Virtualizing Programmable Logic Controllers: towards a convergent approach



Modern Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are pervasive components in Industrial Control Systems (ICS) such as Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), designed to control industrial processes autonomously or as part of a distributed system topology. Its success may be explained by its robustness and reliability, being one of the most enduring legacies on modern ICS, despite having evolved very little over the last years. This paper proposes an x86-based virtual PLC (vPLC) architecture that decouples the logic and control capabilities from the I/O components, while virtualizing the PLC logic within a real-time hypervisor. To demonstrate the feasibility of this concept, the topic of real-time virtualization for x86 platforms is analyzed, together with an evaluation study of the properties of real-time workloads in partitioned hypervisor environments.


ICS, Virtualization, Converged Infrastructures

Related Project

H2020 ATENA (Advanced Tools to assEss and mitigate the criticality of ICT compoNents and their dependencies over Critical InfrAstructures)


IEEE Embedded Systems Letters, ISSN (print): 1943-0663, ISSN (Electronic): 1943-0671 , Sri Parameswaran, September 2016

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Year 2019 : 2 citations

 Mohammadreza Barzegaran, Anton Cervin, and Paul Pop. Towards quality-of-control-aware scheduling of industrial applications on fog computing platforms. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Fog Computing and the IoT (IoT-Fog '19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1-5. 2019. DOI:

 T. Taleb, I. Afolabi and M. Bagaa, "Orchestrating 5G Network Slices to Support Industrial Internet and to Shape Next-Generation Smart Factories," in IEEE Network. DOI: 10.1109/MNET.2018.1800129

Year 2017 : 1 citations

 Wafaa Ait-Cheik-Bihi, Denis Chalon, "Digital Twin based virtualization of Programmable Logic Controllers", November. 2017. available at: