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 middle, particularly for distant customers. The migration of many enterprise functions to the cloud through 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 power websites? The reply is unquestionably Sure! And SDWAN may even present advantages to simplify and streamline the provisioning of WAN infrastructure to those distant operational websites.
Most utilities right this moment are used to constructing massive networks using applied sciences corresponding to Web Protocol Safety (IPsec) and Dynamic Multipoint Digital Personal Community (DMVPN) to encrypt essential 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 tremendously 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 site visitors (SCADA, CCTV, PMU, IP Telephony and so forth)
- Templated configurations making it straightforward to vary configuration and push it to gateways.
- Software of unified safety insurance policies throughout a various vary of distant websites and tools
- Managing a number of backhaul connectivity choices on the gateway together with non-public MPLS for essential SCADA site visitors and mobile for backup and even internet-based connections for non-critical site visitors, the place acceptable.
- Lifecycle administration of gateways (e.g., firmware updates, alarm monitoring and statistics)
Deploying an SDWAN Overlay additionally permits the utility to manage the end-to-end IP addressing schemes and take away the necessity to engineer advanced routing plans primarily based on the underlying transport community, very often offered by a third occasion 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 value related for the utility corresponding 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 tools or different area belongings corresponding to reclosers or capacitor banks.
- Renewable power websites – connecting onshore wind generators, photo voltaic crops, and battery storage websites.
Distributed renewable power websites
Utilities at the moment are having to attach an array of renewable power belongings, unfold throughout huge geographic areas. Onshore wind, photo voltaic and battery storage components are examples of belongings 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 or not it’s useful to have a single answer with a alternative of commercial gateways for various web site sorts? 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 answer.
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 offer a single overlay community connecting to any web site.
So, in abstract, the Cisco SDWAN answer coupled with Cisco IoT Catalyst Industrial Routers could be very related to Utility operational networks and might provide many advantages. With out compromising safety, the answer is straightforward 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 answer 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 right this moment, SDWAN is usually a highly effective addition to the availability and administration of the WAN.