KEPServerEX is the industry’s leading connectivity platform that provides a single source of industrial automation data to all of your applications. The platform design allows users to connect, manage, monitor, and control diverse automation devices and software applications through one intuitive user interface. KEPServerEX leverages OPC (the automation industry’s standard for interoperability) and IT-centriccommunication protocols (such as SNMP, ODBC, and web services) to provide users with a single source for industrial data. The platform is developed and tested to meet our customers’ performance, reliability, and ease-of-use requirements.
Watch our two-minute video below to see how KEPServerEX solves common connectivity challenges—providing secure and reliable access to real-time industrial data so everyone from the shop floor to the top floor can make smarter decisions.
KEPServerEX provides the connectivity, usability, and performance required by the modern enterprise—offering competitive benefits that can be experienced from the plant floor to IT to the boardroom.
- IoT-ready, connecting Operations with IT and enabling Business Intelligence and Operational Excellence across the enterprise
- Compatible with leading hypervisors, such as VMware and Hyper-V, for flexible deployment on public and private clouds
- Integrates with IT applications for visibility into assets on the plant floor at any time and from any location
- Enhanced messaging security via SSL and TLS for secure, authenticated, and encrypted communications across various network topologies
- Advanced application security features to meet site security requirements
- Sophisticated access control to the server, data source, and data values
- Multiple redundancy options to ensure resiliency, high-reliability, and uptime in critical applications
- Scalable unified architecture, providing the flexibility to combine drivers and consume multiple protocols in a single server
- Streamlined interface for simple installation, configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting
KEPServerEX provides critical technical features that enable accessibility, aggregation, optimization, connectivity, security, and diagnostics. Expand the topics below to learn more about these features.
Explore the new features and enhancements that make KEPServerEX Version 6 enterprise-ready and IoT-friendly.
KEPServerEX provides data access for client applications (such as MES and SCADA) and IoT and Big Data analytics software via OPC, proprietary protocols (including GE NIO, SuiteLink/FastDDE, and Splunk), IT protocols (including MQTT, REST, ODBC, and SNMP), and flow measurement export to common Oil & Gas industry formats.
OPC is the leading standard for industrial automation connectivity. KEPServerEX supports the OPC Unified Architecture (OPC UA) specification and many of the OPC Classic specifications, including OPC Data Access (OPC DA), OPC Alarms and Events (OPC AE), and OPC Historical Data Access (OPC HDA).
KEPServerEX offers preferred data access for leading automation software, including iFIX by GE Intelligent Platforms (NIO) and InTouch by Wonderware (SuiteLink/FastDDE).
KEPServerEX supports multiple interfaces for integration with IT applications, including ODBC for logging information to a database and SNMP for providing information to a Network Management System (NMS). With the advent of IoT and Big Data applications, KEPServerEX now includes the ability to communicate with Splunk software and Cloud services via the Industrial Data Forwarder for Splunk. It also provides data access for the ThingWorx platform, enabling you to develop and deploy smart-connected solutions for the IoT.
With the IoT Gateway, KEPServerEX can seamlessly stream real-time industrial control data directly into Big Data and analytic software for Business Intelligence and Operational Excellence. Its customizable data format supports most MQTT and REST applications—enabling users to choose the vendors and communication methodologies right for their system. The ThingWorx Native Interfacealso provides data to the ThingWorx platform using the secure ThingWorx AlwaysOn™ protocol for high throughput.
Some applications require information to be made available from a file or database. This information is typically exported at a predefined rate and includes both current and historical data. KEPServerEX has the ability to export historical Electronic Flow Measurement (EFM) data (via the EFM Exporter advanced plug-in) or historical trend data (via supported drivers) to files and/or databases.
KEPServerEX optimizes communications and reduces network and device load via data conditioning and reduction, customized load balancing, and protocol-specific optimization.
In addition to providing raw values to connected applications, KEPServerEX can perform linear or square root scaling, basic arithmetic expressions, and apply deadbands. These features utilize minimal bandwidth and resources by providing only the most critical updates.
KEPServerEX is used in critical applications where highly-reliable systems are required for maximum uptime. It includes the ability to define redundant network paths, primary and secondary data sources, and applicable failover criteria.
In large networks that have many devices and applications requiring information, flexible control is necessary to allow for customized load-balancing of data collection and information flow. KEPServerEX provides tools to schedule the frequency of communications and throttle the demand across the network.
KEPServerEX optimizes communications with devices by aggregating identical requests from different applications whenever possible. Multiple demands on data can be batched together into the fewest requests possible. These optimizations are unique to each protocol, and are designed to reduce network overhead and device processing.
In a typical industrial automation network, devices and controllers must communicate with one another even if they are not from the same manufacturer or do not support the same protocol. KEPServerEX provides the ability to establish links between data values in different data sources, allowing Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications as close to the device as possible.
KEPServerEX provides a REST-based API that enables users to remotely apply programmatic changes to the configuration via third-party client applications (including SCADA, HMI, IoT applications, and simple web applications). These changes include adding, editing, reading, and deleting objects (such as channels, devices, and tags) in the server. The Configuration API enables programmers to create simple webpages where users can identify the properties that change, and then programmatically create the channels, devices, and tags to the company standard. It also enables the use of templates to standardize creation and naming among different types of devices—ensuring consistency and increasing user efficiency.
KEPServerEX simplifies the configuration of connected applications by providing a single point of entry to all information—eliminating the need to purchase, operate, troubleshoot, and maintain multiple disparate solutions for discrete connectivity.
KEPServerEX can support connections to thousands of data sources and provide information to hundreds of applications. The platform design simplifies the configuration of the connected applications by providing a single point of entry to all information. KEPServerEX also enables troubleshooting and issue diagnosis, provides control to the access of information based on user roles, and the ability to restrict the frequency of communications over bandwidth-limited telemetry-based environments.
KEPServerEX provides a unified configuration for managing connectivity to any data source. Anything can be added, configured, or deleted while the server is on-line and operational. Users can configure projects manually using a step-by-step wizard or programmatically through the export and import of XML and CSV files, and via REST calls over the Configuration API.
KEPServerEX is capable of archiving the real-time data it collects to local storage. By leveraging the Local Historian advanced plug-in, applications can access this historical data (via OPC HDA) for future analysis. KEPServerEX can also store information in any ODBC-compliant database using the DataLogger advanced plug-in, which has a store-and-forward capability for when a database is unreachable or unable to process the information fast enough.
KEPServerEX supports the broadest range of drivers available, including current and legacy devices across various verticals, a variety of wired and wireless network mediums, and connectivity to databases, custom software applications, and other OPC servers.
KEPServerEX offers the broadest range of drivers available, supporting devices across various verticals within industrial automation. While most drivers act as masters that initiate requests, there are many drivers that can emulate a device where communications are driven by a controller. KEPServerEX drivers also support a variety of wired and wireless network mediums for Ethernet, serial, and proprietary networks. Although most drivers connect directly with hardware devices, some are designed to connect with other applications—such as databases, custom software applications, or other OPC servers.
Industrial automation equipment can be deployed in a dry and heated factory, but it can also be installed inside a vehicle, on a remote pipeline, or in a well or pump station. In these remote environments, there are often a variety of telemetry solutions in use like cellular, radio, or satellite modems. KEPServerEX supports these telemetry configurations and provides additional ways to optimize communications through virtual networks, timing parameters, device demotion, and by scheduling communications across devices.
As automation networks have grown from ten controllers to thousands of controllers, tools that aid and accelerate deployment are critical to a solution’s success. KEPServerEX provides many tools that speed the deployment of new devices, including Automatic Tag Generation (ATG) and Device Discovery (when supported by the device and communication protocols). Users can also export, manipulate, and import an XML project file to programmatically define the configuration.
As systems are configured, components must be implemented and tested before the entire system becomes available. KEPServerEX allows any data source to be placed into simulation mode prior to deployment. In addition, the Memory Based driver can be configured to create a range of static and dynamic data points. The Advanced Simulator driver can leverage a database and its contents to drive application-specific simulation data into connected applications.
KEPServerEX includes a variety of tools that control user access to the server, data source, or data values, regulate read/write access, provide the ability to connect or disconnect client applications, and support the configuration of secure data tunnels.
Access to the KEPServerEX configuration can be restricted through the User Manager. This tool allows the administrator to define user groups and users with restricted access to certain project configuration tasks, and provides the ability to disconnect client applications.
KEPServerEX encourages users to set an Administrator Password during installation to strengthen security to application-level settings, preventing non-administrator users from:
- Stopping the Runtime service
- Accessing any of the Administration Settings that configure the KEPServerEX application
- Viewing the OPC UA Configuration to create or configure endpoints or accept client or server certificates
- Running the License Utility and making changes
KEPServerEX also offers the ability to encrypt .opf project files—which often contain proprietary information on an organization’s network and processes—when they are being transferred to other users or other instances of KEPServerEX.
KEPServerEX also offers various features and functionality to control user access to the server, data source, or data values. The Security Policies feature limits access based on OPC UA user credentials while supporting default handling for anonymous users (both OPC UA and other client interfaces). The ability to dynamically address information can be disabled, limiting user access to tags defined within the project. KEPServerEX supports a number of secure client standards including SNMP (v3 security), OPC UA, and OPC DA (DCOM security) to further restrict access to the server, as well as a number of secure device protocols to meet the requirements of DNP3, SNMP, and OPC UA data sources. Secure data tunnels can be configured by leveraging multiple KEPServerEX instances at remote endpoints to pass data through firewalls and meet authentication and encryption requirements across the Internet.
KEPServerEX isolates device and application communications for troubleshooting, offering OPC diagnostics for real-time and historical views of OPC events. KEPServerEX also supports communications diagnostics to capture the protocol frames transferred between the server and any device.
OPC Diagnostics provide a real-time and historical view of OPC events between any OPC client and the server, including method calls made by the client or callbacks made by the server. The ability to view actual communications and responses is invaluable when troubleshooting client accessibility. The diagnostics tools within KEPServerEX greatly speed deployment and reduce downtime.
Communication Diagnostics provide real-time capturing of the protocol frames transferred between the server and any device, as well as indications on the driver’s performance. All read and write operations can be viewed or tracked directly in an OPC client application using built-in diagnostics tags. This is useful when modifying key communication parameter settings (such as baud rate, parity, or Device IDs), because corrections are immediately visible.
Diagnostics information can be viewed within KEPServerEX and by third-party applications. Diagnostics information is provided through system-defined tags and accessible to the same clients connecting to the data sources. KEPServerEX logs event information, which is accessible within the configuration tool or to any application that supports the OPC Alarms and Events specification.