ZEDEDA and Avassa Partner to Deliver Secure Edge Application Orchestration for Platform Teams and Developers

Innovation at the Edge continues. I’ve written about ZEDEDA before and have even appeared on a couple of their Web events. The company maintains momentum at this vital confluence of data. This announcement concerns a partnership with Avassa.

  • Partnership provides platform teams with a comprehensive security and visibility solution coupled with a developer-friendly container application solution for the distributed edge
  • Together, the companies address the growing demand for comprehensive solutions that empower customers to manage the lifecycle of new and existing technologies at the edge
  • The combination of ZEDEDA and Avassa solutions enables customers with application-centric visibility and manageability of cloud-native applications while also solving the challenges of the distributed edge

Industrial Operations X Brings Cutting-edge IT and AI Into Industrial Automation

Moving past Mindsphere (now integrated into this platform), Siemens has integrated a new platform for industrial automation and business. The have launched Xcelerator and now add Industrial Operations X. I see this as part of a trend where established control and automation suppliers are scrambling to show financial markets that they are cool, hip software developers. We have seen many platforms touted over the past 5-7 years. We’ll have to wait and see how this one performs in the market.

In brief:

  • Siemens expands Siemens Xcelerator open digital business platform with launch of Industrial Operations X
  • Uniquely combining the real and digital worlds
  • Production processes to become more efficient and highly adaptive
  • Includes launch of first fully virtual controller

Industrial Operations X is the solution for production engineering, execution, and optimization. It focuses on integrating cutting-edge IT capabilities and proven methods from software operations in the world of automation: low code, edge, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) are combined with industry-leading automation technology and digital services.

Industrial Operations X solutions make data actionable by leveraging AI analysis capabilities. Independent studies suggest that a digitally enabled factory delivers production increases of up to 30 percent.

Based on the SIMATIC S7-1500, the virtual programmable logic controller (PLC) is hardware-independent, allowing applications to be centrally managed and flexibly modified to meet changing customer needs. PLC projects can be scaled with virtual control and easily integrated into other IT offerings through open data interfaces.

Making automation programmable with IT code: Simatic AX 

Simatic AX provides IT professionals with a familiar development environment based on Visual Studio Code and version control via GIT and others. Simatic AX is cloud-based and is available as a service.

Visualization for the Industrial Edge environment: WinCC Unified for Industrial Edge 

With Industrial Edge, administering software in machines is easier, more flexible, and more secure. A variety of apps is already available, focused on acquisition, preprocessing and analysis of machine or plant data.

Insights Hub: Turning Industrial IoT into actionable insights

Siemens will integrate MindSphere in the core of our operations software portfolio with an even stronger focus on delivering business value from IoT data. To emphasize our commitment to application value from industrial IoT, Siemens is evolving MindSphere (including partners and developers worldwide) into Insights Hub as part of Industrial Operations X and the Siemens Xcelerator ecosystem. 

Insights Hub highlights the focus on empowering smart manufacturing to generate actionable insights from asset and operations data, by analyzing data locally or in the cloud, and transforming it into value. With Insights Hub, Siemens gives its customers proven industrial IoT solutions that include a variety of applications, like Insights Hub Quality Prediction for improving quality inspection and rework processes. 

Nokia Expands Industrial Edge Offerings

The first time edge compute and edge applications came my way was through IT companies—Dell in 2015 and HPE in 2017. They both still have edge devices and “edge-to-cloud” strategies. Neither comes to me with information or invitations to user groups anymore. Even though you might expect the natural “edge” in manufacturing would lie with the automation vendors, such is not the case. They don’t talk to me about edge, either.

You might think of this as a little out of the ordinary, but Nokia while transitioning from mobile handset supplier has become an edge device developer and supplier. This news relates to some new initiatives and products from that company from Finland.

  • Four new digital enablers expand OT edge applications offered on Nokia MX Industrial Edge.
  • Industrial IoT platforms connect, collect and analyze data from disparate sources –including video cameras – unlocking its value.
  • New security function protects from advanced threats in OT environment, improves security, which is essential for data exchange.

Nokia today launched four third-party applications for MX Industrial Edge (MXIE), which help enterprises connect, collect and analyze data from operational technology (OT) assets on a robust and secure on-premises edge. Asset-heavy industries can accelerate their digital transformation and benefit most from Nokia’s OT edge ecosystem-neutral approach, which taps into innovation from many top digitalization enablers. The new applications also leverage the GPU capability recently announced on Nokia MXIE, a powerful on-premises OT edge solution that helps process data closest to the source in real time while retaining data sovereignty.

Today’s news builds on Nokia’s partnership with Kyndryl, the world’s largest IT infrastructure services provider, which has a focus on designing, deploying, and managing industry-leading LTE and 5G private wireless networks and Industry 4.0 solutions to enterprises worldwide. By combining Kyndryl’s network and edge advisory and integration services with Nokia’s private wireless networks, industrial customers can achieve high-performance wireless connectivity in mission-critical environments. As a converged compute platform, Nokia MXIE supports the core operation of private wireless networks and hosts a multitude of OT edge computing applications. By leveraging Nokia MXIE, Kyndryl is helping customers implement end-to-end industrial use cases with a single orchestrated on-premises edge for both private wireless and digitalization enablers. The automation and digitalization benefits, from predictive maintenance, better worker safety, to quality assurance enables smarter, leaner factory operations and improves sustainability across industrial verticals – from manufacturing, energy and gas, to mining.

Linux Foundation’s LF Edge and Open Grid Alliance Collaborate

More news released at the Mobile World Congress—this one a collaboration for Edge compute between the LF Edge group within the Linux Foundation and the Open Grid Alliance. They will  initially focus on functional specifications of the Grid Nodes.

I have followed and written about the Linux Foundation many times over the past 7-8 years. The Open Grid Alliance is a member-supported 501(c)(6) organization that produces collaborative, vendor-neutral strategies to re-architect the Internet with grid topologies needed to scale globally. It was founded in 2020 by over 30 global technology companies. It states it’s focused on evolving the Internet into a worldwide platform capable of running global services on shared infrastructure.

The two organizations announced at MWC the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for formal collaboration. Collaboration includes multiple foundations across the Linux Foundation with LF Edge being the primary.

Catalyzed by the emergence of edge infrastructure, 5G networks and billions of IoT devices, the grid is the next step in the evolution of the Internet. Globally distributed, the grid weaves together a public and private fabric of compute, data and intelligence to enable contextually aware, immersive applications at the edge, on demand.

Edge computing places applications and services close to the point of use, as the grid marries software-defined flexibility with edge infrastructure. LF Edge projects provide the required automation for edge infrastructure to be used to build autonomous grid infrastructure. These projects create new use cases and proof points that cover aspects of grid computing. The collaboration between LF Edge and OGA  is  aimed at creating synergies that will accelerate a full-scale, global and operational deployment of the Open Grid.

The agreement enables both organizations to formally support collaboration and work together in creating the open software defined and architected by OGA work groups. LF Edge projects and initiatives will work closely with the OGA workstreams to mutually develop the use cases and underlying technology of the Open Grid.

Industry IoT Consortium Publishes Guidance On Cloud vs. Edge For AI-based Industrial Applications

The Industry IoT Consortium, part of the Object Management Group, gathers interested technical people together to study and publish guidance on a variety of industrial connectivity applications. This one provides guidance for when to use cloud or edge computing for AI-based applications such as machine vision.

The Industry IoT Consortium (IIC) published the Optimal Use of Cloud and Edge in Industrial Machine-Vision Applications whitepaper. The paper is a brief guide for developers who want to integrate machine vision with industrial cloud and edge computing applications.

“With advances in technology, industrial machine vision is becoming increasingly sophisticated. For example, today you can perform AI vision analysis directly on a camera. You can also process this data on a nearby computer, an on-premises server, or remote data center,” said Daniel Young, IIC Technology Working Group Co-Chair and Senior Manager at Toshiba. “Understanding where image processing should occur is an engineering decision based on many different factors.  For example, cloud computing offers industrial applications flexibility and scalability for machine learning models, while edge computing is best for real-time industrial tasks.”

The whitepaper covers the following sections:

  • Applications of Industrial Machine Vision gives a broad description of how companies use industrial machine vision.
  • Edge Computing in Industrial Machine Vision provides an overview of applying edge computing to industrial machine vision applications.
  • Cloud Computing in Industrial Machine Vision discusses cloud computing in industrial machine vision.
  • Deciding Where the Edge Lies in Industrial Machine Vision talks about typical edge computing configurations that incorporate industrial machine vision.

Emerson Ventures Makes Strategic Investment in ZEDEDA

ZEDEDA provides network edge management and orchestration for industrial applications. It has been reaching out to large automation companies for partnerships or collaboration. Its solution integrates with Emerson’s DeltaV automation system. It announced in mid-December 2022 that Emerson Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Emerson, has made a strategic investment.

Emerson’s solution integrates ZEDEDA’s edge management and orchestration offer into its DeltaV automation system, enabling Emerson customers to extend DeltaV to the distributed edge. This expansion will deliver enhanced OT solutions while also continuing into the IT environment, providing software-defined automation and revolutionizing how customers can deploy and connect workloads within their distributed environments.

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