Connecting the instrument computer to a network
If you plan to place the instrument controller on a network, please proceed cautiously with the understanding that this may reduce the reliability of any instrument control and data acquisition computer. Mass spectrometers are very demanding of computers, and require faster and more reliable access to computer resources (CPU, memory, hard drive, etc…) than typical office computer applications. We recommend you operate the system for a couple of weeks and preferably longer prior to connecting to a user network domain. This is to establish a baseline of performance. Connecting an instrument controller to a user network domain opens the door to potential and possibly progressive stability issues. Some domain security measures applied to an instrument controller can prevent data acquisition altogether (see the Xcalibur Software Notice). However, instrument computers may be safely networked by placing them in a segregated organizational unit and insulating them from automatic security policy updates, scheduled virus scans, scheduled backups and updates, etc...
Important: Please be sure to create a full system image including system repair disk before connecting to any network, to ensure you may always return to the working state.
Please see also the Foundation Administrators Guide, section "Maintaining Communication with the Instruments." This section has advice on running disk maintenance and backup utilities, and configuring Antivirus programs including folders which must be excluded from scans.
The Xcalibur and Instrument Control Software Notice warns of network security activities that interrupt the ability of the instrument computer to acquire data. In many cases the instruments were working well until the added security is applied, then the instruments stop working.