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Siemens AG
Entry type: FAQ Entry ID: 24510769, Entry date: 01/31/2007

What measures are taken with SIMATIC PCs to ensure permanent operation of the ATA hard disks?

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Configuration Notes:
The experience and failure rates of the last few years have shown that permanent operation of ATA hard disks in SIMATIC PCs in no way increases security risks. In this respect numerous measures are employed in particular with hard disks to ensure the high SIMATIC quality standards. When selecting long-term availability ATA hard disks they are put through numerous tests (e.g. mechanical and continuous tests) by our development department before being chosen for SIMATIC PCs. The high quality of the hard disks implemented is then monitored through thorough and continuous supplier management in multiple inspection stages. In developing and manufacturing SIMATIC PCs we take into account the hard disk specifications by employing the following measures among others:

  • Optimization of heat dissipation already in the development phase. Components are arranged optimally in order to avoid hot spots and thus ensure the best possible heat removal. This increases the service life of SIMATIC PCs and thus ensures higher operating reliability.
  • Controlled fans and special cool-air ducts make sure that maximum temperature limits are not exceeded.
  • The hard disks are protected in particular against vibration/shock by being suspended in vibration- and shock-resistant mountings and through special elements (like rubber buffers, for example) in the SIMATIC PC devices.

Further increase in system availability of SIMATIC PCs with ATA hard disks:
For applications with high demands for data security and system availability we offer optional device versions that prevent as far as possible the risk of stoppages through hard disk failure:

  • With SIMATIC PC DiagMonitor, our remote diagnostics and alarm software users are warned well in time of imminent hard disk failure by analysis of the hard disk data by S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology).
  • With the SIMATIC PC/PG Image&Partition Creator you can make a preventive backup of the hard disk contents on a second hard disk or on a portable data medium. In order to minimize standstill times in a service case, you can quickly and easily restore these hard disk contents.
  • An optional RAID configuration stores all data through automatic mirroring on two hard disks and so avoids potential data loss.
  • The use of hot-swap SATA hard disks in the removable rack in SIMATIC Rack PCs ensures smooth operation of the entire system even when extensions are made or the hard disk replaced.

Notes on operating hard disks:
In addition to hard disks, PCs also have fans with moving parts that are susceptible to natural wear and tear. Those planning and operating PC-automated machines and plants must take this fact into account and take the necessary precautions as is usual in the IT sector, e.g. through

  • Preventive maintenance / data backup
  • Cyclic replacement of hard disk drives every 3 years.


Security information
In order to protect technical infrastructures, systems, machines and networks against cyber threats, it is necessary to implement – and continuously maintain – a holistic, state-of-the-art IT security concept. Siemens’ products and solutions constitute one element of such a concept. For more information about cyber security, please visit