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ODVA works towards a Common Industrial Cloud Interface

03 May 2016

ODVA has announced a new area of technical work to develop standards for the gateway and interface technology needed to transport data between the cloud and CIP-enabled industrial control systems (ICS) populated with EtherNet/IP and DeviceNet devices. This work will result in The Common Industrial Cloud Interface Specification.

ODVA’s scope of work for developing the Common Industrial Cloud Interface will encompass two elements in the ecosystem for the industrial cloud – a cloud gateway appliance (Gateway) and an application program interface (API) for the transport of data from the Gateway to the cloud and from the cloud back to the ICS and its devices. 
Based on open and interoperable standards, supported by multiple vendors, ODVA’s says that the Common Industrial Cloud Interface will accelerate an architectural transformation inclusive of cloud computing to support device management, process analytics, notifications, remote access, visualisation and, in the future, control.
Integration of the Common Industrial Cloud Interface into a portfolio of information and communication technologies is one element in ODVA’s Optimization 4.0 initiative – the umbrella under which ODVA aggregates its vision of the industrial Internet of Things. To this end, the Common Industrial Cloud Interface will enable an enterprise architecture inclusive of cloud computing resources, based on industry standards, and will optimise high performance, secure communications between devices, an ICS and the cloud, as well as simplify common tasks performed by the gateway. 
Commenting on the move, Katherine Voss, ODVA president and executive director, said: “The addition of the Common Industrial Cloud Interface as a new ODVA technology paves the way for vendors of cloud-centric technologies to join with ODVA’s established community of device vendors to collaborate in defining the Common Industrial Cloud Interface to accelerate the realisation of the fourth industrial revolution through standards and vendor adoption.”

According to Craig Resnick, vice president, ARC Advisory Group the cloud is a critically important technology to manufacturers, since it provides a common, economical, globally accessible repository for plant data, drawings, layouts, equipment, and infrastructure information. “What has impeded its growth with some manufacturers are questions regarding security and reliability of the communication interfaces between the cloud and the automation infrastructure, and a lack of standards and guidelines focused on these critical issues. ARC feels that ODVA’s Common Industrial Cloud Interface will address these security and communications issues head-on, and will provide manufacturers who have been reluctant to leverage the benefits of the cloud with the confidence to advance in that direction. Manufacturers will be able to advance knowing that the issues regarding security and reliable operation in a 24/7/365 environment that cannot tolerate unscheduled downtime or data communication failures have been addressed in specifications developed by a uniquely qualified organisation.”

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