IoT Bridge for Microsoft Azure from Cirrus Link to Connect OT Data to Microsoft Azure

By Craig Resnick

Company and Product News

Cirrus Link announced the availability of its IoT Bridge for Microsoft Azure, which is now available on Azure Marketplace, that connects standard MQTT Sparkplug data models to Azure Digital Twin and updates data changes to the Azure Data Explorer for time series data. Cirrus Link developed the IoT Bridge, a software widget based on Sparkplug that converts OT IoT Bridge for Microsoft Azuredata to IT data automatically without requiring coding. Customers can create a factory, or any asset data models with Sparkplug templates, then automatically connect the models to Azure with no coding required, which helps to save time and effort and accelerate time-to-value. These models and time series data are objects that are consumable for Azure services and AI/Big Data applications to provide insight for helping to increase productivity, cost savings and higher uptime.

With Sparkplug-enabled platforms, such as Ignition from Inductive Automation, the process to jump the OT/IT gap has been further simplified from a longer and more costly effort to something that can be standardized and deployed sometimes in just a matter of hours. As data is collected from the factory floor, by remote assets or any type of data producer, MQTT Sparkplug helps to normalize it through templates, such as a model of a motor including critical meta properties, and sends the data to an MQTT server. IoT Bridge for Azure subscribes to the MQTT messages from the MQTT server and automatically creates the digital twin in Azure Digital Twin, including the meta properties. Without the IoT Bridge, companies can sometimes spent thousands of consulting dollars building customized coded solutions that are often not scalable and can end up not being able to perform as planned.

Azure Digital Twin is a platform as a service (PaaS) offering that enables the creation of twin graphs based on digital models of entire environments used to gain insights that can help to drive better products, optimized operations, and reduced costs. Azure Data Explorer is a fully managed, higher-performance, big data analytics platform that can often make it easier to analyze high volumes of data in near real time.

IoT Bridge for Azure from Cirrus Link:

  • Consumes MQTT Sparkplug data (data model and tags)
  • Auto-creates data models to Azure Digital Twin
  • Auto-discovers data assets
  • Pushes tag data to Azure Digital Twin and Azure Data Explorer
  • Requires no programming or coding

Customers can download and install the IoT Bridge software and, sometimes even within 30 minutes, automatically have data in Microsoft Azure. The IoT Bridge takes OT data and points it to IT quicker and more easily with an open standard approach.

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