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New system for managing Industry 4.0 communication networks

Siemens is launching Sinec NMS, a powerful, future-proof network management system (NMS). It enables users to master the growing demands placed upon industrial communication networks, such as the increasing degree of networking, larger quantities of data, and the complexity of network structures. Networks with between 50 and 12,500 participants can be centrally configured, managed and monitored round-the-clock with the software. This facilitates forward-looking planning and a quick response time to prevent possible failures and so increase productivity. The software can be used across all industries.

Sinec NMS gives users an extremely high degree of transparency throughout the entire architecture of an industrial network. New components can be easily integrated into the network, and existing devices can be continually configured and maintained. Network components are configured according to rules, that is to say based on defined rules referred to as ‘policies’, which are applied across a specific range of components. For example, users can easily change the passwords required to access the devices. This saves a great deal of time during the configuration of network participants and during troubleshooting, especially in large networks with a large number of devices.

The distributed approach of the NMS makes it easy to adapt flexibly to the requirements of all types of plant networks. To manage large networks, the system is divided into the two levels control and operation. Control is the central instance in Sinec NMS; it displays the overall state of the network quickly and clearly. Operations are also managed there. The operations themselves are distributed throughout the network and implement the configuration specifications from the control on all the devices.

As a modern network management system (NMS), Sinec NMS covers all five cornerstones of the FCAPS model defined by ISO (International Organization for Standardization):

·         ‘Fault management’ for locating faults quickly and easily.

·         ‘Configuration management’ to save time and money through central configuration and maintenance of the entire network.

·         ‘Accounting management’ for security by testing the network and documenting events reliably.

·         ‘Performance management’ for flexibility by optimising the network, transparency by generating statistics, and high availability by continuously monitoring the network.

·         ‘Security management’ for greater network security.

Sinec NMS also offers two general elements – system administration and northbound interface. These are specifically intended to meet industrial requirements placed on networks.