kolyur
October 17th, 2011, 09:51 AM
It got me thinking on whether it would be possible to fit a local iCloud-type solution that all the PLC laptops could communicate with and could be used to store all the software for the plant.I too have wondered about the feasibility of this. We have five programming laptops and trying to keep program files synchronized is a major PITA. Here are a few of my thoughts:
* I'd recommend against a dedicated "NAS" type device. In my experience, which is admittedly limited to a few consumer-level units, they aren't near as reliable as a regular ol' PC with file sharing, and harder to configure. My suggestion would be to set up a barebones PC running XP in a closet somewhere to be a file server.
* Check out a program called SyncBack (http://www.2brightsparks.com/download-syncback.html). I've used this for years to backup my home and work PCs. Completely free (no ads, spyware, etc) and it has many options for synchronizing data across drives. For example, you could install it on each laptop and configure it to synchronize with the server at every startup and/or on demand.
* Don't totally discount the USB stick method. I'm thinking of storing one in every electrical cabinet with the relevant programs. Much simpler to implement than cloud storage, however since it isn't centralized you lose backup capability.

uptown47
October 17th, 2011, 09:57 AM
Kolyur, Thanks for the link to syncback. Never heard of this before but will check it out.

Thanks for the advice re. NAS. I know there are limitations and I don't think a normal NAS for home use would be sufficient in an industrial environment.

We currently use the USB stick method and it does work (to a point). I just think some 'cloud' type functionality would be better. Will maybe start exploring down the auxillary PC route.

Will definitely look into Syncback as I've been looking for a good backup solution for home and, after having a brief read, it looks like just what I was after.

Many thanks ;-))

killer
October 17th, 2011, 10:28 AM
Dropbox is ok, but it forces you to sync ALL the files on your account if you use the application between more than one computer. I felt SugarSync.com had some more advanced features, and offered more free storage.

If you care to use my referral link you'll get an extra free 500MB.
https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=bpikto6f7gzvc&utm_source=txemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=referral

uptown47
October 17th, 2011, 10:30 AM
killer, thanks for that but an 'online' solution is no good to me as the factory laptops aren't online.

Cheers ;-)

The Plc Kid
October 17th, 2011, 12:30 PM
Use this as your NAS http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7152579&CatId=2671

They can be had for less than 100.00 if you shop around. You can have secure remote access if you ever need and if you buy a second unit it will replicate with the built in software accross the LAN or WAN.

For a cheap way to sync files use synctoy http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=15155

Or Alwaysync
http://allwaysync.com/

Both are free but alwaysync works best. It will autosync when it sees a file change. this works across the LAn or WAN.

The Plc Kid
October 17th, 2011, 12:33 PM
If you want a more robust NAS then you can roll your own on the cheap using a old pc and a few drives.

Free NAS
http://www.freenas.org/

Open Filer
http://www.openfiler.com/

If you want no maintenance and no data loss and you have some money then choose drobo.

http://www.drobostore.com/DRHM/store?Action=DisplayProductDetailsPage&SiteID=drobo&Locale=en_US&Env=BASE&productID=234136600

uptown47
October 18th, 2011, 02:12 AM
Some great info and links there PLCkid. Really like that Free NAS site. Thanks again ;-))

The Plc Kid
October 18th, 2011, 09:15 AM
If you decide to build one and run into any issues let me know. I have done 3 thus far.

uptown47
October 18th, 2011, 09:51 AM
Thanks for the offer PK, much appreciated. ;-))

Annon99
October 18th, 2011, 03:26 PM
I've used RSYNC (Deltacopy) before.

http://www.aboutmyip.com/AboutMyXApp/DeltaCopy.jsp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rsync

uptown47
October 19th, 2011, 02:00 AM
Thanks for that Annon. That DeltaCopy looks interesting. ;-)

Geoff Goat
October 19th, 2011, 04:25 AM
Have you thought of yintersync (www.yinter.net (http://www.yinter.net)), it could be used to replicate the software from the yintersync server to the client computers either on a schedule or when they connect.

I have been testing a similar scenario in my organisation and been having pretty positive results :)

uptown47
October 19th, 2011, 04:43 AM
Cheers for the info GG. Will mull over all my options and maybe start testing a few things in the coming weeks. ;-)