Control systems SW platform aims to transform Industrial IoT

Control systems SW platform aims to transform Industrial IoT

Technology News |
By Rich Pell

The architecture will provide, the company says, a route to “evolve ageing legacy control systems not previously designed to support IoT”: the ability to carry out system-wide IoT-style data capture and processing is implicit. Wind River has chosen to base this scheme on open standards, with a Linux core.

Wind River believes that, because traditional industrial control systems were not designed to support IoT, most are rigid, single purpose, and have a high cost to deploy, integrate, and maintain.

The company comments that “the cloud” can be viewed as an economic model, delivering computation-as-needed; it does not necessarily imply off-site, widely-shared compute resources. In this case, WR is applying similar thinking and applying virtualisation to real-time and safety-critical systems.

It positions Titanium Control as a commercially deployable on-premise cloud infrastructure, in which there is no longer a 1:1 relationship between equipment and its controlling system: “It delivers the high performance, high availability, flexibility, and low latency needed to reduce capital and operating expenses, as well as minimize unscheduled downtime for industrial applications and control services at any scale. Unlike enterprise IT virtualization platforms, it provides high reliability for applications and services deployed at the network edge, for example in fog deployments.”

Using Titanium control, the compute resource of an industrial control installation migrates from a predominantly specific-to-market model, to running on standard server hardware. Each control loop is virtualised to run as a routine; functionally safe partitioning can be configured as needed.

Control is extended “beyond the factory floor” and a measure of machine learning can gain access to large data sets gathered from multiple processes. For elements that cannot be fully integrated, Titanium can host “guest” operating systems.

Features of Titanium Control include:

– De facto standard open source software for on-premise cloud and virtualization, including Linux, real-time Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) and OpenStack

– High performance and high availability with accelerated vSwitch and inter-VM communication, plus virtual infrastructure management

– Security features including isolation, secure boot and Trusted Platform Module enabled through Enhanced Platform Awareness

– Scalability from two to over 100 compute nodes

– Hitless software updates and patching with no interruption to services or applications

“With the emergence of Industrial IoT, companies are looking to deploy next-generation open and secure control systems; Titanium Control addresses this need, and is in active trials with customers in industries ranging from manufacturing to energy to healthcare,” said Jim Douglas, president of Wind River.

Titanium Control is part of the Wind River Titanium Cloud portfolio of virtualization products for the deployment of critical services from operations to data center environments that require real-time performance and continuous service availability. It is optimized for Intel Xeon processors, and is pre-validated on hardware from the leading providers of Intel-based servers.

Wind River:

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