Case Study: Addressing Analog Leased Line Obsolescence by Preserving Protection Channel Performance Over Leased Ethernet
This session provides a case study on the application of a deterministic packet transport method for achieving guaranteed latency for teleprotection traffic being transported over packet-based WANs that is compatible with both multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and Carrier Ethernet systems. The Virtual Synchronous Networking (VSN) technology can be applied to private and leased network implementations.
Transitioning to Packet-Based Networks: The Long Road
Power utilities have been migrating toward packet-based transport networks for many years. This presentation follows Northwest Iowa Power Co-Op (NIPCO) from their decision to transition to an IP backbone in 2006, through their network considerations, decisions and changes at each stage over the years. In 2011, NIPCO moved to a hybrid Mutli-Service Ethernet and SONET network, and today has transitioned away from their OC3 and OC48 SONET networks. We will focus on NIPCO’s experiences and lessons learned in transitioning to their IP network today, specifically the latest stage including removing their SONET network, decisions to preserve some legacy interfaces, the impact of converging IT and OT networks throughout the transition, and their ultimate decision to upgrade to a 10G backbone.
Power Utility Communications Network IP Migration Roadmap and Case Studies
9:45am - 10:45am
Power utilities, being a mission-critical infrastructure, require a high level of reliability and dependability with the hardware and software that is used to operate and protect the power grid. Therefore, they rely on mature technologies and do not constantly change technologies if the current mature technology performs the monitoring and/or the control of the physical devices with some degree of reliability. As substation communications networks migrate away from the traditional Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) technology to packet-based technology, many engineers and technicians do not have a good understanding of what is involved when it comes to substation communications IP Migration. Understanding the IP Migration Roadmap is essential to a successful transition and making sure that all your substation services continue to operate safely, reliably and securely, both during, and after the migration. This presentation provides an overview of the IP migration roadmap for substation communications.
IT Department Succession Planning
10am - 10:30am
You’re at a retirement reception to honor a manager, who has been with the company for 35 years. The room is packed with executives, leadership, employees, friends, family and other retirees of the company. As we all go through the presentation of memories, you say “They sure were involved in many milestones in this company”. After the presentation, people come up to speak on personal memories they have with them. They usually involve an experience they had when an important company endeavor was going on, and the manager was important in its success. You joke, you laugh, you eat cake and then the reception is over. You embrace them and wish them all the best in their future endeavors. The very next week, there is an issue that “pops” up. Guess who made the important decisions on these type of issues. Yep, the person who retired last week. What did they do to resolve these type of issues? I don’t know the full process but I can recall a few steps taken. You then realize how much experience and skills that just walked out of the door. Succession Planning reduces the risk of this situation happening again. It focuses on knowledge transfer, leadership development and maintaining the productivity of key business applications and functions to continuously deliver satisfactory results to customers.
Case Study: Augmented Reality for Just in Time Training
Ameren has engaged Index AR Solutions to develop a just in time training app as an augmented reality pilot. The training covered is for operational personnel performing a task that is not their primary task. The app will cover standards, video of the job, best practices and the necessary clearances on the pole. The presentation, co-presented by Ameren, and Index AR Solutions will cover the project, the process and outcomes of the pilot as well as next steps. As part of this presentation we will try to cover some out of the box ideas for knowledge transfer using augmented reality and mobile platforms.
Integration of People: Legacy OT and New IT Technology
3:15pm - 4:15pm
This session will discuss integration of IT and OT along with the people and technology challenges and opportunities. The panelists will share detailed implementation issues utilities can expect to encounter as they try to share critical data between IT and OT management technologies without risking operation of their telecom network. Issues such as layer-1 network topology are critical for IT planning purposes and the OT platforms must be able to provide utilization and circuit layout ideally even when the traffic is operating on a third parties network. Security, auditing, and protection of the OT assets are key issues when bridging the gap between IT and OT groups.
Building the Best: Skill-sets Needed for IT/OT Convergence
4:30pm - 5:30pm
The demand for private networks, end of life support for legacy technologies and the fast pace of innovation in the utility industry is creating a skill-set gap for many utility telecom groups. Communication needs are growing exponentially with the demand for information, mobility and security on the grid. What does telecom look like for a utility? How do we transition to a strategic communication partner? What services do we offer, what technologies are around the bend and how do we prepare our teams for supporting the magnitude of work that employees? Utility telecom departments are growing more into service providers even without residential services, the shift from enterprise to service provider network doesn’t come without challenges. This discussion will center on core competencies, benefits of the shift, and potential paths for training and new organizational structure possibilities.