There are more tools than ever designed to make our world, and our work, more efficient. But identifying the right tool for the job can be the difference between eliminating challenges and simply adding more steps to an already complex process. In the end, the growth and development of Industry 4.0, or the Industrial Internet of Things (or whichever alternate nomenclature your particular organization has latched onto), relies on the effective collection, organization and implementation of data.
This infographic from Amazon Web Services outlines the variety of ways one particular tool, AWS, can help make the Industrial IoT a more concrete reality by leveraging data to guide real-world business decisions and process improvements.
We recently spent a week in Las Vegas for AWS re:Invent, which gives users, vendors and integrators the chance to hear about, and spend some hands-on time with, the latest innovations from Amazon Web Services. This year, we worked with a number of groups at AWS on some of the exciting new features and capabilities that have been added to the platform and are available on our range of AWS IoT Greengrass compatible hardware. Here’s a quick recap of what we did and saw at re:Invent 2018, and a rundown of some of the AWS capabilities that are helping to turn data into decisions.
AWS IoT Greengrass Hardware Security Integration
It won’t come as a surprise that IoT security is a theme at every technology event, conference or symposium taking place today, and AWS re:Invent certainly wasn’t an exception. Ensuring that connected devices are capable of securing the data they’re constantly transmitting continues to be a focus for both users and developers, so we were excited to co-present during one of the AWS re:Invent sessions which detailed a number of new AWS IoT Greengrass features, including AWS IoT Greengrass Hardware Security Integration (HSI).
AWS IoT HSI leverages the secure element onboard a given hardware gateway, in our case Intel® Platform Trust Technology (PTT), to lock the private key for a given AWS account onto the physical device itself, rather than leaving it encrypted but stored in the file system. This prevents duplication and misuse of the key and helps protect encrypted data being sent to and from the cloud. This is especially important for devices that are installed in public physical areas, which could include mobile deployments, factory floors or building automation applications.
Here’s a video of the AWS IoT HSI session, featuring the AWS team, along with Logic Supply Sales Engineer James Floyd, providing details about how this new feature works, how to set it up and how it can help prevent network intrusion and attacks.
Steve Mueller, Software Development Manager at Amazon Protective Services, also presented a demo about how his team used AWS IoT HSI, installed on our ML350G-10 industrial PC, for an on-site application at re:Invent that monitored, assessed and reported on shuttle wait times, allowing attendees to make more informed decisions about when shuttles would arrive at a given location.
AWS IoT SiteWise
In an announcement that will be of particular interest to our industrial hardware clients, AWS launched a preview of AWS IoT SiteWise, a service that helps industrial customers collect, structure, and search thousands of sensor data streams across multiple facilities.
The AWS IoT SiteWise team used Logic Supply hardware, specifically the ML500 Series of Industrial Gateways, as the testing platform for the on-premises gateway device that collects data from OPC-UA servers and forwards it to AWS for further processing. The data can be used to build visual representations of production lines and processes, or in conjunction with AWS IoT Analytics to forecast performance or production trends. This will be an incredibly useful feature for AWS users who are managing large facilities that generate a huge range of disparate data across multiple locations.
In the video below, Usman Anwer, Senior Product Manager of Industrial IoT at AWS, shares more details about how AWS IoT SiteWise can be used in industrial applications to help organize, structure, and report on gathered data.
AWS IoT Device Tester
One key aspect of effective AWS integration is ensuring that all devices attempting to connect to the AWS cloud can communicate effectively. The new AWS IoT Device Tester is a test automation tool that determines if a given device running Amazon FreeRTOS or AWS IoT Greengrass can be authenticated by, and effectively communicate with, AWS IoT services. Devices that pass the tests can be listed in the new AWS Partner Device Catalog, where you’ll find a number of available Logic Supply platforms, with many more to be listed soon.
The AWS IoT Device Tester will allow OEMs to quickly establish the functionality of their AWS hardware solutions by verifying the particular combination of a given Linux device’s CPU architecture, Linux kernel configuration and onboard drivers, allowing them to provide customers with a verified device that can be listed in the AWS Partner Device Catalog. Logic Supply used the AWS IoT Device Tester to verify that the ML100G-50 works with AWS IoT services. A full breakdown of the new AWS IoT Device Tester, including a demo of verification using the ML100, can be found in this AWS blog post.
These new features, along with the incredible array of additional functionality unveiled at AWS re:Invent, will allow AWS users unprecedented capabilities for managing their cloud-connected infrastructure and creating efficiencies within their business. For more information about AWS IoT Greengrass, visit the AWS website or click here to browse our full line of AWS compatible hardware.
Darek is the Communications Manager at OnLogic. His passion for both journalism and technology has led him from the newsrooms of local papers to the manufacturing floor of IBM. His background in news gathering has him always on the lookout for the latest in emerging tech and the best ways to share that information with readers. In addition to his affinity for words, Darek is a music lover, juggler and huge fan of terrible jokes.