The Internet of Things (IoT) presents a crucial opportunity for industrial manufacturing. An industrial IoT best practices approach to harnessing cutting edge equipment delivers cost savings and efficiencies to get more from your IoT investment.
IoT in the industrial landscape
IoT is transforming the industrial landscape, with interconnected sensors, instruments and devices delivering real-time data to optimise manufacturing and energy management.
Edge computing can deliver big savings for industrial manufacturers. While cloud computing is convenient, it’s expensive to run industrial manufacturing workloads in the data centre.
Edge computing makes a subsection of the workload available closer to the information source and away from the data centre. Information doesn’t need to travel far, so you get quicker access to data and alerts, and cut your data centre storage costs.
The key to industrial IoT best practice lies in the physical and virtual security of IoT devices and the hardware connecting them. IoT can mean a host of complex, sensitive and expensive systems – who has access? What user controls are in place? What apps are vulnerable to unauthorised devices? Best practice industrial IoT demands secure devices, systems hardware, and a secure network.
Hardening – configuring an OS securely, updating it, creating rules and policies to help govern the system in a secure manner – is part of the IoT best practice portfolio. By addressing vulnerabilities in applications, systems, servers, databases and networks, your industrial IoT can be hardened to withstand external threats.
In an industrial context, machinery and devices are potentially exposed to rugged and remote settings. Hardening IoT and systems hardware is key to ensuring ongoing performance and reliability.
Depending on the industry, industrial IoT and hardware may need to comply with certifications and IP ratings. Usually a two-digit grading system found on mechanical or electrical items, IP ratings provide guidance on their resistance to various types of intrusion – from users, and from external threats like moisture or extreme temperatures.
In line with industrial IoT best practices, check the IP rating of all hardware and devices to ensure they’re up to optimum performance for the long haul.
The hardware supporting best practice
Best practice can only be achieved with the right equipment in place and Cisco is renowned for building quality hardware for the industrial sector. Reliable, effective and versatile, Cisco’s portfolio is suitable for a range of industrial applications. These include mining, transportation and manufacturing, with each unit built to comply with hundreds of different standards.
Cisco’s industrial router solution is modular, developed to plug and play different modules to undertake specific tasks. This delivers great versatility but also offers an advantage for edge computing, providing the ability to run workloads on the router itself. In an industrial setting, applications can be installed on the router, away from the data centre. This saves crucial response time and expense.
The compact, modular, rugged design withstands tough conditions. It offers stronger industrial router security and simplified management with SD-WAN architecture, edge compute and IOS XE. Internal and expansion modules provide the flexibility to add or upgrade WAN and storage components. Its small form-factor and low power consumption make it easy to integrate into space- and power-constrained cabinets.
Cisco’s industrial compute (IC) solution delivers a mini data centre on-site so only relevant data is sent to endpoint applications. Big and rugged, it’s designed to operate in harsh environments and run heavier workloads. This enables faster decisions at the point of action when every second counts.
Designed to rapidly deploy thousands of edge computing gateways using a simple user interface, Cisco’s IC solution also protects the IoT stack with multilayered security. This helps unlock more value from IoT data captured from diverse distributed edge devices like traffic cameras, industrial robots and oil and gas pipelines.
5G readiness for the future
Cisco recently unveiled its new 5G industrial router portfolio. The new portfolio includes three new Catalyst 5G Industrial Routers to securely connect mobile and fixed assets. These new routers are based on Cisco IOS XE to extend the enterprise network and SD-WAN to the edge. This unified architecture provides IT and operational teams with consistent tools, eliminates training on new devices and technologies, and improves security.
Explore end-to-end solutions that are hard to beat
With a full range of industrial IoT solutions designed to meet strict certifications, Cisco’s portfolio is hard to beat. Get the edge in your industry by combining industrial IoT best practices and Cisco’s world-leading hardware – with help from the implementation experts at Outcomex.
Outcomex is a Cisco Gold Integrator and is IoT Specialized. We build, design, install and maintain industrial IoT with full-stack support.
Complete the form to download the Industrial Cyber Security eBook and power up your industrial IoT
Get better ROI from your industrial IoT solutions. Talk to our IoT Technical Lead, Luca Palermo, or complete the form to download the Industrial Cyber Security eBook.