I work for a company that deliver distributed control systems for various industries. We find that IT Admin skills vary to a great degree both in terms of skills and interest. We have everything from a team of professional IT Admins on a Oil Production Plant to a part-time effort from the ships' cook.
The common Operator Station is on the windows platform and is usually delivered with recovery CD's with ghost images. This works, but is not very hightech and is less ideal for complex plants with lots of dynamic information and project stages with a lot of software updates.
We are looking into Virtual Machines and centralized site management for remote installation, Configuration revision (site info, tuning parameters etc), control software revision (binaries), System surveillance (error logs, alarms), Test Lab Administration, user administration etc, remote diagnostics/troubleshooting.
What would you as an admin like to see if you were to take a job at a giant production plant to manage the production network? What technologies should we be looking into for the system admins to benefit? Layman and IT geek alike.
What should be underlying logistics infrastructure and what would be good frontends?