Integrating NI InsightCM™ Into Your IT Infrastructure


Operations and maintenance is critical for plant systems and equipment to perform safely and reliably. To effectively collect data that helps improve the performance of a facility, operations and maintenance professionals need the ability to integrate asset health data collected with NI InsightCM with operations data. This integration often needs to happen using existing IT infrastructure investments in place at a facility. Planning for the necessary computing hardware, networking infrastructure, understanding user and device authentication, and understanding the configuration, support, and licensing is important to successfully integrate asset health data with operations data.


System Recommendations

The NI InsightCM Server is designed to run on a standard server running Windows Server. There are a series of independent processes that communicate with each other to manage devices and users, perform analysis, and more. Data is stored in MongoDB with available options to export the data to TDMS files. Performance of the server can be optimized by using SSD hard drives and adding additional RAM.

For detailed system recommendations and OS compatibility information, refer to the InsightCM Release Notes.

Network Requirements

The InsightCM Server has the following network requirements:

  • Use Windows Firewall Inbound and Outbound rules to open the following ports:
Port Type Description Details
82* TCP (inbound) HTTP Web Application Not required if enabling connection to the web application via SSL.
482* TCP (inbound) HTTPS Web Application Only required if enabling connection to the web application via SSL.
5353 UDP (inbound) InsightCM Device Communication Used to find devices on the server's subnet; only affects the "Browse" button functionality when adding devices.
5672 TCP (inbound) InsightCM Internal Service Communication Only necessary if using the SDK to communicate with the server from another device.
6343** TCP (inbound) InsightCM Device Communication N/A
8002 TCP (outbound) InsightCM Device Communication N/A
49580** TPC (outbound) InsightCM OPC Historian Communication Only necessary if using the OPC UA Server that comes with InsightCM Enterprise Gateway Toolkit.
3580 TCP (outbound) Application Image Deployment N/A
80 TCP (outbound) Application Image Deployment N/A

*Configurable through IIS (Internet Information Services)

**Configurable through InsightCM

  • Use Windows Firewall Inbound and Outbound rules to allow the following programs to communicate:
    • lkads.exe, installed at C:\Windows\SysWOW64



NI InsightCM  uses standard networking equipment to connect the distributed NI monitoring devices to NI InsightCM. Clients also use this connection as shown in Figure 1. Because NI InsightCM is a monitoring system and not part of a protection or control system, it is not recommended to connect NI InsightCM to the protection or control network.


NI InsightCM Network Architecture

Figure 1. NI InsightCM Network Architecture


For critical assets, NI recommends the use of at least 100 Mb/s wired Ethernet equipment. For balance of plant assets, NI recommends you use at least 10 Mb/s network equipment, which may either be wired or wireless.

In the event of a network outage or increased network load, the monitoring device can continue to acquire and buffer the data onboard using the configured settings. When network connectivity resumes, data is sent to NI InsightCM. The length of time that data can be stored onboard is dependent on the number of channels being monitored, sample rate, duration, and how often data is being collected. When the internal disk is full, the devices delete old data and keep the most recent data to send to the server after the network connection is reestablished. Disk space, CPU usage, and network response times may be monitored through NI InsightCM.


User Authentication

Access to NI InsightCM is controlled through user authentication. NI InsightCM can connect to your company’s Windows Active Directory to give users the ability to log in to NI InsightCM with their Windows account credentials, creating a single sign-on environment. Additionally, you can associate Active Directory roles to permissions within NI InsightCM, which restricts permissions to what a group of users can view and configure in the interface.

Learn more about configuring NI InsightCM to use Windows account credentials.  


Communication Between Devices and Clients

Secure remote password (SRP) is used for authentication between the asset monitoring devices and NI InsightCM. User activity between the client browser and NI InsightCM can be secured using SSL encryption.

 Learn more about configuring NI InsightCM to use SSL

Integration with Third-Party Software Packages

The NI InsightCM Enterprise Gateway Toolkit offers integration with third-party data historians, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, computerized maintenance management systems (CMMSs), and other enterprise software packages. With this add-on, you can communicate calculated results to a large number of software packages through tags using the OPC UA protocol or directly to the OSIsoft PI System. Calculated features from NI InsightCM are aggregated with other measurements and business data to make additional trending and alarming possible and consolidate decisions on budgeting, downtime scheduling, spare parts, and maintenance personnel.

Learn more about the NI InsightCM Enterprise Gateway Toolkit.


Installation Process

After the proper computing hardware has been procured and prepared, NI InsightCM can be installed by running setup.exe from the USB media provided with purchase. Administrator privileges are required and, in most cases, a reboot is needed.

After installing the software, refer to the Initial Setup Checklist to set up NI InsightCM, add devices, and verify system health.


Backup Recommendations

Because the data in NI InsightCM is stored on the server, regular enterprise-class backups are recommended. If this is not possible, a manual backup can be performed during a planned outage for the server. The following steps will perform a manual backup.

  1. Stop the NI InsightCM 3.x service.
  2. Stop the NI InsightCM MongoDB service.
  3. Backup C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\InsightCM 3.0.
  4. Backup the Database directory, if not in the default ProgramData location.
  5. Backup the Files directory, if not in the default ProgramData location.
  6. Backup C:\Program Files\National Instruments\InsightCM Server 3.0.
  7. Backup C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\SMS.
  8. Restart services.

 Learn more about data storage locations in NI InsightCM.