The deal is, we have this $2 Million semiconductor processing tool we sell which runs on Opto 22 PAC controllers. It uses up to 6 separate PAC Controller boxes which we've designed, each box with its own set of I/O modules and PAC brains. We have a central custom GUI written for Solaris which talks to ALL the PAC controllers via TCP/IP using sockets. The GUI controls the 5 or 6 PAC boxes, which control the $2 Million instrument. The systems are running everywhere from a minimum of 2 PAC controller boxes to 6.
The PAC controllers each run a different strategy. I need to write a simulator so that we can test the Solaris GUI, the PAC strategies, everything IN THE LAB without the hardware. If I need to debug an issue in the field, I need a way to completely isolate the tool from the strategies, from the Opto hardware, etc. So I need to be able to run the GUI and the Opto strategies ONLY in a "simulator" mode without hardware, and basically "fake out" the strategy to "inject" appropriate I/O values in this simulator mode so I can run the GUI. So you see, I can't just go borrowing a PAC Controller from someone at a customer site. It seems like SoftPAC would be the only solution for this, however I can't carry 6 laptops with me so that I can run 6 instances of SoftPAC running our 6 different strategies. And I can't combine everything into one strategy, because then it's really not the system we designed.
The only solution I can see is to have multiple Virtual Machines running on a single machine, each of which is running SoftPAC running one of our strategies. Can you help?