Wind River Helix Device Cloud: From Lightbulbs to Oil Rigs and Every “Thing” in between.

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When I spoke with Dipti Vanchani of Intel we focused on lightbulbs. In speaking with Emeka Nwafor at Wind River, we talked more extensively about Weatherford Oil and Gas IoT Deployment.

Now lets take the time to divide the Intel portion of Service Delivery and Optimization from Wind River Helix Device Cloud. The easy way to look at it is that Intel and others embed an identity and security function at the chip level and provide a platform for configuration and in effect discovery. So systems turn on and find home to the network they belong to. Wind River Helix Device Cloud is the software in the network stack that enhances the overall security of the edge system, integrates to OS systems for secure device life cycle management. Device Cloud is offered in regional hosting configurations (essential for GPRS compliance). Wind River recently announced the latest release of this secure device lifecycle management platform for Industrial IoT.

When looked at from the perspective of oil & gas applications, like in the case with customer Weatherford, we discussed a few aspects as to why the remote monitoring and management of the equipment is becoming increasingly important. The first was the aging of the expertise out in the field. The baby boomers are retiring and their experience is hard to transfer. I was told about a customer story about an employee that went over and put his ear to the pipe of the oil well valve. He explained he can “hear” the issue based on the sounds the valve makes when listening closely to the equipment This ability is not going to transfer easily since he is retiring and his replacement has not been hired yet.

That means that sensors and actuators need to take over for the experience of the humans. The decision was made to pull data from existing suck rod pump controllers and install a wireless sensors connected through a gateway to the cloud.

This brings us to a second benefit, which is optimization of the pumps, storage and other aspects of logistics management. Weatherford is looking to centralize the monitoring, managing and updating rigs remotely. Wind River Helix Device Cloud supports a SCADA strategy for managing distributed systems and is offered commercially in a SaaS business model. However, Wind River Helix Device Cloud is capable of support other cloud service providers, private clouds and any combination. The goal is to partition and secure correctly and provide a set of APIs and containers that allow integration into operational support systems.

In addition to Weatherford we also talked about Parkeon which is one of the largest parking systems companies. They wanted to enable better systems for parking meters. Parkeon saw an opportunity to enable smart city solutions with sensors that did everything from emergency services / surveillance to air quality management. In this case the opportunity is for new revenue and better relations with the municipalities they support.

As Nwafor stated, “Industrial IoT can only generate value for customers if connected devices are actively monitored and managed, so device management should be designed in as part of an system architecture from the start, as it is a key enabler and critically important component in IoT deployments today.”

While on a chart this just looks like an agent management solution, the reality is the benefits take you all the way up the stack to real benefits of IoT.

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