Substation Server for the Modern Power Grid

Substation Server ES373S17

The US power industry is currently going through a major upgrade to improve and protect energy resources.  The Crystal Group has developed a Substation Server for the modern power grid.  It is called the Energy Series (ES) ™. Crystal Group has a background in developing products that can withstand the toughest conditions and provide advanced cybersecurity features.  So, developing a server with this feature set and more, was a no brainer.

VMware-validated Solution

Crystal partnered with Intel® and VMware.  Together they designed a VMware-validated solution.  It combines the work of multiple discrete hardware solutions into a single, hyperconverged system.  It incorporates real-time automation, remote management, cybersecurity, auto failover and zero-trust security features.  Therefore, a nearly perfect hardware solution to meet the Modern Power Grid’s needs.

Firstly, the validated hardware and software is based on open standards.  It gives utilities a comprehensive solution.  Which overall, supports and simplifies their current and evolving development needs – including virtual protection relay applications.  Virtualisation reduces the overall substation control footprint and infrastructure requirements.  Whilst maximising 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 modernise the US 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.

Secondly, the ES373-S17 is 17-inch server contains VMware Edge Compute Stack.  As well as single or dual 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors with hardware enhanced security technologies.  This IEC 618350-3 certified server includes critical cyber protection.  Items include data-at rest encryption, total memory encryption, software guard extensions and software defined networking.  There are intrusion detection services and stateful packet inspection firewalls to monitor traffic between virtual servers.  This identifies and prevents cyberattacks.  In the event of a failed server, the VMware Edge Compute Stack automatically migrates the workload of that server over to other servers without disruption.

Finally, this server can be installed in virtually any substation climate.  As it complies to strict humidity, temperature, and altitude environmental standards.

Features of the Substation Server for the Modern Power Grid Model ES373S17:

  • Supports up to 6 NVMe or 9 SATA Solid State Drives
  • 7 x PCIe expansion slots
  • Up to 28 cores with single or dual Intel® Xeon Cascade Lake scalable processors
  • Lightweight, aluminium construction at 15-18 Kgs
  • Up to 768 GB of memory

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

To find out more on the ES373S17 or for your substation hardware requirement, contact us.

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