Currently the inspiration of the day are the solution accelerators Microsoft proposes for the MS Azure environment and Amazon for the AWS environment. See below!
Our current tools we love to play with:
- Visual Studio: C#, Python, node.js, ...
- Docker & Kubernetes
- The MS Azure stack
- The AWS stack
The use, programming, solution architecture and tailor-ability of these solution accelerators are being studied and translated to more generic solutions.
One of the goals at eHubArchitects.com is to extract and define generic solution architectures that are independent from the underlying cloud provider. Solution Architectures that cover E2E the use cases related to bringing the complete product life cycle under monitoring and control, predict what will happen and automate the triggering of business action based upon insight.
A major ambition is to help researchers and industry in their efforts to reduce waste of energy and resources, limit dramatically the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses and to make current product and services pipelines more profitable, efficient and robust. This should also help in the development of new business models, for example business models where products are no longer sold and bought, but leased, where products have a life time warranty and resources remain for a very long time at their highest value.
And all this from a very practical view point: a working solution environment.
EHubArchitects.com firmly believes that the eHub based ICT Solution Architecture lies at the foundation of a more lean and circular economy. It delivers the absolutely necessary monitoring, insight and control base of the overall transformation from a linear and wasteful economy, that is no longer even economically viable, to a lean and planet-future proof economy, where waste is eliminated all together.
Off course the event hub as cloud gateway is the central actor in this reference solution architecture.
The following questions need answers:
- How can a professional environment be created that builds the foundation of an event driven backbone for monitoring and control of the product and service life cycle?
- make simulation of the workings of event producers possible (think of web and mobile apps, social media sources and IoT devices) to help in designing solutions
- drive prototyping and testing of related topics, like secure big data capture, real-time insight delivery and business action triggering, ...
- Think of the creation and sending of Engagement and Telemetry data, remote device and machine control and monitoring, next best action decisions and content, data science relevant telemetry and engagement event patterns, etc.
- How can we organise remote monitoring and control, manually and automatically driven, insight based, including a real-time visualization of the the status of the deployed devices?
- How can we send back the right content, to apps and devices, tailored to the business context and measure response and feedback?
- How can we use streaming (real-time) analytics and machine learning to, for instance, predict failure, optimize maintenance, decide on next best action?
- How can we link all pieces of the puzzle and create a solution that answers the typical Industry 4.0 use cases combining engagement and IoT events, data science and artificial intelligence, to trigger business action?
During this research the ambition is to create Industry grade solution architectures with strong focus on Devops, the use of containerized solutions (Docker, Kubernetes), the use of Microservices and APIs, a security first design, etc.
And the overall attention point for eHubArchitects.com lies upon those aspects that can help eliminate waste and dramatically prolong product life, empowering the circular economy
Simulate Event Producers to make E2E study, test, etc. possible before huge investments are made...
The ability to simulate apps and devices is crucial in designing and developing Event Hub based solutions. The Event Hub environment provides an endpoint where apps and devices can connect to send telemetry and engagement data. The solution consumes this data, enabling the creation of insight or triggering of business actions.
When you develop an Ehub Solution, experimentation and testing are essential parts of that process.
Simulation is an important tool throughout this process.
With Event Producer Simulation you can:
- Quickly get a prototype up and running and then iterate by adjusting simulated event producer behavior on the fly. This process lets you prove out the idea before investing in costly hardware. You can create custom event producers through the web UI to generate a prototype event producer in seconds.
- Scale test your solution by simulating normal, peak, and beyond peak load conditions. Scale tests also help you to right size the Cloud resources needed to run your solution.
Make sure you can remotely monitor a potential of million Event Producers
In a circular economy one of the goals is to dramatically increase the life time of products and related services. The longer end-products stay « in use » the longer resources stay at their highest level of value and new resources do not need to be extracted. New resources can stay longer in the ground (meaning among other things less energy consumption)
Another goal is to monitor the usage of machines, utilities, etc, so that their consumption of resources like water and electricity can be optimized.
Note that also the extraction of resources itself is a process that will use remote monitoring to optimize itself in consumption of resources.
Remote monitoring in this context has no limit in the devices, app, machines, utilities, etc. It monitors. The complete cycle from Take to Make/Remake to Use/Reuse to Recycle can be brought under monitoring and control, connected to artificial intelligence and trigger continuous improvement actions.
In a « predictive maintenance » use case, the device simulators and remote monitoring capabilities are used, linked with predictive analytics where the insight drives company-employee engagement communication.
The focus here lies upon integrating with the machine learning workspace and to deliver an E2E alerting and notification solution towards for example field service engineers.
It translates the insight obtained from the product life cycle and translate this in maintenance actions. Those maintenance actions can lead to “fix before failure” services, highly improving the customer experience, reducing downtime of perhaps leased products, etc.
Industry 4.0 Connected Factory
« Under study »
Here the full monty is investigated of a connected factory. More inspiration can be found at the OPC Foundation.
The following features are part of the study (copied from Microsoft documentation, see below):
- Discover, register and manage Industrial Assets
- Plant operators can discover OPC UA enabled servers in a factory network and register them in the event hub environment.
- Analyze, react to events, and control equipment from anywhere
- Operations personnel can subscribe to and react to events on the factory floor from anywhere in the world.
- The Microservices' REST APIs mirror the OPC UA services edge-side and are secured using OAUTH authentication and authorization backed by an industrial grade IAM (identity and access management) solution.
- Simplification of the developer experience
- The REST API can be used with any programming language through its exposed Open API specification (Swagger).
- This means when integrating OPC UA into cloud management solutions, developers are free to choose technology that matches their skills, interests, and architecture choices.
- Manage certificates and trust groups
- The connected factory solution manages OPC UA Application Certificates and Trust Lists of factory floor machinery and control systems to keep OPC UA client to server communication secure. It restricts which client is allowed to talk to which server. Storage of private keys and signing of certificates is backed by an industrial grade Key Vault, which supports hardware based security (HSM).
I admit, here I borrow heavily from Microsoft and Amazon documentation to explain what the goal of this play will be.