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 Thin Client for Java 
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Major
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Dennis, you are correct, the C90LEW comes with Windows Standard Embedded. We have not tried it with another OS. If the standard OS works, and works well for that application at hand we try not do vary from that. Although it may be fun for you and I to mess around with different things, it is not in the customer's best interest for us to install something that either is non-standard, time consuming to obtain, needs tweaking before installing, etc.. All of these things add to potential downtime for a customer if a component takes a dive.

Large installations mean lots of different components...thus greater potential for component failure. Too much downtime can severly damage an integrators reputation. Just something to think about. Simple, yet fully functional, its a good standard to design by when your reputation is always at stake.


Thu Aug 12, 2010 2:02 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
To: scott_stc

In my case we are the end user, and we have hundreds of PCs on the factory floor to manage.

Windows has been a major source of irrattion. Now there is a new virus that is particularly nasty, Stuxnet.

My quest is for an appliance that does not run Windows, but does run Java, and will be a web client to Ignition.

I have attached a pdf regarding the virus.


Dennis


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Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:31 am
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Colonel
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
I am looking to use the Wyse C90LEW thin client for Ignition clients. I see it was being discussed here and I have a question about it. Has anyone tried installing the Ignition Gateway on one? I am looking to install the full gateway and enable a Panel Edition license on it. My project would look to connect to the main (full licensed) server but if it can't connect then it would launch the local Panel Edition project. I am just wondering if the Wyse C90LEW would be sufficient for that. My only worry is that the local Ignition gateway would be running all the time when it is only needed in the rare case that the main gateway can't be reached.

The customer is just not used to server based HMIs so their question was "how do we run the machine in manual when the network is down". I figured a Panel Edition backup was the best way.


Mon Aug 30, 2010 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Alex - that thin client looks good to me. I would opt for the one with 2 Gigs of RAM instead of 1. Running the gateway all the time shouldn't cause much strain on the thin client. Your architecture resembles the emergency model. For your situation, I would keep the local (panel) projects simple so that you don't have to keep updating the project on every station with every minor change.

Dennis - that worm looks pretty specific to Siemens S7 products running on Windows. Could you describe what happened on your network?

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Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:29 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Nathan: Thanks looking at the Java thin client stuff.

We have not had an infestation of that particular worm. We only have Modicon and AB in our plants. The Windows security issues are the reason I have been looking into Ignition on Linux and for a Linux thin client.

There has to be a better way and I believe Ignition is a part of that.

Thanks


Dennis


Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:31 am
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Post from a security perspective...
Dennis - my .02 and industrial security 101: You can create a secure network on either platform. With Windows this involves a lot of patching - something that scares a lot of Industrial Software vendors for compatibility reasons. Linux requires some, but less, and tends to be less vulnerable to the common malware going around. If these systems are rarely updated, which is far from ideal, but common in our industry, I would say Linux takes the advantage. Users are less likely to be able to tinker, but your support staff may not be familiar with it.

The key is to follow basic (IT) industry good security practices. First and foremost, let your IT department do their job - use the products and standards that they're comfortable with. This will take you much farther than "magic bullet" products or ideas. Isolate your control network when possible, use VPNs for remote access, apply firewalls/IDS/IPS, have an antivirus/removable media policy, backup/recover plan, etc, etc. Your largest security vulnerability will likely come in the form of "legacy" - that old system running NT or Windows 2000, network accessible PCs running DCOM (OPC-DA) applications, reliance on software with hard coded passwords (like the worm exploits). Most likely you'll have a few of these, just do your best to mitigate the vulnerabilities - use OPC tunnellers, put "high risk" machines in a DMZ and PLCs on a separate network, update your OS and antivirus signatures, etc. The game is balancing your operational requirements with risk to a point of acceptance.

Thin clients are a great strategy for HMI/SCADA clients in a controls network. Besides a lower initial price tag, they offer additional benefits in terms of total cost of ownership - the lifecycle is about 2 years longer than a standard PC, plus they require less IT effort to support. You can certainly achieve as secure a network as you need with Ignition - on whatever operating system and platform suits your environment.

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Not Another Industrial Blog - My SCADA software blog
"Design Simplicity Cures Engineered Complexity"


Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:01 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Dennis - You are fortunate that you have the leeway to play around with other systems, and I definitely know what you mean about the "issues" with Windows.

Alex - We have tried running the full version of Ignition (less the DB) on a thin client - it works on the one with larger memory (2GB/4GB) but not on the smaller (1GB/2GB) because of the lack of memory. Java itself takes up most of the memory requirements when running. Well worth it to always purchase the larger memory unit, because it's less than $100 more and gives you much more flexibility.


Fri Sep 10, 2010 6:53 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
It's time to poll the troops again on this.

What's new?

What's working?

What's inexpensive?

What's self-contained?

Experiences to share?

Thanks


Dennis


Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:44 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Well of course now you have the Mobile Module to work with, which doesn't require JavaSE. All it requires is a capable web browser, so your options are greatly expanded to a whole new class of consumer-oriented mobile devices (tablets/phones)

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Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:42 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Granted, Mobile is nice and is necessary, but I am looking for panels to mount to a machine. We have hundreds of HMIs, which would be better served with thin clients.

I posted the message to prompt sharing of information.

A really inexpensive solution would be to mount an iPad2 on every machine, but theft and the cost of the back end would be a problem.

We are looking forward to the 2D design and "compound objects" stuff that comes in the future.

Any possibility of assignment of rights to tags/folders in the realtime tag database? If Barney Rubble, who has administrator rights includes a set of tags, then Fred Flinstone, who also has administrator rights should not be able to remove them.

Maybe this makes the case for more granularity in the authenication system. You need a set of Tag/Folder Owner privilages. Something to think about.

You also need Device Owner privilages.

I hope you have a good weekend.


Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:10 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Yeah, more fine-grained control over designer-oriented tasks would be a good idea.

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Inductive Automation


Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:20 pm
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Major
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Dennis,

We have not tried the Linux version. The Windows unit comes completely licensed. We get the 2GB/4GB model. All we have to do is load Java and the touch screen drivers, and it's ready to go. If you try the Linux model, please post your thoughts, we'd be interested in hearing if you like it better. Thanks.


Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:50 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
scott_st:

You are still referring to the C90LEW?


Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:15 am
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
I've started using Foxconn's Nettop PC's:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119034

With 2GB Ram and 32GB SSD, that puts me at about 280 dollars. Add about 140 dollars if you stick Win7 Pro on it, although you can still get XP OEM versions for about 80.

I also have a few boxes with Ubuntu on it. They run dipslay boards that have no ActiveX requirements. If it wasn't for the ActiveX thing, they'd all be on Ubuntu!

The XP machines are running Panel Edition with no issues as of this writing, but I'll be sure to tell you if there is.

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Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:54 am
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Major
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Post Re: Thin Client for Java
Dennis,
I was still referring to the C90LEW. Also, we have been using the Hope Industrial touch screens, which the [Elo] drivers are apparently (I wasn't aware) loaded on all of Wyse's thin clients except the C90LEW. But supposedly they can be loaded from the factory.


Tue May 17, 2011 2:37 pm
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