IOTech, the open edge computing provider, announced the general availability of Edge Central, a flexible, open edge data platform that makes industrial data easily accessible, actionable, and manageable. Edge Central is a complete solution, delivering all the features and functionalities organizations need to manage and utilize their edge data. Edge Central is a commercialized version of the open-source EdgeX Foundry edge data platform that allows businesses to build edge environments without the risk of vendor lock-in.
Valuable industrial edge data is typically locked within a vast array of Operational Technology (OT) systems. However, these systems are highly heterogeneous - they come from different vendors, feature different characteristics and capabilities, and the components within these systems can’t readily communicate with one another. As a result, organizations struggle to access, analyze, and make use of that data.
Edge Central Capabilities
Edge Central provides a number of capabilities to help organizations leverage edge data, including:
Connectivity and control: Edge Central provides seamless connectivity to southbound OT devices and sensors at the edge. Many connectors for a variety of industrial protocols are currently available, with easy-to-use tooling to help connect and control the edge. Device SDKs are also available to create more connectors as needed.
Robust data processing: Edge Central aggregates edge data for sensor fusion and is delivered with easy-to-use rules engines and analytics packages. Standard APIs enable customers to effortlessly supplement or replace the default services if necessary.
Seamless data flow to and from the cloud: The platform makes it simple to share edge data to a choice of northbound Cloud and IT systems. Built-in support for streaming to the main clouds like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google, and IBM are provided, along with the additional flexibility to create more integrations with a northbound Application SDK.
Modular and open: Utilizing a modular and flexible microservices architecture, Edge Central allows complete control of resources and functionality required for each use case. Users can also plug in their own microservices built against IOTech’s standard APIs and open SDKs.
Support for any device: Edge Central is hardware, operating system, and processor agnostic so organizations can run it on their choice of edge computing device. Users typically run Edge Central on IoT gateways, Industrial PCs (IPCs) or edge servers, but the Edge Central containers can easily run on any target device.
Edge Central Benefits
By simplifying edge data management, Edge Central allows industrial organizations to quickly derive ROI from their edge deployments and advance critical business objectives. Key customer benefits include:
Lower costs: With an open, software-defined platform to build upon, organizations save money by switching from expensive, proprietary solutions to commoditized hardware and software.
Faster time to market: Edge Central brings all an organization’s OT data together in a single format and place, allowing them to quickly support new edge applications.
Hidden complexity: Edge Central shields customers from the complexity typically associated with OT edge deployments so they can focus solely on their business needs.
Plug-and-play apps: The platform allows customers to plug-and-play value-add business applications.
Deploy and manage at scale: Edge Central includes a sophisticated and scalable edge management capability that enables users to efficiently provision and monitor edge nodes, configure, orchestrate, monitor and update their applications, and onboard their OT devices and sensors.
Further information on ARC’s coverage of industrial IoT edge hardware and software is available here.