HMS Industrial IoT Blog

Stay up to date with the latest technical developments and trends within industrial communication and IoT.

Integrating OT data into “AnyCloud”

by Jason Sprayberry | Oct 30, 2020

Even with the security challenges over the last several years, the value proposition of integrating Operational Technology (OT) data with Information Technology (IT) enterprise and cloud systems is undeniable.

 

Obvious advantages of cloud-based solutions include:


  • Cost Savings
  • Data Sharing
  • Digital Twin
  • Machine Learning
  • AI Enablement
  • The Ability to Recover and Scale Very Quickly

However, caution must be taken not to standardize new IoT projects on just one cloud provider. Smart architecture design from Edge to Enterprise should include a plan to diversify – for easy migration to ‘Any Cloud’.

 

Microsoft Azure and AWS IoT Platforms are leading the way for the ubiquitous IoT data revolution, but there are still many barriers to entry into industrial (OT) systems - which have prevented this OT to IT paradigm shift from happening as quickly as the cloud platforms would like.

 

Barriers to entry into industrial (OT) systems include:


  • Legacy and Proprietary Devices/Protocols/Networks
  • Data Ownership/Security
  • Communications Cost/Reliability

Nevertheless, this arms race is strengthening and will be certain to change the landscape of Industrial Digitization quickly.


A key benefit of this IoT confluence is that manufacturers are breaking down functional silos in order to deliver actionable insights by transparently connecting traditionally proprietary equipment into IT/Enterprise/Cloud systems.


Industry standard technologies like MQTT, OPC UA and Rest Web Services APIs are driving rapid adoption in IoT based on the amazing power of performance and scale.


A key component of the integration includes the ingression of OT data from the Edge


Smart Gateways take the complexity out of integration by leveraging new standard IoT connectors for seamless connectivity into the new/old mix industrial ecosystem players- like OSIsoft (PI System and OCS), Microsoft Azure IoT, AWS IoT, PTC ThingWorx, Siemens Mindsphere, Inductive Automation’s Ignition, and more.


Edge to cloud HMS IoT Solutions

Figure 1: Edge to Cloud HMS Networks IoT Solutions

 

But is this IoT integration a hard requirement for Digital Transformation?

Is there a simple way to dip your toe in the cloud side of the DX strategy?

Is there a way to easily abstract the complexity of connecting to proprietary and remote equipment – and seamlessly integrate from dozens, hundreds, even thousands of devices?

Fortunately, the answer is yes, but likely only possible with a rare breed of truly unique edge solutions with built in 3rd party enterprise application integration and cloud enabled technologies for truly scalable IoT deployments.

 

Integrating IT and "AnyCloud"


Integrating to IT and ‘AnyCloud’ based systems have much higher demands on data security, ownership, management, and scalability. A solution which works on a small group of devices is likely irrelevant when migrating the solution to thousands of sites.


Another often underestimated consideration is data costs.

Where you store the data, for how long, at what resolution – with what additional value add services are all considerations. Any how do you prevent backing yourself into a corner by designing your solution around a single cloud provider – when you could create a system that can easily migrate to ‘AnyCloud’?


A well-designed pilot ensures a minimum viable approach to prove out the solution – towards its technical AND business goals – while also ensuring the rigor of massive scale is considered as well.

 

Interested in learning more? Checkout the following materials on how to create low risk IoT projects with HMS:

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