Prioritizing Energy Efficiency in Networks

Today, the era of information explosion is propelled more and more by services such as online payment, navigation, and even virtualization. For all the data generated by these services to be stored and exchanged, data centers are mushrooming in order to fulfill this unstoppable growing trend. Furthermore, economic development leads to more constructions such as utilities, plants and factories. All these developments consequently result in more energy consumption.

Having more services use less energy is high priority for many entities, and that’s the main reason why energy management software such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) and DCIM (data center infrastructure management) are widely used, especially in large-scope installations that acquire data from power meters, UPSs, IEDs (intelligent electric device) , to name a few, for the purpose of energy control and efficiency.

Most power meters support the Modbus protocol, an easy-to-use protocol into for most applications. However, in power monitoring applications, system integrators face two challenges: converting Modbus TCP to Modbus RTU/ASCII and deploying devices on a large scale. To overcome the interoperability issue, some users rely on embedded computers to conduct the required protocol conversion. The downside is that this solution requires extra resources in program design. Consequently, many users turn to gateways as these devices easily perform conversions between Modbus TCP and Modbus RTU protocols.

The Barriers of a Traditional Mechanism

Transparent mode communication, using the traditional round-robin polling mechanism, is usually standard in the Modbus gateway market. Gateways performing transparent mode conversions are usually set up easily and quickly. If only a few meters are connected to a gateway, scan times might not be so much of an issue. However, it’s a different story when it comes to large-scale networks like DCIMs (data center infrastructure management).

The major concern is the resultant latency, especially in peak traffic periods. It wastes SCADA resources and network bandwidth that delay the command accuracy and sequence.

Boost SCADA Performance with a High-Port Density Agent Gateway

To handle a big amount of collected serial data the Moxa MGate MB3660-8/16 series gives you a more intelligent way to handle multiple devices. It works as the data concentrator to collect all information as an agent. With the agent function, you don't need to waste time to configure hundreds of Modbus commands in a gateway setting. It can reply to the SCADA request immediately with pre-read data without waiting for any slow serial device responses Moxa’s MGate MB3660 gateway delivers a performance that is more than ten times faster than a traditional round-robin polling mechanism.

On the one side, the gateway acts as an RTU master actively polling the meters; on the other side, the gateway functions as a Modbus TCP server polled by the SCADA system. An all-important feature of gateways that support agent mode is an internal memory that facilitates seamless data retrievals.
From a SCADA system’s vantage point, its scan time is much faster than transparent mode communication. Only the duration of the Modbus TCP request and Modbus TCP response make up the scan time as there is no need for the SCADA system to wait on the RTU leg of the protocol conversion process.

Easier Configuration

In large-scale networks, the gateway in its RTU master capacity can command many requests. In order to save time with configuration, Moxa’s MGate MB3660 gateway supports comma-separated value (CSV) files, which can be easily configured and imported into the gateway.

White Paper: How to Optimize SCADA Systems through a Modbus Gateway

Large-scale networks are constantly under pressure to perform at their maximum potential. Several factors can hamper a SCADA system’s performance, such as scan times, protocol conversions between serial-based and Ethernet-based devices, and the accuracy of serial data acquisition. Find out how you can overcome these and other obstacles to keep your operations running effectively and smoothly.

MGate MB3660 Series

  • 8 and 16-port redundant Modbus gateways
  • Innovative Command Learning eliminates the need to key in
  • SCADA Modbus commands (acts as an agent gateway)
  • High performance through active and parallel polling of serial devices
  • Supports serial-to-serial (Master-to-Slave) communications
  • 2 Ethernet ports with the same IP or dual IP addresses
  • SD card for configuration backup
  • Access up to 256 TCP master/client devices, or connect to 128 TCP slave/server devices
  • Dual VDC or VAC power inputs with a wide power input range
  • 3-pin fault relay circuit for event alarms
  • 2 kV isolation protection (for -I models)