31 May 2001
Traditional SCADA vs. Web-based SCADA
The concept of a Web-based SCADA system differs from a traditional SCADA architecture, in which a central computer called the host works with remote computers at various sites in the field. The host does almost all the work. It initiates the communication from each of the remote sites and goes from site to site gathering information, sort of in a round-robin format. When it brings back the data from the well site, the host computer does the reporting and alarming. If the data that's brought back is outside the normal range, the host computer will have initiated an alarm. But now, Cottingham and his team have "thrown away half the equipment. And it's all because of the Internet. We no longer need the host computer to do all that work because we're able to put the intelligence at the well site," Cottingham said. Instead of building their own telecommunication infrastructure, operators can use a publicly available infrastructure that's maintained by the telephone companies.