Enterprises have extensively deployed Software program Outlined WAN (SDWAN) over the previous 10 years. The answer delivers assurance for functions, each within the cloud and within the knowledge heart, particularly for distant customers. The migration of many enterprise functions to the cloud throughout the pandemic has additional pushed the usage of SDWAN. However does it provide any actual advantages for utilities? Can it assist utilities with deploying WAN connectivity to substations and distributed renewable vitality websites? The reply is certainly Sure! And SDWAN may even present advantages to simplify and streamline the provisioning of WAN infrastructure to those distant operational websites.
Most utilities at this time are used to constructing giant networks using applied sciences similar to Web Protocol Safety (IPsec) and Dynamic Multipoint Digital Non-public Community (DMVPN) to encrypt important Supervisory Management and Knowledge Acquisition (SCADA) communications, Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) for the underlying transport community, and public or non-public mobile for distant websites with no different WAN connectivity. SDWAN brings these applied sciences collectively and permits automation to enormously simplify deployments.
- Zero Contact deployment of area gateways (i.e., no area workers required to configure a gateway)
- Easy provisioning of service VPNs to segregate visitors (SCADA, CCTV, PMU, IP Telephony and so forth)
- Templated configurations making it straightforward to alter configuration and push it to gateways.
- Utility of unified safety insurance policies throughout a various vary of distant websites and gear
- Managing a number of backhaul connectivity choices on the gateway together with non-public MPLS for important SCADA visitors and mobile for backup and even internet-based connections for non-critical visitors, the place applicable.
- Lifecycle administration of gateways (e.g., firmware updates, alarm monitoring and statistics)
Deploying an SDWAN Overlay additionally permits the utility to regulate the end-to-end IP addressing schemes and take away the necessity to engineer complicated routing plans primarily based on the underlying transport community, very often supplied by a third celebration service supplier. This divorces the underlying transport community from the overlay community. Therefore, it simplifies operational duties and supplies much less reliance on the underlying community suppliers to make modifications, which regularly have a price related for the utility similar to including a brand new service VPN for a brand new service is so simple as including it to your gateway templates and deploying it.
Examples of SDWAN applied sciences deployed by utilities
- Substation gateway – bigger substation gateways offering resilient WAN connectivity and safety performance (Zone primarily based Firewall)
- Distribution Automation – secondary substations, pole mounted gear or different area property similar to reclosers or capacitor banks.
- Renewable vitality websites – connecting onshore wind generators, photo voltaic crops, and battery storage websites.
Distributed renewable vitality websites
Utilities at the moment are having to attach an array of renewable vitality property, unfold throughout vast geographic areas. Onshore wind, photo voltaic and battery storage components are examples of property that must be linked to the utility for monitoring and/or management.
Many renewable asset operators are additionally utilizing private and non-private cloud-based functions, together with SCADA. SDWAN can add additional advantages in assuring software efficiency and reliability to the cloud.
Wouldn’t it’s helpful to have a single resolution with a selection of business gateways for various website varieties? We predict so and Cisco supplies a number of industrial routers to swimsuit all deployment websites and might be managed as a part of the Cisco SDWAN resolution.
Cisco IoT merchandise such because the Cisco Catalyst IR8340 Rugged Collection Routers for bigger substations, Cisco Catalyst IR1100 Rugged Collection Routers for distribution websites, and Cisco Catalyst IR8140 Heavy Responsibility Collection Routers for outside area websites can all function as SDWAN edge gateways alongside with the well-known Cisco Enterprise routers (Digital and bodily), which can be utilized for management centres and different operational websites to supply a single overlay community connecting to any website.
So, in abstract, the Cisco SDWAN resolution coupled with Cisco IoT Catalyst Industrial Routers may be very related to Utility operational networks and may provide many advantages. With out compromising safety, the answer is simple to make use of and permits to automate duties that utilities wanted to deal with manually earlier than. For Utilities already utilizing the Cisco SDWAN resolution for IT associated use instances, it’s straightforward so as to add Industrial endpoints to increase companies to the substations. For purchasers utilizing Cisco Industrial Routers at this time, SDWAN could be a highly effective addition to the availability and administration of the WAN.
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