How to Configure Vortex Edge Connect Tutorial

Learn how to run examples of Vortex Edge Connect and understand the mechanisms that allow an MQTT broker to send values to an open-source ModBus slave simulator.
Vortex Edge Connect is ADLINK’s latest data connectivity technology that enable OT and IT convergence in Industrial IoT systems.

To find out more, download the datasheet, click here.

Exploring Vortex Edge Connect: Web UI Tutorial

Following the successful launch of Vortex Edge Connect in May 2017, we produced a series of tutorials to assist system developers evaluate the software. Vortex Edge Connect enables data interoperability and connectivity between industrial data sources and applications, independent of whether they are deployed on local edge networks close to machines or in the cloud.

In this first tutorial, we feature the web-based User Interface attribute of Vortex Edge Connect which is running on Vortex Edge Smart Gateway connecting a ModBus, potentiometer and LED lights. Vortex Edge Connect is pre-configured on the Vortex Edge Smart Gateway which collects and processes data from the sensor, then is shared with other communication endpoints.  Vortex Edge Connect is an extensible and scalable framework for connecting different endpoint technologies together in an Industrial Internet of Things system.

The Vortex Edge Connect is available for evaluation. For inquiries, contact PrismTech.

Beyond M2M to Enterprise IoT

Figure 1. A Layered Enterprise IoT System Architecture
Figure 1. A Layered Enterprise IoT System Architecture

Applications running on edge-devices, gateways, enterprise servers, cloud services and mobiles are all valuable data sources and sinks in an IoT world.  But new software platforms are needed to connect and leverage all these sub-systems to maximize the business value-add of Enterprise IoT.

For several years, M2M platforms have provided reasonable solutions for connecting machines to cloud services (actually it should be M2C, as M2M platforms generally do not support peer-to-peer device communications).  But these platforms have struggled to create large markets or provide strategic enterprise-wide solutions.  They have mostly been restricted to providing vertical/tactical applications — in effect self-contained ‘stovepipe’ systems.

But to fully exploit the potential of the IoT, data must be free to flow to wherever in the system it can add value, e.g. between ‘edge’ devices for control purposes, to gateways for data aggregation/ingestion and local analytics, to cloud-based applications for Big Data analytics, to enterprise systems for OT/IT alignment and supply-chain integration, to mobiles for on-demand data delivery to employees (see Figures 1 and 2).  The promise of Enterprise IoT is the new value created through ubiquitous data availability (and its processing by applications into actionable insights), but this means a new generation of platforms is required to provide the data-connectivity to support a new generation of distributed IoT applications.

One of the biggest differences between traditional M2M and Enterprise IoT systems is that ‘horizontal’ as well as ‘vertical’ data-flow must be supported.  Vertical silos of data do not provide the potential to add value beyond a specific sub-system, so a fundamental feature of next-generation IoT platforms will be a data-connectivity layer that supports system-wide data-delivery as required: the right data, in the right place, at the right time, system-wide.

There are many potential ways (control, analytics, dashboards, event processing, mobile apps, etc.) to exploit all this newly accessible IoT data, but it needs to be delivered to the appropriate application in a timely manner wherever in the system that application may reside (on an edge device, gateway, enterprise server, tablet, or in the cloud).  Only then can the data be converted into new ‘actionable insights’ and thus new business value.

Figure 2. End-to-end IoT System Functionality: Providing intelligent data-connectivity for end-to-end systems embracing Things, gateways, enterprise servers, cloud services, mobiles, etc. to support Enterprise IoT solutions.
Figure 2. End-to-end IoT System Functionality: Providing intelligent data-connectivity for end-to-end systems embracing Things, gateways, enterprise servers, cloud services, mobiles, etc. to support Enterprise IoT solutions.

To provide this underlying capability, a data-connectivity layer needs to be deployed across all nodes the in the system — at least all the nodes that are required to share data (publish and/or subscribe).  An enterprise version of Twitter for Things, in effect.

In simple terms, the diagrams in Figures 3 and 4 show, respectively, how this layer can be deployed both in the cloud (to support cloud services) and on devices (Things, servers, PCs, mobiles, etc.).  They also show potential sources of the applications the platform connects (end-user developers, ISVs, SIs, OEMs).

Figure 3. IoT Cloud Services Environment: PrismTech's Vortex provides the intelligent data-connectivity between the functional components within a cloud PaaS offering for Enterprise IoT solutions.
Figure 3. IoT Cloud Services Environment: PrismTech’s Vortex provides the intelligent data-connectivity between the functional components within a cloud PaaS offering for Enterprise IoT solutions.
Figure 4. IoT Edge-Device Environment: Similar to the PaaS offering, PrismTech's Vortex provides the intelligent data-connectivity between functional components in an IoT device and other devices, sub systems and cloud services for Enterprise IoT solutions.
Figure 4. IoT Edge-Device Environment: Similar to the PaaS offering, PrismTech’s Vortex provides the intelligent data-connectivity between functional components in an IoT device and other devices, sub systems and cloud services for Enterprise IoT solutions.

[Note that the data-connectivity layer supports not only inter-node data-sharing, but also data-sharing between the application components of the IoT platform itself, i.e. inter-operability between platform services (such as IDEs, edge-device management, API management, analytics engines, etc.) as well as between Things].

To read the full article, visit www.smartindustry.com

Juggling Data Connectivity Protocols for Industrial IoT : Andrew Foster Reports

Real-time needs are key in multiprotocol industrial IoT.

With much legacy equipment existing with older protocols and requiring diverse real-time needs, the Industrial IoT will not soon, if ever, use a single data-connectivity standard.

 The projected benefits that can be gained from the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) have been well documented during the past several years by the likes of General Electric, Accenture and other organizations that have conducted extensive research in this area. In fact, these benefits in revenue, cost reductions and energy consumption are now coming to fruition in a variety of smart city, smart farming, transportation and other industry sectors.

A great example is the Connected Boulevard program in Nice, France, which uses Industrial Internet technologies, including an innovative data-sharing platform, to help manage and optimize all aspects of city management, including parking and traffic, street lighting, waste disposal and environmental quality.

The key to these benefits is the ability to derive value from the data. The data must be accessible wherever it resides and delivered to wherever it’s needed (edge to the cloud) so that it can be analyzed and acted upon in the right amount of time. There are a range protocols currently used to provide this “data-sharing function” within an Industrial Internet system (see chart above). Chief among them are:

  • The Object Management Group’s (OMG) Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS);
  • OASIS’ Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP);
  • MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT), a protocol originally developed by IBM but now an OASIS standard;
  • Representational State Transfer (REST), a common style of using HTTP for Web-based applications and not a standard; and,
  • Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), a software protocol to be used in very simple electronics devices such as Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) that allows them to communicate over the Internet; and,
  • The eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), the IETF’s formalization of the base XML streaming protocols for instant messaging and presence technology originally developed within the Jabber open-source community.

To read the full report, visit www.eetimes.com

PrismTech Announces General Availability of Vortex, the Intelligent Data Sharing Platform for the Industrial Internet of Things

Based on the Data Distribution Service open standard, Vortex is optimally suited for IIoT systems such as those targeted for smart city, smart grid, transportation, healthcare and industrial automation environments

Boston, MA, USA – October 13, 2014 – PrismTech™, a global leader in software platforms for distributed systems, today announced its new Vortex™ Intelligent Data-Sharing Platform is now generally available for evaluation and purchase.  The Vortex platform provides the most comprehensive real-time data sharing solution for integrating device (sensors to servers), web, mobile and cloud environments.

Vortex is ideally suited for Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications and is based on the Data Distribution Service (DDS) for Real-time Systems open standard.  Vortex builds on proven technologies to provide an efficient solution for device-to-device, device-to-cloud and cloud-to-cloud Internet scale real-time data sharing.  It is a crucial enabler for systems that have to reliably and securely deliver high volumes of data with stringent end-to-end qualities-of-service (QoS); hence its suitability for delivering the right information to the right place at the right time.

In comparison to other proposed IIoT protocols such as MQTT, AMQP, XMPP and CoAP only DDS can provide the real-time, many-to-many, managed connectivity required by high-performance device-to-device applications.  DDS is also emerging as a key interoperable messaging protocol for connecting real-time device networks to cloud based Data Centers.

Vortex creates a system-wide global data space offering more than 20 configurable QoS to ensure the performance, efficiency, agility, security and robustness required of business-critical systems.  It thus helps system integrators, OEMs, device vendors and cloud service providers deliver high-performance IIoT system solutions for many vertical markets, including smart cities and urban environments, smart grid and energy, transportation, healthcare, IT & networks, and industrial automation.

The Vortex platform includes Vortex Café for mobile phones and tablets, Vortex Lite for embedded sensors, Vortex Cloud for cloud services and Vortex OpenSplice™ for corporate systems.

From a Starter Kit (Café, Web and tools) to the full platform suite, Vortex components are delivered in convenient and affordable development and deployment bundles to simplify the evaluation and procurement process.

The Vortex family also comes with a complete set of tools to support system development and management (e.g. configuring, testing, optimizing, monitoring and recording system behavior) and it provides a rich and open API for integration with other IIoT application development technologies, such as IDEs, Java EE application servers, M2M platforms and analytics engines.

“We developed Vortex to specifically address the performance needs and requirements of the Internet of Things, particularly the most demanding and business-critical applications,” said Steve Jennis, SVP Corporate Development, PrismTech.  “Vortex is an extremely powerful and flexible platform that enables all IoT end-point applications to share data in real-time — mobile employees, smart machines, tiny sensors, enterprise / cloud applications including data analytics and legacy systems.”

Vortex is available for free 30-day evaluation from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex/software-downloads.

PrismTech Collaborates with Red Hat to Deliver Connectivity Solutions for the Internet of Things

Will provide customers with a robust, flexible, and easy-to-use platform to connect IoT applications, data, services, and devices

Stirling, UK – June 10, 2014 – PrismTech™, a global leader in software platforms for distributed systems, today announced that it has become a Red Hat EMEA Advanced ISV Partner.  This will enable PrismTech to embed Red Hat JBoss Fuse as part its Vortex™ Intelligent Data Sharing Platform for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, using a community-powered approach to provide reliable and high-performing cloud, virtualization, storage, Linux®, and middleware technologies.

PrismTech’s Vortex is an efficient, secure and interoperable device-to-device and device-to-Cloud real-time data-sharing platform with more than 20 configurable end-to-end Qualities-of-Service (QoS).

Vortex Gateway plans to leverage Red Hat JBoss Fuse and its support for multiple protocols (MQTT, XMPP, AMQP, JMS), support for more than 100 connectors, and support for integrating with proprietary and Web Technologies such as W3C Web Services and RESTful Web Services, to seamlessly integrate with applications, services, and devices.

“We are delighted to welcome PrismTech to the Red Hat EMEA Advanced ISV Partner Program,” said Simon Williams, head of ISVs, EMEA, Red Hat.  “We believe that the combination of Red Hat JBoss Fuse technology and PrismTech’s Vortex Gateway will provide an excellent connectivity solution for next generation IoT applications.”

“PrismTech is extremely pleased to become a Red Hat EMEA Advanced ISV Partner,” added Andrew Foster, Product Marketing Manager, PrismTech.  “Working closely with Red Hat will allow us to deliver more comprehensive connectivity solutions for our global customer base in markets including: aerospace and defense, financial services, healthcare, industrial automation, smart cities and transportation.”

Further information about Vortex is available from PrismTech’s website at: http://www.prismtech.com/vortex.


DDS, MQTT and the Internet of Things

The commoditization of network connectivity is providing the foundation for the Internet of Things – a system in which data flows seamlessly, at Internet Scale, between network-connected devices, mobile devices, industrial and information systems.  Yet, network connectivity alone is not sufficient; another key building block needed for the Internet of Things are standards for interoperable data sharing – as without standardized open data sharing there is no Internet of Things.

The Object Management Group (OMG) Data Distribution Service for Real-Time Systems (DDS) and the upcoming OASIS Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) provide two excellent examples of standards that address the Internet of Things.

Introduced in 2006, DDS has established itself as the standard for peer-to-peer real-time data sharing in Operational Systems , such as Air Traffic Management Systems, Medical Systems, and Combat Systems.  DDS has recently experienced rapid adoption as the foundation for an increasing number of Intelligent Systems in applications such as Smart Cities, Smart Grids, and m-Health.

MQTT was introduced in 1999 by IBM as a publish / subscribe, extremely simple and lightweight messaging protocol, designed for constrained devices and low-bandwidth, high-latency or unreliable networks.

DDS and MQTT share some common principles, such as parsimony and efficiency, temporal decoupling and anonymity, yet each technology has some unique features that make it most applicable for certain use cases.

For instance, MQTT is most suitable for sporadic messages and highly resource constrained devices whilst DDS is most suitable for those applications that require real-time data exchange – meaning applications in which data has an inherent temporal validity and in which stale data should never delay fresh data– and tight control over the Quality of Service (QoS).  In addition DDS supports peer-to-peer (infrastructure-less) communication, a feature that comes in handy for device-to-device communications.

In summary, DDS and MQTT are two very good standards for data sharing in the Internet of Things. DDS provides support for both Device-to-Cloud (Device-to-Data Center) communication as well as Device-to-Device.  MQTT provides very good support for Device-to-Data Center communication.

Finally, I have produced an ondemand webcast on Building the Internet of Things which you can access at: http://www.prismtech.com/opensplice/resources/webcast-archive.

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