SL Corporation: Expert in Mission-Critical Command & Control Systems

New advances in cloud-based monitoring solutions are enabling the next generation of real-time command and control systems for streaming, time-series data. Users will be able to build new, customized dashboards faster than ever before, from anywhere, and be able to share them with anyone and on any device. Now that the Internet is replacing the network, and devices are already equipped with sensors straight from the factory rather than requiring retrofitting, the range and scope of real-time monitoring projects is unlimited.

Founded in 1983, as a developer of graphic software tools for high-end process control systems, SL Corporation has a number of standard based data collection methods available today as well as custom data source adapters for newly introduced sources of data.

In the early years, SL Corporation developed core expertise in mission-critical Command and Control Systems for customers that include ABB, Foxboro, Kennedy Space Station, NASA, and Honeywell. SL has since evolved to provide a real-time monitoring and visibility platform for the enterprise.

Tom Lubinski, Founder, President and CEO of SL Corporation, has been instrumental in developing SL’s Graphical Modeling System Software (SL-GMS) and the more recent RTView software. Prior to starting SL Corporation, he attended the California Institute of Technology and developed a substantial consulting practice specializing in Object-Oriented Programming and Graphical Visualization Systems. Tom has over 30 years’ experience building software relating to real world devices such as computer hardware and industrial equipment.

Deep Expertise Services
SL Corporation is helping organizations and service providers to build advanced command and control systems to monitor and control the performance and safety of factory floors and energy production facilities.

Performance and stability monitoring/control has been the core area of expertise since the beginning, starting with machine and sensor data and later expanding into an application, middleware and infrastructure monitoring.

With these tools, SL’s customers and partners are able to build real-time command and control applications that collect, correlate and visualize data from disparate sources via streaming, polling and archived data sources. These real-time dashboards allow business and operations managers to quickly assess the health and stability of the applications, systems and machines that are being monitored.

SL specializes in the collection, correlation and visualization of data and performance metrics presented in the context of the applications, processes or systems in which these individual metrics are generated.

Unlike many vendors that first must store data in a data warehouse, SL provides streaming updates to their dashboards as well as real-time, threshold-based alerts so that aberrations from the norm are communicated to operations teams in real-time for quick, informed decision-making. Unique visualizations also display related metrics, over user-controlled time periods that show how close a metric is to its alert threshold so that action can be taken proactively – before the overall system performance is impacted.

Tom adds, “Scalability is also a big differentiator with our ability to handle time-series data using advanced, near-time caching features that allow for data reduction and compression.”

Current updates are stored in local, distributed in-memory caches so that unnecessary metrics do not consume network bandwidth when not needed. And persistent metrics are stored using proprietary data compression techniques that allow for affordable, extended data storage.

SL’s technology is also designed to be embedded into other command and control applications allowing their VARs and resellers to provide industry-specific solutions to their customers without having to develop the data collection, caching, correlation and visualization technology themselves so that they can focus on their domain-specific value add.

Battling With Security Treats

While reflecting over the growing security concern Tom says, “Security concerns are addressed in two different ways. First, we support a number of different data transport mechanisms such as SSL/TLS to ensure secure communication with the end devices. SL also allows for some encryption and has built a framework designed to work with next generation encryption technologies.”

He adds, “The second concern is regarding access to the data displayed through our real-time dashboards. We use standard role-based access control, by syncing with LDAP to ensure that the right information is available to the right people while also enforcing that sensitive information and control capabilities are restricted to only those roles that need them.”