Skip to main content

Transformative applications need seamless integration of control networks with edge and cloud, enter the IoT Data Fabric

Data Fabric

In the data networking world, an emerging concept known as ‘data fabric’ enables disparate systems to interact as one. Citing that it allows seamless data access and processing across otherwise siloed systems, Gartner included data fabric in its list of top 10 data and analytics technology trends at its 2020 Data and Analytics Summit. This concept of interoperability from one system or protocol to many, has enormous potential when expanded to include industrial IoT networks.

Interoperability across control networks

Currently, industrial control networks operate as silos of automation that are difficult to access from the outside without complex and custom development. It is often too costly to fully integrate these networks with modern analytics platforms, machine learning and AI systems, cellular and 5G networking and other innovative edge and cloud computing technologies.

In order to facilitate an open data fabric capable of connecting any industrial edge device horizontally to its peers or vertically to edge or cloud applications, Dialog is working to standardize the IoT Access Protocol (IAP) through its ANSI/CTA 709.10 and EN 14908 standardization project.

IAP lays the foundation for an IoT-centric data fabric that provides seamless and uniform access to any industrial networking protocol, from any workstation or client (such as SCADA workstations or Building Management Systems), and from any web services-enabled applications such as cloud IoT or analytics/AI platforms.

Leveraging investments already in place in industrial enterprises

The IoT Access Protocol is based on a data and networking model proven by the LON technology, one of the first open industrial M2M protocol that Dialog - through it’s acquisition of Echelon Corporation - pioneered, with over 30 years’ operating experience and hundreds of millions of connections.

Applying the IAP definitions, any vendor can create software drivers and take advantage of the IAP web services APIs to plug devices and applications into the data fabric. There is no need to code custom solutions once a device is part of the fabric!

Dialog’s SmartServer IoT is a perfect example of implementation of the data fabric concept. SmartServer IoT is an edge computing platform that weaves an industrial IoT-centric ‘data fabric’ that can connect any edge device - whether a sensor, meter or a machine. See our IoT data fabric infographic.

Furthermore, SmartServers remove the complexities of distributed control networks and provide simple, secure access to the underlying device data with the software tools and support you need to build your edge application.

Ultimately, IAP and SmartServer solutions hold the key to successful integration of legacy controls and automation systems (OT) with emerging edge analytics and AI applications (IT). Industrial enterprise can now transform their operations by leveraging innovations in edge and cloud technologies – all while leveraging the investments already in place.

Learn more about Industrial Edge Computing