I think that hybrid might just be the future as IT managers review the costs and constraints of depending too much on cloud vendors (AWS, Microsoft, Google). Customers of Inductive Automation’s Ignition platform must be asking for a public cloud implementation, though. 

I’ve highlighted a blog post by Dante Augello of Inductive discussing some of the reasoning and features of a Cloud Edition coming in 2023. Following that announcement are notes about the latest update to Ignition—8.1.22.

Ignition Cloud Edition

  • Many hybrid architectures have taken advantage of the cloud over the years, allowing controls applications to run on-premise while communicating and sending data to the cloud in order to take advantage of virtually unlimited storage and computing power. 
  • This connection to the cloud also offers better integration with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other cloud-native technologies.
  • The goal of Ignition Cloud Edition is to enable a hybrid architecture that connects one or more on-premise gateways and numerous edge gateways that send information to a Cloud Edition gateway for enterprise-wide data aggregation and monitoring.
  • This new product will differ from the standard version of Ignition in three key ways: distribution, purchasing, and features.
  • Unlike standard Ignition, Ignition Cloud Edition won’t be a service provided directly through Inductive Automation, so it won’t be downloaded from the Inductive Automation website. Like other cloud-based applications, it will be made available through your preferred cloud infrastructure marketplace.
  • Since Ignition Cloud Edition will be purchased through a cloud infrastructure marketplace, there is no need to buy an upfront license as with standard Ignition. This allows for elastic deployments, scalable payment options like pay-as-you-go, as well as the ability to adapt compute size and number of instances as needed.
  • Ignition Cloud Edition will run in the cloud, so it won’t be ideal for direct data acquisition from plant-floor PLCs. For this reason, it won’t have Ignition’s original device drivers built in. Instead, Cloud Edition will have a collection of cloud connector modules for cloud-native technologies such as document databases, message queues, and key-value stores like MongoDB, Kafka, and Redis.
  • A key benefit of Ignition Cloud Edition’s infrastructure is elasticity. If you find that you need more or less computing power than you anticipated, you will be able to scale the infrastructure much more easily than with an on-premise infrastructure.

Ignition 8.1.22: New Configuration Explorer, Enhanced SVG Importer, and CSS Stylesheet Resources

This blog post by Aaron Block gives points about the latest update.

  • Ignition 8.1.22 arrives with major upgrades to Perspective, the Gateway Network, and redundancy, plus improvements focused on general quality of life.
  • Perspective gets the majority of attention in Ignition 8.1.22, with three big updates: a new Configuration Explorer, SVG Importer enhancements, and resources for CSS stylesheets.
  • The Configuration Explorer locates active bindings on any particular Perspective view. Now in Ignition 8.1.22, simply right-click and choose “Configuration Explorer” to display the location, type, and state of all enabled bindings. Embedded views and root containers are also represented in this overview. 
  • In prior versions of Ignition, it was sometimes difficult to import complicated SVGs with intricate shading or other non-supported components within the raw SVG file. 8.1.22 offers more support for these complex SVGs, as well as most common SVG elements.
  • The “convert to drawing” function stays true to its name, allowing users to simply choose the function in the right-click menu and convert existing components into SVGs.
  • Rounding out the trio of major Perspective updates is an advanced project-scoped CSS stylesheet resource and resource editor. Users can now conveniently add their own CSS stylesheets into the Perspective project itself instead of spending time inserting CSS through the gateway’s style directory.
  • And there are many more updates. Check out the blog for more detail.
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