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HMI technologies for all applications in hazardous areas

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What is Virtualization?

VIRTUALIZATION refers to the creation of one or more virtual machines by using specific software (so-called hypervisors, such as VMware, Citrix, etc.) that runs on a real physical machine (the host). The hypervisor transforms or “virtualizes” the hardware resources of the host to create one ore more fully functional virtual machines, each acting as if it were a real physical computer.

A virtual machine is a strongly isolated software “container” that runs its own operating system and applications just like a real world computer. A virtual machine behaves exactly like a physical computer and contains its own virtual (i.e. software-based) CPU, RAM, hard disk and network interface card (NIC). An existing, real physical computer can be converted, or virtualized, into a virtual machine, including ALL DATA and SETTINGS.

The architecture of today’s x86 computers, however, is designed to run only one operating system and one application at the same time. As a result, data centers have to host many servers running at only 5 - 15% of capacity each – highly inefficient by any standard. So virtualizing such architectures helps boost data center efficiency and server capacity utilization. Virtualization allows the user to run multiple operating systems and applications concurrently on the same physical host or server. Each virtual machine remains isolated from and independent of each other, and uses only as much of the host’s computing resources as it requires.

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(Example of operator terminal virtualization in hazardous area, Zone 1)

The major benefits of virtualization for both operators and businesses at a glance:


  • Flexible access to information resources: it is possible to access multiple virtual machines simultaneously from one terminal. The operator on site has access to a vast amount of process data.
  • Application mix across different environments: In a virtual machine environment, it is not only possible to run multiple applications concurrently at different privilege (i.e. security) levels, thus providing enhanced data security and integrity, but also to run risky and risk-less applications separately and independently from each other, and isolated from the operating system.
  • High level of failover capability: Failover allows the virtual machines to continue operations if an application or the host/operating system fails.
  • Physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion: It is possible to convert existing, “old”, physical computers into virtual machines through a process called physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversion; PCS reconfiguration is not required.

For further information on virtualization, please click here.
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