OSIsoft – A Self-Service Business Analytics Tools for Real-Time Data

With its flagship PI System, OSIsoft assists its around the world consumers deal with their real-time information needs, which can consist of gathering– and saving for instantaneous retrieval– trillions of procedure measurements annually. To enhance its consumers’ ability to make complete use of this data, OSIsoft is benefiting from Microsoft SQL Server 2012 functions to offer users self-service company intelligence (BI) tools and help them attain high accessibility.

 

Business Needs

OSIsoft is a leader in the area of infotech called “big data.” Based in San Leandro, California, the business has actually installed its real-time data facilities at 14,000 websites in more than 110 nations. It serves the production, energy, utilities, life sciences, and procedure industries.

Whether the customer is a power utility deploying smart grid solutions to much better monitor power circulation securely and dependably, or a manufacturing facility with countless sensing units for operational excellence, the common denominator is that they all generate vast quantities of data. In addition, customers desire to capture the readings and keep them for years– in some cases, years– to support analytics, knowledge retention, and training purposes.

“A single oil refinery could have 50,000 production sensing units producing information with 1-second resolution,” says Curt Hertler, Marketing Manager at OSIsoft. “Operators might want to store and have instant access to this information for 20 years. An energy or multisite production organization might track output from hundreds of thousands or even countless sensing units. So the data gets huge in a rush– a single site could generate trillions of measurements per year.”.

The solution serves as a time-series data infrastructure, aggregating measurements from a range of devices that would otherwise maintain information in inconsonant systems. For the business’s newest release, PI Server 2012, OSIsoft wished to enhance the capability of users to gain access to and discover its wealth of information and to provide high-availability options that are easy to deploy and handle. The business also sought a solution that interoperates with Microsoft platform components, including Microsoft SQL Server 2012 data management software and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 collaboration software.

 

Solution

OSIsoft, which was founded in 1980, has long been a Microsoft partner, using the Windows platform, technologies, and development tools to create and deploy its flagship product, the PI System. OSIsoft uses SQL Server to map sensor data from the PI System with the devices and sensors from which it came and to offer the structure for numerous of its other functions.

Committed to providing its clients strong reporting and analytic solutions, OSIsoft was an early adopter of Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel and created its own real-time ad-hoc analytics tool, PI Coresight, using the same Microsoft Silverlight browser plug-in technology used by Power View. The company incorporates Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 into its stack to support portal-based collaboration and interoperates with SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services.

In mid-2011, the company began working with prerelease versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise, running on the Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system, and it aspired to incorporate SQL Server 2012 into its solutions. OSIsoft was promptly drawn in to three new functions: Power View, a self-service business-intelligence reporting tool that facilitates ad-hoc data queries; AlwaysOn availability group, which provides protection for application databases to help ensure high availability; and enhancements to PowerPivot for Excel, including key performance indicator (KPI) tools.

“We want to be the pathfinders for our customers,” says Prabal Acharyya, Director of Microsoft Worldwide Partner Alliance at OSIsoft. “SQL Server 2012 works with the PI facilities to provide customers with significant benefits.”

 

Benefits

By taking benefit of SQL Server 2012, OSIsoft will have the ability to provide its clients much easier analytics with Power View, much better choice support with PowerPivot, and high availability with AlwaysOn.

Provides Easier Analytics with Power View

OSIsoft consumers will now be able to easily dive into their PI System information using SQL Server 2012 to extract business intelligence. “With Power View in SQL Server 2012, our customers gain a very intuitive use of the data because it is so easy for them to build their own reports,” Hertler says. “Reduce of use is important since our users have the tendency to be plant engineers and other employees who don’t have experience producing or using multidimensional analytical cubes and other official BI tools.”.

Supports Better Decision Making with Real-Time Data

The business sees SQL Server 2012 providing enhanced business analytics tools for real-time choice support. “By using SQL Server 2012 and PowerPivot for Excel, users can easily produce and manage their own key performance indicators based on data and events from the PI System,” says Acharyya. “A few of our clients have 20 or 30 years of PI System data from their operations. They can assess their information utilizing Power View, utilize the information to improve their operations and finest practices, and make use of PowerPivot to create KPIs so they can monitor their operations in real-time with dashboard simplicity.”.

Hertler is interested to see what insights engineers and other users are able to gain by using their new self-service BI tools. “Power View gives users the ability to take the schematic model used in a specific spreadsheet, transfer it into SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services, and start their project there,” he says. “They can then place their findings on a SharePoint portal and collaborate with others to build on their ideas. One person’s insight can then benefit the entire enterprise. Our customers are going to like this.”.

Promotes High Availability for Its Customers

As OSIsoft customers pull more value from their PI System, high availability ends up being more important to them. “Our customers have moved the PI System from being a plant historian into a primary element of their business enterprise infrastructure,” Acharyya says. “They will value the AlwaysOn feature of SQL Server 2012 due to the fact that it makes it so much easier to deploy high-availability solutions.”.

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