Learn about Virtualization

Learn about Virtualization

Businesses are challenged to reduce operating costs while maintaining plant safety and production levels. At the same time, they are working with less staff and require accelerated project commissioning at a lower cost. In the control system environment, these challenges translate into the following requirements:

  • Reduce hardware and Operating System changes
  • Improve computer platform resource utilization
  • Make the system easier to maintain
  • Improve availability, reliability and disaster recovery

Virtualization enables businesses to achieve these objectives while taking advantage of technology advancements offered on these platforms.

Virtualization provides a software layer that abstracts operating systems and applications from the underlying physical infrastructure. This hypervisor layer provides an environment for software computers (known as virtual machines), to execute the operating systems and applications that are traditionally installed on physical computer hardware.

In the context of process control systems, many of today's manufacturers require separate servers to support different applications. With virtualization, a single server can simultaneously run multiple virtual machines that are insulated from each other and the underlying hardware. Virtualization also encapsulates these virtual machines into a single set of files that can be easily moved, replicated, and converted to templates that allow new machines to be generated with ease.

Virtualization provides unique benefits to the control system environment, and its implementation requires guidance from the solution provider. When evaluating virtualization technology providers, end users should ask:

  • Does the supplier have a dedicated, strategic approach to virtualization, including a roadmap for future products?
  • Does the supplier have the ability to provide a complete virtualization solution consisting of all the required components?
  • Does the supplier provide installation and configuration assistance to aid in virtualization deployment, including performance guidelines for supported nodes?
  • Does the supplier have the ability to design, deliver and maintain its virtualization solutions over the long term?
  • Does the supplier have proven expertise in virtualizing process control systems in the industrial domain?

Honeywell was the first automation supplier to provide a turnkey virtualization solution and continues to offer industry leading solutions that reduce implementation and lifecycle management costs for automation systems. Honeywell is the industry leader to navigate the world of open systems and changing technology.. Honeywell’s Experion® Virtualization Solutions include the following:

Virtual Infrastructure

Proven, Next Gen hardware and software from Honeywell’s technology partners provide the foundation for virtualization


Honeywell applications across the entire control, optimization, and business layers are tested and certified for the virtual environment.

Virtualization Solutions

Honeywell leverages virtualization technology to create a range of innovative solutions for automation systems. Honeywell’s Next Generation Premium Platform and Experion Backup Control Center provide superior availability and reliability to our industrial control systems.

Virtualization Support Services

Honeywell has the expertise to help users assess, design, implement, and manage their virtualized systems. Comprehensive documentation, training options, and a global organization of certified resources help users to readily achieve the benefits that virtualization can offer.

  • Download our Experion backup control center brochure
  • Download our Experion off-Process solution brochure
  • Download our Experion Virtualization Product Information Note
  • Download our Premium Platform for Virtualization Product Information note