Securely Move Industrial Data Without DCOM Using OPC Tunneling

How can I avoid DCOM and remain secure?

OPC tunneling was created as an easier, more secure alternative to DCOM for remote OPC connections. There are four key limitations of DCOM, translating into four specific reasons to move to a Tunnel for OPC data.

  • Configuring & supporting DCOM is difficult & costly
  • DCOM lacks reliability, resilience, and efficiency
  • DCOM notification is delayed on a network break
  • Security of your data and network

Software Toolbox offers two methods of effectively tunneling your data: Data Tunneling and OPC-UA Tunneling.

But what is OPC tunneling?

In short, OPC Tunneling means connecting an OPC Server to an OPC Client over a network, using TCP/IP as the transport protocol. This means you can avoid the problems associated with configuring DCOM to work over a network. You also eliminate the long DCOM timeouts that can effectively shut down your application.

For a more detailed explanation of OPC Tunneling, please have a look at the blog post Tunneling OPC Data - What is it?

What is advanced tunneling?

Advanced tunneling goes beyond just avoiding DCOM and actually reduces network traffic while remaining easy to configure. Most OPC tunneling programs don’t give you this added benefit so while you don’t
have to configure DCOM you can still have problems with your Client and Server communication that can cause them to freeze or perform inefficiently.

Explore the Cogent DataHub to learn more about why it is the best tunnel product available for these and many more reasons. The Cogent DataHub can also tunnel MQTT, ODBC Data, DDE data and much more.

The Cogent DataHub is a great addition to the TOP Server or any OPC server, because of all the additional features it can make available to your system, providing you with the flexibility and power to solve virtually any integration challenge.

What is OPC UA tunneling?

OPC UA communications, by pairing an OPC UA client with a remote OPC UA server, is also a good solution for more secure connectivity between distributed OPC Classic clients and servers while avoiding DCOM.

The TOP Server, having an OPC UA server interface and optional OPC DA and OPC UA client interfaces can act as a secure OPC UA tunnel between automation products that support OPC DA and OPC UA.

Key features of OPC UA tunneling

  • Two TOP Server instances work together as a secure tunnel using the UA Client driver on one side connecting to the UA server interface on the other side.
  • High performance using the OPC UA Binary standard.
  • Communication encryption and endpoint authentication based on current accepted industry standards of RSA and x509, using technology familiar to the IT community.
  • Keep Alive and Watchdog features to ensure reliable connectivity.
  • Tunneling for OPC DA 1.0. 2.05a and 3.0.
  • A solution based on an open standard – OPC UA.
  • Works within the corporate network, through wide area networks and properly configured firewalls.

Get Started Now

The demo is the full product once licensed. Once a client application connects to the  TOP Server, the TOP Server runtime will operate for 2 hours at a time. At the end of the 2 hour demo period, the demo timer must be reset by restarting the TOP Server runtime service.

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