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The Importance of being Critical: How OPC deals with Critical Data Loss (Part 2)

$id = 359; Posted on July 7th, 2011 by Mustafa Al-mosawi

Previously on OPC Exchange: I discussed critical data, and how to use a risk matrix to assess criticality. Critical data requires that it be ensured against loss. But what form should action take, and how much to spend?

Let’s start with the risk matrix again.

ProbabilityImpact VLow Low High VHigh
Certain Important Important Critical Critical
Likely Moderate Important Important Critical
Possible Low Moderate Important Critical
Unlikely Low Low Moderate Critical
Rare Low Low Moderate Important

The real downside is the touchy-feely, qualitative information. Business decisions – and decision makers – demand hard numbers.

You can get a good estimate if you have reasonable information on the likelihood that data will be unavailable (as a percentage probability), and the dollar impact of lost data.

Like so:

ProbabilityImpact $100 $1k $10k $100k
10% Important Important Critical Critical
1% Moderate Important Important Critical
.1% Low Moderate Important Critical
.01% Low Low Moderate Critical
.001% Low Low Moderate Important

Then you can just multiply the probability by the impact to get an approximate number.

For example, if I had data coming across a wireless radio, at say, 95% reliability, and I were to lose data that is required by a regulator or used for billing, with an impact of $200,000, $10K is money well spent. If the cost goes up, or the communication reliability goes down, then I can justify spending even more. If I have multiple locations, the probability of data loss is added. 5 sites with a 95% reliability rating are the same as having one site that is 75% reliable. In this scenario, I could spend $50k on the solution and come out ahead.

Once you’ve determined the critical data, there are quite a few options available: upgrading the telecommunication backbone, modifying the equipment to hold data on-board, or adding onsite store-and-forward. One of the most cost effective ways of insuring against losing critical data is our OPC Buffer with History Link. Built on the OPC-DA and HDA open standards, it will connect any end equipment to any corporate data store, ensuring your critical data gets to its final destination.

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