OT and IT Working Together
At one time, IT managers and staff may have been holed up in corporate headquarters, far away from the action on the factory floor. Now, they find themselves working side by side with their operations technology (OT) counterparts: the operators, engineers, technicians, and maintenance personnel.
Collectively, they’re tasked with marrying existing OT processes with cutting-edge IT infrastructure. The convergence of the IT infrastructure (dedicated storage, compute hardware) with OT processes and systems (heavy machinery, industrial robots, niche factory equipment) has resulted in the creation of cloud-based applications, sophisticated sensors, and other components that make up the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
“The edge is a place where OT has traditionally resided,” says Dr. Tom Bradicich, vice president and general manager, IoT and Converged Edge Systems, at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
“The manufacturing floor, a wind farm, a submarine, a smart car, a smart city, a power plant, a smart grid, an industrial oil refinery—those are all OT domains. And more and more, IT is moving out there.”
HPE’s Converged Edge Systems
Enter HPE’s Converged Edge Systems to physically bridge OT and IT. With the same compute and storage capabilities as those running in the cloud and data centers, organizations can process full, unmodified enterprise workloads at the edge. This essentially gives businesses a second on-premises environment (along with the traditional data center) and removes the need to move data and workloads back and forth between the edge and the cloud, providing faster response times and lower bandwidth costs.
Specific to the convergence of OT and IT at the Edge, HPE has introduced the EL300. The EL300’s ruggedized hardware profile and flexible networking, compute, and storage options make it an ideal candidate for deployment in harsh Factory Floor edge environments.
The EL300 is embedded with the new HPE Edgeline Integrated System Manager (iSM) to manage local Edgeline systems complete with edge-specific capabilities such as remote management over WiFi and LTE connections. It is also supported with the Edgeline Infrastructure Manager (EIM), providing a dashboard view into the health of hundreds to thousands of managed systems at a site. EIM can also automate discovery of new devices and be used to easily deploy firmware and software updates.
The EL300’s OT data acquisition, control and networking modules allow Edgeline systems to “talk” with a greatly expanded variety of OT equipment, from IoT sensors to sprawling SCADA systems. Additional tools simplify management of connected equipment, and the workflows that drive them.
- HPE Edgeline OT Link Platform software, which automatically recognizes and exposes all OT Link certified hardware in the system. It lets non-coders create and supervise data movements using a simple drag-and-drop workload flow designer
- The optional HPE Edgeline Workload Orchestrator (EWO), which provides centralized deployment and management of containerized applications, middleware, and flows.
Stay tuned for more from the HPE Edgeline team as the converged OT and IT systems make configuration and support easier, and by a wider range of people, from OT specialists to trained IT staff.