Advancing energy modernization with VMware Validated Solutions

The ES373S17 substation server combines real-time automation, remote management, cybersecurity, auto failover, and zero-trust security features for the changing needs of the utilities industry.  

In collaboration with Intel and VMware, we developed this VMware Validated Solution to consolidate the work of multiple discrete hardware solutions into a single, hyperconverged system. Integrating validated hardware and software—based on open standards—gives utilities a comprehensive, ready-now solution that supports and simplifies their current and evolving development needs, including virtual protection relay applications.

Virtualization greatly reduces the overall substation control footprint and infrastructure requirements while maximizing both physical and cyber protections.

“Combining proven Crystal Group rugged hardware with VMware Edge Compute Stack establishes a rugged, highly reliable, and secure hyperconverged edge platform capable of supporting real-time virtual machines and containers. As utilities work to modernize the U.S. Smart Grid, they now have an edge compute platform that can serve as the foundation of all substation workloads including Virtual Protection Relay software,” said Muneyb Minhazuddin, vice president of Edge Computing at VMware.

Equipped with a VMware Edge Compute Stack and single or dual 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors with hardware-enhanced security technologies, this IEC 61850-3-certified server includes critical cyber protections, including data-at-rest encryption, total memory encryption, software guard extensions and software-defined networking. Intrusion detection services and stateful packet inspection firewalls monitor traffic between virtual servers to identify and prevent cyberattacks. In the event of a failed server, VMware Edge Compute Stack automatically migrates the workload of that server over to other servers without disruption.

“Faced with unprecedented levels of demand, intensifying cyber threats, and integrating renewable resources while maintaining affordability, utilities need smart, multi-faceted technology solutions that enable them to do more—and to do it better—with less, and that’s exactly what this VMware Validated Solution does.” said Kathy Willett, utilities program manager at Crystal Group.