By Jason Anderson, Vice President, Strategy and Product Management, Stratus Technologies
So much is happening today with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), from the ongoing recovery of manufacturing organizations amid the pandemic to market trends and forecasts spanning the next few years. Therefore, it is important for readers to understand how Stratus solutions provide the foundation for transformation, as well as where our platforms fit into the IIoT space.
Stratus and IIoT
Stratus has played a critical role in successfully supporting critical industrial automation for decades. This includes supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), human machine interface (HMI) and historical data database solutions. We agree with many leading industry analysts who see the evolution of these technologies and Edge Computing naturally supporting IIoT adoption, helping to strengthen it. IIoT offers exciting opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity, but there are many components to consider beyond machine-integrated sensors.
Stratus plays a critical role as our hardware and software solutions protect our customers’ networks and communications, data collection and analytics, automated controls and decision support – which we consider the connective tissue of IIoT in manufacturing. We believe our existing Edge Computing solutions will help customers deploy IIoT faster. The benefits provided by always-on infrastructure in an IIoT energy management or manufacturing environment go beyond preventing unplanned outages. Stratus plays a critical role as our hardware and software solutions protect our customers’ networks and communications, data collection and analytics, automated controls and decision support – which we consider the connective tissue of IIoT in manufacturing. We believe our existing Edge Computing solutions will help customers deploy IIoT faster. The benefits provided by an always-on infrastructure in an IIoT energy management or manufacturing environment go beyond preventing unplanned outages.
IIoT is entering new industries
The evolution to IIoT allows industrial automation technologies to be deployed in new industries and locations. For example, many processing industries, terminals and stations – such as an oil pipeline – had to be staffed. New technologies allow more and more of these remote sites to be monitored and completely free of humans. But this remote visibility comes at a price. If the system that provides remote monitoring goes down, no one knows what happens. In the natural gas industry, this is known as “blind time” and is a serious problem.
This situation is not limited to oil and gas pipelines. As factories in the semiconductor and other industries become larger and more automated, the goal is to achieve increased productivity with fewer people. Always-On visibility is a requirement to ensure that the objective is met.
Additionally, compliance comes into play. While the data generated by the IIoT is critical to manufacturing efficiency and productivity, in some industries this proliferation of data will require oversight and reporting. A good example of this is compliance in the food industry. If your organization is subject to strict regulations, you cannot afford to lose data as it could lead to costly seizures, audits or even fines. If your solution runs on hardware or software infrastructure from Stratus, data availability and integrity will not be an issue as our servers are always on.
Finally, the transition to IIoT will come with implementation costs. Many organizations are taking their first steps towards IIoT by implementing virtualization to reduce costs and embrace digitalization to future-proof their business. However, combining Always-On requirements with virtualization in a non-datacenter environment can add unnecessary cost and complexity.
Stratus builds fault tolerance, virtualization, monitoring and downtime prevention into a single solution, providing the foundation for transformation at the edge. This provides organizations with a smaller technology footprint that does not require a team of people responsible for many of the cluster environments.
As business and technology trends continue to reshape the IIoT industry, it is important to know the best way to select, deploy and capitalize on Edge Computing opportunities with Stratus. Download our latest white paper, Transforming the Edge: Architecting Your Infrastructure for Performance and Reliability, for more.