When it comes to an irrigation control system the server is actually the intermediary between the field control system and the various users of the system. It does this through dedicated software that enables the operation of the irrigation system and the management of the system users.
Hence the great importance of the server in terms of hardware, backups, and accessibility to it for each of the system users.
In this blog, we will briefly discuss the various options offered by companies in the field of irrigation control systems regarding the physical location of the server, who is responsible for the functioning of the server, and with whom the database is kept.
One option is to use a server owned by the hardware manufacturer of the control system. This server is in the cloud and the control units in the field communicate with the cloud unit usually through a cellular modem and a SIM card, or by the Internet. The advantages of this option are clear: This service allows fast and reliable access 24/7 to system users and the service provider is responsible for server maintenance and backups.
For this service, the user pays the server owner. The amount is usually priced according to a number of parameters such as the number of controller units working from the server, the amount of I/O that the server manages, and the number of users in the system.
This option is the common solution. Most companies in the field of irrigation control systems have a cloud server they offer as part of the irrigation control system. Still, what are the disadvantages?
First of all the dependency issue – when you choose to use the cloud services of a particular control company you actually choose to entrust the database of your system into its hands. And what happens if the provider does not provide the service as promised (access, backups, price, etc.)? Can you switch to another service provider? The answer is NO. Each manufacturer has its own controller and server that are not suitable for working with another server.
Secondly the cost – this service is not free so the cost of this service should be taken into account, in relation to the alternatives, for many years to come.
And here we come to the second option – The second option is that the server belongs to the client and is his full responsibility. The database is in the customer’s possession at all times and has no dependence at all on the supplier of the irrigation control system and their server.
Who is this solution suitable for? This solution is especially suitable for customers who do not have internet access or have an unstable internet connection (yes, there are quite a few places in the world) for customers who do not want to take the database out of the organization and entrust it to a third party (sometimes for financial reasons), if this solution over time is cheaper than the first option.
As mentioned, most control companies in the field of irrigation systems offer only the first option as a solution. These companies maintain a server built to serve their thousands of customers. This is of course for technological, commercial and economic reasons. A small number of companies offer both options – join the company server, or allow the customer to own a private server by purchasing a license to operate the software. In these cases the hardware required for the server will not be as expensive as the requirements for the server hardware are identical to an up-to-date PC.
As you understand there is no unequivocal answer. The answer depends on your requirements for the irrigation server, the size of your system, the Internet connection, the policy of the company you work for, and of course the financial costs involved in each of the options.
Mottech offers users of the ICC PRO system both options. You can host on Mottech’s server and receive all the services mentioned. You can even choose the second option and manage the Motorola irrigation control system using a private ICC PRO server that belongs to you.
Contact us for more details on the options Mottech offers in the area.